8/24/2005

David Frum's Diary on NRO - B ush out of touch ?

[DUH! -- law] [The] president ..is himself teaching the public and the media to ignore him - especially when [the president's] words seem [to] utterly to ignore the past three months of real-world events.



AUG. 23, 2005: ANOTHER LOST OPPORTUNITY

By now it should be clear that President Bush's words on the subject of Iraq have ceased connecting with the American public. His speech yesterday to the Veterans of Foreign Wars is the latest - and one of the most serious to date - manifestations of the problem. The polls tell us that the American public is losing heart. A substantial majority (56%) now say that the war is going either "very badly" or "moderately badly." More than 50% now regard the war as a mistake. One-third want an immediate and total withdrawal. Maybe most fatefully: a plurality now say that they believe that the president deliberately misled the country into war.

Supporters of the war can argue that the public is mistaken, overly influenced by biased news reporting. Yes, yes. But mistaken public opinion is just as powerful as sound public opinion.

Again, supporters of the war can do our bit to try to change minds. But the biggest megaphone in the country belongs to President Bush - and much depends on whether he uses it well or badly.

He is using it very badly indeed.

Let me mention just one single but maybe decisive problem. Again and again during the Bush presidency - and yesterday most recently - the president will agree to give what is advertised in advance as a major speech. An important venue will be chosen. A crowd of thousands will be gathered. The networks will all be invited. And after these elaborate preparations, the president says ... nothing that he has not said a hundred times before.

If a president continues to do that, he is himself teaching the public and the media to ignore him - especially when the words seem (as his speech yesterday to the VFW seemed) utterly to ignore the past three months of real-world events.

David Frum's Diary on National Review Online

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home