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Democrats responsible for Bush's low approval ratings

Reported by Chrish - November 16, 2005

But of course! On today's Big Story 11/16/05, host John Gibson introduced a segment (one guest, Republican Senator Lindsey Graham) with "Democrats have apparently found a successful strategy for knocking down Bush's approval ratings, putting the bull's-eye on vice-president Cheney." The result is the latest Fox poll gives Bush only a 36% approval rating. (34%, according to the conservative Wall Street Journal.)

Comment: At Fox, it's not the endless war, the insane deficit spending, the Katrina callousness and FEMA incompetence, rising interest rates, gas prices, food prices, home heating costs, the Libby indictment and ongoing CIA-leak investigation, Republican Congressional leaders under investigation, the Downing Street Memoes, ~2,100 dead Americans, no WMDs, no connection to Al Queda and 9/11, no bin Laden, no border security, outsourcing jobs, dismantling social programs, unaffordable tax cuts for the rich, a zillion dollars in Iraq, serious talk of overturning Roe v. Wade, and a complete submission to the radical fundamentalist right on a Supreme Court nomination. It's those wicked Democrats, talking about the above, that brought him down.

Gibson began by reading from Cheney's statement that "the charges that are being thrown around today are some of the most dishonest and reprehensible charges ever aired in this city. " and asked Graham what he thought.

Senator Graham had an easier job of spouting his talking points here than he did on Hannity and Colmes last night as reported by Ellen without anyone questioning, correcting, or opposing him. He made exactly the same points, that Democrats including Bill Clinton, Al Gore, and Madeleine Albright had thought (in 1998) that Saddam Hussein had WMDs; that critics infer that every world intelligence agency, every American leader, made an "honest mistake" except Bush and Cheney, who lied; that critics also infer that Bush intentionally withheld information from Senators and others.

Gibson said the Democrats are really going after Cheney. "Today The Washington Post is revealing, if that's the word, that there were some oil executives that met with Vice president's staff on the nation's energy policy. We of course know this whole thing about Libby and Plame and the outing of a CIA agent." Has the v.p's effectiveness been affected by this stream of attacks?

Graham is off and running with the talking points: It's a lie that Bush lied. The intelligence since 1998 and before (whatever that means) all said the same thing, Hussein was trying to get WMDs. Cheney has suffered a lot. Republicans need to stand up for "our" president and vice-president. "The theory is that they knew it was all wrong, that everybody else got it wrong, they got it right, and they tried to invade Iraq anyway - that's just a bunch of garbage."

Comment: They didn't just try to invade Iraq, and we've got the 15,000 casualties to prove it.

Gibson asked how Graham and Congressional Republicans are going to fight back. Their strategy is to "take their own words ", Bill Clinton and Al Gore in 1998 saying this man needs to be controlled because Hussein was trying to get nuclear weapons. Take the words of Madeleine Albright, who in 1998 was making the case that SH was out of control. "Remind the American people that the German, the French, and the Russian intelligence agencies all believed before 2001 that he was trying to procure WMDs; that the UN passed 12 resolutions trying to get inspectors in look at the country and he would never comply." Comment: So what, so what, so what, and that's a lie.

He wraps up saying that the supposed accusation that Bush and Cheney were the only two people in the world who knew better but had bad motives and went ahead with the invasion is offensive and he said to to "fight back."

Comment: Since there was no one on FOX to rebut or debate Graham, allow me.

The people accusing the Bush administration of manipulation and cherry-picking of intelligence, hyperbole, scare tactics, and impatience understand it was more than two men. Some believe Bush was misled by his advisors, used to further . His "plausible deniability" is an additional layer of security for them.

As to the talking point that foreign nations believed Iraq had WMDs, it does not necessarily follow that they believed that the proper action was to invade. Au contraire. Think Progress reports that they believed immediate force was not the correct course of action:

FRANCE: President Jacques Chirac: “France is not pacifist. We are not anti-American either. We are not just going to use our veto to nag and annoy the U.S. But we just feel that there is another option, another way, a less dramatic way than war, and that we have to go down that path. And we should pursue it until we have come to a dead end, but that is not the case yet.” [CNN, 3/17/03]

GERMANY: Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer: “The Security Council is now meeting for the third time within a month at ministerial level to discuss the Iraq crisis. This shows the urgency we attach to the disarmament of Iraq and to the threat of war. … Are we really in a situation that absolutely necessitates the ‘ultima ratio’, the very last resort? I think not, because the peaceful means are far from exhausted.” [Statement by Fischer to Security Council, 3/7/03]

RUSSIA: Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov: “What is really in the genuine interests of the world community? Continuing the albeit difficult but clearly fruitful results of the inspectors’ work, or resorting to force, which inevitably will result in enormous loss of life and is fraught with serious and unpredictable consequences for regional and international stability? It is our deep conviction that the possibilities for disarming Iraq through political means do exist. And they really exist. And this cannot but be acknowledged.” [Statement by Ivanov, 3/7/03]

CHINA: Foreign Minister Tang Jiaxuan: “We believe that as long as we stick to the road of political settlement, the goal of destroying Iraq’s WMD could still be obtained. Resolution 1441 did not come by easily. Given the current situation, we need resolve and determination, and more importantly, patience and wisdom.” [Statement by Jiaxuan, 3/7/03]

Note the dates, right before the invasion. If ten million people world-wide marched against the invasion, Republicans have no right to say "everyone believed". We were dismissed as a "focus group" and the rest, as they say, is history. But we were right.

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