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Do You Think Bush is Truly A Dictator?

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posted on Mar, 25 2006 @ 05:19 AM
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Originally posted by Two Steps Forward
Becky:

That's much better.


Genuine arguments, and no inflammatory pictures. I knew you had it in you.

The name is not Becky, and your condescending attitude is unwelcome.


You need to learn the difference between anger and scorn. Admittedly, not always easy to tell when the words are expressed only in print.

So you admit that your attitude is one of negativism. You don't even know me, and yet you exhibit "scorn" to me. ATS is a place where spirited debate happens without personal attacks; people have respect for each other and the forum and work hard to keep those attitudes out of the discussions.

You seem to be on the defensive, but that's unnecessary. Nobody is attacking you. And until and unless you drop the attitude, any political debate is over between you and I.



ceci and the rest: I apologize for the sidetrack.

[edit on 25-3-2006 by jsobecky]




posted on Mar, 25 2006 @ 05:37 AM
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ceci

I was about to respond to you with a short list of my own, but you have pretty much covered what I would have listed. Let me say that I would be satisfied if a POTUS would pledge to do half of what you listed, and then set about accomplishing it.

But of course, partisan politics always seems to work against progress. Imo, we should have term limits for members of Congress, so that there is a fresh infusion of ideas in the system. Since writing sensible laws is their job, I'd give them a little more time than a prez. Maybe ten years max.



posted on Mar, 26 2006 @ 05:29 AM
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Hey, jsobecky, it's okay. No problem. I know that there is drama sometimes and it happens to all of us. .
Nothing was derailed. I just hope that everything is settled between you two.

Thanks for reading my list, even though it might have seemed like War and Peace. I too would be satisfied if there was at least one politician that would honor half of the list. However, I have to respectfully disagree on the term limits. I'll go into this later, but the short reason is that it punishes good politicians who do spend their career serving the people. Secondly, I think that retired politicians turn into lobbyists--which is half the problem with lobbyism in Congress today. ( I don't know if Congress ever passed that bill barring past members from being lobbyists, but it has been brought to the floor. I'll check on this later on.).

However, I can see why term limits work. It allows the influx of new politicians. It also changes the landscape of government.

The only thing I would ask is whether term limits actually limit the corruption in government. I half believe it does. I half believe it doesn't. I guess you can say I am looking at the glass half-empty. What do you think about this?



posted on Mar, 26 2006 @ 05:57 AM
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Career politicians are nearly impossible to unseat after they have been in office for a certain amount of time. They become entrenched as chairmen of one powerful committee after another. It gets to a point where they treat Washington, DC as one big feeding trough and pork barrel. And this means that some of their constituency is not being served back home. The political machines ensure their re-election, and they make sure they get paid back. Good candidates are blocked out of the system because of the expense to unseat a long-time incumbent. Third party candidates are effectively shut out altogether.

I'm for the law that would ban them becoming lobbyists. I think that lobbyist reform is long overdue, also.



posted on Mar, 26 2006 @ 06:35 AM
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That's a fair assertion of the term limit problem. I can understand how a politician can be entrenched within one seat. Strom Thurmond is an example. I agree that incumbents make it impossible for new candidates to enter in the system. I just think that it makes less of a difference than you think.

Ponder it this way: a politician is forced out because of term limits. He/She moves around to another district and tries for yet another seat again. Once those term limits end, he or she ends up on city council, in the mayor's seat, or maybe state assembly as well as governor. Former California governor Jerry Brown is an example of this. He's now mayor of Oakland. Politicians who are forced out by term limits continue to serve in other ways. Yes, I believe term limits might cause an influx of new faces. But what it does is drive all the likely suspects somewhere else. Their service never ends, imho. They're still incumbents--only in different seats.

However, there is no guarantee that an incumbent stays in one seat. Sometimes, people get sick of the person and vote them out. The votes of the constituency become their own brand of term limits. One example is Tom Daschle. He was a "minority leader", I believe in the House for many years until 2004. He was forced out. So, an incumbency doesn't mean forever.

But I understand what you're saying and it's right that there shouldn't just be a "tyranny" of one incumbent in a seat for so many years. In this way, I could see that a long time in one seat could be a "dictatorship" of sorts".

Hmmmm. I am going to think about this and reply on this matter a bit more. You've started me thinking.


