November 11, 2006

It Is Time To Use The Bully Pulpit!

The President
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Ave.
Washington, District of Columbia

Dear Mr. President:

In 2000 you ran as the "compassionate conservative" and the people of America responded electing you President of the United States of America. Oh sure, there were some die-hards that fought a long drawn-out legal battle, and they had some support in some corners, but in general, the majority of states casting votes in the Electoral College voted the way the people of those states voted and you were sworn in. I probably don't need to remind you of your inauguration speech, but I would like to quote part of it:

But the stakes for America are never small. If our country does not lead the cause of freedom, it will not be led. If we do not turn the hearts of children toward knowledge and character, we will lose their gifts and undermine their idealism. If we permit our economy to drift and decline, the vulnerable will suffer most.

We must live up to the calling we share. Civility is not a tactic or a sentiment. It is the determined choice of trust over cynicism, of community over chaos. And this commitment, if we keep it, is a way to shared accomplishment.


After the Declaration of Independence was signed, Virginia statesman John Page wrote to Thomas Jefferson: ``We know the race is not to the swift nor the battle to the strong. Do you not think an angel rides in the whirlwind and directs this storm?''

Currently, the angel is in danger of being tossed from that whirlwind, our people have been beset by an attack that strikes at the foundations of freedom and a war has resulted. The war is between two ideologies, one founded on freedom, the other on subjugation. One founded on hope, the other founded on an irrational fear of freedom. One founded on a belief in the dignity of the individual, the other on hatred of differences.

The political battle, which is an integral part of that war has also been fought. There are forces within this country that would bow to those forces of irrational thinking, forces that would retreat from confronting the greatest enemy of western democracy in this century. It is left to you to be the spokesman for freedom.

The Democrats have won the last election, both the House of Representatives and the Senate will be in their hands when Congress reconvenes in January, 2007. There will be those who will call for the penultimate of political discourse, the fabled "bi-partisanship." Don't be fooled Mr. President. It was a total lack of bi-partisanship over the last 6 years that has resulted in this. The Democrats have demonized you and the Republicans incessantly. They have called the tax cuts "a gift to the rich" when the facts are that the tax cuts have spurred a remarkable growth in the GDP and have benefited all of America. They have demonized and threatened to filibuster judges that you have nominated to the federal bench and you, sadly, have not forcefully spoken out against this. You kept many of President Clinton's nominations in play, and the Democrats did not respond in a bi-partisan manner. You allowed Senator Kennedy the opportunity to be the force behind the education bill and the Democrats did not respond in a bi-partisan manner. You called for the removal of one of the world's greatest tyrants and though the Democrats voted in favor of the Invasion of Iraq, they immediately began second guessing and intimated that they had been lied to and you said little in defense of what was a just call.

I'm disappointed in your leadership Mr. President, as are an awful lot of conservatives. But unlike many, I'm not abandoning ship. I call on you to join with me and with most American's to provide strong leadership now and over the next two years. You must stand up to the partisan sniping from the left. You must defend your choices in nominations, and for policies that will surely aid America in its fight against the terrorism of Al Qaeda and their fellow islamo-fascists. As Margret Thatcher once mentioned to your father: "Don't go wobbly." Mrs. Thatcher also said "I seem to smell the stench of appeasement in the air.” Don't let that be so sir, don't!

One of the books that I read as a youth, and which seems appropriate now was John Kennedy's "Profiles in Courage." The underlying theme of each tale was an individual who stood up to their circumstances, persevered and won an outright, and often a moral victory. This must be your guide.

