A Sinking Feeling for George Bush

by on February 7th, 2004

If I were to categorize voters in a general election, I’d put them into four categories -Informed voters against Bush, informed voters for Bush, voters who absolutely do not care one way or another until the day of the election, and voters who do not take an active interest in politics or current events, but tend to have their own opinions shaped by osmosis.

And, in my many random conversations, it looks like the “Osmosis Voters” are starting to get pretty ticked off with George W. Bush. The ultimate question is how long resentment against Bush is going to last.

“He’s a liar, and I can’t stand liars,” remarked my roommate, whom I consider an osmosis voter.

Granted, she probably has never been the biggest Bush fan in the world. When she was out in San Francisco, her manager coerced her and another co-worker to come out to a Bush rally to show that San Franciscan-based Asian-American women supported George Bush and the reasons to go to war in Iraq. She was instructed to wave and scream at the top of her lungs at the appropriate time, but didn’t, because it was windy and raining. But, and here’s the point, a lot of people were in favor of the Iraq War at the time, before it happened, and they based their opinions on what they had heard on the news, especially the stockpiles of WMD’s.

So did I think Bush was a liar?

“Well, I’m not quite so sure of that,” I emphasized, and pondering what in the world was making me a Bush apologist at that moment.

“Well, what do you think?”

“I think he probably made a regime change in Iraq a priority when he first took office, and accented whatever reasons he could to justify it. Even if he disregarded anything that might’ve contradicted making war a priority.”

“And you don’t consider that lying?”

“Well…” and I fumbled around in my head for a good reason not to consider that a lie.

One of the problems is that I, unlike many of the other Democrats in Congress, never claimed to be misled by Bush’s ascertations. While I felt that there was a possibility of stockpiles of WMD’s in Iraq, I also felt that there was a possibility that the reasons for going to war were being exaggerated, and that more time was necessary for the UN to make a final judgment on the matter.

But a lie like that is a heavy charge to make on a sitting President, and I think that’s a good reason why the Osmosis Voters are taking it so hard -they just went along with what the President said, and now they feel like they were fooled. They trusted him, whereas some of the “informed voters” against Bush never did.

Bush is definitely sinking, even as the economy and jobless rates rise and fall, respectively. But 9 months is a long time away (ask any pregnant woman), and the big third type of voter (voters that don’t care at all until the day of the election), well, those guys just aren’t talking.

I admit that deciding that Bush was exaggerating his case for an Iraq war was a bit of a stretch back then, I mean I certainly didn’t know anything that Bush didn’t know. At one point, I was even hoping that they did find WMD’s, just to justify this whole thing and give America some credibility in the rest of the world. But they didn’t, and at this point Bush is going to have a tough time appealing to those “Osmosis Voters” in time before the election.

So, is Bush a liar?

Aye, that’s tough. I’m probably a bit too cynical to trust anything a President says at face value (as I put on my tin-foil hat), and I’ve never been one to trust that the Ends always justify the Means.

But I think my final judgment will be decided when Iraq finally has a real working government, when I can finally determine for myself if the Ends really do justify the means in this case -but that final determination seems like it could be postponed for a long, long time.

Edward E.J. Davis