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Author Topic: I take personal responsibility for...
Thrasymachus
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It seems to me like that's a phrase you don't hear out of peoples mouths very often these days. People seem more and more determined to place the blame elsewhere and in my opinion, its having a pretty widespread effect on our society.

Politicians get elected based on how well they avoid blame for past indiscretions.

Lawyers make fortunes on class action lawsuits on behalf of clients who are to stupid to use common sense and then blame a manufacturer of a product for resulting injuries.

The U.S. population as a whole seems to become more and more dependant on the government to take responsiblity for their healthcare, retirement and education needs (although the move towards home-schooling is a breath of resh air)

What happened to the days of parables about George Washington chopping down a cherry tree? When did it become more socially acceptable to pass the blame or the responsiblity for our own well being AND the well being of those around us on to someone else, rather than accepting it ourselves?

Part of this has to do with Dennis Hastert and his "anyone on my staff who knew anything" policy about Foley, which is a pretty traditional way for a politician to cover his backside, but some of it has to do with everyday life.

That is probably one of the few things I find redeeming about George Bush's time in office. I don't think he has ever publicly tried to lay the blame for his mistakes (though they number asthe stars) on someone else. He starts a lot of his answers to accusatory questions with "I."

I acted on bad intelligence. I believe a strong use of force is necessary.

I might not like the man's policies, but its nice to see someone stand up and accept responsibility for what he's done in a world where nobody wants to be that guy.

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Adam Masterman
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Is this a joke? Bush is the poster boy for dodging responsibility. As of 2004, he hadn't done anything as president that he regreted.

Remember that Clinton took responsibility for Monica-gate in similarly assertive language (I believe his phrase was "I have sinned). It wasn't because Clinton was so honest and forthright, it was because his culpability was inescapable. Owning up to it was the only way left to make a tiny bit of hay. Bush taking responsibility for the bad intel is exactly the same. He waited until the entire world knew perfectly well that he had screwed up, then briefly acknowledged the obvious before moving on to talk about freedom and liberty for the Iraqi people.

Its one thing to deny responsibility for failure. Its no better to simply deny the failure entirely.

Adam

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Redskullvw
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Yes Adam, the famous "I did not have sexual relations with this woman" Turned out to be purgery.

Bush has pretty much behaved as Thrasymachus has just pointed out. Whether you like the guy or not, as far as his being a buck stops here kind of President, he has been pretty darn consistent. I do not think he has ever been in a situation where he has denied failure entirely in order to avoid political fallout.

I am not a big fan of Bush, but it has been refreshing to have a guy in office who admits his human faults. The last president to do that was Carter. And as it turns out and history moves along, Carter is turning out to be one of our better presidents simply because he was principled, took personal responsibility for things he did wrong, and didn't sugar coat reality as some of the people who followed him did. In fact between Carter and Bush II, what you had was a group of presidents who did not ever admit mistakes, or if they were cornered blamed it on political enemies.

Bush has made huge mistakes, many of which have gone over the heads of the average American. But when the media locks on o a mistake, Bsh agrees it was a mistake.

That is indeed a hallmark of a good leader. Acknowledge mistakes, and hold yourself responsible. We spent have spent the 20 years between Carter and Bush II being used to Presidents who blame their failings on staffers and political opposition conspiracy. Maybe we are too jaded to recognize honesty when we see it these days.

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RickyB
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No, he doesn't. When you do nothing to distance the sources of the faulty info that led you to the mistake, and more importantly - when you do not change course (!!!), then taking responsibility is hollow.

Please.

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TomDavidson
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quote:
I do not think he has ever been in a situation where he has denied failure entirely in order to avoid political fallout.
I'm still waiting for Bush to admit to the extent of his administration's failures. Did he cut open his own belly on national television when I wasn't watching?
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Liberal
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quote:
Originally posted by Redskullvw:
Yes Adam, the famous "I did not have sexual relations with this woman" Turned out to be purgery.

Bush has pretty much behaved as Thrasymachus has just pointed out. Whether you like the guy or not, as far as his being a buck stops here kind of President, he has been pretty darn consistent. I do not think he has ever been in a situation where he has denied failure entirely in order to avoid political fallout.

I am not a big fan of Bush, but it has been refreshing to have a guy in office who admits his human faults. The last president to do that was Carter. And as it turns out and history moves along, Carter is turning out to be one of our better presidents simply because he was principled, took personal responsibility for things he did wrong, and didn't sugar coat reality as some of the people who followed him did. In fact between Carter and Bush II, what you had was a group of presidents who did not ever admit mistakes, or if they were cornered blamed it on political enemies.

Bush has made huge mistakes, many of which have gone over the heads of the average American. But when the media locks on o a mistake, Bsh agrees it was a mistake.

