Thursday, January 20, 2005

I Am Not Making This Up

Poll: Nation split on Bush as uniter or divider

This would be a great headline for The Onion, but in a surreal twist, this is the result of an actual poll on's Inside Politics. I think the headline itself answers the underlying question of whether Bush really is a uniter or a divider.



At 10:02 AM, Blogger R. Paul Wiegand said...

This is classic; I don't know whether to laugh or cry.

It is so clearly the case that Bush is in no way a uniter by any "reasonable" definition," that I am close to convinced that no thinking and objective person can really believe otherwise. By "reasonable definition", I mean: "To heal divisions via compromise." However, President Bush has been very clear with his message since reelection: "I am a uniter. I won, everyone do as I say and we will be united." This is a convenient, insincere, and absurd notion of the word "uniter."

The country is divided about this issue because the country is divided about Bush; those who believe Bush is a good President, are predisposed to agree with the ridiculous idea that it is we on the left who are obstructing unity because we refuse to go along with this administration's increasingly extremist right-wing positions, which we find abhorrent, foolish, and (in some cases) out-right immoral.

An example of Bush divisiveness is Social Security. Watching the inauguration, one of the many comments that raised my hackles was Rove's comment that 70% of Americans agree with the White House's Social Security plan. This is more than a mere distortion of the facts, it is an out-right lie. The number comes from a Pew Research Center study, but the question that produced that number was whether or not Social Security should be a "top priority." In fact, most Americans do not consider "the top" priority, but one of the top priorities, and the study cites that:

"Nearly half of Americans (47%) believe the Social Security system now works pretty well and needs only minor changes, with comparable percentages of Republicans and Democrats in agreement on that point."It doesn't get much more split than that. Americans disagree on Social Security, and certainly we disagree about whether or not it should be privatized ... and yet the Administration's first and top priority in this term is to privatize Social Security. Where is the unity in this? Americans disagree vehemently about our foreign policy, yet I just listened to an inaugural speech littered with abstract terms that lead me to believe that more countries will be invaded, more people killed, more governments toppled because of the vision of this President's foreign policies. Certainly recent leaks and rumors about Iran confirm this suspicion. Where is the unity in this?

Americans need to wake up, stop listening to the rhetoric, and start paying attention to actions. The President's actions say to liberals: "Screw you ... you aren't in power." While this may be the painful truth, it is definitely not the perspective of someone seeking unity.

Indeed, the Republicans unfortunately won; they have control of all three branches of government and most gubernatorial positions in this country. They have a tremendous amount of power, and can more or less do as they please. That is reality. But trying to convince me that Bush is "uniting," rather than simply using current circumstances to further empower his own extremist positions, is idiocy. Half the country may be this stupid, but I am not ... and apparently the other half aren't either.

If this poll shows anything, it shows that the right-wing perspective is a fantasy vision; they see what they want to see and not reality.

At 6:38 PM, Blogger mooglar said...

I absolutely agree that the conservatives live in a fantasy world. I blogged about that very subject in an earlier post, in fact!

To take your comments a bit further, I think we could say that Bush is a uniter in the same way that Stalin was a uniter. Achieving unity in and of itself is not the defining characteristic of a uniter, but rather, UNITING is. To be said to have "united" disparate groups, one must bring those groups together, thus UNITING them.

Destroying one's opponents may, indeed, create unity, but a unifier creates unity by unifying, not by destroying. That's what Bush doesn't understand.

I also agree that the Bush regime believes that it is the left that is at fault for the country not being unified. But that's just stupid. The left is no more responsible for disunity than the right. And, besides, a "unifier" is not defined by sitting around bitching about how the other side won't capitulate. That is not a way of unifying, but rather a way of driving a wedge between people. And, ultimately, Bush hopes to be able to drive the left into submission by claiming to want unity all the while doing everything possible not to unite the right and the left but to destroy the left.

Uniter, my ass.

Rove lying about Social Security is, unfortunately, about as surprising as a ferret pretending to be nice when you feed him then biting you when you aren't looking. That's what this administration is all about: Gaining people's trust when they want something and then doing something completely different afterwards.


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