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OpsanusTau
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Bush Takes Responsibility for Blunders

quote:
WASHINGTON -
President Bush said Tuesday that "I take responsibility" for failures in dealing with Hurricane Katrina and said the disaster raised broader questions about the government's ability to respond to natural disasters as well as terror attacks.

"Katrina exposed serious problems in our response capability at all levels of government," Bush said at joint White House news conference with the president of Iraq.

"To the extent the federal government didn't fully do its job right, I take responsibility," Bush said.



[ September 13, 2005, 03:28 PM: Message edited by: OpsanusTau ]

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WarrsawPact
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Maybe he should have been more specific about specifically which failures were the result of federal blunders.
And if he is taking responsibility, why is anyone else getting fired?

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canadian
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This is the best way I can think of for him to bring out his defenders and supporters.

Were I not so jaded and suspicious, I would call it a classy move, but I've seen too much obfuscation from this administration.

The Dems will probably try to make hay out of this and will be seen as opportunists who can't recognize "honour" when they see it.

And so it goes...

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OpsanusTau
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Transcript of entirety of pertinent remarks, from http://press.arrivenet.com/pol/article.php/692568.html

quote:
PRESIDENT BUSH: Katrina exposed serious problems in our response capability at all levels of government. And to the extent that the federal government didn't fully do its job right, I take responsibility. I want to know what went right and what went wrong. I want to know how to better cooperate with state and local government, to be able to answer that very question that you asked: Are we capable of dealing with a severe attack or another severe storm. And that's a very important question. And it's in our national interest that we find out exactly what went on and -- so that we can better respond.

One thing for certain; having been down there three times and have seen how hard people are working, I'm not going to defend the process going in, but I am going to defend the people who are on the front line of saving lives. Those Coast Guard kids pulling people out of the -- out of the floods are -- did heroic work. The first responders on the ground, whether they be state folks or local folks, did everything they could. There's a lot of people that are -- have done a lot of hard work to save lives.

And so I want to know what went right and what went wrong to address those. But I also want people in America to understand how hard people are working to save lives down there in not only New Orleans, but surrounding parishes and along the Gulf Coast.

quote:
And if he is taking responsibility, why is anyone else getting fired?
That's an interesting question that I hope someone will ask of the President himself.
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Haggis
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Damn, I thought his was going to be the first perfect presidency with absolutely no mistakes. I just lost the office pool. [Frown]
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Funean
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I see we're Working Hard again.
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OpsanusTau
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quote:
Were I not so jaded and suspicious, I would call it a classy move, but I've seen too much obfuscation from this administration.
I'm not sure I would call it a classy move, but I would definitely call it more than I expected of him.
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Funean
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Sadly, my cynical heart keeps telling me that he's just trying to be first in the door with the mea culpas.
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canadian
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I mean classy in the, "my cellmate didn't shank me today" form of classy.

Or maybe it's more of a, "my idiot brother didn't sell my furniture while I was out" kind of classy...

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Funean
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"My cellmate used HIS shiv to shank me, instead of borrowing mine again."
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canadian
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"Mea culpa! I don't think anybody anticipated flying aircraft into a build.... I mean, the breeching of the levees"

On the news:


"Shut up! It was a classy move! Shut up! Maybe YOU should be fired. We'll be back to the No-Spin Zone after this break..."

-------------

"If you can, Paint us a Picture of what this is going to mean for the Administration...

Uh...not much, Wolf..."

-------------

"I think what the President was trying to say is..."


And it goes on and on and on and on....

Keep adding stones and soon the water will be lost in the Well.

[ September 13, 2005, 03:44 PM: Message edited by: canadian ]

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javelin
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quote:
And if he is taking responsibility, why is anyone else getting fired?
Can you please clarify this statement please?
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javelin
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quote:
Originally posted by Funean:
Sadly, my cynical heart keeps telling me that he's just trying to be first in the door with the mea culpas.

I guess I, personally, tend to reject cynicism unless it is productive in some way - so I tend to take statements like this at face value, and then I keep an eye on what the person DOES about it.
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Funean
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quote:
Keep adding stones and soon the water will be lost in the Well.