Bills currently before congress, and bills coming before congress in the next two years are frequently thoughtless expressions of self important pols who would rather see their names in lights than do what is right for the country, and yes, this includes Republicans as well as Democrats. But you cannot, must not succumb to the easy road and accept this. Make every fight the good fight, stand up for principles that benefit the American people as a whole, not just the left, and not just the right. You will not win all of these battles needless to say, but you cannot kowtow to the Democrats just because they hold a majority. You must fight them when they are wrong. And sir, they are wrong on so many fronts:

  • They are wrong on Iraq,
  • They are wrong on not making the tax cuts permanent,
  • They are wrong on not confirming John Bolton to the Ambassadorship to the United Nations,
  • They are wrong on the monitoring of telecommunications with suspected Al Qaeda forces,
  • They are wrong on our resolve to support Israel,
  • They are wrong on stem cell research funding,
  • They are wrong on illegal immigration and "The Fence,"
  • They are wrong on Social Security solvency,
  • They are wrong on health care,
  • They are wrong on education.

    This is your opportunity to stand up for what you believe in, to use the Bully Pulpit for all it is worth. You must veto bad legislation and take your case to the American people. You must veto bad spending bills, even if the bill contains some things we need. You must argue cogently and forcefully for the ideals for which you were elected and then re-elected. The American people will tolerate nothing less.

    If the time is not now, when? If the leader is not you, who? If the cause is not right, what is?

    George M. Roper

    Posted by GM Roper at November 11, 2006 08:44 AM | TrackBack
  • Comments

    This is a great letter. I am very inspired now.

    Thank you! I may have to do some serious thinking now--- and write my own letter.

    Posted by Raven at November 11, 2006 10:29 AM

    Excellent and well thought out, GM!

    We can pretty much use your list as a checklist to measure the "stuff" the President's next two years are made of.

    Posted by Seth at November 11, 2006 10:47 AM

    Bravo GM!

    This is well written and to the point. Not to mention it is in the 10 ring.

    The Pres needs to grow a set of titanium Big Dog balz and stand up to the Dems. Losing is no reason to bow down.

    This is an opportunity to show courage and strength and for us to weed out the pretenders in our party.

    Onward to Victory!

    PS, if you are making this some kind of group letter I will sign it.

    Posted by Big Dog at November 11, 2006 11:47 AM

    Oh Lord, I hope he follows your advice. Circulate this as widely as possible among the right-wing bloggers, amp up the noise machine on talk radio, etc., mobilize the Fundies and put every pressure on your Fearless Leader to press the agenda you outline above as aggressively as possible.

    I'll help defray any expenses incurred.

    Posted by reg at November 11, 2006 02:32 PM

    Yeah, when you reference the "Fundies" we just know what a deep, tolerant thinker you are, reg.

    Posted by Assistant Village Idiot at November 11, 2006 05:13 PM

    Good letter but I fear it will fall on deaf ears. President Bush views himself as bipartisan. It doesn't matter that recent history tells us how futile that vision is or that Democrats will never accept that he could be bipartisan.

    Over the next 2 years, as President Bush embraces much of the liberals domestic agenda (including amnesty, to my great regret), conservatives will learn first-hand the frustrations our liberal brothers felt over the past 6 years regarding the Iraq war. When it comes to Iraq, I think President Bush will adopt the questionable policies of Bush 41's administration. I hope I'm wrong but I think it will be a rough 2 years for conservatives.

    Posted by DRJ at November 11, 2006 05:16 PM

    Who said I was tolerant ? Frankly, it's an over-rated virtue. There are some people and POVs that don't deserve to be tolerated. Injected into political agendas and campaigns of bigotry, hard-core religious fundamentalism becomes one of them. I don't care if it's by some some self-hating closet case, Dobson, Falwell or Osama himself. And, as general matter, down in the pits with rabid GOPer partisans only a fool would play beanbag. Even Rupert Murdoch couldn't pay me enough to be an Alan Colmes.

    Posted by reg at November 11, 2006 05:51 PM

    And to clarify before I'm subjected to idiotic assumptions about my intent, when I say "don't deserve to be tolerated", I mean don't deserve to be allowed to run amok and attempt to impose their religious codes on other people's personal lives, insult and deamean people as "immoral" for their sexual orientation and not be called on their ugly bulls... There's no group that I would attempt to deny constitutional rights, legal redress or equal treatment under civil law. That's where I draw the line and why I'm contemptuous of so many extreme fundamentalists who cross it.