[edit on 26-3-2006 by ceci2006]



posted on Mar, 29 2006 @ 05:47 PM
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I feel that this thread was addressed to the anti-Bush crowd, so I really can't say why I'm replying to it.

I've read several postings and thanks for the good laugh from the anti-Bush crowd.


In reality, jsobecky is right. I didn't read every post but I'm sure there are others who came here in Bush's defense.

If Bush was truly a dictator like the liberals want him to be, there wouldn't be any Democrats in Congress! That's just the way a dictator works.

Sorry to disappoint you all.



posted on Mar, 29 2006 @ 06:41 PM
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It wasn't really addressed to the anti-Bush crowd at all. I started the thread as a way to discuss the "Executive Powers" and its degrees. Whether it's a Republican or Democrat in office, I think that all of us would like to gauge how much power an American leader is supposed to have. It is nothing to laugh about. It separates a true democracy from a dictatorship.

If I did address the post in a joking manner, you would know it.

If you also read the thread, you would know that I was honest and kind in my attempt to address everyone--including the people who thought that my ideas were rather silly. And I think that we achieved a very interesting discussion of how far the executive powers are supposed to go and when to determine when there is a "tyrant" in office or not. And then, it was also fascinating to note whether the American people would be able to take a "dictator" or not.

Of course, some of the points were passionate and sometimes acerbic. But then again, this is an issue that touches all of us in some way.

So, if you think that this is an Anti-Bush post, you have a right to your opinion. But I really wanted to know about the degrees of power a President is supposed to have. And, I also wanted to engage in a conversation with people who support Bush and the reasons why they did. Because I always found out in the other posts, that all the Bush crowd would do is "laugh" at people who disagreed with them. But, they never came up with any good answers why they supported the man--except to say that he was "likable". Let alone an attempt to convince the rest of us that the man ought to be supported despite the good or bad GWB did.

I'm sorry that you didn't read the entire thread. But that's okay. Like I've said in several posts, you are justified to think that this entire topic is silly.

But I don't. And I really do like all the responses stated so far--whether it was pro or Anti-Bush. I give my thanks, support and appreciation to the people who geniunely tried to answer my questions.





[edit on 29-3-2006 by ceci2006]



posted on Mar, 30 2006 @ 08:17 PM
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After thinking about the "laughter" that some posters have given this thread, I would like to propose a solution.

I suppose it is only fair to ask those who think everyone that feel that is an "Anti-Bush" post to give a logical and clear answer why GWB ought to be supported. I would like to hear your answers. You have the floor. All I ask is that you don't give the traditional "canned" response of "He has protected our country...and the economy is good....blah,blah, blah." I would like you to argue what good has Mr. Bush done for this country.

I promise I will treat your answers with respect. And I won't laugh. After all, the pro-Bush crowd deserves a part in the debate that defends the POTUS. And I know that other posters would like to hear your voice too.

Convince us besides GWB being "likable", that he has benefitted our country. With proof. And without putting down the Democrats or any of the Third parties.



posted on Mar, 31 2006 @ 11:30 AM
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I'm not quite sure how one can support the President without bringing up the fact that he has indeed protected the country, and that for most Americans the economy is functioning just fine.

It is a time of war, like it or not. Personally, I'd prefer it to be a time of picnics and softball, but reality has a nasty habit of intruding upon our fantasies. The Presidents primary focus has been, and correctly so in my not so humble opinion, the Middle Eastern conflict. Has everything gone swimmingly? Not even remotely. The initial invasion, and defeat of the Iraqi Army went perfectly because of adaptable planning that left room for changes in the situation. The aftermath was a clusterbeep from very nearly the getgo. This was Mr. Bush's biggest mistake in my opinion, the planning for the occupation and rebuilding was extremely flawed. But I would venture to guess the same thing would have occured under any other administration, no real way of knowing that of course, so the point is moot. Mr. Bush has maintained a steadfast course without much in the way of deviation. He apparently has a goal in mind, and no it isn't to get rich, there are much easier, less expensive ways to do that. Like leave Saddam in power and broker sweetheart deals like the Russians, French, and Germans did, and that goal is to bring stability to the region that benefits the United States. That is after all his job. That goal is not yet attained and won't be by the time he leaves office in two years unless some sort of miracle occurs.

