General Question

bybvibe93's avatar

Thoughts on Bush?

Asked by bybvibe93 (232points) August 15th, 2007 from iPhone

how do you view bush as a president? Who will take his place when his term expires?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

35 Answers

Jill_E's avatar

I know he is trying his best since it is tough to be a president during wartime. We voted for him. My hubby and I are not thrilled about him though lately.

We like Obama or McCain. Those two really stand out in our humble opinions.

Hawaiiguy's avatar

As life in hell's matt groening once penned "worst president ever" I like what I'm hearing from Ron Paul, he's seems to have the most integrity and a great deal
of the extremely important common sense.

Hawaiiguy's avatar

this would be my first time voting for a republican candidate as well, if he makes the ballot...

Hawaiiguy's avatar

I would also like to see a standardized aptitude test for candidates, the current one as I surmised in 99 lacks the baseline of a 7 th grader

hossman's avatar

Perhaps part of the Democrat's problems have been they repeatedly underestimate Mr. Bush. Keep in mind he did get better grades and score higher on aptitude tests than Mr. Kerry. I'm not sure I would agree intelligence is the most important qualification for a candidate.

segdeha's avatar

I read that Bush has a disorder that causes him to stumble when speaking and for that reason he comes across as dumber than he is. Any truth to that?

hossman's avatar

I would also return to my comments directed previously at a poster re Mr. Paul, and suggest this site is not apparently intended to be a political blog or forum for political debate, but rather a source of practical information for real questions, not rhetorical questions seeking political controversy. I'm not trying to cut anyone off, just suggest there are more appropriate venues for this sort of question.

hossman's avatar

I've never heard Mr. Bush has an actual disorder or speech defect, but he does seem to be sensitive to the difficulties he has communicating through his accent to people from other regions, and sometimes he appears to me to be searching for the appropriate words. And if you think Bush has difficulties speaking, you should check out a recording of our Chicago mayor, Richie Daley. He is unintelligible even to fellow Chicagoans, and this from a former prosecutor.

SquirrelEStuff's avatar

Not sure how I feel about Bush. Im not sure whether he is in on the whole "Project for a New American Century" plan, or he has no idea about it and does whatever President Cheney tells him to. Its not so much Bush that is killing this country, it is all the other members in his administration that have been in or around the White House for over 20 years. They know every loop hole and have used the media and dumbing down of the last 2 generations and are exploiting that like no tomorrow right now.

See this past Fluther question to see what i mean.

mzgator's avatar

I think anyone who was in the office of President would not have the approval of the American public...whether he or she was republican or democrat or whatever. As Americans we do not have to always approve of what our President does, but we do need to support him and our country. For my part, I do not think mr. Bush has done bad things to our country to be malicious. I honestly think he was doing the best he could to protect us with the information he had.

bybvibe93's avatar

I'm routing for obama. And i dont personaly think bush is all that bad, he is in a tough situation. It seems like he gets a lot less credit than he deserves, and unfortunatly our country makes fun of our leaders and they end up the target of cruel jokes. It is very disrespectful and our country should be ashamed. If you put anyone in his seat you would understand the stress and agony he must go through. Imagine opening the paper and seeing your face next to a monkeys face on the front page. No matter what he does the people decide its the wrong thing, give the guy a break!

ketoneus's avatar

Seriously, I can't believe what an easy break everyone is giving this criminal. I've had to live under this this guy's incompetence since 1994. I'm searching for an honest success that he's achieved in his life, but I'm at a loss.

-Business? Nope. Lots of dry holes.
-Reading the intelligence warning about 9/11? Sorry, he was busy clearing brush in Crawford.
-Catching the old Bush family friend Osama Bin Laden? No can do. Have to avenge 9/11 by invading a country that had absolutely nothing to do with it.
-Use the goodwill the country gained after 9/11 to effectively fight terrorism? See item above.
-Prevent needless deaths in New Orleans after Katrina by actually responding to the crisis? No need to stop clearing brush in Crawford. Heckuva Job Brownie can handle it.