That is indeed a hallmark of a good leader. Acknowledge mistakes, and hold yourself responsible. We spent have spent the 20 years between Carter and Bush II being used to Presidents who blame their failings on staffers and political opposition conspiracy. Maybe we are too jaded to recognize honesty when we see it these days.

Bush hasn't sugar-coated his mistakes, he has silver, bronze, and gold-coated every single one of his mistakes. 'Remember that Iraq war that I made a mistake on? Well it's not really a mistake because it's bringing democracy to Iraqis, well, it SORT of is, well, it could possibly lead to it in the future if they survive this civil war we started.'

'Remember that ABM treaty I pulled us out of to work on the impossible missile defense shield? Well, even though that was a mistake it spurred Russia to create a new super weapon that is really cool that we can copy.'

etc etc

This man is a nightmare.


Also, find me one instance where Bush admits a mistake he made Redskull. EVERY instance where he's ever said that there was a chance one of his policies was a mistake he has ALWAYS blamed it on his subordinates' judgment, and not his own.

[ October 17, 2006, 10:17 AM: Message edited by: Liberal ]

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RickyB
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The man gave absolute screw-ups MEDALS. Where's the responsibility there? I find that to be a very twisted concept of responsibility.
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Liberal
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By the way, saying the mistake of Iraq is also good because it allows us to use Iraq as a battleground to fight terrorism away from America is probably his single worst PR-blunder since he single-handedly turned Iran and North Korea completely against us with the Axis of Evil speech.

I have a feeling that Iraqis will remember that for generations to come and if they ever wind up getting a democratic government it will be openly hostile to us for that.

[ October 17, 2006, 10:24 AM: Message edited by: Liberal ]

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DaveS
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This is a little fuzzy. Bush has an ideology that pushes him to make all kinds of decisions that may or may not be successful. Was it a "mistake" to label NK, Iraq and Iran as the AoE and take absolutist positions against them, to ally himself with Musharef, to demonize and isolate the Palestinian leadership, chip away at civil rights, alienate "Old Europe"? Everybody makes mistakes, but whenever Bush has to admit one, he is admitting that his ideology is flawed. Ain't gonna do that. It's not a mistake, he's just having trouble getting his message out.
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Redskullvw
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Liberal,

I think your summation is both partisan and a bit shallow. Your disagreements with his policies have been used by you to automatically discount every move he has made as being an error. That is hardly a fair standard of judgement to apply to anyone. By your representation, there is almost nothing the man could do to avoid making a mistake or even attempt to mitigate it by taking responsibility.

By those standards, your critical judgement of his actions means that your bias against him predetermines the outcome as negative in all cases. While Bush has been far from right on many policies, he has been right on many others. I think your ability to be a fair judge in this case is suspect. I won't do your homework for you. I suggest you go back and review his speeches and press conferences over the last few years.

Ricky

I will grant you that he does have a loyalty streak. That is also a bit puzzling as well. On the other-hand he does seem to give people second chances when they make honest mistakes. I agree with you however that in some cases of both staff and advisors, he has given too many second chances. I can think of a few people who need to bow out. While I have no problem with political advisors making repeated mistakes, members of the Cabinet should be allowed little error factor, and most of them grasp this reality. While the final responsibility is the President's, his advisors have the duty to remove themselves when they have made errors that are judged by unbiased review. Rumsfeild is one of those figures. Yes he has made some spectacular successes, but he has also provided incomplete advice on at least 3 occasions that would warrant him to bow out regardless of whether the President still supports him.

This is in my view one of Bush's weaknesses, he does not seem to ever be willing to take someone off his team, even if they are struggling or performing poorly.

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Liberal
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quote:
Originally posted by Redskullvw:
Liberal,

I think your summation is both partisan and a bit shallow. Your disagreements with his policies have been used by you to automatically discount every move he has made as being an error. That is hardly a fair standard of judgement to apply to anyone. By your representation, there is almost nothing the man could do to avoid making a mistake or even attempt to mitigate it by taking responsibility.

By those standards, your critical judgement of his actions means that your bias against him predetermines the outcome as negative in all cases. While Bush has been far from right on many policies, he has been right on many others. I think your ability to be a fair judge in this case is suspect. I won't do your homework for you. I suggest you go back and review his speeches and press conferences over the last few years.

