"Bush the Victim"
A recent recasting of President George W. Bush as "Bush the Victim" is a totally new media creation, particularly when contrasted against the finger-pointing and blame game which has surrounded this presidency practically from "day one".
This is a new role for Bush: Beginning with his first presidential campaign and throughout the course of his presidency, we have had Bush the "Compassionate Conservative" and Bush the "Culture War" president.
We have Bush the "War President" -- who says he has been to war. This is the George W. Bush who is credited with the Bush doctrine of preemptive war and regime change and who is willing to fight the terrorists in Iraq so we don't have to fight them here at home.
And it is George W. Bush, leader of the Bush theocracy, who not only has conversations with God, not an unusual claim at all, but who also "believes that God is dictating American foreign policy."
The "excuse presidency"
"His is the excuse presidency: never wrong, never responsible, never to blame, ... President Bush’s desk isn’t where the buck stops — it’s where the blame begins. He’s blamed just about everyone but himself and his administration for America’s economic problems, ... And if he’s missed you, don’t worry: He’s still got 48 days left until the election," Democratic presidential candidate John F. Kerry said of Bush while on the campaign trail in September 2004.
And now we have "Bush the Victim" ...
In an October 9, 2005, article, JD of the blogspot Pre$$titudes (the blog's name for media apologists) wrote that the blog had been following "an evolving narrative being used by Pre$$titutes to frame Bush's collapsing presidency."
- First, it was CNN's Candy Crowley who "reported that Bush seemed deflated during his October 4th press conference." Crowley's explanation was that Hurricane Katrina, the investigation into the outing of CIA covert operative Valerie Plame, the Tom DeLay scandal and indictments, the war in Iraq, among other things, "had been 'coming at him in a fierce way.'"
JD commented that Bush "presumably didn't create the mess he's in, it's just stuff coming at him."
- Second, on October 9, 2005, Time magazine's Mike Allen (previously of the Washington Post, appeared on CNN's Situation Room and provided an analysis of Bush's "demeanor during this morning's press conference. Key quote: 'Events have conspired against him.'"
- Next, David S. Broder cited in the October 9, 2005, Washington Post article "Bush's Fraying Presidency" three "front-page stories on a single day last week [which] testified to the unraveling of the Bush presidency."
- The October 6, 2005, Washington Post reported that "'the Senate defied the White House yesterday and voted to set new limits on interrogating detainees in Iraq and elsewhere,' with 46 Republicans joining the Democrats to pass restrictions on prisoner abuse so unacceptable to President Bush that he has threatened his first veto." See McCain Amendment No. 1977.
- "A second story on the same page recounted that 'the conservative uprising against President Bush escalated yesterday as Republican activists angry over his nomination of White House counsel Harriet Miers to the Supreme Court confronted the president's envoys during a pair of tense closed-door meetings.' ... Participants described it as the biggest split with the GOP base in his five years in office."
- And "elsewhere on the page was the news that the Central Intelligence Agency's director had rejected a recommendation from its inspector general that he convene a formal 'accountability board' to judge the possible culpability of senior officials in the failures that preceded the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks," triggering "a statement of concern from the Republican chairman of the Senate intelligence committee and criticism from families of Sept. 11 victims."
JD commented that Broder's "entire piece implies that Bush is a noble victim, dragged down by circumstances outside his direct control, a political 'innovator' whose political vision is being stifled by 'infighting.'"
Further, remarking on Broder's Sunday, October 9, 2005, appearance on Meet the Press, JD wrote that Broder "embellishe[d] his Bush the Victim narrative ..., attributing the problems we're facing not to the reckless decision-making of the past five years, but to an innocuous 'second-term unraveling.' Like a good Pre$$titute," JD wrote, "Broder is pathologically incapable of pinning today's problems directly on Bush."
- Bush administration approval ratings
- Bush lies and deceptions
- fake news
- manufactured journalism
- video news releases
- Bush Watch.com website.
- Life in Bush's America.com website; Category: Failed Presidency.
- The Bush Presidency.org website.
- The Truth About George.com website.
- "Pete Hamill on the Bush Presidency," Letras Libres, January 2001: "Bush will then be tempted to do what most American presidents do when they can’t make anything happen at home. He will look beyond the borders of the United States. That is, he will try to find some small nation to beat up, wrap the assault in flowery idealistic language, and thus try to look presidential. ... But he knows where Iraq is, and is completely aware of what his father failed to do in that country: remove Saddam Hussein. A son in rivalry with a father can be a very dangerous man. To show 'leadership', the new President Bush might defy the European allies of the United States, and risk another oil crisis, by seizing on some slight -– real or imagined -– to finish off Saddam Hussein. He would thus force his father to admire him and get a boost in the public opinion polls."
