Bush Politicizing Terrorism But Fewer Are Buying It

Earlier I wrote about Bush’s loss of credibility, and The New York Times provides yet another example as they report, In Unpredictable District, Some Say Bush Is Politicizing Terrorism:

“I do have a bit of mistrust,” said Mr. McBride, who said that he twice voted for Mr. Bush but that he is now disappointed — a sentiment he said is shared by many in his Bible study group. “The whole thing about W.M.D. and that Iraq is somehow tied to 9/11, I just don’t believe it.”

Mr. Bush has plenty of supporters in this Denver suburb and the surrounding cities, an evenly divided swing district that is a bellwether in the battle for control of the House. But interviews over the last three days here found Republicans, Democrats and independents all expressing degrees of skepticism about Mr. Bush’s motives in delivering a set of high-profile speeches on terrorism and the war in Iraq two months before Election Day.

Better late than never, but I wish they had realized how Bush has been playing politics with terrorism from the start. Bush campaigned as “a uniter, not a divider” but decided to govern from the far right, crafting narrow wins in Congress rather than seeking bipartisan support of his policies as previous Presidents such as Ronald Reagan and BIll Clinton did. The 9/11 attacks gave Bush an opportunity to govern with bipartisan good will with a country united against a common enemy, but instead Bush decided to use the attack for political gain, even if it meant weakening the country and playing into al Qaeda’s hands. This worked in the 2002 and 2004 elections, but in the post-Katrina world fewer are falling for the Republicans’ spin and fewer are satisfied with what John Kerry has labeled a Katrina foreign policy.

Not only are the voters interviewed by The New York Times expressing dissatisfaction with the manner in which the Republicans have governed. The October Washington Monthly features a cover feature entitled Time For Us To Go. Seven prominent conservatives write about the failings of the Republicans to govern according to their principles and find believe we would be better off with a Democratic controlled Congress to counter George Bush. Split government never looked so appealing.

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