Ricky

I will grant you that he does have a loyalty streak. That is also a bit puzzling as well. On the other-hand he does seem to give people second chances when they make honest mistakes. I agree with you however that in some cases of both staff and advisors, he has given too many second chances. I can think of a few people who need to bow out. While I have no problem with political advisors making repeated mistakes, members of the Cabinet should be allowed little error factor, and most of them grasp this reality. While the final responsibility is the President's, his advisors have the duty to remove themselves when they have made errors that are judged by unbiased review. Rumsfeild is one of those figures. Yes he has made some spectacular successes, but he has also provided incomplete advice on at least 3 occasions that would warrant him to bow out regardless of whether the President still supports him.

This is in my view one of Bush's weaknesses, he does not seem to ever be willing to take someone off his team, even if they are struggling or performing poorly.

This seems like a copout to me. It also seems fairly ad-hominem. It's easy to call my criticisms partisan, and its far harder for you to actually address them. If I were to engage in a similar tactic of personal argumentation and refutation, I would say this follows a pattern of you disengaging from argument you feel that you are "above" in some fashion. But I only offer that as a hypothetical since I would never stoop that low. [Wink] [Razz]

Seriously, Bush himself admitted Iraq was a mistake, then said it was good because it allowed us a distanced front in the "wot." Please show how this is beneficial to us in the long run like he seems to believe.

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kenmeer livermaile
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Bush has a seemingly inexhaustible scapegoat: terrorism.

"We're working hard. Stay the course. We're fighting a new kind of enemy."

"Mistakes have been made" is, to my recollection, the closest he's come to mea culpa. He's made various 'the buck stops here' statements, but I don't recall these being followed by frank admissions of blame on his part.

Remember heckuva job, Brownie?" Well, Brownie's gone. Last week, Bush objected to legislation requiring FEMA directors have x years experience in disaster/1st response operations. He said it would limit his prerogative to choose the best person for the job.

link

<begin>
Saturday, October 7, 2006; Page A02

President Bush reserved the right to ignore key changes in Congress's overhaul of the Federal Emergency Management Agency -- including a requirement to appoint someone with experience handling disasters as the agency's head -- in setting aside dozens of provisions contained in a major homeland security spending bill this week.

Besides objecting to Congress's list of qualifications for FEMA's director, the White House also claimed the right to edit or withhold reports to Congress by a watchdog agency within the Department of Homeland Security that is responsible for protecting Americans' personal privacy.

The standards for the FEMA director were inspired by criticism of former FEMA chief Michael D. Brown's performance after Hurricane Katrina last year. Brown, a lawyer and judge of Arabian horses, had no experience in disaster response before joining FEMA.

Bush's moves came in a controversial assertion of executive authority known as a "signing statement," which the White House issued late Wednesday, the same day the president signed the $34.8 billion measure. Congress has assailed the unprecedented extent of Bush's use of signing statements to reinterpret or repudiate measures approved by lawmakers instead of exercising a formal veto.
<end>

When you don't admit to your mistakes, you have difficulty *learning* from them. But not completely, perhaps. The current FEMA head *is* a former firefighter:

<begin>
Robert David Paulison (b. 1947) is a firefighter who is currently serving as the head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Paulison was appointed by President George W. Bush on September 12, 2005 to replace the embattled Michael D. Brown, who resigned amid controversy over his handling of disaster relief in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Prior to his appointment, Paulison was perhaps best known nationally for his 2003 advisory regarding household items (including duct tape and plastic sheeting) to have on hand in case of terrorist attack.

On September 20, 2001, President George W. Bush announced that he would appoint Paulison (a Democrat) as the head of the United States Fire Administration, now a division of the Department of Homeland Security and the Directorate of Preparedness. The nomination was sent to the U.S. Senate on October 16, 2001. Paulison was confirmed unanimously on November 30, 2001.

It was in this role that Paulison released an advisory on February 10, 2003 recommending households keep several common items on hand in case of a biological, chemical or radiological terrorist attack. Among these: three days' worth of water and food, emergency supplies, and plastic sheeting and duct tape to seal windows and doors. [1] The latter led to a much-publicized rush on hardware stores. This overshadowed another of the advisory's statements (one that unknowingly predicted conditions in the Gulf Coast 19 months later): in an emergency, most people "are going to be on their own for possibly 48 to 72 hours." [2]

Later in 2003, Bush appointed Paulison director of the newly created National Preparedness Division of the Emergency Preparedness & Response Directorate. This division is part of FEMA and the Department of Homeland Security.
<end>

On the other hand, best I can tell, Paulison was simply next in line. Perhaps Bush didn't have time to *really* vet Paulison's expertise in Arabian horses?

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Adam Masterman
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I agree with Red that such a leader would be great to have; responsible, forthright and honest. And thats exactly the spin that Bush backers like to give him. Unfortunately, you have to ignore pretty much his entire modus operandi in order to think that that description fits him. Those of us in the reality-based community are stuck with a leader who doesn't dare admit to any mistakes, for fear that people will question his "resolve". Whatever that means.

