I look forward to Bill Maher‘s, “Real Time with Bill Maher” show each Friday night at 11pm on HBO. For those who would deride the show as being one that Bill O’Reilly likes to refer to as one from the “extreme left”, I would have to disagree. Anyone from the right is welcome to come and join the panel. Few do, and that speaks volumes about the nature of the show. It can’t be controlled as the right would like it. Simply spewing out talking points and rhetoric will bring the bearer quick, articulate lashback. Most Lefties couldn’t get on Fox News shows if they showed up with a Ronald Reagan lunch pail, by contrast. One show is about intellectual discourse while the other is about prepared, calculated theater. I prefer the former thank you.
Anyway, this past show included a very uncomfortable segment that started off with Bill Maher discussing Andy Card and showing the famous picture of Card whisping in George Bush‘s ear, “America is under attack.” This, as we now know, was followed by seven long minutes of the President sitting in his chair looking dumbstruck. Maher went on to point out that if he were the Democrats he would have used that footage to win elections in 2004. The interesting part to me is that Bill spoke as if the time for this opportunity had passed.
Frankly, I believe it’d extremely effective to get every Republican you can find on the record defending the President sitting there doing nothing for seven minutes and then use their ridiculous response to drive them out of office. There simply is no intellectual debate to be had on the subject. Your President is told the country is UNDER ATTACK and his response is to si there like a log for seven long minutes (let’s not forget that once he did actually get up, it was to spend another 20 minutes in the school taking pictures with the kids and teachers).
More than any other responsibility, we look to our President to have the skills to react quickly, intelligently and decisively in such situations. The words, “America is under attack” have only been uttered a very few times in our history. These situations demand reaction, not confusion. Yes, it was great theater for Bush to show up at Ground Zero and make a speech but that was all prepared in advance and that seems to be the only environment this President can work in. It isn’t that difficult to look heroic after hours and days of preparation and rehersal garnering material from top aids for the effort. It’s how a person reacts in a time of crisis, AT THE TIME OF CRISIS, that defines the person. George Bush has failed miserably at every opportunity in this area and it’s time to put that failure to good use.
If I were the Democrats, I would run the supporting responses to these actions all election cycle and remind the people that this is the party that’s been running our government. Is it any wonder that George Bush’s poll numbers have tanked and that people don’t believe in him? I wouldn’t believe in a supposed leader who cannot get off his chair for seven minutes in a dire emergency either.
As Bill Maher said, if this were Bill Clinton, Karl Rove would have run this exact type of campaign. Get all those on the right on the record defending the indefensible and then ride that wave of rhetoric right into office.