Here's what he has accomplished:
-Ranch in Crawford is darn near brush-free.
-Outed a CIA agent that would have been a useful tool against terrorism
-Fired career Federal prosecutors because they wanted to follow the law and not political doctrine
-Racked up record deficits
-So on

I'm leaning toward Hillary. After 8 years of a President with a learning disability, it's time for a leader that actually understands, appreciates, and can act on details, complexity, and nuance.

Perchik's avatar

I think bush is not stupid. He does have a problem communicating, but I think he's a pure criminal. He should have been impeached ages ago.

I think it is the people's job to elect a president they will support and stand behind. It IS important to question authority and question your president. Whoever said it's disrespectful is wrong. It's american.

ketoneus's avatar

@perchik. Well said. Questioning our elected officials and other symbols authority are the most patriotic acts anyone can do. Much more patriotic than slapping a yellow ribbon magnet on your car. I believe that, unfortunately, many people find comfort in being told what to think

loupus's avatar

Maybe the earlier posters were trying to avoid starting a flame war, but I'm with perchik and ketoneus. This guy is a criminal and the bulk of his regime belongs in jail.

bybvibe93's avatar

I think (and I speak for most of us when I say this) that it is time for change in the US. It was truly a mistake that he was re elected. If goerge bush sr. hadn't been president there's no way this nut would be in "the chair".

segdeha's avatar

The things the scare me the most about Bush/Cheney/Rove/Rumsfeld/Gonzales are:

1. Torturing people
2. Wiretapping and monitoring emails of American citizens
3. Neutering habeus corpus, the basis of all of our civil liberties
4. Blatant and calculated manipulation of public sentiment to start an "optional" (according to Bill O'Reilly) war
5. Extreme politicization of historically a-political arms of government (when you can't trust the Justice Department to do the right thing, who can you trust?)

I could go on, but suffice it to say this administration is the most dangerous in American history. Their thirst for power and disdain for accountability are a threat to the very premise of the Constitution.

Bush himself, I think he'd be harmless without the supporting cast. In particular, I think Cheney pulls the puppet's strings. Gonzales and the others are the willing executioners.

hossman's avatar

The problem all of you are having is the same as the problem the Democrats would have with an impeachment. You may disagree with the Bush administration, but you toss around the word "criminal" with a disregard for the meaning of that word. Maybe it's the lawyer in me, but I fail to see (at least in what is known to the public, who knows what goes on that we don't know about in any administration) where any criminal statute has been violated. If you're going to use the word "criminal" then you have to ante up. Specifically, what crime has occurred and by whom? You must be specific, we're not talking about what you perceive to be immoral or unfair, but what is an actual violation of the law. May I suggest, ketoneus, that you should be following politics through a few more administrations than one or two before you can make comparative statements or a fair evaluation. Further, you mention "Plamegate," keep in mind that one of the top prosecutors in the country, with no perceivable political bias, went beyond his original authorization, and concluded no criminal statute had been violated in the disclosure of Valerie Plame, as she was not a covert agent as defined by the relevant statute. In fact, many people knew she worked at the CIA. Again, my challenge, name a specific crime. I'm not saying you don't have an opinion, just you should be more careful with the term "criminal."

hossman's avatar

P.S. Please don't even TRY to compare the criminality of Bush's Justice Department with the criminality of Janet Reno's Justice Dept. In fact, all this hassle they've given Gonzalez about firing a few U.S. Attorneys completely ignores that Clinton for the first time ever by ANY president, fired EVERY SINGLE ONE of the U.S. Attorneys, setting a number of terrorism and organized crime investigations and cases back for years.

syz's avatar

He's an utter idiot. Our political system needs a serious revamping when so few people actually bother to vote and the choices are so dismal. Americans "talk the talk" but the majority don't practice the democratic ideals that they so proudly profess.

segdeha's avatar

@hossman, is violating the Fourth amendment a criminal or civil matter? I'm not an attorney, so I admit I don't know whether that constitutes a crime in the legal sense.