Adam

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Redskullvw
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Liberal

The ad-hominem in this case is yours, directed at Bush. Routinely you ascribe descriptions of his actions, motives, and policies as negatives. Your pattern is to set up standards that no one can meet if they dare to put forth the idea that the president may not be as mortally flawed as you routinely argue. Your criticism is indeed partisan, which prevents you form ever seeing anything the president does in a positive light. I cannot argue against your bias because your bias overwhelms logic. The man has taken responsibility for errors, including the screwed intel going into Iraq, and instituted the most sweeping realignment of federal intelligence agencies in over 60 years to hopefully prevent any president being fed false intelligence in the future.

This is but one example, germane to the topic of the President taking personal responsibility for an error and doing what is in his power to prevent it from happening again.

You have placed argument against your bias so high, that no one is willing to engage you. You think invading Iraq is an error, and note Bush's remark that it is ultimately good because it created a central front. But in order for me to convince you the policy is ultimately a good on, I would have to be able to see the future. I can't, and therefor you have set up an argument that not only suites your bias against Bush, but makes rebuttal or counter argument impossible.

So it is not an attempt by me to engage in a smear tactic against you, but rather point out that you have yet to ascribe a positive viewpoint on any action the President has taken. This lack of ever admitting that he has done something correctly makes your claims against him somewhat suspect. Even a broke clock is correct twice a day, but you cannot even contemplate Bush being right because if you did, much of your argument which depends on him being absolutely flawed would suddenly fall apart.

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kenmeer livermaile
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What do positive -- or negative -- viewpoints have to do with he absence of simple statements like 'I was wring', 'I made a mistke'?
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Redskullvw
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Adam

So he admitted the intelligence was wrong and took responsibility for it. Since he dared to admit a mistake what does that do to people in your self-described "reality-based community"?

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Redskullvw
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KL

Because liberal and those who share his viewpoint that the president's actions are always negative, see even a statement like "I was wrong" and "I made a mistake" as further evidence that the president cannot possibly do anything right, including taking responsibility or apologizing for making an error.

Flip it around. I really was not a big fan of Clinton, but I did allow for the reality that he was capable and often did lead well. I felt he did make many errors in judgement and leadership. But when someone who supported Clinton stated that he wasn't all bad, I could and did agree with them. It was because I was willing to drop my personal bias against him and apply fair standards of judgement that I could accept that there were cases where Clinton was doing a good job.

Liberal and others like him, allow their personal bias against him, or on the other hand rabid Bush supporters allowing positive bias for Bush, that leads to either extreme being unable to fairly judge his actions and leadership. In absolutes, their arguments are mere shadows of what the truth is, and ring fairly hollow.

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hobsen
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Redskullvw, you come across as a moderate on this topic. I agree both Bush and Clinton have done some things right, and others wrong.
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DaveS
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quote:
So he admitted the intelligence was wrong and took responsibility for it. Since he dared to admit a mistake what does that do to people in your self-described "reality-based community"?
What does that mean, that he "took responsibility for it"? Has anything been affected by that admission, or has anyone been held accountable for it? Has Bush backed down on any of his declarations about the imperative urgency to continue his policies that derived from the "faulty intelligence"? Since the answer to each of those questions is a definite "No", then he hasn't actually taken responsibility for it.

We are deep into a war that will last a generation, that was initiated on the basis of unreliable or manipulated intelligence shaped by ideology. We'll pay with the lives of our children-soldiers, untold deaths in Iraq, increased anti-Americanism and an apparent acceleration of the global nuclear arms race. Is he willing to take responsibility for that? How can he, if he doesn't even understand the magnitude of the mistakes he has made.

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Colin JM0397
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As Tom mentioned, I suspect - as with Clinton detractors on the right - the only thing some will be happy with is a nationally televised hari-kari.

Single-minded hatred and/or fear trumps rational thought every time.

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Thrasymachus
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I know that this forum is heavily politically oriented, but my point wasn't that George Bush is a shining example of what every president should strive to be. My point was that seemingly everyone likes to point the finger at someone else, but I haven't heard Bush do that. When he is forced to admit error, he claims it as his own.

I also didn't mean for this to be a reflection on the presidnecy, so much as the nation as a whole. As much as everyone seems to enjoy bashing the president, I don't remember hearing that any of you were running for the office.

We as a nation are individually and collectively responsible for its policies to whatever degree we allow them to persist when we disagree with them.

Saying that George Bush has taken the wrong position on the war doesn't mean anything if you don't take some action to alleviate the situation. So by that token, all of you whining liberals who aren't standing beside Cindy Shehan while she hangs out in Crawford are as guilty of allowing the war to continue as George Bush himself.

