Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Bush Myths

You'll want to bookmark these links for use in discussions with your liberal friends who "just know" that certain (negative) things about GWB are true. I'm drawing these myth-busters from Michael Novak's op-ed piece in National Review Online.

  • First, Bush is dumb. This is my favorite Bush myth. Liberals love to use this one on Republican presidents-- Eisenhower, Ford, Reagan, and now GWB have all been derided as just not all that sharp. This is a totally unsupported canard. Thanks to Novak, here is an analysis of that claim as far as Bush is concerned, which is not altogether flattering about the president and comes from UPI, hardly a Bush apologist. Apparently GWB's IQ score places him in about the 95th percentile. (Also, being math-challenged myself, I'd be happy to have had his SAT math score of 640.)
  • Novak's article also addresses these myths:
  1. Bush "lied" when he said Iraq was an "imminent" danger to the U.S. Bush expressly denied that the danger was then imminent, and said when it was actually "imminent" it would be too late to counter.
  2. Bush "lied" when he said Iraq had the "potential" to develop weapons of mass destruction, and Saddam must be assumed to possess weapons of mass destruction. Saddam's potential to develop weapons of mass destruction has been demonstrated from what was found after May 2003. And any reasonable leader, hearing the best estimates of all major intelligence services and observing Saddam's behavior, had to assume that he possessed them. Even the anti-war movement employed the same assumption. It used as one of its arguments the claim that war would occasion Saddam's use of WMDs.
  3. Bush "lied" when he said in his 2003 State of the Union address that the British had information about the attempt of Iraq to purchase "yellow cake" in Nigeria, as charged by Joseph Wilson. (The famous 16 words.) The British Butler Inquiry said Bush's words were "well-founded." The Senate Intelligence Committee discovered that it was Wilson who had lied.
  4. Bush "lied" when he landed on the aircraft carrier under a banner that said "mission accomplished." General Tommy Franks has said he suggested the symbol as a strategic move, to dramatize to reluctant allies that the offensive operations were now over. A new (but still difficult) phase of ending disorder and bringing stable political and economic institutions had begun. On this task, some Europeans had hinted they would help. Franks wanted a dramatic signal sent to them. It was also meant as a "closure" for the main Coalition offensive.
  5. A big reason for the deficits are the Bush tax cuts. As even the New York Times has noted, the main cause by far was the great drop of income for the wealthy in the two-year stock-market drop, with a consequent dramatic drop in tax revenues. This was before the Bush tax cuts came into effect. Since then, tax revenues have dramatically increased, especially from the rich. The top 10 percent pay 65 percent of all income taxes.
The whole piece is worth reading.


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