Also, it's pretty clear that the Bush administration has violated the 1996 war crimes act. Otherwise, why would they try to neuter it, except to avoid prosecution?

SquirrelEStuff's avatar

its hard to know what crimes he has committed when he never let's anyone testify without using "executive privelage" they perfected hiding behind "national security" for secrecy

hossman's avatar

@segdeha: Violating the 4th Amendment could be a criminal or civil matter. But as the article you link to describes, it is not clear whether the electronic surveillance methods currently used by the Bush Administration violate the 4th as the U.S. Supreme Court has specifically not addressed the issue when the government has a foreign relations/national security interest. Further, it is really a misnomer to call this a "Bush program." Actually, the methods currently used are updated forms of programs that go all the way back to WWII, thus you can't really attribute them to either party or an administration.

Those attacking the Bush Administration for these programs are mistaken or engage in selective memory. The Clinton administration expanded previously existing programs during Mr. Clinton's term from a focus on communications with foreign nationals regarding national security to a much more intrusive and broader program that included virtually every cell phone and e-mail communication in the U.S. The search protocols of the Clinton program, called ECHELON, were expanded from national security concerns such as communist, drug control and terrorist targets under Reagan and Bush Sr. to include party affiliation, unpopular political positions and alliances and even no governmental justification whatsoever. The Bush administration has actually limited and restricted the intrusive scope of surveillance previously used by the Clinton administration. As the Clinton Administration admitted in June 1996, it unlawfully obtaining over 400 restricted FBI files on U.S. citizens for political reasons, I wonder what they may have used ECHELON information for. In fact, Clinton appointees still in place in the NSA were very upset when shortly after the Bush administration took office then National Security Adviser Condoleeza Rice inadvertently confirmed the existence of ECHELON in a press conference. Thus, the Clinton administration engaged in far more indiscriminate and intrusive surveillance for less justifiable cause.

I believe an argument could be made that surveillance of phone and e-mail communications, when there are national security concerns, is not violative of the 4th Amendment. I'm not going to be able to give case names here, but there are two U.S. Supreme Court cases which determined there is a reduced expectation in privacy in "broadcasted" information. In these cases, there was no national security issue, these were domestic criminal cases. In the first, police used infrared detectors to determine unusual heat emissions from a residence consistent with the use of "grow lamps," obtained a warrant, and discovered a substantial indoor marijuana farm. The defendant argued the "viewing" of the heat signature of his residence was a 4th Amendment intrusion. The Court held as the infrared emissions were "broadcast" from the residence, this was not the same as planting a camera, and no 4th Amendment intrusion. In the second case, police could not obtain a warrant for a pay phone used by a suspect. Instead, an undercover officer stood next to the phone booth and recorded the phone conversation from outside the booth. The Court held as this sound was "broadcast" from the booth, it was not the same as recording with a bug located in the booth, and not a 4th Amendment violation. In the same manner, when you transmit a cell phone broadcast, or transmit an e-mail, you INTEND for it to be broadcast and received. It is arguable that the fact an unintended person, as in the two cases above, received the transmission and used it for a purpose not intended by the transmitter, is not itself a violation of the 4th Amendment. There is no clear authority the electronic surveillance currently used is a violation of the 4th Amendment, and I would imagine the Supreme Court for many reasons will avoid hearing this issue until it is inescapably placed before them.

As to the 1996 war crimes act, the article you link to clearly gives the reasons why amendments to the act are sought by the Bush Administration. The act simply refers back to and criminalizes violations of the Geneva Conventions. The amendments seek to replace the broad and vague language of the Conventions with a list of specifically proscribed acts. The reason is quite simple. Military and intelligence personnel cannot be expected to act without specific instructions, or they will be prone to be placed in jeopardy of prosecution by hindsight second guessing evaluation of their acts. The Geneva Convention uses broad language like "outrages upon personal dignity." This could mean a lot of things. The proposed amendments would give a list of specific acts that could not be done. Personnel would not have to guess whether making a detainee stay awake for days, stand in place for hours, wear soiled clothes because they have not been permitted to use a toilet, or threatening them with no dessert for a week would be an "outrage upon personal dignity." While you may feel the Bush Administration's list omits a number of acts that should be prohibited, certainly clarity is a helpful goal. If by avoiding prosecution you mean knowing what they can and can't do, ahead of time, then that is what they are doing.