I would say he's done about as well as can be expected considering the region of the world, and the fact that the rest of his party seem to be a bunch of say the right thing, but do nothing frauds. The democrats are no better.

Whether we like it or not, in a time of war, we must pull together for the common goal of winning. Argue about the semantics later. Or vote the rascals out. Or I suppose attempt to sabotage the President which seems to be the tactic that my party has adopted. It ain't easy being a democrat these days watching the likes of Harry Reid, Diane Feinstien, Ted Kennedy, and all the other cast of characters target our president with their venom. The democratic party left me along time ago. Right about the time that Jimmy Carter was elected. Not a one has come along who was any better.
So I"ll continue to support Mr. Bush until he leaves office, then I will support the one who follows, doesn't mean I will agree with everything they do, but I'll support him/her to the best of my ability.

Am I making any sense at all, or am I rambling on, and on. This has got to be one of my longer posts.

[edit on 31-3-2006 by seagull]



posted on Mar, 31 2006 @ 04:51 PM
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First off, seagull, thank you very much for your response. Your comments add to the fabric of this discussion. And, it is always helpful to see alternative views to provide a full discussion of the topic.

The comments you have written are fair.


Originally quoted by seagull
I'm not quite sure how one can support the President without bringing up the fact that he has indeed protected the country, and that for most Americans the economy is functioning just fine.


The reason why I put that in there is because those responses are the two most common answers spoken when someone supports Mr. Bush. What I wanted was to hear different explainations regarding how the POTUS benefitted the country. It wasn't done to pull the rug out of any expository action.


Originally quoted by seagull
It is a time of war, like it or not. Personally, I'd prefer it to be a time of picnics and softball, but reality has a nasty habit of intruding upon our fantasies. The Presidents primary focus has been, and correctly so in my not so humble opinion, the Middle Eastern conflict.


I understand your feelings about Republicans and the Democrats, because I am also in a state of flux when trying to deal with the gridlock that has happened in Congress. But take them out of the equation for the moment. Let's think solely on Mr. Bush's acts regarding the Middle East.

When thinking about Mr. Bush's legacy, I would think that 9/11 and the conflict in the Middle East would be at the top of the list. Nevertheless, controversial, you are right. He has maintained a steady course in his involvement in the war with Afghanistan and Iraq. But, the main question of concern is the reasons why we went there. Was it for liberty? Or Oil? I think it is fair to say that Mr. Bush has carved a niche in foreign policy as a result of an insular attack on the United States. He has come a long way.

After all, look at what he had to say about foreign policy before 9/11. This is from Slate.com. The complete list of statements can be read here:


"The only thing I know about Slovakia is what I learned first-hand from your foreign minister, who came to Texas."—To a Slovak journalist as quoted by Knight Ridder News Service, June 22, 1999. Bush's meeting was with Janez Drnovsek, the prime minister of Slovenia.



"The fundamental question is, 'Will I be a successful president when it comes to foreign policy?' I will be, but until I'm the president, it's going to be hard for me to verify that I think I'll be more effective."—In Wayne, Mich., as quoted by Katharine Q. Seelye in the New York Times, June 28, 2000



"We cannot let terrorists and rogue nations hold this nation hostile or hold our allies hostile.''—Ibid (Des Moines, Iowa, Aug. 21, 2000)



"My administration has been calling upon all the leaders in the—in the Middle East to do everything they can to stop the violence, to tell the different parties involved that peace will never happen."—Crawford, Texas, Aug, 13, 2001


And then, after 9/11, I think he became more serious in his approach, especially when trying to explain exactly what will be happening in Iraq. This is taken from a speech he gave at the Naval Academy last year. The transcript is printed in The Washington Post. You can read it in its entirety here:


We're working with the Iraqis to help them engage those who can be persuaded to join the new Iraq and to marginalize those who never will[....]As we fight the terrorists, we're working to build capable and effective Iraqi security forces, so they can take the lead in the fight and eventually take responsibility for the safety and security of their citizens without major foreign assistance.


