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Inside Politics Weekend
Question of the Day
Stop the presses. Take a deep breath. Someone is actually defending President Bush.
“Bush may not have the slickness of his predecessor, but he is a man you can trust and who prefers to tell it like it is. This is refreshing, and very scary for us who are used to our politicians always talking grandly about principles and hiding behind political mumbo-speak.
“The fact is you guys hate Mr. Bush because he is not a hypocrite and you are used to hypocrites as your leaders. We hate what we don’t understand,” writes Sameh El-Shahatof the Daily Telegraph.
“Yes, yes, all you bleeding heart liberals are cringing out there. I can just hear you. But the fact is, Mr. Bush has had to take some very tough decisions and the world needs people who can not only talk but also act tough and admit mistakes. Of course you think Sen. Barack Obama is going to make a difference, but as I write this, he’s already giving all the signs of somebody who will say anything to get into power only to act in exactly the same way as the Washington clique he aims to replace!
“Hating George W. Bush is not only dull and unoriginal, but it shows a complete lack of understanding of the world in which we live in,” Mr. El-Shahat notes.
Zigging with abandon
The man with the beatific smile on the cover of Rolling Stone is giving some pause, according to Bob Herbert of The New York Times.
“Back in January when Barack Obama pulled off his stunning win in the Iowa caucuses, and people were lining up in the cold and snow for hours just to get a glimpse of him, there was a wide and growing belief — encouraged to the max by the candidate — that something new in American politics had arrived,” Mr. Herbert writes.
“Only an idiot would think or hope that a politician going through the crucible of a presidential campaign could hold fast to every position, steer clear of the stumbling blocks of nuance and never make a mistake. But Barack Obama went out of his way to create the impression that he was a new kind of political leader — more honest, less cynical and less relentlessly calculating than most.
“You would be able to listen to him without worrying about what the meaning of ‘is’ is. This is why so many of Sen. Obama’s strongest supporters are uneasy, upset, dismayed and even angry at the candidate who is now emerging in the bright light of summer. One issue or another might not have made much difference. Tacking toward the center in a general election is as common as kissing babies in a campaign, and lord knows the Democrats need to expand their coalition.
“But Sen. Obama is not just tacking gently toward the center. He’s lurching right when it suits him, and he’s zigging with the kind of reckless abandon that’s guaranteed to cause disillusion, if not whiplash.”
By the numbers
59 percent of voters overall oppose lowering the speed limit nationwide to 55 mph, 34 percent support it.
Among men, 69 percent oppose the lower speed limit, 25 percent favor it.
Among women, 50 percent oppose and 42 percent favor it.
About the Author
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