By the same token, all the Clinton bashers who didn't send letters to their congressmen during the "impeachment" are responsible for allowing that mockery to occur.

I get tired of the he said, she said nonsense. We the people of the united States are not powerless. But if we don't take responsibility for the power we have, why did all those soldiers die over the years to ensure we could abuse it?

We seem to have been convinced at some point that politics is a spectator sport. What happened to government of, for and by the people?

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javelin
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quote:
We seem to have been convinced at some point that politics is a spectator sport. What happened to government of, for and by the people?
Concord Party
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Matteo522
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quote:
We are deep into a war that will last a generation, that was initiated on the basis of unreliable or manipulated intelligence shaped by ideology. We'll pay with the lives of our children-soldiers, untold deaths in Iraq, increased anti-Americanism and an apparent acceleration of the global nuclear arms race. Is he willing to take responsibility for that? How can he, if he doesn't even understand the magnitude of the mistakes he has made.
First, I think it's really unfair to say that he doesn't understand the magnitude of what he's done.

Second, you're assuming that he has made terrible mistakes that will lead to what you listed above. If he doesn't view them as mistakes (as many people don't), then it's awfully hard to take responsibility for them as mistakes.

Do we know that the invasion in Iraq has led to an acceleration of a nuclear arms race with Iran and N. Korea? Do you really believe that an alternate universe where the US didn't invade Iraq would also have an Iran and N. Korea that wasn't pursuing nuclear weapons? For all we know, the invasion could have delayed things for a year or two as they watched what unfolded in Iraq. Point is we don't know one way or the other.

And the growing anti-Americanism has been going on for decades. Is Bush purely responsible for that? Honestly, which US leader hasn't made us look worse to some segment of the world in the last thirty years? It's awfully easy to hate us, deserved or not.

You can place blame on Bush all day long, but don't criticize him for not admitting to mistakes either he (along with those that support him) doesn't view as mistakes or he's not responsible for.

Matteo

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Wayward Son
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I think what is lacking in President Bush's "taking responsibility" for his mistakes is regret.

It is like what happened at the vet yesterday. We had our cat scheduled for major surgery. When we brought him in, we discovered that some man had called and cancelled the surgery. Since I am the only man in our household, and since I did not do it, it was their mistake.

Yes, they took responsibility. Yes, they did everything they could to make it right (and were able to schedule it in late yesterday). But I don't recall them saying they were sorry. And when I asked what caused the mistake, they gave me this blank look.

Yes, President Bush has admitted to his mistakes about intelligence. Yes, he has tried to restructure the intelligence community so that it (hopefully) won't happen again. But what public display of regret has he made? Has he sincerely appologized to the American people for lying to them? Has he said anything about wishing he had been more vigiliant, read the reports more carefully so that he would not have erred? Or has he brushed it off?

My impression is the latter, which is why I question his sincerity about taking responsibility. Because what is responsible about being as proud of your mistakes are you are about being right? [Mad]

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Richard Dey
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This is not about MEDALS, RB, but I will grant you that loyalty is no virtue in and of itself; consider the case of the Nixon administration.

The point about Bush II's inability to learn from his mistakes, however, has to stick to the man like flaming napalm. Who is to argue that taking out Sodom Insane or bin Laden wasn't a good idea? But now Hussein is on Bush II's side -- calling for peace in our times. The irony of this is so rusty that it makes a mockery of all our military might and renders Bush II's own policies absurdist.

He said he wasn't going to seize Iraq, and then pursued a policy where only seizure could effect his scheme for a united, democratic, free Iraq.

Did Johnson apologize for the debacle of Vietnam? I don't think we go around sheepishly admitting that we lost a war (two wars, if you count the War on Poverty) whilst building our personal national library featuring 20x20-foot photographs of ourself, Stalinesque style. Johnson passed the buck to Nixon by refusing to run again and leaving the pro-warriors in a Dienbienphu. That's one thing LBJ should have apologized for -- bolting like Napoleon fleeing the disaster of his Russian invasion in the night -- dashing off to Paris in a heated carriage!

Did Nixon ever apologize for trying to expand the war into Cambodia and Laos when he was specificially hired to get us out? I don't remember it, and frankly doubt it.

We seem to be agreed here that:

(1) Taking out Saddam was a good idea -- regardless of the Gulf of Tonkin or WMDs, or the ITC implosion, or whatever the baloney was that 'rationalized' it.

(2) We seem to be agreed that we've stayed too long, and I think personally that the day that Saddam was captured, he should have been summarily executed, and we should have pulled out in the night, leaving Iraq to stew in its own juices. We did what we did when we invaded Korea, when we invaded Vietnam, when we invaded Lebanon; we made somebody's mess (not inoften a French mess) our own.