    Posted by reg at November 11, 2006 06:01 PM

    Ok reg, and you are indeed intolerant, what specifically do you object to in the post and what do you think in the post is based on "Fundie" beliefs.

    Posted by GM at November 11, 2006 08:14 PM

    GM, while personally I largely agree with your list of "wrong on's" I'm not sure where George Bush stands on these issues. Moreover, I'm dubious that he is capable of and willing to stand up in the manner you describe.

    Over the past six years, I've seen George primarily act like a bully. He's been very aggressive when the wind is at his back and he's got his flanks covered by loyal supporters who have the power to enforce his demands. However, when the wind turns into his face and he faces challenge without his flanks covered, his instincts are to beat a quick retreat - or to expect his family and friends sail to his rescue.

    Also, he's been engaged in a David and Joab routine with his Republican Congress; if he continues that with the Democrats, I'm not sure what will remain from the past six years when he leaves office.

    The wind abruptly turned on Tuesday, and his first actions seem to be true to history: firing Rumsfeld and turning to his father's crew for rescue. We'll have to see, but I'm skeptical that George will transform into Teddy Roosevelt.

    Posted by civil truth at November 11, 2006 08:59 PM

    CT, if what you say is true (and I'm not doubting you at all) the democrats will retain both houses until a really stron conservative prez comes forward. America lacks leadership and has for a while. Unless Bush wakes up and puts some iron in his spine, the Reid's and Pelosi's will rule. And, notice if you will, they did not run on what they would do, they ran on Iraq is not good and they are not republicans. Sad, really sad and ole reg is typical of the lot. Complain, gripe, moan and groan, but don't ever, ever put out some specific plans.

    Posted by GM at November 12, 2006 09:32 AM

    "what specifically do you object to in the post and what do you think in the post is based on "Fundie" beliefs."

    I didn't state that your post was based on "Fundie" point, which was obvious, was that your post was an appeal to Bush to circle the wagons around a right-wing agenda on the issues you listed, and that's a sure-fire way to isolate the GOP even more from the mainstream. The point about "Fundies", the right-wing blogs and wingnut radio is simply that those are your best infrastructure to create an echo chamber.

    Why do I have to keep responding to bizarre non-sequitors that garble the content and intent of my comments ? Either I'm the dumbest, most inarticulate guy writing here, or there's darned little in the way of honest engagement or argument of issues posed by critics. Straw men, obfuscation and ad hominem seem to be the order of the day. Civil Truth is the consistent exception, and it's obvious from his comment that he at least gets the jist of my point - not because he read or even referenced my post but because his own comment is pointed in the direction of what's pretty obvious even if one disagrees on the issues.

    As to what I disagree with on your list, that's another discussion - bit in shorthand mostly all of them, some to varying degreees, as they've been posed by you in past discussions. Assume I'm disagreeing with what I've understood about your tendentious interpretations on these points, such as what constitutes "support for Israel". Support for Israel's right-wing or every damn fool thing a particular Israeli government might do doesn't constitute "support for Israel", for example. (It's just a list, but for starters I'd like to know one thing that YOU have ever been right on as regards Iraq. "Saddam was a horrible dictator" doesn't count, unless you also want to claim stuff like "Iraq is situated next to Iran, northwest of the Persian Gulf." I well remember your lampooning me long ago for my assertion that Iran would more than likely be the big external beneficiary of the U.S. invasion of Iraq. That you couldn't wrap your mind around that, when now it's one of the most obvious of the myriad aspects of that war that are, literally, blowing up in our face, was a clue that your primary interest in this episode has been to parrot BushCo talkiing points rather than to think critically or strategically as regards U.S. national security. That's been my primary concern in this matter - not delusional agendas or crackpot ideology that manages to be as reductionist as it is grandiose.)

    GM - When we get into the question of people being "typical of the lot", your posts, pre-election and after, are so predictable, shallow, mired in talk-radio gibberish and hysterical echoes from the blowhardsphere that, frankly, you should be embarrassed by some of this stuff. Woody's even worse. And your final talking point in the last comment is a boring retread that's lingering well past it's shelf life.

