Calling Bush To Account
Dan Froomkin says Republicans want answers too:
Faced with a profound souring of public opinion, Bush has held only one full-scale press conference since June. His press secretary won't give straight answers to even the simplest questions anymore. And Bush's aides continue to keep skeptics out of the Oval Office and away from his public events.Froomkin pulls together a batch of relevant stories. For example:
The president has refused to answer any questions about the recent indictment of a top White House aide. And most recently, his response to questions about his administration's misleading statements before the war with Iraq has been as unenlightening as it has been vitriolic.
Only Congress can legally demand answers from the President -- but with both Houses controlled by docile Republicans, that hasn't been a problem.
Asked how they feel about Bush personally, 27 percent of those polled said they like him a lot; 21 percent say the like him a little; 17 percent said they dislike him a little; 33 percent said they dislike him a lot. A sizeable chunk of the 33 percent who dislike him a lot -- a total of 6 percent of all those polled -- went so far as to say they actually hate him.Or this:
Pollster John Zogby said that experiences of previous presidents, such as Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon, show that once the public has lost faith in its leaders, it is difficult for them to regain such trust.Or this:
'It's kind of like virginity,' said Zogby. 'It is hard to get back.'
It has been a long-standing tradition in America that politics stop at the water's edge - an adage that means domestic political fights are set aside to present a unified front while a president is traveling abroad.As a reader at TPM asks:
"But despite that tradition, Bush used his last stop on American soil to give a slashing campaign-style speech and get in a parting shot.
I've obviously missed something. When did it become appropriate for the Commander-in-Chief to go onto a military installation before a military crowd and denounce the opposition party? I cannot remember a time in my 21-year career when anything remotely like this happened. Is it just me or are we embarked on something very dark and dangerous for our democracy?