I understand that we as a country must pull behind our POTUS in times of war. It is a natural reaction, especially when it comes to conflict at home and abroad. However, I tend to think that it is equally natural to respect the institution of the President and still disagree with his policies. It just becomes problematic when in times of war, everyone must follow behind everything that the POTUS does and not question his actions. Of course, people think that they would like the US to win the "War on Terrorism". Is it satisfactory to say that Mr. Bush's actions in pursuing the terrorists efficiently and logically run? No, not in my opinion. All that is happened is that instead of the Sunnis running the Iraqi government, the Shia Muslims have taken over and instituted Shariyah law--contrary to the democracy that the U.S. is trying to profess. Is that "winning the war on terrorism"? I suppose that in looking at the glass half full, democracy did work--but not in America's interest. Not to mention the caustic situation still occuring on Iraqi land.

And then, I would wonder whether Republican Presidents Eisenhower, Nixon or Reagan would have treated this situation differently, because each man had different temperments in relation to foreign policy. So, I don't know whether we can say if Bush is doing the "best that he can" in comparison to other national leaders.

BTW, you are making sense with what you are saying. I just tend to differ in the interpretation of whether Mr. Bush has benefitted the country or the American people. I am going to leave this post with one question: if Mr. Bush benefitted from the Middle East, were those benefits transferred to his friends and himself or the American people?

[edit on 31-3-2006 by ceci2006]



posted on Apr, 1 2006 @ 11:16 AM
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Ceci2006.

For the most part, Mr. Bush has exceeded my expectations, particularly in matters of foriegn policy, but then my expectations for him were rather low to begin with. So for what its worth, he gets a passing grade. Mistakes? ohh yeah, more than a few as I mentioned previously.

How he compares with foreign leaders is difficult to say as I am not as familiar with them as I should be. Tony Blair is the only one a have even a passing knowledge of...Mr. Bush is much less adept as a speaker than Mr. Blair as became rather painfully obvious during the runup to the Iraqi War Part II. I believe he's a bit more sincere in stating his thoughts than is Mr. Blair, just less adroit at using the language.

Your comment on the reasons given for the war. You should remember that every single leader in the Senate and House agreed, as did many of the leaders of the coalition nations. There was a clear and present danger of Iraq possessing WMD's. As it turned out, maybe the information was mistaken, then again maybe not, Iraq is a big place, and other countries could have, notice I did say could have, taken possession of them with Saddams blessings.
As for going to war for oil, of course it was. Anyone who says otherwise is fooling themselves, a free democratic Iraq means more oil for the U.S. If freeing the Iraqis from a dictator gives us access to the oil then great. It's enlightened self-interest at its finest, or maybe worst too soon to tell.

Like I said, I give Mr. Bush a passing grade on foreign policy. How he rates with Nixon, Eisenhower, and Reagan, that's a tough question to answer. He has the same certitude of action that Mr. Reagan had, but Mr. Reagan had the Evil Empire to butt heads against, as did Mr. Eisenhower, and Mr. Nixon. Mr. Bush's primary foe is much more ambiguous and shadowy. None of the four were what you would call intellectual giants, not dummies by any stretch of the imagination, but not intellectuals. They appeared not to sweat the small stuff, but to focus on the bigger picture, which is what they are supposed to do. Leave the small stuff to your cabinet. Leading a large powerful nation requires that you see the big picture with focused clarity. All four of these men do, or did.

Mr. Bush's main problem, now that I think on it, is the sheer bloody minded incompetence of some, not all, of his cabinet officers. Donald Rumsfeld comes to mind, he needs to quit picking fights with congress and the press, and do the job of helping those young men and women overseas, fight the fight that needs fighting (nice little turn of phrase there).



posted on Apr, 3 2006 @ 02:26 AM
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seagull,

I read your post and did a lot of thinking about it. It is agreed that Bush maintained a steady course on Middle East matters. I could possibly agree that he exceeded the expectations of many in the area of foreign politics. But, can I truly say that he gets a passing grade? That is in the eye of the beholder.

At first, the resolution of Congress (from the CNN fact box) allows the POTUS to do this in regards of the Iraq War:


"The president is authorized to use the armed forces of the United States as he determines to be necessary and appropriate in order to (1) defend the national security of the United States against the continuing threat posed by Iraq, and (2) enforce all relevant United Nation Security Council resolutions regarding Iraq."


But I as I read the Downing Street Memo, I tend to think that Bush's immersion into Middle East politics was more of a certaintly than the events of 9/11 could ever convey. Mistakes aside, all eight of the Downing Street documents puts another spin on U.S./U.K. involvement with Iraq entirely. And not very good.