    Posted by reg at November 12, 2006 03:27 PM

    "to create an echo chamber."

    That should have been "perpetuate", not "create"...

    Posted by reg at November 12, 2006 03:29 PM

    reg, I've recognized since at least 2000 that Iran is the greatest Middle East strategic threat to U.S. and Israeli interests. I was puzzled on geopolitical/military grounds as to why we went into Iraq first, since historically we had always viewed Saddam a counterweight against expanding Iranian influence (which is why we allowed him to stay in power after the first Gulf war). Thus, at first sight, weakening Iraq would tend to strengthen Iran.

    However, I heard an explanation a couple of years ago that makes military sense - but only if had we properly conducted the invasion with sufficient forces and a coherent program to secure the infrastructure and knock out internal opposition early before the limits of our strength were exposed - and had we properly secured Afghanistan.

    As I recall the outline, the military logic was as follows: controlling Iraq would have two beneficial consequences. First, it would isolate Syria from its Iranian-based supply sources (by cutting the land supply lines), thereby enabling us to eliminate Syria as a strategic threat. Secondly, the Iraq invasion also would put U.S. forces on Iran's western border. These forces combined with our Afghanistan presence and our sea forces would then have put us in an encircling position that would enable us to more effectively apply pressure to Iran.

    I also believe we had plans of being able to from an alliance with the Iraqi Shia, which were not happy about the Iranian brand of their religion and their setting up of a rival Shia center in Qom. Of course, in a critical error early on, we failed to prevent the assassination of our ally Iman al-Khoei and allowed al-Sadr to become a dominant militia power.

    Thus, the Iraq invasion was at the time a reasonable military strategy; our execution of it was gravely flawed, and as a result, we are in grave danger of everything unraveling. Where to go from here is another discussion. In that regard, while I have not yet heard a Democratic plan that makes sense, at least the election results are going to make continuing the status quo impossible.

    Posted by civil truth at November 12, 2006 04:41 PM

    "controlling Iraq"

    That really worked out well...

    Also, I thought it was all about liberating the Iraqis, not the U.S. controlling Iraq.

    This war council did a number of things that really aren't forgiveable - from promoting a war as an urgent matter of pre-emption when it obviously wasn't, to planniing for the best case rather than the worst when putting our troops in harm's way, to declaring an easy and early victory for their mission as publicity stunt for the "commander in chief", to nearly total stubborn denial when the signs of a potential negative outcome first became evident.

    I don't at all accept that the war in Iraq was a "reasonable military strategy" given the enemy we faced post-9/11 and the fact that a still-difficult mission in Afghanistan had yet to be fully accomplished.

    If you had been on a side that counseled cautio and saw a large element of hype in administration arguments for invating Iraq, that doubted that Saddam was the imminent or clear & present threat being claimed, thought that the focus on bin Laden was being deliberately shifted to an old obsession or that the notion of "blowback" from poorly conceived policies was very real and particularly dangerous in the Middle East - and, for your efforts at looking beyond the headlines, consistently faced the prospect of having your patriotism questioned or the suggestion that somehow you were soft on the people who attacked our country from folks who, it fairly soon became clear, were mired in false assumptions, misinformation and "hope as a plan", you'd have little tolerance and lots of contempt for the pro-war deadenders who've had damned near every one of their glib assertions fall apart amidst some very harsh realities - while many of them still continue playing the same old tired tune.

    Also, the stuff about the Democrats not having a "plan" is rich...moat in eye, and all that.