Of course, with a carrot, some S&P, a bit of butter, and a tater...stone soup!
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canadian
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Hey! Stop being so uncynicalized!!
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Funean
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quote:
I guess I, personally, tend to reject cynicism unless it is productive in some way
You are right to do so. I, on the other hand, have only so many more crushings in me before the first press is over, and so I tend to be, ehm, protective of my optimism. [Smile]
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OpsanusTau
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<basking in Foo's lovely metaphor>
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canadian
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Is that the Extra Virgin stuff?

Or are we talking fine wines, here?

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Funean
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Well, it isn't pomace. I'm certainly not admitting to anything else. [Wink]
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canadian
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One man's cynicism is another man's realism.

"Sometimes you just can't be cynical enough"

Lily Tomlin

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canadian
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quote:
Originally posted by Funean:
Well, it isn't pomace. I'm certainly not admitting to anything else. [Wink]

Well leave the pomace behind, it's like so much chaff. Who needs the dross, anyway?

Either way, wine or oil, they're both delicious good for pouring onto skin.

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canadian
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But back to the Bush thing:

"The Buck Has a Layover Here!"

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kenmeer livermaile
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Displaying what I feel is incredible optimism, I'll say that maybe Bush simply has no better choice than to take this bullet square on. For him to duck in any way would cost him.

After all, with his approval ratings dipping below 40%, he has only his core base to lose. And the way to lose them would be to keep ducking and dodging. He is rebuilding from scratch. Cash only: his credibility line is currently maxed.

This may well be the best thing that ever happened to his presidency in terms of him behaving like a real leader. He can only stand and deliver.

Putting the blamer game in spectator's perspective: New Yorkers and Utahans and Californians don't feel much need to take their Katrina complaints to Nagin and Blanco, for Nagin and Blanco are state officials. When a crisis happens that transfixes the nation, who do people turn to?

The President.

Did our nation turn its longing eyes to Mayor Giulani after 911? (apologies Simon & Garfunkel)

No, it turned to Bush.

Since a local tragedy was so bungled it has become a national tragedy, it is Bush's by default: he IS the president. (apologies Richard Nixon)

I dearly enjoyed watching Bush take heat for this. It was the only bright spot in the tragedy. But now, having enjoyed watching him squirm, I recognize that, for better or worse, he IS the nation's leader. So I hope that this thing will make a real president of him. For all the conspiracy/complicity flak the radical left and right said of Bush after 911, I don't recall any smear campaigns comparable to Bush playing air guitar or Bush fishing with Poppy in waters where Nawlinz folks were drowning. For Bush, the current situation is THAT bad.

There's just no getting around it: Bush has to square his shoulders and take this one head on.

Uh, Fun, Can, Osp...? Spill the wine!

[ September 13, 2005, 05:38 PM: Message edited by: kenmeer livermaile ]

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Adam Masterman
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*applauds President Bush*

totally unqualified

Adam

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Adam Masterman
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double post

[ September 13, 2005, 05:52 PM: Message edited by: Adam Masterman ]

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David Ricardo
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Bush is doing the right thing by accepting responsibility for federal failures in the aftermath of Katrina.

The officials in the state and local governments would do well to follow his lead and be accountable for their own failures too.

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Adjudicator
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Everyone here no doubt realizes that what we are seeing is realpolitik. Bush doesn't feel responsible- he is apologizing because he has to. By the same token, in my opinion holding Bush responsible is also rather a silly bit of politicking by the other side. Reality is constantly buried under the silly fantasy that our political system requires.
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Zyne
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I have missed something.

Would one of y'all please explain to me HOW, exactly, that man has taken responsibility for anything having to do with Katrina?

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kenmeer livermaile
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"Reality is constantly buried under the silly fantasy that our political system requires...."

...even as the reality of political fantasy creates enormous impact on the reality in which we live and it functions.

