Many times at the old place, and a few times over here, some spittle-flecked assassin of the President’s reputation has noted that I sometimes say that I do not agree completely with the President on all issues, that indeed there are some points on which I differ with him sharply. This observation is always followed by a demand that I confess, in detail, where and how I differ with President George W. Bush, a demand which I have always ignored. These rhetorical hyenas take this as a tacit admission that I do not actually differ with the President on anything, and they further take my claim of difference as an example of dishonesty. Since this has come up again, I choose to defend my position and honor, explain why I refuse to play the ‘mock the President’ game, and why any reasonable person would do the same.
Let us say you have a friend. You differ, as people do, on certain opinions, sometimes strongly. You might even think that you need to set your friend straight on a couple areas where you think he’s way off base. But let’s say some bad news comes along for your friend. Whatever your differences, now is not the time to harass him on where you disagree, but to support him as his friend; it’s what real friends do. Also, if it happens that the places where you think he’s wrong are less important than the places where he is right, you keep that in mind. Those people who claim to have ever been a Bush supporter, but who think now is any time to attack and malign the man, are just like those false friends who claim to be noble but just do as they please, painting it as an ideal because they don’t like to face the reality of their scurrilous perfidy.
I choose not to discuss the specifics of where I differ from the President, for three specific reasons. First, the President has gotten the largest issues right. He has handled the War on Terrorism well, and has listened to the right people on Iraq and Afghanistan. Time was, people used to realize those were the big issues and nothing else, nothing, came close. Bush has also named two significant Justices to the United States Supreme Court, and a slew of solid picks for other federal posts. Frankly, no President in memory, Reagan included, has done as well on that count, and given the Liberal strategy to ignore the will of the people by governing through courts, the significance of those choices cannot be overstated. The other issues, even where they are important and timely, are very small indeed next to these major issues. Those who now attack and mock the President after such accomplishments show a petty and disgraceful lack of honor, indeed.
Second, those who malign and attack the President do so in pursuit of a course which must inevitably damage the Republican Party and the Conservative Cause. While Republicans of late have been less than diligent in performance of their duties, only the greatest of fools could be persuaded that reducing Republican numbers in Congress or lessening the influence of President Bush could do anything but increase the power and influence of the Democrats, whose character and sinister intentions are well known. The whole example of History stands to warn against reducing the number of members who, if they do not wholly support the will of constituents, at the least do not do the damage that the Socialists of the Left would commit. Further, President Bush has plainly been a good and effective President, when he has the support of the electorate behind him. Where he has been steadfast and honest, for his support to dissipate because spokesmen and individuals of popular influence prefer their own whimsy to his leadership, then those narcissists who attack the President do also attack the nation, and their pride wounds the soul of America. There is no way to avoid this diagnosis.
And third, I should be willing to discuss my in-depth opinion of the President only in an environment where both sides move away from extremes. That is, there is no reason why I should admit to any disagreement with the President, where the other side would simply take that admission and use it as ammunition for yet another spiteful attack on the President. Also, there has been no sense of reciprocity; those within the Conservative Movement know full well, that President Bush has done a great deal of good, for the nation, the Republican Party, and for the Conservative Movement. America is clearly a better nation for his time in the Oval Office. Yet when they speak of him, it is always in complete derision and insult, with no measure of respect for what he has done. The man plainly has earned better, and I will not countenance the behavior which does not admit to the honors he has garnered through hard work, perseverance, and steadfast faith in God, his ideals, and his commitment. If you would find from me where I differ with George W. Bush, you must first reaffirm where you would commend him. Put away the hypocrisy of using the Left’s own weapons of slander and gossip, and return to those values which have identified Conservatives, if you wish me to regard you as a Conservative.