There is also a valid argument the Geneva Conventions, written over 50 years ago, fail to include in their scope the current situation. The Geneva Conventions target the actions of the military forces and civilian populations of sovereign nations, and do not include multinational terrorist organizations that engage in guerilla and terrorist operations. In fact, the Geneva Conventions specifically exclude these organizations. They also do not include the current problem where the citizens of neutral nations are fighting in a war zone. Again, the Convention specifically excludes, say, Saudis captured in Iraq, as the citizens of neutral countries that have normal diplomatic relations are not covered as it is the responsibility of their nation to secure their rights. If the Saudi government chooses to do nothing, as they have, the country holding the detainee is not legally (as opposed to morally) required to apply the Geneva Convention. See: Also see:

@chris6137: Invoking executive privilege is nothing new and has been done by administrations of both parties. Put simply, it is neither desirable nor effective for every act of a government to be subject to public scrutiny. For instance, exposing military and intelligence operations can result in the unnecessary loss of life. While you may disagree with the breadth of the Bush Administration's invocation of executive privilege, and it may turn out upon judicial review to have been excessive, at least it has been invoked to preserve at least arguably justified government concerns, and not, as in the Clinton Administration, to cover up oral sex. Further, at least the Bush Administration is bothering to acknowledge the existence of the information and claim executive privilege, rather than doing what the Clinton Administration usually did, either ignore court orders (they still haven't complied with a number of orders), deny the information exists (then it turns up, say, in Ms. Clinton's living quarters) or destroy the information (a large number of e-mails and printed records ordered to be turned over by various courts were intentionally destroyed by the Clinton Administration when they left office). And let's not forget stealing the documents from the National Archives when Congressional hearings become troublesome.

segdeha's avatar

@hossman, that's interesting about the distinction of "broadcast" communications. I'm sure most non-technical people would expect that an email goes from them to one person at the end of the line, but in fact, copies of said email will be left in the logs of every server along the way. The administrators of those machines could then, potentially, read the email. Does this constitute a broadcast transmission? I guess you could argue it's a gray area, but wouldn't that apply then to a regular letter? Isn't it possible for a letter carrier to steam open a letter, photocopy it, then reseal the letter and deliver it? What's the difference? (BTW, I'm not trying to be cheeky. I'm genuinely interested what the distinction would be in this case.)

In any case, it's my opinion that the Bush administration is trying to cover their collective ass by watering down previous legislation and neutering the power of Congress (by ignoring subpoenas and the like) because they have deliberately set policies that resulted in obvious abuses of what average Americans think is right (e.g., the abuses at Abu Grahib).

For the record, If I had known at the time Clinton was indiscriminately spying on Americans, I would have supported his impeachment as well.

hossman's avatar

@segdeha: Written correspondence is an excellent example. The Keith case cited in your article, and current Bush administration policy, does draw a distinction for mail. The Supreme Court has held that written correspondence, sealed in an envelope, is accorded a higher expectation of privacy, as it is not "broadcast." The sealed envelope is a symbol of intended privacy. The e-mail and cell phone call, however, is intended to be transmitted and received. As you recognize, neither transmission vehicle has privacy safeguards built in. You may recall a few years ago, I can't remember the name, but a public official had a private cell phone call disclosed by a private citizen who "happened" to have equipment in their car to intercept the transmission and "happened" to be listening in, and the courts ruled there was no invasion of privacy. Basically, if you're sending stuff out there, and it falls into the wrong hands, that's your problem. The more interesting case that undoubtedly will eventually come up, is how the Supremes would treat the interception and DECODING of an encrypted or scrambled cell call or e-mail. Because there you have an "envelope" indicating an attempt to maintain privacy. And of course encrypted messages are even more likely to get surveillance attention.