Originally quoted by seagull
You should remember that every single leader in the Senate and House agreed, as did many of the leaders of the coalition nations.


I respectfully disagree. The POTUS did not gain support from every member of Congress. I found an October 11, 2002 CNN story which describes the actual vote count of both the House and the Senate. To me, it seems that there might have even been more dissent than you described. You can read more of the story here:


WASHINGTON (CNN) -- In a major victory for the White House, the Senate early Friday voted 77-23 to authorize President Bush to attack Iraq if Saddam Hussein refuses to give up weapons of mass destruction as required by U.N. resolutions. Hours earlier, the House approved an identical resolution, 296-133. The president praised the congressional action, declaring "America speaks with one voice."


Yes, a majority of Senators and Representatives agreed, but not everyone. In fact, here is the Senate Roll Call and the House Roll Call. And Sen. Robert Byrd said something in the same CNN article that is eerily pre-cognizant of what is happening now with Bush's forays into Executive Privilege. He attempted a filibuster of the proceedings at the time:


"This is the Tonkin Gulf resolution all over again," Byrd said. "Let us stop, look and listen. Let us not give this president or any president unchecked power. Remember the Constitution."


And I still have doubts about whether it truly was a "Coalition of the Willing". Especially how the BBC,Wikipedia, and the Council of Foreign Relations puts it. In fact, the Council of Foreign Relations says that the Coalition of the Willing is getting smaller and smaller:


Over the past year, the size of the multinational contribution in Iraq has fallen by half, and most of the major remaining contributors are on record as planning to leave in 2006. Currently, in addition to the United States, there are twenty-seven members of the "coalition of the willing" that contribute some 24,000 mostly non-combat forces. That figure—down from the immediate aftermath of the March 2003 invasion of Iraq, when thirty-eight countries provided roughly 50,000 forces—is expected to drop in the months ahead.

Two of Washington's staunchest partners in the war, Ukraine and Bulgaria, announced they would withdraw their 876 and 380 troops respectively by January. Netherlands, which had a force of 1,400 in Iraq earlier this year, has pulled out nearly all of its troops. Italy, Australia, and South Korea are expected to follow suit in early 2006. Even Britain, the United States' strongest ally, has hinted it may draw down its troops by next year. "It seems likely the US will be virtually alone in Iraq as a foreign military power by mid-2006," predicts Juan Cole, a Middle East expert at the University of Michigan, in his blog on Middle Eastern politics.



Originally quoted by seagull
Mr. Bush's main problem, now that I think on it, is the sheer bloody minded incompetence of some, not all, of his cabinet officers. Donald Rumsfeld comes to mind, he needs to quit picking fights with congress and the press, and do the job of helping those young men and women overseas, fight the fight that needs fighting (nice little turn of phrase there).


I agree with you here...to a point. His cabinet, to me, are mainly glorified appointments based on a favorship system of privilege (which is strikingly familiar with the Michael "Brownie" Brown flap). However, Mr. Bush himself has to take some of the blame for the mess we are in. Although circumstances has forced him to be more serious, I still don't think his machinations regarding Iraq War policy has been entirely earnest.

As far as I'm concerned, as the truth slowly trickles out, everyone in the Bush Administration is trying to mop up the mess before all the pipes burst.






[edit on 3-4-2006 by ceci2006]



posted on Apr, 3 2006 @ 11:50 AM
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Ceci.

Upon further review...I do agree that Mr. Bush does bear responsibility for selecting the various incompetents that inhabit his cabinet. I don't think I meant to imply otherwise, but maybe my support for him colored my thought process a trifle. It still isn't too late for him to clean his house, but here is where his loyalty to friends and allies turns on him. Loyalty to ones freinds, colleagues, and allies is a wonderful thing in and of itself, but when one is President of the United States, that sort of loyalty becomes secondary to having the right people in the right jobs.

The support during the runup to the second Gulf War was very strong in the leadership of both houses, if not unanimous. Remember John Kerry's famous "I voted for it, before I voted against it" quote. I think I'm paraphrasing but you get the ghist I hope?

Unfortunately, I have always had the impression that alot of the opposition, not all of it, but alot; was and is strictly political and not based on any strongly held beliefs, if professional lifelong politicians can be said to have anything resembling strongly held beliefs. Another point in favor of term limits for both houses.

[edit on 3-4-2006 by seagull]




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