    Posted by reg at November 12, 2006 05:19 PM

    Actually, I'm in concurrance with GM for my own reasons:

    * Whether or not Iraq was right, it was wrong for the left, and for the MSM to assist the enemy so openly by vocally subverting attempts to show successes, harping solely on failures in the hopes that they could prove it was wrong by ensuring failure. No one can deny the scads of misinformation that has exuded from the press in every country. The shrill chanting about perceived administration lies and the perpetuation of what were indeed lies drowning out all else has been a large part of dragging this out. It emboldened our enemies. It was easily seen when ever the media did report on the number of terrorists killed, the terrorists themselves complained. I just think it's odd that some think they were fooled or misled, yet others don't. We can argue all day about the initial invasion or the reasons for it, but once we were there, many Americans were hell bent on seeing us fail and short of strapping on a bomb vest themselves, they sided with the enemy all to often in every sensational issue after another. Many errors are made in war and plenty were made in this one, but a unified country in wanting success can overcome a lot.

    * The tax cuts have benefitted nearly everyone who actually pays taxes - it was the spending and pork that should have been addressed long ago. Repealing the tax cuts will affect the middle class, regardless of those who chose to ignore that. And the sentiment that the rich aren't paying enough is not justification for punishing others it has helped.

    * If John Bolton is so bad, where are all the reports of his miserable failures and bad performance at the UN? Being tough on them doesn't count.

    * The monitoring of calls has been wrongly portrayed all along as "domestic eavesdropping". Far too much hype and little substance ever came from the opposition.

    * Israel is suffering from the same fate we are in Iraq. Double standards and an unwillingness to put the enemy down decisively because of international cries against them with no condemnation of their enemy. I support them for what I think is their right, to exist in a homeland which was initially taken from them so long ago, but I don't when they try to expand beyond the original intent of their having a homeland. I hold more contempt though for those who think the terror tactics against them are justified or simply ignore it. Israel is a mixed bag, but I don't condemn them overall as many do.

    * I don't think that embryonic stem cell research should be government funded any more than I think abortion should. Again, misinformation is the order of business on this issue.

    * Amnesty for illegal aliens began in 1986. Why should we implement another amnesty when the first one never really ended and borders were never secured? Some reading on this will show that it's been extended several times for varied reasons and all we're doing is starting the process again and little will be done to enforce it correctly - again. This time we'll do it right? I have no faith in that sentiment.

    * Misinformation and powerful lobbyists quashed Social Security reform. No one really understood it because there were those who made sure they didn't. No real dialog ever ensued.

    * Healthcare is another of those issues people are fuzzy on. Notice: if you drive a new car and have department store credit cards with balances but no insurance, it may not be anyone's fault but your own. However, every state has healthcare options available to those who truly can't afford insurance, especially their children. That people don't take advantage of these programs is often ignorance of them. National health care will only shift the economic burden from the state to the federal level and the states are certainly not going to lower their tax rates when the burden is no longer theirs. Therefore - higher taxes for everyone.

    * Education is a no brainer - we've been throwing more and more money at a flawed system for decades and there's been little to no improvement. Even more money will not fix it.

    So anyway, my ears are ringing with the discontent of some people already and I can already hear the insults to my intelligence, but these are my feelings in brief form. There's not enough space to articulate more clearly. So read what you want into it. I can't can't control what you perceive anymore than I can your own opinions, I can only try to impart what I mean.

    Posted by Oyster at November 12, 2006 06:27 PM

    Reg, I think you shifted the discussion away from the issue I was addressing. I was responding to your comment (which I may have misinterpreted) that an Iraq invasion would necessarily benefit Iran. I outlined the strategic rationale for an Iraq invasion as part of a larger plan for containing and counteracting the growth of Iranian power. It did contain the risk (as we all recognize) that if we did not succeed, then we would have removed one of the main barriers to the expansion of Iran's power. That risk however did not negate the strategy.

    However, I probably should not have started down this track since my description of the strategic rationale for a theoretical war with Iraq really cannot be separated from a discussion of the actual war with Iraq that we initiated in March 2003. We'd really need to move such a discussion off GM's turf. However, please note again the second and fourth paragraphs of my comment. Please don't put me in a "camp" too quickly.