Oh the the Infants and the Innocents! There are no innocents in war because there is no innocence in it left alive.

(3) Bush II overstayed the ambitions of the American will. Democracy cannot by its definition be imposed. I think we've all come to more-or-less agree on that proposition. Bush II's follow-through punch was an afterthought -- too slow, too weak, and too self-righteous to be logical.

Can Bush II apologize for choosing the wrong course of action by attempting to raise a democratic government in Iraq? I don't think he can. The country he represents was ambivalent about both options open to him: to stay a new course or to get the hell out. There was no clear media or public opinion on the matter.

Bush II got damn little help from Congress in making the right choice as it gave him all the money he wanted to make the wrong choice.

He had no help from the press in making the right choice, with the whole media either for the war, hoping for the best, or waffling on it.

Not even the Democrats, running against the President's party, had a clear and present warning sign of danger on the Gulf War II issue. They failed as critics, let alone as loyal opposition.

I was late in opposing the war. I should have written my Congressmen the day after Saddam was captured that now, right now, is the time to get out of Iraq. I have to take personal responsibility for the President's bad decisions. I failed to warn him that he was making a weapon of ass destruction of himself.

So long as I waffled, I have no right to demand an apology from Bush II. The American people were giving him very mixed messages -- from Colin Powell on out.

Well, so the initiative has long since been lost, all the solutions so far are mirages, and we're trying to save face -- as the Commies sack Saigon's airport right from under our feet. But to blame Johnson or Bush II for a plan that was initially the clear will of the American people is blaming the victim. Johnson will never be held the great president he sought to be. Bush II will forever be tied to the defeat in Iraq.

I don't think losers are obliged to apologize. It's too late to be an effective strategy, it mollifies nobody, and neither of these dogs is going to be forgiven for killing the cat anyway. Turning him into a lame duck is the best we can do on this question until the Pentagon itself withdraws, thus signaling an unapologetic defeat.

Then the Democrats and the Republicans can shake hands; they've both been idiots. Will they apologize? They don't have to. They're both losers.

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Redskullvw
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Home run Richard.
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hobsen
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Impressive indeed.
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kenmeer livermaile
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"Flip it around. I really was not a big fan of Clinton, but I did allow for the reality that he was capable and often did lead well. "

That describes my position toward Clinton perfectly, except I was not only not a big fan of Billy J, I didn't vote for him in '96 and saw him as a bad thing for our nation. I'd rather have had Bob Dole than Billy J.

My total hostility toward Bush is based on his uniquely near-perfect track record of failure and dishonesty leading far back.

They say even a stopped clock is right twice a day. Bush's clock needs to be stopped so ha can enjoy evenm that much success.

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kenmeer livermaile
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"the only thing some will be happy with is a nationally televised hari-kari."

If we could remove the (political) lethality of the (metaphorical) ritual, I'd be for it. I think that when a leader has so absymally misguided us as Bush has, it is in everyone's best interests for him to treat us the plebiscite as father confessor and himself as the penitent.

We could then tell him what he needed to do to absolve his sins, and get on wih it.

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kenmeer livermaile
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"But now Hussein is on Bush II's side -- calling for peace in our times. The irony of this is so rusty that it makes a mockery of all our military might and renders Bush II's own policies absurdist."

Yeah, I caught that in the news yesterday. My Ironic-ometer went so far off-sale it stuck. Had to tap it with a double-entendre rubber dildo hammer for 10 minutes to spring it loose.

"But to blame Johnson or Bush II for a plan that was initially the clear will of the American people is blaming the victim."

Hey! I protested every bogus move of Double-Ought from the gitgo! I protested against Iraq and wrote letters to Cogressfolk. I protested the Patriot Act and wrote letters. I wrote online editorials about this stuff. I cried out against the move toward allowing torture way back in fall '01 when it first reared its ugly Alien head from the bleeding belly of a writhing American polulace. I was ridiculed time and again for suggesting that a) we would torture or b) it was a bad idea. (Take your pick. It was an insane experience on my end, believe me: 'we don't, but maybe we should and/or so whjat if we do?')

I was hollering 'foul' on Cheney's energy task force secrecy before 911 (it since has leaked a bit in a manner suggesting plans to invade Iraq for oil), and was hollering foul at ENRON before the pustule burst in public. The data was there. It wasn't secret. It just wasn't trumpeted by all the media. (Of major USA media, only NPR/PBS were on top of that story in any degree, as I recall.)

