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President Bush Cuts And Runs From Alan Colmes And The Majority Of America

Reported by Ellen - October 31, 2006 -

President Bush and Sean Hannity spent a lot of time talking tough and smearing Democrats as being weak and clueless during a lengthy interview last night on Hannity & Colmes (10/30/06). But with all that posturing, the Commander-in-Chief and “Great American” Hannity were too chicken to allow questions from Alan Colmes, who represents the majority of Americans who prefer Democrats over Republicans. No wonder Bush and Hannity got so many of their facts wrong. They don’t seem to care what most Americans think.

Bush started the smear by trying to portray Democrats as not wanting to protect America. “Which party voted for the tools necessary to protect America, which party didn’t?”

I thought that Hannity might have come up with some new questions for such an important interview but he pulled out the same, tired talking points he uses night after night, except that instead of trying to play “gotcha” with the president, he used them to prod Bush into going on the attack for him. After a while, it worked.

Hannity asked, “If (Democrats are) elected, do they make the country more vulnerable, more susceptible? Are they weaker?"

Bush also used many of the same old talking points. He wasn’t ready to take Hannity’s bait yet. So Bush continued by trying to conflate Iraq with Osama bin laden and Iran. Explaining why he thinks the war in Iraq is part of the war on terror, Bush said, “One reason I disagree (with Democrats) is ‘cause Osama bin Laden feels like Iraq is a part of this war on terror. He has made it clear that he would like for us to leave before Iraq can defend itself or govern itself and sustain itself so that he can have a safe haven from which to launch further attacks, a safe haven from which to topple moderate governments, a safe haven from which to be able to get a hold of oil resources. You can imagine these radicals getting a hold of a country where they’re able to pull oil off the market to run the price of oil up to extract concession.” According to Bush, the "enemy" wants us to ret reat and abandon our alliance with Israel.“When you mix it all up with a country with a nuclear weapon in their midst, like Iran, then people begin to see the real dangers in not completing the mission.”

Did Hannity bring up the fact that our National Intelligence Estimate reported that our invasion of Iraq had increased instability and jihadism? That the Iraqi government we fought and died for has very close ties to the Islamic republic in Iran? Of course not! He nodded and smiled, looking awestruck, as though he had just seen his God, Ronald Reagan, reincarnated as George W. Bush.

“It is tough fighting,” chickenhawk Bush said to the never-having-served Hannity. “We DO have a plan for victory. That’s what these folks have got to understand. It’s a plan that says look, we’re gonna help the Iraqis defend themselves, we’ll help the Iraqis govern themselves, we’ll help the Iraqi economy flourish. We will make sure we defeat the enemy there, though. So we’re constantly after Al Qaeda in Iraq.”

That sounds a lot like “stay the course.” Bush later “explained” that when he originally said “stay the course,” it meant “don’t leave before the job is done.” Now it means that he listens to the generals and the Pentagon who have “the flexibility necessary to adjust tactics… and we’re constantly adjusting tactics.” Oh.

Bush said of Democrats,“Their policies would weaken us.” “I don’t see how you can fight and win this war on terror if you don’t give our agents the capacity to question detainees.” There was nobody there to point out that Democrats don't want to restrict the capacity to question detainees, they want it done humanely, in accordance with the Geneva Conventions and our Constitution.

Hannity goaded Bush into more attacks by complaining about “some of the rhetoric” from the “prominent leaders” of Democrats. Hannity never complains about the “rhetoric” of Ann Coulter or Michelle Malkin or Michael Savage. “Do you think our enemies hear it?” Hannity asked, obviously hoping to get Bush to brand Democrats and/or his critics as traitors. Bush didn’t bite. Not yet.

So Hannity pushed more, this time by distorting John Murtha’s words, claiming that Murtha said Marines “are killing innocent civilians in cold blood” and that John Kerry said troops are terrorizing women and children in the dark of night. Comment: Murtha referred to one incident at Haditha and Kerry was talking about some of the tactics the US forces use. Neither were condemning our troops. Surely both Hannity and Bush knew that. Or they should have.

But now Bush was ready for fightin’ and he mustered up all the Texas swagger he could squeeze into his armchair. “Listen, I don’t mind them sayin’ things about me. I do mind them sayin’ things about those young brave men and women who volunteer. That’s offensive to me that people would say those kind of comments about Americans who have volunteered to take the fight to the enemy.” Rather than give the benefit of the doubt to the two veterans, Murtha and Kerry, Bush was ready to smear them and their supporters – again from the safety of his armchair, without having to face a single tough question. “It’s really important for our troops to understand our country supports ‘em. They may not support my decisions, necessarily, but they support those kids. And these leaders ought to be very careful about their language.”

Was that a threat? Hannity didn’t ask. He wanted to smear John Kerry further. He went on to read an old quote of John Kerry saying that Saddam Hussein was a threat (Kerry has publicly recanted that view, but that was another fact Hannity left out of his “real journalism, fair and balanced” interview.) Bush immediately seized on that as a “flip-flop” for “political purposes.” Unlike, say, the flip-flop of Republican Kay Bailey Hutchison, e.g., who says if she knew then what she knows now, she would not have voted for the war.

Speaking of flip-flops, Hannity asked how important it is to find Osama bin Laden. "Well, it's important and that's why we're after him every single day. But so is getting Zawahiri... It's always important to bring these people to justice." Except when it isn't, as when Bush said in 2002, that he didn't care where Bin laden was, "It's not our priority" and "I am truly not that concerned about him." Another question overlooked by the "real journalism, fair and balanced" network.

Then, out of nowhere, Bush went on to praise Senator Joe Lieberman as “one man who’s stood by his decision.” But, Bush added, “The Party ran him out of the Party because he stood on principle.” Uh, no, the voters chose someone else as their candidate for Senate because they disagreed with his position. It’s called democracy – the same thing we’re supposedly fighting and dying for in Iraq. “Some of their leaders (meaning Democrats) are becoming isolationists,” Bush said, also erroneously (most Democrats are in favor of diplomacy and negotiations with our enemies), “and that’s dangerous.”

At the end, Bush suggested that you’re either with him or you're with the terrorists. “This is an ideological stand-off between those of us who like liberty and freedom and support a hopeful philosophy and extremists and radicals who hate everything we stand for… Pessimists say we can’t do this (win his war on terror)… We’ve had pessimists throughout our history say America can’t do things. What the people have got to understand is, I’M OPTIMISTIC (his emphasis) that once again we will do what is necessary to protect our country.”

In other words, just say “Yes.”

You can watch the interview on FOXNews.com.