DATE: 1/22/2004 10:15:00 AM
Bush and Blogs - Andrew Sullivan asks whether the blogosphere is turning against Bush and concludes it may be, a little. Sullivan is also critical of Bush's state of the union speech, saying it was "cocky partisanship." I'm hard-pressed to think of an SOTU that has not been both triumphal and partisan. It's a president's moment to show off, preen a bit. Which is probably why I don't really enjoy the SOTU as much as other presidential speeches.
I love Andrew Sullivan. His blog is what inspired me to begin putting my daily mutterings online instead of simply yelling at the television and bothering my wife. I think he's right about Bush's vulnerability - the lack of fiscal discipline exhibited by the Congress and the president's refusal to do anything about it is maddening. I don't think, however, the blog world is turning against the president. I have reservations about him, and those are likely shared by others. Any second thoughts I have about the president, though, are secondary compared to the fear I have of the current crop of Democrat candidates. Political opportunism and a lack of conviction are disturbing in any context, but especially when it comes to national defense.
All of the Democrat candidates except for Joe Lieberman have shown such opportunism. The questions about the war and its aftermath do not bother me - such questions should be asked and the debate continued. What bothers me about Kerry and Edwards is their attempt to play both sides of an extremely critical issue. Neither seems to realize that it's not possible to appeal to both the anti-war wing of their party and also to those who see the war as vital to our national security. For all of my reservations about the fiscal irresponsibility of the president, he knows where he stands on this issue and is willing to expend political capital doing what is necessary.
Where I believe Sullivan is wrong is in his belief that blogs are turning against Bush. There are a multitude of blogs out there, including the Blogs for Bush and the Wictory Wednesday campaigns, that support the president. Some are of the hyper-partisan variety (OMG! Bush rooolz!!) and others are of the opinion that despite his shortcomings, Bush is the best candidate for these times. I fall somewhere in the middle. My reservations about Bush are not enough for me to consider one of the Democrats. I'm not normally partisan (heck, I'm not even a Republican) but the fear I have of Kerry, Dean and Edwards is enough to drive me into the position of supporting Bush without too many second thoughts. I have a feeling that most who support the president and blog feel the same way.