    Posted by civil truth at November 12, 2006 07:40 PM

    I'm not putting you in any camp CT. But we didn't have a theoretical war, we had an actual war. The people who initiated and strategized it were some combination of delusional and incompetent. The signs of this began early on. My concerns were rooted in commentary by guys like Zinni and Cordesman, not Michael Moore. Bush's crew have severely damaged U.S. national security and created a catastrophic situation that will more than likely favor Iran, among other nasty effects. Bush and/or his advisors demonstrated a rather profound recklessness and ignorance. I don't really see much room for argument on that score.

    The ravings of "Oyster", shamelessly and absurdly recycling the wingnut whine about "siding with the enemy", are a perfect example of the Dead Enders' need to pin Bush's failure and the negative consequences that will flow from this on war critics or the media. It's a cowardly and ignorant act. I'm not sure that a better outcome of the war itself was possible - but a number of large and obvious mistakes were made - starting with troop strength, despite the denial of the BushLove crowd and the concerns expressed by critics - so that this war council pretty much guaranteed failure early on, sticking to a "best case" approach long after things began to deteriorate. Frankly, it's hard to see how most of what's happened wasn't predictable - at least enough not to deny that it was even looming when much of it was already happening. Hope is not a plan and neither are crap shoots. But fundamentally, there was never evidence that this was a necessary war, despite the rhetoric, and it certainly was not a rational response to 9/11. Pretzel logic was problematic from the start and painful in retrospect but it's nothing less than shameful when it's continually recycled.

    As for these Dead-enders, there's not much left in the long run but to blame America first, rather than admit the malfeasance and incompetence of an administration they'd, frankly, had a long love affair with until recently. Watching Rumsfeld - a walking, talking testosterone implant for many of these folks - finally slink away must be a bitter pill indeed. Failure and rejection isn't fun, but a little maturity goes a long way in helping one deal with it. I won't be waiting for much evidence of that in these parts, with a handful of exceptions.

    Posted by reg at November 12, 2006 08:32 PM

    reg: "I'll help defray any expenses incurred."

    reg, your share will be $150,000.00! Please use the paypal button.

    Posted by GM at November 13, 2006 07:43 AM

    Actually, I'm in concurrance with Oyster. But as I read his comments, I'm struck by the common thread that runs through all of them, that if corrected, would make most of his points dissappear. The existence of an independent objective press. A real "watch dog" press.

    Just think about it. A press that reports, objectively as possible, all of the news and analysis with out regard to any political agenda. We would be told of all of the good going on in Iraq as well, that the top few percent of taxpayers pay most of the taxes, what all of the things John Bolton has done to represent us in the UN, that NSA eavesdropping was only done on known terrorists, etc. and on and on and on. Just think how well informed the American public would be informed ... especially at election time. All of the things Oyster points out are a direct result of intentional misinformation by the press. I know ... I know ... its a real fantasy world I long for.

    Posted by Vulgorilla at November 13, 2006 11:18 AM

    Oppose Harry Reid

    Christians Against Leftist Heresy


    I Stand With Piglet, How About You?

    Reject The UN
    Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting


    101st Fighting Keyboardists

    Prev | List | Random | Next
    Powered by RingSurf!

    Naked Bloggers

    Improper Blogs

    Milblogs I Read

    The Texas Connection
    Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

    American Conservative

    The Wide Awakes

    < TR>
    AgainstTerrorism 1.jpg
    [ Prev || Next || Prev 5 || Next 5]
    [Rand || List || Stats || Join]

    Open Tracback Providers

    No PC Blogroll

    Blogs For Bush

    My Technorati Profile
    Major Media Links

    Grab A Button
    If you would like to link to GM's Corner, feel free to grab one of the following buttons. (Remember to save the image to your own website).

    Whimsical Creations by GM Roper
    My Store

    Technorati search

    Fight Spam! Click Here!
    YCOP Blogs

    The Alliance
    "GM's Corner is a Blogger's
    Blog, and then some!"
    -----Glenn Reynolds

    Coalition Against Illegal Immigration

    Southern Blog Federation

    Kim Komando, America's Digital Goddess
    Powered by:
    Movable Type 2.64

    Template by:

    Design by:

    Hosted by: