1. Welcome! Please take a few seconds to create your free account to post threads, make some friends, remove a few ads while surfing and much more. ClutchFans has been bringing fans together to talk Houston Sports since 1996. Join us!

What If Bush Had Done That?

Discussion in 'BBS Hangout: Debate & Discussion' started by Lil Pun, Oct 27, 2009.

  1. Lil Pun

    Lil Pun Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 1999
    Messages:
    34,132
    Likes Received:
    1,020
    http://news.yahoo.com/s/politico/20091027/pl_politico/28764

    A four-hour stop in New Orleans, on his way to a $3 million fundraiser.

    Snubbing the Dalai Lama.

    Signing off on a secret deal with drug makers.

    Freezing out a TV network.

    Doing more fundraisers than the last president. More golf, too.

    President Barack Obama has done all of those things — and more.

    What’s remarkable is what hasn’t happened. These episodes haven’t become metaphors for Obama’s personal and political character — or consuming controversies that sidetracked the rest of his agenda.

    It’s a sign that the media’s echo chamber can be a funny thing, prone to the vagaries of news judgment, and an illustration that, in politics, context is everything.

    Conservatives look on with a mix of indignation and amazement and ask: Imagine the fuss if George W. Bush had done these things?

    And quickly add, with a hint of jealousy: How does Obama get away with it?

    “We have a joke about it. We’re going to start a website: IfBushHadDoneThat.com,” former Bush counselor Ed Gillespie said. “The watchdogs are curled up around his feet, sleeping soundly. ... There are countless examples: some silly, some serious.”

    Indeed, Bush got grief for secret meetings with the oil industry, politicizing the White House and spending too much time on his beloved bike. But it’s not just Republicans who notice. Media observers note that the president often gets kid-glove treatment from the press, fellow Democrats and, particularly, interest groups on the left — Bush’s loudest critics, Obama’s biggest backers.

    But others say there’s a larger phenomenon at work — in the story line the media wrote about Obama’s presidency. For Bush, the theme was that of a Big Business Republican who rode the family name to the White House, so stories about secret energy meetings and a certain laziness, intellectual and otherwise, fit neatly into the theme, to be replayed over and over again.

    Obama’s story line was more positive from the start: historic newcomer coming to shake up Washington. So the negatives that sprung up around Obama — like a sense that he was more flash than substance — track what negative coverage he’s received, captured in a recent “Saturday Night Live” skit that made fun of his lack of accomplishments in office.

    “There may well be almost an unconscious effort on the part of the media to give Obama a bit more slack because he is more likable, because he is the first African-American president. That plays into it,” said Sherry Bebitch Jeffe, a political analyst at the University of Southern California.

    Democrats find the complaints of Obama “getting a pass” hard to stomach in light of the way the press treated Bush — particularly on the single biggest mistake of his presidency, relying on the faulty intelligence leading up to the war in Iraq. Now, Obama’s aides say, the positive coverage simply reflects the fact that their efforts are succeeding.

    “As our administration makes progress on the agenda that Washington has ignored for too long, we expect we’ll get some news coverage of that progress that we like and some tough coverage that we don’t,” White House spokesman Josh Earnest said. “It’s not unlike the New Orleans Saints, who are getting lots of good coverage of their perfect record so far — certainly better coverage than the [2-5] Redskins — but it doesn’t mean the Saints have liked every story that’s been written about them since training camp. It goes with the territory.”

    There are signs the friendly tone toward Obama is ebbing. Case in point: a front-page story in The New York Times noting that Obama’s all-male basketball games drew fire from the head of the National Organization for Women, who called the games “troubling.”

    But here are other stories in which Obama seems to have gotten a pass:

    New Orleans

    As a candidate, Obama railed against the Bush administration for abandoning and then neglecting the people of New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina. He made five campaign trips to the city.

    But as president, Obama waited almost nine months before visiting the Big Easy, spent less than four hours on the ground there and then jetted to San Francisco for a $3 million Democratic fundraiser.

    “Don’t judge anybody on the amount of time that they’ve spent there. Judge only what this administration promised that they would do, what they’ve done every day and what they’re continuing to work on,” press secretary Robert Gibbs said, pointing to positive reviews of the federal government’s efforts under Obama.

    For their part, Democrats can’t see how Bush officials can muster much umbrage over anything related to New Orleans, given how the Republican administration handled the initial response to Katrina.

    Managing the press

    When the Obama administration moved in recent weeks to isolate and disparage Fox News as a wing of the Republican Party, there were few immediate howls of outrage — even from Fox’s fellow journalists in the media.

    Press defenders and First Amendment advocates who jumped on the Bush administration for using military analysts to shape war coverage reacted with a yawn to the White House’s announcement that it had deemed Fox to be not a “legitimate news organization.”

    “Had I said about MSNBC what the Obama White House said about Fox, the media uproar would still be going on,” said Ari Fleischer, who served as Bush’s press secretary until 2003. “I instinctively would have known ... the media would have leapt to their feet to defend them. I’m shocked it’s not happening now.”

    One press veteran agreed. “If George Bush had taken on MSNBC, what would have happened?” said Phil Bronstein, editor-at-large of the San Francisco Chronicle. “That’s one place you can point to a real difference in how I’d imagine Bush would be treated.”

    Politicizing the White House

    Throughout the Bush administration, liberal critics warned that the hand of Bush political adviser Karl Rove was spreading politics into all corners of government. Reporters were on alert for any sign that politics was infecting the work of federal agencies. One top appointee got in hot water for allegedly asking agency officials to work to “help our candidates” across the country.

    So some Bush aides went nearly apoplectic earlier this month when they spotted Gibbs and Obama’s political guru, David Axelrod, in photos of a Situation Room meeting on Afghanistan policy.

    “Oh, the howling and screaming that would have happened if Karl Rove was sitting in on even a deputies-level meeting where strategy was being hammered out. People would have just gone ballistic,” said Peter Feaver, a former White House aide for both Bush and Bill Clinton.

    Also, in about nine months, Obama has already attended more than two dozen fundraising events, while Bush did only six in his first year in office, according to a tally by CBS’s Mark Knoller.

    Gibbs said Obama had to do more to raise a similar amount of money, since the kinds of soft-money fundraisers Bush did early on were banned. “This president ... doesn’t accept money from PACs or lobbyists and doesn’t allow lobbyists to give at fundraisers that he’s at, as well,” Gibbs added.

    Dealing with business, in secret

    Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney endured years of criticism and lawsuits that stretched all the way to the Supreme Court over secret meetings Cheney’s Energy Task Force held with oil and gas companies. When the policy emerged, critics said Cheney was carrying water for the industry.

    Obama pledged to hash out health care reform live on C-SPAN and excoriated Bush for kowtowing to the drug industry. But aides signed off on the drug industry’s agreement to find $80 billion in savings to support reform. However, Obama aides didn’t disclose that the agreement involved the White House promising that current health legislation wouldn’t include further cuts or give the government the right to negotiate over drug prices.

    Toning down human rights

    During the campaign, Obama talked tough on China. While candidate Obama pushed Bush to take a hard line, President Obama hasn’t. Hoping to win China’s help on Iran and North Korea, Obama skipped a meeting with the Dalai Lama and said little when China undertook a violent crackdown in its largely Muslim Xinjiang region. The White House has pledged to meet with the Dalai Lama later.

    And while candidate Obama warned Bush against a “reckless and cynical initiative [that] would reward a regime in Khartoum that has a record of failing to live up to its commitments,” President Obama’s envoy to Sudan, Scott Gration, seemed to lay out a similar incentive-driven approach.

    “We’ve got to think about giving out cookies,” said Gration. “Kids, countries — they react to gold stars, smiley faces, handshakes, agreements, talk, engagement.” The White House backed away from Gration’s characterization of the strategy but did recently lay out a strategy of engaging with the Sudanese regime.

    Traveling and recreating

    In his campaign and as president, Bush was mocked for a lack of interest in all things foreign — seven minutes touring the Kremlin, 25 minutes at the Great Wall of China, before declaring, “Let’s go home.”

    During a trip to Europe in June, Obama chastised German and French reporters for suggesting that he was snubbing those countries by making only brief stops in each. “There are only 24 hours in the day. And so there’s nothing to any of that speculation beyond us just trying to fit in what we could do on such a short trip,” he told reporters in Germany.

    But after taking his wife out for an attention-grabbing date night, Obama promptly jetted back to Washington. Within about 90 minutes of arriving at the White House, the tightly scheduled president was on the move again — headed to Andrews Air Force Base to play nine holes of golf.
     
  2. SamFisher

    SamFisher Virtuous

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2003
    Messages:
    56,150
    Likes Received:
    32,171
    Bush did do most of those things.

    PS I'd like to see the stats on "more golf" - did they measure by hole? by stroke? Or is this just something that is being mindlessly repeated with no verification by the Politico?

    Because all I see in that story is that he once played "nine holes of golf" at Camp David. Does that mean Bush played < 9 at this point in his presidency?


    It would have been such a non-story that a guy named Phil Bronstein would have forgotten that it actuallly happened.
     
    #2 SamFisher, Oct 27, 2009
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2009
  3. BigBenito

    BigBenito Member

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2002
    Messages:
    7,355
    Likes Received:
    175
    So, the politico author is contending that Obama doesn't get flack for ANYTHING and EVERYTHING already?



    If Bush had done that? He'd have less death threats.
     
  4. GladiatoRowdy

    GladiatoRowdy Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2002
    Messages:
    16,596
    Likes Received:
    493
    The thing is, that isn't ALL Bush did. He started an unnecessary war, diverting attention from Afghanistan (where the Taliban is making headway now because of that decision), allowed an "enhanced interrogation" environment to the point that US soldiers felt comfortable doing pretty much whatever they wanted at Abu Ghirab, completely flubbed the response to Katrina, gave away billions in "tax cuts" to the rich, put industry hacks in place at the EPA and allowed them to water down enforcement efforts, ran roughshod over our civil liberties (at least the Patriot Act was a law, but they even went and did some illegal wiretapping as well).

