Wednesday, June 01, 2005
Non Sequitur by Wiley (5/23/05)
Why is it acceptable to so many people that the President is unwilling to go before the people, instead limiting access to his "town hall" meetings to those who support him? When was the last time he went before a representative cross-sampling of people? Even the audiences in the presidential debates were screened to prevent anyone who actually disagreed with him from attending. Equally scary is the notion that Bush is setting precedent for all that follow him in the Oval Office.
Of course, there's detached from the public, and there's detached from reality. Perhaps Bush's reluctance to face the general public can be tied to the fact that the public might actually want real answers to their questions rather than soundbites that don't match the real world. The disconnect from reality seems constant, but never more readily observed than with regard to Iraq. For example, there's the question of whether there are sufficient troops in Iraq to defeat the insurgents. The Bush Administration all along has been saying yes, but here it has little choice -- it doesn't have any more troops available, and given the political repercussions (as well as the message it would send to the North Koreas of the world), it dare not ask for a draft, even with recruiting quotas not being met. Nevertheless, others in a position to know give a very different answer.
Truly, I find it very difficult to believe anything the BA says about the situation in Iraq -- after all, the BA, according to the Downing Street Memo, planned to invade Iraq regardless of the evidence; claimed that the cost of the war would be paid for through Iraqi oil, then later said the cost would be in the tens of billions rather than the $200 billion it's rapidly approaching; and declared victory in Iraq over two years and 1600 soldiers' lives ago. Personally, I'm at the point where I no longer care if the BA is lying, or simply makes no effort to verify its assertions (yes, the same administration that had the audacity to point a finger at Newsweek) -- either way it exhibits a detachment from the truth.