A similarly odd paradox is that we speak od 'realpolitik' as if it were something different from real politics. Or something like that. Even its definition reflects this:

"Practical politics, in the sense that ideas and theories are unimportant and can be disregarded in the conduct of political affairs. The exponents of Realpolitik were unaware of the fact that their own power was also based on ideas and theories." (itals mine)

One can invert this to obtain the view wherefrom realpolitik is more real than real politics: 'the exponents of Republican conservatism, as well as those expounding Democratic liberalism, were unaware that their own ideas and theories were based on power'.

For example, the fact that Bush has no choice but to step up to the blame plate can be viewed as cause for viewing him with less rather than more respect, because he appears to be FORCED to this action; but the action itself is what it is, whether it be a function of 'realpolitik' or real politics. Undeniable reality has required that he deal with it. His dealing with it has thus become an undeniable reality.

[ September 13, 2005, 08:45 PM: Message edited by: kenmeer livermaile ]

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OpsanusTau
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quote:
Bush doesn't feel responsible- he is apologizing because he has to.
Ah.
He channels Bush!
And we learn from the spirit of Bush as chanelled here on Ornery that Bush is so duplicitous as to claim responsibility in a situation where he, in reality, feels no responsibility whatsoever.

Essentially, that's immaterial. Nobody but Bush will ever know for certain what Bush feels. What we do know is that he said that he would take responsibility.

I understand that nobody wants to look silly, and it's hard not to look silly if you've been saying that Bush is not responsible for the failures of the federal government, and Bush himself steps up and says that he is.
But the fact is, stepping up and taking responsibility for the failures of an organization of which one is head is the correct, adult, and - well, responsible thing to do.

It's important to note that responsibility and blame are not the same thing.

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KnightEnder
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"Dig that girl?"

KE

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Digger
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"The officials in the state and local governments would do well to follow his lead and be accountable for their own failures too."

They won't. Guaranteed.

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Jesse
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The basis of our entire military system of leadership is:

One can delegate __________.

One can never delegate ___________.

Can anyone fill in the blanks?

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kenmeer livermaile
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blank a: authority?

blank b: responsibility?

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kenmeer livermaile
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Dig that girl indeed...
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canadian
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Take that pearl.
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OpsanusTau
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Hey.
That's MINE!

<swimming away>

What care we how white the Minch is, What care we for wind or weather...

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Adjudicator
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Kenmeer- I agree with your post (about realpolitik). What I meant by my statement is that in my view both the push to hold Bush responsible and Bush stepping up to take blame are absurd little drama skits, acted out for the benefit of "the voter" and with no real relation to the actual situation. Of course, by acting out these little drama skits they do indeed affect reality and so the real politics are (and I suppose always have been) realpolitik. That this is the case still does not keep me from wishing for a world in which responsibility and vision were two attributes associated with our leaders as well as the led.
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kenmeer livermaile
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"That this is the case still does not keep me from wishing for a world in which responsibility and vision were two attributes associated with our leaders as well as the led."

THAT, I believe, is a very fine summation of the driving engine of drama of the plot device we call plebiscite democracy.

We keep coming back for more.

'The cult of personality' has always been just a buzzword to me, but it seems to explain itself. Assuming I get the basic concept, I;ll say that the business of electing a leader is a cult of personality lingering from the days of divine kings and god emperors as distilled through our charming belief in the transcendental potential of evolution by public voting contests: somehow, we unconsciously believe, the leaders we vote for will evolve into better leaders... or something like that?

Anyway, I'm waiting for the first nation to place an AI in the executive position, with voting to be simply a matter of selecting for a variety of characteristics. This might give us better choices than picking either "the ultra-leftist, liberal pacifist, ketchup widow's poodle-playing war hero versus the legacy frat boy alcoholic warmonger" as daruma described elsewhere.

Meanwhile, I'll state here something thatspotlights one of the key principles driving the democratic process and used as a dividing point by both libs and cons:

'WHy let the rich and powerful make fools of us WHEN WE CAN DO IT OURSELVES?'

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A. Alzabo
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quote:
Anyway, I'm waiting for the first nation to place an AI in the executive position, with voting to be simply a matter of selecting for a variety of characteristics.
Hey, I voted for Al in 2000. A lot of people thought he was too robotic.
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