|...Politex's||for PRINCIPLES..."Robertson Republican"||
When George W. Bush first burst upon the scene nine months ago, voters looked to the media for guidance about who this guy was, and the media began by giving him the benefit of the doubt. Little by little, everyone's wised up. Bush is not anti-catholic, he's not a racist, he's not a bigot, he's not anti-fundamentalist. Apart from his core constituents, mostly wealthy friends and campaign contributors, he's not anti-anything. He's whatever it takes to get the most votes.
Unfortunately, this sometimes means that he has to choose one voting bloc over another, and that gets him into trouble. When he chose the racist, bigoted Bob Jones-ites in South Carolina, that got him into trouble with blacks and Catholics, but he won the South Carolina primary. Now it turns out he needs Catholics in some of the other states. While we read stories about his use of black children at campaign photo-ops, he does not appear to need the black vote to win, so he has not made any meaningful attempt to gain it. The real problem with Bush is he sees nothing wrong with his bahavior, because he really believes that the most important thing in his life is to get the most votes. That's why he was able to ask Safire-accused anti-Semite Pat Buchanan to stay in the party and refused to bad mouth him when he left. He believes he needs the votes of Pat's people.
As to his Bob Jones letter of "regret," not only does it come only after the polls show him losing Catholic voters in New York, but why was it written for and sent to the Catholic Cardinal of New York? Aren't there any Catholics in South Carolina? One would think "regrets" would be more appropriately sent to their religious leader, because that's where Bush's regretable actions took place. And what about his regrets to African-Americans? Shouldn't he have sent a letter of regret to the leading black representative in New York at the same time he sent the letter to New York's Catholic leader? That would have been logical, except that Bush does not need the black vote in New York to win the New York primary. Doesn't that tell you exactly how seriously Bush believes in his "regret." His true "regret" is that he did something that is going to cost him votes.
At least Bush didn't insult Cardinal O'connor in his letter by claiming that he was not aware of Bob Jones's racist, bigoted history, a position that he's floated this past week that has been rebutted by Bush strategist Warren Tompkins, who sent Bush a detailed overview of the University's racist and anti-Catholic actions a week in advance of the Bush visit. (NYT, 2/27). What has been insulting to some, however, is Bush spending most of the letter playing the martyr, defending himself against McCain's attacks. In turning himself into the martyr of this affair," writes Richard Cohen in the 2/29 WP, "Bush shows once again that he does not understand what he did....As his letter and his persistent defense of appearing at Bob Jones make clear, [he] believes in a kind of separation theory: If his heart is pure, he cannot be held accountable for his actions....But he is not, as he repeatedly says, a leader. Such a person would have understood that the Bob Jones appearance sent the wrong signal....Bush does not seem to grasp that a national leader, if he ever is to be that, is our proxy--he stands for us."
When Bush strategist Karl Rove talked to Russert on TV last Sunday, he was perplexed that Bush was being singled out for his Bob Jones visit. After all, Rove noted, Reagan and Dole visited Bob Jones and the media said nothing. Along the same lines, Pataki and others have accused Mac of inserting religion into the national debate over the Republican candidate. It's Bush and his strategists who have been responsible for bringing religion into the national debate, not Mac, Gore, or Bradley. Bush brought religion into the mix with specific comments from the time he gave his pre-inaguration speech at a Houston church in January of '99 through his press conferences into the Spring and his visits to "faith-based institutions" in the early months of his summer campaign. His Jesus as philosopher debate response was far from the first time Bush brought religion into the campaign.
Speaking of that incident, Cohen concludes, "Bush is blind to the effect of his very public--and very specific--religiosity. Neither Reagan nor, in particular, Dole, did anything like cite Jesus Christ as a favorite political philosopher. Bush did. The statement was welcomed by conservative Christians, but left others feeling a bit estranged. What's more, Bush has insisted on citing his beliefs, his faith, as a rebuttal against criticism: You cannot question my values because I am a man of deep religious conviction. That sentiment pervades his letter to O'Connor, but it is unpersuasive to those who cannot see Bush's heart but could see him plain as daylight at Bob Jones." Based on what we know about George W. Bush, Cohen's conclusion seems fair: "What O'Connor makes of Bush's letter I cannot say. But others will take it as the coerced and grudging confession of a man who thinks he has been framed. He's sorry, sure, but more for himself than for what he did." --Politex, 3/2/00
1st in Children without Health Insurance %...1st in Toxic Air Releases...1st in Smog Days (Houston)...1st in poorest counties(3)...3rd in Hunger %...5th in Highest Teen Birth Rate...41st in Breast Cancer Screenings...45th in Mothers Receiving Pre-Natal Care...46th in Public Libraries and Branches...46th in High School Completion Rate...46th in Water Resources Protection...47th in Delivery of Social Services...48th in Literacy...48th in Per Capita Funding for Public Health...48 in Best Place to Raise Children (29th before Bush)*...48th in Spending for Parks and Recreation...48th in Spending for the Arts...49th in Spending for the Environment...50th in Women with Health Insurance...50th in Teachers' Salaries plus Benefits...
*Children's Rights Council. further documentation
Only one accredited child-care center exists for every 2,637 children. A fourth of children still are not immunized by age 2. --Texas Freedom Network.
Analysis of key states by AP
Delegate Estimates Bush 208 McCain 104
Jan. 24 Iowa caucuses (Bush 42%, Forbes 30%)Republicans Only
Feb. 1 New Hampshire (McCain 49%, Bush 30%)
Feb. 8 Delaware (Bush 51%, McCain 25%)Republicans Only
Feb. 19 South Carolina (Bush 53%, McCain 42%)
Feb. 22 Michigan (McCain 50%, Bush 43%)
Feb. 22 Arizona (McCain 60%, Bush 36%)
Feb. 26 Puerto Rico (Bush 93% , McCain 6%)Republicans Only
Feb. 29 Virginia (Bush 53%, McCain 44%)
Feb. 29 North Dakota (Bush 76%, McCain 19%)Republicans Only
Feb. 29 Washington (Bush 58%, McCain 38%)Republicans Only