Almost since Bruce’s first post on this blog, we have been faulted for not criticizing the president enough. And while on the whole, we believe he has done a good job, each of us is aware of his faults (and his flaws). I have made clear my opposition to the Federal Marriage Amendment (which the president supports) and have taken him to task for failing to follow Ronald Reagan’s vision of federalism. I have not said as much as I would like about his inability to hold the line on federal spending or about his inadquate solutions to deal with illegal immigration and border-control.
While I acknowledge that George W. Bush has been far from a perfect president, I frequently find myself in the position of Roger Simon who asked yesterday: “Am I the only one who likes Bush more every time he is excessively attacked by the mainstream media?” Roger’s “case in point” is Hurricane Katrina. Instead of seeing the Administration’s mistakes in the context of the size of the storm and the accomplishments of federal (as well as state and local) agencies in providing relief (see here for a partial listing of what went right, HT: Powerline), the MSM focus on the mistakes — so as to create a legend of his failure.
As Roger put it, “The willful ignorance of the media in their zeal to get Bush is peculiar.” And adds, “The more these attacks continue in this manner the more Bush will thrive. That’s the way humans react to unfairness.” And perhaps that’s why we have spent more defending the president than dwelling on our areas of disagreement. We see how unfairly the media, particularly the gay media, has treated the president.
An LA Times columnist (in a puff piece on Bill Maher) writes that “media [is] actually doing a credible job on Katrina,” he congratulates the media for creating a legend based on its own bias against the president. (The real sad thing is that this guy really believes the media is doing a good job covering the hurricane and its aftermath.) Similarly, many in the gay press, particularly the columnists, routinely distort the facts to present an image of the president which conforms to their own diabolical images of the man.
In a column in the latest Advocate, Charles Kaiser repeats a number of unsubstantiated slurs (and a few outright lies) against presidential advisor Karl Rove. He’s not offering commentary on the facts, but twisting those facts (and inventing new ones out of whole cloth) in order to present a negative portrait of the president and his closest aides.
No wonder bloggers like Bruce and I have devoted so much time to defending the president. No wonder our affection for the man has grown even as we find fault with some of his appointments and policies. When the president’s adversaries and the media, especially the gay media, exaggerate his wrongs, distort the facts of his Administration and ignore the good things he has done, most Americans will measure the president’s actual record against that bitter rhetoric and, as a result, may well become more sympathetic to the man and his administration.
Just as Bruce asked yesterday, “Why are gay liberals so hateful toward gay conservatives” I ask today, why are the media, so many left-wingers and so many gay activists so hateful towards President Bush?
The president is, like his predecessors, an imperfect man, but also a man who has done some good. He may have backed the FMA, but he refused to accede to social conservatives’ demands that he repeal President Clinton’s Executive Order barring discrimination against gay and lesbian federal employees. The federal response to Katrina may not have been ideal, but even Donna Brazile, a Democratic activist who managed Al Gore’s 2000 presidential campaign, thought the president spoke “from the heart” Thursday night and was proud of him “and the plan he outlined to empower those who lost everything and to rebuild the Gulf Coast.”
It’s unfortunate that the president’s critics are not more like Ms. Brazile, willing to acknowledge his good intentions and able to praise him when he puts forwards policies they support. Until those critics do as she has done, I will wonder at the bile of the Bush-bashers and their allies in the mainstream and gay media and defend him against their false accusations and rhetorical excesses.
-Dan (AKA GayPatriotWest): GayPatriotWest@aol.com