Bush's speech, while not rich on content, was at least sincere and specific. The rebuttal delivered by Sen. Webb was bitter and vague -- more of the same complaining with no competing ideas. The media has cooperated with a relentlessly constant and consistent effort to beat Bush down and erode his support, even to the point where they could beat his something with their nothing. That is their right to do, and I have to admire their resolve and their success. But that doesn't make what they say true. Ben Stein offered this evaluation:
The truth is that we are in a huge economic boom. We are coming off a mammoth real estate explosion that put the most Americans in history in their own homes. We have totally full employment. After decades of stagnation, real wages are rising. Gasoline prices are way, way down. The nation is wealthier than it has ever been (although this is very unevenly distributed). Opportunities for subsidized higher education are better than they have ever been.
Most important of all, who would have ever been rash enough on September 12, 2001 to say there would not be one major or even minor successful terrorist incident against the U.S. homeland in over five years? Who would have thought we would escape without more massive terror? But we have, and it is a foolhardy person who would say that's an accident. Bush may not have done it by himself, but he had something to do with it.
True, we are mired in a war without end, costing us far too may great young and old Americans and too many limbs and wrecked families and vastly too much money. But we all know we're getting out soon. It was a huge mistake, but I'd like to see a President who did not make huge mistakes. Compared with the mistakes of Truman and FDR and Kennedy, Iraq is a mistake, but not worse than theirs.
True, we have virtually no federal oversight of corporate looting and executive suite misconduct, but we didn't have any under Clinton either. The rich get away with murder. That's what happens in the real world. Bush is to blame, but all politicians cater to the rich, as Hillary will and Barack Obama will. It's nauseating and I fight it constantly, but that's life.
My point: let's be aware that Bush has presided over a lot of success in addition to substantial failure. My second point: no one elected the media to anything. If we let them lynch the man we elected as President we are throwing out the Constitution with the war in Iraq. In the studios and newsrooms, there is a lynch mob at work. Let's see it for what it is. We have a good man who has made mistakes in the Oval Office. He's the only President we have, and I trust him a lot more than I trust unelected princes of the newsroom.