The abuses at Abu Grahb (sp?) can't, other than through the Truman "the buck stops here" argument, be labeled a Bush policy. As we learned through their court martials, a few soldiers with some very strange "kinks" engaged in behavior they knew their superiors would not permit. Much media attention was given the soldiers' initial claims they acted on orders, but they recanted that testimony at trial. And while I'm not saying what happened is right, it still beats having your head cut off. The Geneva Conventions also did not apply to those inmates, as they were not Iraqi soldiers, nor private Iraqi citizens, but rather this elusive "combatants" category, which are not covered by the Geneva Convention. Understand the Geneva Conventions were written shortly after World War II, and historically, if you weren't wearing a uniform, or a member of an armed force, you were labeled, depending on which side was giving the label, a "spy," or "criminal," or "assassin," or "partisan," or "resistance fighter." The terms "guerilla" and "terrorist" really weren't used then. And historically, that class of combatant was not protected by the Rules of War or the Geneva Conventions, or any civil laws, they were just tortured and executed.

As to these electronic surveillance programs, I doubt it matters what the courts decide. Once this powerful a tool is available, it will be used. There is a reason the NSA is bigger than the CIA, and that is the growth in electronic intelligence. If Congress banned this completely (which they never will, it's just to valuable a source), I'm betting we would just ship the technology to a friendly partner overseas with less restrictive laws, and they would become a "consultant" and provide us the same information. Then your e-mail will be read by, say, some program in a call center in Delhi, rather than here. We should all presume that all of our e-mail and cell phone calls are no longer completely confidential. Which has raised some issues with attorneys and how we should communicate with our clients. It is simply impossible to conduct business with only face-to-face meetings or written correspondence. The general feeling has been, given the volume of communications, that software, not human beings, is going through the individual messages, and so long as you aren't using catch words they're looking for, it will go in and out of the software with no human attention.

The "war on terror" (I actually hate that term, as "war" should be reserved for formal and traditional hostilities between sovereign nations, to avoid the blurring of many distinctions, like the applicability of Geneva protections) has inevitably led to rebalancing of the balance of powers between the branches, as has happened during every war. The current atmosphere is practically nothing when compared to WWII or the Civil War. The difference is, since Watergate, the days are long gone when any administration can just act, probably in the nation's best interest, and Congress and the media will just accept that and keep its mouth shut. This really isn't a party thing, just a different way of doing business now. FDR would never have been attacked in the press the way Bush has been. It occurs to me, though, Lincoln had a pretty bad time of it in the papers, that's why he just closed some of them down. Try that today, and see what happens. If Ms. Clinton is elected, and she doesn't just shut the "war on terror" down immediately, just wait to see the sparks fly if some reporter questions her decision-making. Bush Jr. has always just sort of "good ol' boy" shucked it off. His dad would get snippy. Mr. Clinton got defiant and indignant and shook his finger. I think Ms. Clinton will just find a way to end that reporter's career. She plays for keeps.

Hawaiiguy's avatar

hoss, they are shutting down newspapers its just done in a different way, the absurdly rich simply buy the paper and adjust the staff to fit there agenda. As for your other points it can be tossed back an forth in comparing it to past presidents and history. It is amazing how one president has had so may negative things to be compared with, you must admit it is an unbelievable % of blunders... If thats what you'd call them.