I was railing at Clinton back in the '90s when the Telecommunications ACT (TCA) went through. I lobbed mud-bmbs at Clinton/NAFTA. I voted against Clinton in '96 largely on the basis of campaign finance corruption. (Yes, Daruma, I was aware of 'Chinagate'.) I too recall Clinton pardoning Marc Richards, but let it drop because, hey, he was finally out of office and, yo, we had someone far far worse taking his place:

Behold Bush, who WILL go down as the Worst President Ever since Harding. I didn' send no mixed messages on Bush, and I won't moderate those same messages now just because other folks are realizing that I was at least more right than wrong 5-6 years ago.

Uh-uh. When you're right, you're right, and when Bush is wrong, BOY, is he wrong. I was right, and I'm gonna crow. Bush was wrong, and oughter eat same.

[ October 17, 2006, 02:27 PM: Message edited by: kenmeer livermaile ]

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Richard Dey
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"Hey! I protested every bogus move ..."

Yes, Oz, but you're politically savvy and I -- obviously -- am not. I didn't realize, as you did, that Bush II is a stubborn s.o.b., not the clone of Bush I that I expected. Bush I had diplomatic skills and some good sense. Bush II seems more and more like a patsy of the Pentagonians -- who need to 'test their weapons' every 20 years.

At that point I fully agree with RB: the Pentagonians need to win medals every generation to maintain their officers-club status and morale. If that means leaping onto a pileup, well, what do they know about international relations?

What Matteo says is also true. By now everybody knows the magnitude of what's happened -- and the minitude of our need to be there. Imagine! We can't go into North Korea to disarm madmen -- because we're all tied up in Iraq, Afghanistan, ... and South Korea. What if we had to go into Venezuela to actually secure our oil?

As I said two years ago, it was well known in diplomatic circles that our reason for being in Iraq was Iran. Iraq was a quick win and an easy base of operations against Iran. Cripes! We can't even secure a police shooting range in Iraq. That's bad intelligence, really, really bad.

The issue that was brought up about being misled by one's subordinates is well taken, but Johnson was head of the armed forces as President even as he was head of the Senate for years. Nixon was head of the armed forces as President even as he was head of the Senate for years. Bush I had been head of the CIA -- and knew better.

My question is, why couldn't Bush I have warned Bush II that the Pentagon was not a reliable source of military information? but the provocation of that question is a pretty sad commentary on the state of military intelligence since the fallback to Pusan in the Truman administration [Mad] ! It's no way to win a war.

It's no way to run a business -- but, then, we already knew Bush II couldn't do that [Frown] .

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kenmeer livermaile
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Besides, I abhor family dynasties. If for no other reason, the thought of Hillary after Bush inspires my despondence.

I go now to google Pusan.

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DaveS
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Ah, I didn't mean to absolve the Dems for their part in this mess, but other than falling on their swords and being swept out of office they didn't have many practical options. It is punting to let future generations explain to us whether our foreign policy over the past 5 years was right or wrong. We're here now, and I do what I can to change things. It's only he said/she said if both sides are right or wrong depending on who you agree with. Bush may have had sufficient reason to take the policy steps he did, but there is no excuse for having failed so miserably to plan and execute things better. Absolutely nobody anywhere in the chain of command has suffered any public rebuke or loss of prestige/function for any mistakes made. I would be as incensed if it were President Gore presiding over such a fiasco.

I generally agree with Richard (although I was very active even before the war started), but the lack of unanimity doesn't excuse the wrong path taken and the wrong steps executed. We shouldn't expect or condone a President who does this poorly in our names.

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kenmeer livermaile
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"...there is no excuse for having failed so miserably to plan and execute things better."

Both in Afghanistan and Iraq.

"There's an old saying in Tennessee—I know it's in Texas, probably in Tennessee—that says, fool me once, shame on—shame on you. Fool me—you can't get fooled again." — G.W. Bush, Nashville, Tenn., Sept. 17, 2002

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Loki
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Insurance. I blame mandatory car insurance.
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kenmeer livermaile
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That's funny.
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Liberal
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quote:
Originally posted by Redskullvw:
Liberal

The ad-hominem in this case is yours, directed at Bush. Routinely you ascribe descriptions of his actions, motives, and policies as negatives. Your pattern is to set up standards that no one can meet if they dare to put forth the idea that the president may not be as mortally flawed as you routinely argue. Your criticism is indeed partisan, which prevents you form ever seeing anything the president does in a positive light. I cannot argue against your bias because your bias overwhelms logic. The man has taken responsibility for errors, including the screwed intel going into Iraq, and instituted the most sweeping realignment of federal intelligence agencies in over 60 years to hopefully prevent any president being fed false intelligence in the future.

This is but one example, germane to the topic of the President taking personal responsibility for an error and doing what is in his power to prevent it from happening again.