    The author fails to point out that it wasn't just vacations and stupidity that the press (and the American public) vilified Bush for, it was the unAmerican actions that harmed our country for which Bush will be truly remembered.
     
  5. FranchiseBlade

    FranchiseBlade Contributing Member
    Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2002
    Messages:
    46,996
    Likes Received:
    15,307
    Not only did Bush do all those things, but Obama didn't do all of those things, especially freezing out a network.

    In addition the meetings with drug makers were made known, and the result is lowering drug costs.
     
  6. B-Bob

    B-Bob "94-year-old self-described dreamer"
    Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2002
    Messages:
    33,111
    Likes Received:
    29,763
    Wow. That author should win a Flannery Oconnor Award (for short fiction.)
     
  7. Steve_Francis_rules

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 1999
    Messages:
    8,467
    Likes Received:
    300
    We really need to add these to the list:

    - Bailing out financial institutions

    - Appointing czars in his administration

    Imagine all of the uproar if Bush had dared to do either of those! He would have been labeled a fascist, socialist, anti-christ.
     
  8. Rashmon

    Rashmon Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2000
    Messages:
    18,150
    Likes Received:
    12,338
    If that's all the GOP apologists have to whine about, they are in a heap of trouble.
     
  9. vlaurelio

    vlaurelio Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2005
    Messages:
    21,310
    Likes Received:
    11,755
    onion article?
     
  10. bobrek

    bobrek Politics belong in the D & D

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 1999
    Messages:
    36,288
    Likes Received:
    26,621
    "Politico and CBS News reported Sunday that Obama completed his 24th round, in his ninth month in office, pulling even with his predecessor, George W. Bush, who took two years and nine months to log that many outings"

    http://www.unionleader.com/article.aspx?headline=Obama's+golf+game+gets+plenty+of+attention&articleId=7719afaf-8930-4133-b504-05321865b40a
     
  11. GladiatoRowdy

    GladiatoRowdy Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2002
    Messages:
    16,596
    Likes Received:
    493
    My wife just wrote a biographical profile of O'Connor. I proofed it last night...
     
  12. Invisible Fan

    Invisible Fan Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2001
    Messages:
    40,604
    Likes Received:
    22,358
    Was this a joke?
     
  13. pgabriel

    pgabriel Educated Negro

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2002
    Messages:
    42,329
    Likes Received:
    2,758

    I'm sure he was being sarcastic
     
  14. SamFisher

    SamFisher Virtuous

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2003
    Messages:
    56,150
    Likes Received:
    32,171
    I did some digging and it actually comes from a twitter tweet that says 2 years and 10 months. I'd still like to know how each hole was individually tracked. 1.3 full games? Seems like a very low number for both.

    Edit: it looks like Bush played at least 4 times but only squeezed in a few holes each time?
     
  15. JuanValdez

    JuanValdez Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 1999
    Messages:
    33,030
    Likes Received:
    11,658
    My goodness, I am sick of the "If Bush had done that then..." bs. Different people, different situations, different context. And, usually complainers are wrong about how people would react if Bush had done the same thing.

    Incidentally, I'm also sick of the "Well, Bush started two wars" bs retort. Can we stop comparing the two and worry about the future?
     
  16. bobrek

    bobrek Politics belong in the D & D

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 1999
    Messages:
    36,288
    Likes Received:
    26,621
    This is a bad comparison anyway. Less than a round of golf a week for a job that is 24/7 is no big deal. I'd hope that any President would take some personal time on a weekly basis.

    I think if Bush had played a similar number of rounds of golf and spent less time in Crawford, no one would have said a thing.
     
  17. rhino17

    rhino17 Member

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2006
    Messages:
    17,554
    Likes Received:
    3,595
    What a surprise, something with the slightest negative depiction of Obama being completely dismissed by the posters.
     
  18. BigBenito

    BigBenito Member

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2002
    Messages:
    7,355
    Likes Received:
    175
    glenn beck
    fox news
    in before landry
     
  19. pgabriel

    pgabriel Educated Negro

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2002
    Messages:
    42,329
    Likes Received:
    2,758

    you're right, folks this is real
     
  20. DonkeyMagic

    DonkeyMagic Contributing Member
    Supporting Member

    Joined:
    May 22, 2006
    Messages:
    21,367
    Likes Received:
    3,101
    word. It has got downright annoying.
     

Share This Page

  • About ClutchFans

    Since 1996, ClutchFans has been loud and proud covering the Houston Rockets, helping set an industry standard for team fan sites. The forums have been a home for Houston sports fans as well as basketball fanatics around the globe.

  • Support ClutchFans!

    If you find that ClutchFans is a valuable resource for you, please consider becoming a Supporting Member. Supporting Members can upload photos and attachments directly to their posts, customize their user title and more. Gold Supporters see zero ads!


    Upgrade Now