hossman's avatar

It's always great to be the armchair quarterback on Monday morning second guessing the Super Bowl. I am no Bush fan, he's been far too polite and diplomatic and caved on way too many issues, but I don't see an unusual degree of blundering. Inevitably, given the full plate of serious problems he's had to deal with, and the nasty tone of his opposition and the media, I'm surprised he hasn't done worse. He certainly isn't ducking the tough stuff. Clinton couldn't handle Bosnia, Haiti or Somalia, Bush Sr. messed up Iraq I, Carter messed up Iran I, FDR gave away Eastern Europe and probably ignored the Holocaust, Kennedy screwed the pooch at the Bay of Pigs, Nixon, Johnson and Kennedy couldn't close in Viet Nam, but somehow Bush Jr. is the idiot? What we will never know about any of these Presidents, is everything that went into their decisions. We will never know whether they had any real choice. We will never know if it could have been worse. Frankly, I'm a pretty smart guy, but if I had the average day any of these guys had, I'd probably be in the fetal position under my desk in the Oval Office, rocking slowly in a pile of my own filth. None of us have any way of knowing the details, but I've read biographies on each of these men, and I get the feeling that many times, the President's choices simply come down to trying to pick among the competing advice of numerous experts and advisors, most of whom are smarter than you, which will turn out in the long run to be the least horrible of a number of pretty bad evils, knowing full well the majority of the public will blame you no matter what you do, while trying to maintain sufficient popularity to still be a viable political force so you can try to get your agenda completed. No thank you. I don't know why anyone would want this job. It also seems the nicer you are about the job, the worse it is for you. Hey, Ford did practically nothing, and he still has the legacy of being a doofus. If Kennedy had served a full term, given the way he was going, I think his legacy would have been different. I'm not sure we've had a President with a decent legacy since Eisenhower.

Hawaiiguy's avatar

I agree with with a lot of your points hoss, but in the broad scope of running a country, it should always be with the intention of making American lives better through working effectively with all branches of government. The last 7 years have been anything but that, hopefully the next president and the changes in the 3 branches leave the axes and awls at home and bring a tape measure, hammer and nails and work on core issues such as healthcare, education, tax reform, diplomacy etc. And some humility...

hossman's avatar

A great goal, but an impossibility, as the branches aren't even really designed to work together. Like our court system, it is designed to be adversarial with the thought that healthy opposition will provide the best result. We don't have a parliamentary structure where everything flows from the legislature. Even when you might think there would be some agreement, things change. For instance, Justices Souter and Stevens were nominated as conservatives by Republican presidents, but are now in the liberal wing. There's nothing wrong with healthy opposition. I believe the main problem is our legislators become so entrenched in the Beltway they really aren't even Americans anymore. Given the advancements in virtual conferencing, maybe we should put our congresscritters under "house arrest" and forbid them from leaving their districts. Make them communicate with each other, lobbyists and the public by recorded media, all communications to be made public after an appropriate time.

segdeha's avatar

I think one of the biggest problems with politics in the U.S. is the ratio of representatives to citizens. I now live in New Zealand where the ratio is a whole order of magnitude smaller. I don't know how much difference it really makes, but I feel like I have more influence on the government here than I ever did in the States (and I tend to write my Congressfolk regularly).

hossman's avatar

I guess maybe I'm assuming too much, since I now notice the original post did not capitalize "bush." Thus, I change my position to: I've never been a fan of bush and have never understood the purpose of bush, as ornamental trees or flowers are much more appealing, and fences are more effective barriers. But that's just me.

ironhiway's avatar

I think bush is a moron, that’s why I voted for him. Delegation is the most important job of the president, anyone who thinks they know it all, is less likely to Delegate to someone capable of doing the job, so then while trying to do it all themselves they overlook lots of other stuff. And anyone who does know it all should not be president they should be advising the president.

with that said, I think these kids are onto something. To see who will replace bush check out this weekly poll and vote yourself.

SquirrelEStuff's avatar

Those are some results!!

Eureka's avatar

I think Bush would probably be a really good neighbor. He would always let you borrow his lawn mower, and would shoot the crap with you over a beer and the back fence. As a President, he left a lot to be desired. I know that he is not a stupid man, but he is not a good speaker. As a newbie here, I am going to stop right now! However, let me say that I am NOT a Bush fan.

Answer this question




to answer.

This question is in the General Section. Responses must be helpful and on-topic.

Your answer will be saved while you login or join.

Have a question? Ask Fluther!

What do you know more about?
Knowledge Networking @ Fluther