Friday, September 02, 2005

Go on the Offensive

Polls polls polls. It seems the polls come in on a daily rather than a weekly basis. Almost everyday we see the poll for Bush’s approval rating. Then we see the poll on his handling of the Iraq war. Then we see the poll about how Americans feel about the worth of the Iraq war and the one about the Iraq war making us safer and on and on, well you get the idea. The craziest one is despite the fact the economy is starting to boom according to a Fox News poll only 38% of Americans approve of the way Bush is handling the economy and only 43% are optimistic about the economy.

The mainstream media bombards us daily with news stories blasting the Bush administration’s policies both foreign and domestic. Bush has even been blamed by some for Hurricane Katrina. It would not surprise me if next week he is blamed for being the shooter on the grassy knoll. All the while there is hardly any type of rebuttal coming from Bush or his administration.

I know some of my readers will not agree with me on this, but I think it is high time for Bush to go on the offensive in the press. I know, I know Bush is a terrible public speaker and does not have the charisma with the press of a Ronald Reagan or Bill Clinton. I also know Bush’s feelings about the press that have roots back to his father’s presidency. Austin Bay posted one of the best quotes ever by President Bush about the press. When asked how he knew what the public was thinking since he did not read the newspaper or watch much news Bush replied, “You’re making a powerful assumption, young man. You’re assuming that you represent the public. I don’t accept that.” I agree with that assessment, to an extent.

Have you ever seen the movie A Clockwork Orange? How long can the population that actually does watch the news and read newspapers be barraged by anti-Bush rhetoric before they practically become physically sick at the mere mention of his name? (If you have not seen the movie look up the story line so you will understand the analogy.) I believe this is happening to the average American and also the reason for the ever spiraling poll numbers.

In my humble opinion the Bush Administration has to start combating this media firestorm. They need to get the good news about Iraq out there and outline the progress that is being made. We in the blogoshpere know that progress is being made, but without anybody from the Administration outlining it, how does the public know? The mainstream media certainly is not reporting it. There should be weekly news conferences from the President on the state of Iraq and the war on terror. This would not be that unusual given the fact that we are at war. The offensive however, should not be limited to Iraq or the war on terror but should include the economy, support for their supreme court nominee, social security reform, rebuilding the Gulf Coast and many other policies. Bush cannot rely on one or two speeches a month at military installations to stem the tide of negative reporting. Perception is a powerful thing and right now Americans are getting their perceptions from one side. What’s more he owes it to the troops and he owes it to republican candidates in 2006 and beyond.
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