You have placed argument against your bias so high, that no one is willing to engage you. You think invading Iraq is an error, and note Bush's remark that it is ultimately good because it created a central front. But in order for me to convince you the policy is ultimately a good on, I would have to be able to see the future. I can't, and therefor you have set up an argument that not only suites your bias against Bush, but makes rebuttal or counter argument impossible.

So it is not an attempt by me to engage in a smear tactic against you, but rather point out that you have yet to ascribe a positive viewpoint on any action the President has taken. This lack of ever admitting that he has done something correctly makes your claims against him somewhat suspect. Even a broke clock is correct twice a day, but you cannot even contemplate Bush being right because if you did, much of your argument which depends on him being absolutely flawed would suddenly fall apart.

and then this
quote:

Because liberal and those who share his viewpoint that the president's actions are always negative, see even a statement like "I was wrong" and "I made a mistake" as further evidence that the president cannot possibly do anything right, including taking responsibility or apologizing for making an error.

Flip it around. I really was not a big fan of Clinton, but I did allow for the reality that he was capable and often did lead well. I felt he did make many errors in judgement and leadership. But when someone who supported Clinton stated that he wasn't all bad, I could and did agree with them. It was because I was willing to drop my personal bias against him and apply fair standards of judgement that I could accept that there were cases where Clinton was doing a good job.

Liberal and others like him, allow their personal bias against him, or on the other hand rabid Bush supporters allowing positive bias for Bush, that leads to either extreme being unable to fairly judge his actions and leadership. In absolutes, their arguments are mere shadows of what the truth is, and ring fairly hollow.

...
What a conceited crock of ^#*$. Do you have ANY idea how arrogant this is? I go out of my way to say I am not blindly partisan and all you can do is fire back "yes you are!" and cloak it in what you seem to think is phrasing that makes it acceptable? My monicker here, as I explained in the intro thread, stems from my usual coincidence of siding with liberal takes on issues, but I evaluate every situation seperately. I resent your continued suggestions that I'm some wildly flailing ideologue who is so consumed with bias against Bush that I can't objectively evaluate things. You are way out of line here and the only thing holding your repeated crap up is your "standing" here on Ornery and reputation for writing long-winded posts whenever people come close to questioning the validity of your beliefs about Islam. And then YOU have the guts to turn it around and say I was the one issuing personal attacks. Well I guess with this post I'll oblige you, after all, if I'm going to be blamed for something I might as well let that person actually have it.

Try sticking with the issues and addressing my main points. I'm still waiting to hear your brilliant and developed answer to why Bush's crazed notion of using Iraq land and civilians as shield for America is a good long term strategy for stabalizing Iraq and for our own peace.

[ October 17, 2006, 07:29 PM: Message edited by: Liberal ]

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kenmeer livermaile
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Do you have to be biased against Bush to see him for a leadership disaster? I've occasionally seen references here to 'common sense'. Perhaps it is, perhaps it isn't. (Common, that is.)

But assuming it exists, isn't that sufficient to identify a catastrophe as such?

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kenmeer livermaile
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"Because liberal and those who share his viewpoint that the president's actions are always negative"

It wo8uld seem that saying calling Bush things like 'village idiot frat boy' serve as axioms that everything he does is bad, but it ain't.

Some folks are willing to dive to the bottom of a vat of **** for a few pearls. Not me.

If you want it, here it is come and get it
Mmmm, make your mind up fast
If you want it, anytime I can give it
But you better hurry cause it may not last

Did I hear you say that there must be a catch
Will you walk away from a fool and his money
If you want it, here it is come and get it
But you better hurry cause it's going fast


'Come and Get It', theme song for the movie, "THe Magic Christian":

"Sellers and Starr conclude the movie by filling a huge pool on the South Bank with pig ****, blood and fat and throw in pound notes while advertising "Free Money" to see if City gents are prepared to wade into the crap to get it."

[ October 17, 2006, 08:26 PM: Message edited by: kenmeer livermaile ]

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Everard
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"Your disagreements with his policies have been used by you to automatically discount every move he has made as being an error."

Well, yeah... most of his moves HAVE been errors, as can be seen from the RESULTS of those moves.

When I, sitting here at my computer, with my recently earned bachelors degree in physics, not political science or history or anthropology, can predict with better accuracy what will happen in, for example, Iraq then Bush can predict, then I feel like I have the right to criticize the moves he makes if I've accurately predicted that those moves will result in more negatives then positives for the country.

The fact of the matter is that almost every move bush has made, especially in foreign policy, has resulted in the opposite occuring from what would be a positive outcome for the country. When that happens, we SHOULD be routinely criticizing the man, and criticism shouldn't be viewed as "bias."

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