- Troy Skeels, "Don't Blame Bush," Eat the State, June 5, 2002: "I'm not suggesting Bush is an idiot. But he is, at best, detached. He doesn't know or care because he's never had to. He was given a Vice-Presidency in Daddy's business, and daddy's business just happens to be world domination. Now he's the CEO, but Poppy and his associates still run the Board of Directors."
- James Gerstenzang and Warren Vieth, "Bush puts blame for economy elsewhere. President initiates GOP counterattack," Los Angeles Times, August 15, 2002.
- Sam Parry, "Bush's Life of Deception," Consortium News, November 2, 2002.
- Ron Hutcheson, "Burden on Bush gets heavier yet again. Tragic news comes as approval rating dips," Detroit Free Press, February 3, 2003: "The deaths of seven astronauts in the disintegration of the shuttle Columbia added more burden to President George W. Bush, already bearing the weight of war, a struggling economy and a new nuclear threat."
- Molly Ivins, "The Uncompassionate Conservative," Mother Jones, November/December 2003: "It's not that he's mean. It's just that when it comes to seeing how his policies affect people, George W. Bush doesn't have a clue."
- Ciro Scotti, "Blame Bush for What Came After 9/11. The real issue isn't why the U.S wasn't ready for the attack, but why the Administration used the tragedy to invade Iraq," Business Week, April 15, 2004.
- Marci Hamilton, "The Bush Presidency and Power: The Guantanamo Cases, the Cheney Case, and the 9/11 Hearings," FindLaw's Writ, April 22, 2004.
- "The Divine Calm of George W. Bush. So Iraq's a mess and half the country hates you. Just keep praying," Village Voice, May 3, 2004.
- Tom Brazaitis, "History Profs Rate Bush a Disaster," Cleveland Plain Dealer (Common Dreams), May 23, 2004: "'Actually, I think [Bush's] presidency may exceed the disaster that was Nixon,' said one historian who was not named. 'He has systematically lied to the American public about almost every policy that his administration promotes.'"
- Sidney Blumenthal, "Bush has fallen victim to his own hubris. In the end, US voters will not be frightened into becoming a nation that disdains decency," Guardian Unlimited (UK), October 28, 2004.
- Bobby Beecher, "President Bush: another victim of the messiah complex," Forest Blade, February 2, 2005.
- Jacob Weisberg, "Bush's First Defeat. The president has lost on Social Security. How will he handle it?" Slate, March 31, 2005: "Bush faces a second term that is beginning with a gigantic rebuke: A Congress solidly controlled by his own party is repudiating his top goal."
- "The Bush presidency 2005," Cosmopolis.ch, April 4, 2005.
- George Ochenski, "The wheels come off. The Bush solution: spend until it's gone," Missoula Independent, June 10, 2005: "Like a cocaine cowboy, partying hard until his stash is gone, George W. Bush now faces a horrific crash as intelligence failures, a record-deficit budget, a jobless economy and two wars abroad combine to pull him down."
- Marc Sandalow, "What voters never see is the political grace of a man that once made him a good guy in American politics," San Francisco Chronicle, July 17, 2005.
- "No Blame for Bush," News Hounds, September 1, 2005.
- Julian Borger, "Bush team tries to pin blame on local officials," Guardian Unlimited (UK), September 5, 2005.
- Craig McMurtrie, "Bush's presidency on rocky ground after poor disaster response," ABC News (Australia), September 10, 2005.
- Ron Fournier, "3 Crises Define Bush Presidency," Associated Press (Leading the Charge), September 14, 2005: "Historians will ultimately judge Bush's presidency based on his leadership through two tragedies — the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks and Hurricane Katrina, plus a conflict of his own design: The war in Iraq."
- Sidney Blumenthal, "Breach of a myth. After Katrina, the country no longer believes in Bush the protector. His presidency is ruined," Salon, September 15, 2005.
- Howard Kurtz, "When Democrats Were to Blame," Washington Post, September 15, 2005.
- Fred Leavitt, "Should We Really Blame George Bush?," Arianna Online Forums, September 16, 2005.
- Julian Borger, "How Born-Again George Became a Man on a Mission," Guardian Unlimited (UK) (Common Dreams), October 7, 2005.
- John Nichols, "A Mess of George Bush's Own Making," The Nation (Common Dreams), October 7, 2005.
- Larry Beinhart, "Reporters: Lost in the 'Fog'?" Editor & Publisher (Common Dreams), October 8, 2005.
- Frank Rich, "The Faith-Based President Defrocked," New York Times (Armwood Blogspot), October 9, 2005. re Miers' nomination: "The real story in this dust-up is not the Supreme Court candidate, but the man who picked her. The Miers nomination, whatever its fate, will be remembered as the flashpoint when the faith-based Bush base finally started to lose faith in our propaganda president and join the apostate American majority."
- Joan Vennochi, "The Amazing Shrinking President," Boston Globe (Common Dreams), October 9, 2005.