September 1, 2004
George W. Bush: King of the Flipocrites
by The Angry Liberal
Main Entry: flip·o·crite
It's nauseatingly ironic that the Bush Administration is accusing John Kerry of flip-flopping on some issues. It seems that supporting $87 billion in military funding when it's paid for with a repeal of useless tax cuts, and later opposing the same funding when it's borrowed from our children, counts as a flip flop. Gee, who could support a candidate who refused to vote to borrow $87 billion from unborn children? No wonder Bush opposes abortion. The country's fetuses owe him too much money.
The truth is that anyone paying attention knows that Bush is the undisputed King of the Flip Flops. And Bush's flip flops come without the need of the consideration and soul-searching required by thoughtful people. All the Bush campaign has to do to create a flip flop is change the text of a speech on his teleprompter.
Case in point: Bush recently surprised the world by making a startling announcement. On Monday's Today Show, Bush responded to the question of whether we can win the war on terror as follows:
Surprise! It turns out that we're fighting a war we can't win! Man, I bet troop morale in Iraq is going right through the roof!
There was good news for America, though. Although we can't win the war, we can come in second. And I'm guessing the Supreme Court will take it from there. Seriously, it turns out that the rest of Bush's answer was quite reasonable. It also turns out that unilaterally attacking a nation not involved with al Qaeda and killing around 12,000 civilian non-terrorists in the process, could easily be interpreted by the man on the street as creating conditions so that terrorism is less acceptable in parts of the world - if that man on the street is a moron.
The comical part is that Bush's own words serve as an indictment of his entire policy on terrorism. Since there is little argument that terrorist groups are growing and diversifying, and that terrorism fares better in countries that are unfriendly to the U.S. - which describes pretty much everywhere above sea level these days - there is no reasonable argument to be made to support the position that Bush is creating the conditions he said were required to fare well in the war on terror.
Fear not, America! Within 24 hours, Karl Rove reinserted his hand in the back of Bush's head, and the un-winnable war on terror became winnable again. In a speech in Tennessee on Tuesday, Bush had this to say:
Whew! What a relief! I'm so glad the president clarified his position by completely reversing it. On the other hand, Bush did say that we were winning three times, compared to saying we're unable to win only once. Yep, I'll sleep better tonight knowing that Bush is all over that terrorism thing.
Lest those with very little brain on the right claim that this was the only flip flop in Bush's shoe rack, consider these little beauties:
Within two months of moving into the White House, Bush flip-flopped on a campaign pledge to treat carbon dioxide as a pollutant. This has allowed global warming to continue to build steam around the world for four additional years, and strengthened the damaging weather that will increasingly dominate our planet. East coast residents staring down a particularly nasty hurricane season can ponder this flip flop as they sit in traffic trying to evacuate their costal communities.
After spending a couple of years calling North Korea part of an axis of evil, Bush suddenly flip-flopped and tried to negotiate an end to its unchecked nuclear arms program. Yep, there's nothing like repeatedly insulting your negotiating partner to warm him up to your proposals. This is undoubtedly a business skill that carried over from all of Bush's oil ventures. I wonder why they all failed?
After furiously opposing the creation of the 9/11 commission, refusing to testify under oath, opposing a deadline extension, and stonewalling the commission's information requests, Bush performed a perfect triple flip flop with a half-twist (kids, don't try this at home) by endorsing the commission's findings. I guess on some level, you have to respect that caliber of hypocrisy.
If you really want to see more flip flops, chug a bottle of Maalox and read the transcript of the 2000 presidential debate. Enjoy tasty morsels like this one, where Bush discusses low troop morale:
. . . even though we're the strongest military, that if we don't do something quickly, we don't have a clearer vision of the military, if we don't stop extending our troops all around the world in nation-building missions, then we're going to have a serious problem coming down the road. And I'm going to prevent that. I'm going to rebuild our military power. It's one of the major priorities of my administration.
Staggering, isn't it?
My personal favorite flip flop gets very little notice in the press. When asked last month whether colleges should get rid of the "legacy" system (a system that allows admissions to schools ahead of more qualified applicants based on the legacy applicant's family connections), Bush had this to say:
Well I think so, yes. I think it ought to be based upon merit.
Folks, you just heard George W. Bush condemn every accomplishment on his resume. There has never been a more perfect example of an unqualified individual using his family connections to succeed. Pick a Bush "achievement": Admission to private school, Yale, Harvard, the Texas (and, some say, Alabama) Air National Guard all arranged by Bush, Sr. Oil businesses financed by Dad's Saudi friends. Part ownership of the Texas Rangers arranged by Daddy's baseball commissioner friend. And yes, the United States presidency arranged by Da-dah's Supreme Court appointees. Without constant and forceful intervention by Bush I throughout his life, Bush II would likely now be a short-order cook at Denny's, if he could pass the drug screening. With Dad's help, he's President of the United States. By stating that college admissions should be based on merit, Bush has flip-flopped on his very existence. By extending this premise to life in general, Bush has thrown into question his legitimacy as a college student, national guard member, businessman, and current position as the leader of the free world.
Of course, we can't get rid of the Greatest Pretender by voting for Kerry. Kerry flip-flops.