Finally getting caught up on my reading after the craziness of these past few weeks and discovered this gem in Peggy’s column last week:
To criticize the White House–if the criticism is serious, well-grounded and well-meant–is helpful, and part of a long and good tradition. But allowing philosophical estrangement to leave you wishing the administration ill is to give in to the destructive spirit of the age. That too has a tradition, but not a good one. Five years ago this September history took a dark turn, and though we can forget it in the day to day, we’re all in this together.
With this paragraph, Peggy provides words which help me better describe what so irks me (and so many others conservatives) about Bush-hatred. Every time some conservative takes issue with an unhinged critic of the president, those critics (or their defenders) say we can’t tolerate criticism of our, to use an expression oft-heard in the fever swamps (but not among Bush supporters and others on the right), “Dear Leader.” What bothers us though is not criticism of the president, but Bush-haters’ manner of expressing it.
Odd how some of those who refuse to see anything positive in the president’s actions assume that his supporters never see anything negative in his actions — even when there is abundant evidence that many such supporters often criticize “our” man.
When getting back to regulalry reading blogs (after returning from my trip to the Buckeye State), I realized that every conservative blog I read regularly has criticized the president at some time or another, some quite frequently, others less so. Not only that, many conservative columnists like my Athena herself, while usually supportive of the president, are often quite critical of him.
The difference is one of tone. They do not wish ill on the Administration — or delight in the suggestion of scandal. (And yes, there were many conservatives who wished ill on the previous Administration and delighted in its scandals.) It is this wishing the Administration ill that so troubles us, especially, as Peggy notes, in the days after 9/11 when we are ever aware how much certain islamicists hate us — and are willing to devise diabolical means to murder thousands, if not millions, of innocent civilians.
When I wrote my piece “Grading the President on Reagan’s Legacy, Bruce asked me to make two sentences into a separate paragraph of their own:
Perhaps, we spend so much time defending the president because his critics, particularly those on the gay left, make such outlandish (and very often inaccurate) accusations against him. Had they made more responsible critiques, they might find us less critical of them.
I didn’t realize until Bruce called my attention to this passage how significant it was. Our critics assume are such slavish followers of the president because we spend so much time defending him. But, we wouldn’t be defending him so often if they weren’t attacking him with such venom and ill will.
Peggy has penned a powerful piece where she offers a smart agenda for the last one thousand days of the president’s term. And once again, my favorite columnist* has taken issue with the president and like this column and this one, she not only criticizes, but also offers suggestions for improvement. Perhaps as part of the shakeup at the White House, new Chief of Staff Josh Bolten could bring Peggy in for regular briefings with top Administration officials — and the president himself.
-Dan (AKA GayPatriotWest): GayPatriotWest@aol.com
*Though Charles Krauthammer, Mark Steyn and Victor Davis Hanson give Peggy a run for her money.
UPDATE: Over at Classical Values, Eric Scheie fisks Paul Krugman’s latest where that columnist claims that “administration supporters” have “built a personality cult around” the president. Sounds like some kind of reverse projection to me. Instead of acknowledging that he (and his Bush-hating ilk) have built some kind of negative personality cult around the president, blaming him for no end of ills and seeing him as incapable of doing anything right, they claim his supporters worship the man. At least, Krugman helps confirm the accuracy of the second paragraph of this post.