The Washington Times is reporting on a speech, given by George W. Bush, with the headline “Bush takes swipes at Obama.” They say this speech marks the first criticism of the new president by the old president. But is it really? I haven’t seen the whole thing, but I would assume that the Times would try and support its headline with Bush’sjuiciest remarks. I must be missing the vicious attacks. Here is what he said:
· “I know it’s going to be the private sector that leads this country out of the current economic times we’re in…”
· “You can spend your money better than the government can spend your money.”
· “Government does not create wealth. The major role for the government is to create an environment where people take risks to expand the job rate in the United States…”
· “I’ll just tell you that there are people at Gitmo that will kill American people at a drop of a hat and I don’t believe that — persuasion isn’t going to work. Therapy isn’t going to cause terrorists to change their mind.”
· He called the current war against terrorism an “ideological conflict.”
· “There are a lot of ways to remedy the situation without nationalizing health care…I worry about encouraging the government to replace the private sector when it comes to providing insurance for health care.”
Where are all the attacks? That’s just the former president saying what the former president believes.
· “Asked by the evening emcee at the 104th annual Manufacturer and Business Association meeting if he finds the new president’s policies ‘socialist,’ Mr. Bush started — then stopped. ‘I hear a lot of those words, but it depends on’ he said, breaking off. He later offered a more diplomatic assessment: ‘We’ll see.’”
Whoa! He really went after him on that one, eh??
And then, there was this:
· “Mr. Bush did not directly address Mr. Obama’s response to the election in Iran.”
· “I told you I’m not going to criticize my successor…”
· “Repeatedly in his hour-long speech and question-and-answer session, Mr. Bush said he would not directly criticize the new president…”
The overly gracious standard that Bush has honored since leaving office is that he hasn’t directly criticized Obama. That doesn’t mean he’s going to make a speech about how universal government subsidized health care is suddenly the way to go. He’s trying to say what he believes without direct criticism.
To be clear, he doesn’t have to do that. I have no problem with Cheney speaking out in a more direct way if he wishes. But that’s the path Bush has taken, and it appears the media is hoping to draw him out of it by framing some sort of fake controversy that doesn’t exist.
This is, of course, good for Obama, who can more conveniently blame all of his problems on Bush, if Bush is in the news.
*note: A few major projects are finally clearing up, so hopefully I can start being a little less blog-lazy.