Some Say Bush Is Politicizing Terrorism

Discussion in 'Politics' started by ZZZzzzzzzz, Sep 12, 2006.

  1. In Unpredictable District, Some Say Bush Is Politicizing Terrorism

    ARVADA, Colo., Sept. 11 — Leaving services Sunday morning at Faith Bible Chapel, an evangelical megachurch, Jim McBride, a pilot who served in Vietnam, said he was not happy with President Bush’s handling of Iraq. And he displayed little inclination to rethink his position despite the White House’s new push to focus this year’s Congressional elections on which party will keep the nation safer.

    “I do have a bit of mistrust,” said Mr. McBride, who said that he twice voted for Mr. Bush but that he is now disappointed — a sentiment he said is shared by many in his Bible study group. “The whole thing about W.M.D. and that Iraq is somehow tied to 9/11, I just don’t believe it.”

    Mr. Bush has plenty of supporters in this Denver suburb and the surrounding cities, an evenly divided swing district that is a bellwether in the battle for control of the House. But interviews over the last three days here found Republicans, Democrats and independents all expressing degrees of skepticism about Mr. Bush’s motives in delivering a set of high-profile speeches on terrorism and the war in Iraq two months before Election Day.

    While it is too early to know whether the White House will succeed in winning over enough voters to make a difference in what is shaping up as a tight race, the interviews suggested that Mr. Bush’s newest efforts to cast his party as better suited than Democrats to defend the country had yet to overcome concern and anger among many voters about Iraq and a more generalized sense of discontent with the administration.

    “I have been a Republican all my life, but we have just gotten to the point where we may need a change,” said Shannon Abote, an Arvada resident who was stopping at Starbucks for a coffee on Monday morning.

    Many residents said they were aware only in general terms of Mr. Bush’s recent speeches and his decision to bring high-level terrorism suspects to trial before military tribunals. They acknowledged that the terrorist threat often seemed distant, far removed from their busy lives in the shelter of the Rocky Mountains. Fewer than 20 people turned out Monday morning outside the Elks Club in Arvada to mark the fifth anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks.

    “Living in the central part of the country has probably kept terrorism from the forefront of our minds,” said Peter Strecker as he and his wife, Robin, strolled through downtown Golden on Saturday with their 13-month-old daughter, Paige, after a sudden downpour.

    Still, even strong Bush supporters said they doubted the presidential drumbeat on terrorism would alter the political landscape here. “I think people already have their minds made up,” said Michael Mason, an engineer and Golden native. “The whole thing could end tomorrow, and they would still hate his guts. The damage has been done.”

    The random interviews with dozens of residents across the Seventh Congressional District were not scientific. But they do suggest that Mr. Bush’s public standing could be problematic for the Republican candidate in the race for the open House seat, Rick O’Donnell, and that the Republican push on terrorism will not necessarily pack the same political punch it did in 2002 and 2004.

    “I think it is the only card they have got,” said Floyd Ciruli, a longtime Denver pollster, referring to the national Republican focus on terrorism. “Will it make a difference in Colorado? Absolutely not.”

    If so, that would be bad news for Congressional Republican leaders. They are counting on Mr. Bush’s concerted efforts to both raise his own public approval and to simultaneously help give Republican House and Senate candidates an edge on the security issues that have dominated the last two national elections. But polls indicate that the climate is different this year, with fewer Americans confident that the fight against terrorism is going well, and Democrats, including Mr. O’Donnell’s opponent, Ed Perlmutter, are vigorously trying to counter Mr. Bush.

    “My job is to make sure that people remember that all this was brought out in ’04 and ’02,” said Mr. Perlmutter. Republicans are resurrecting the “same old plays from the same old playbook,” he said. “The war on terror is clearly an important subject, but they have made a mess of it.”

    Mr. O’Donnell said terrorism and the war in Iraq continued to be secondary issues in a race he described as being driven more by immigration and economic issues. “Having the president talk about the threat to the country reminds people that we live in a dangerous world, but it is not the No. 1 issue on their minds,” he said.

    Mr. O’Donnell, who was the beneficiary of a fund-raising visit by the president this year, has good reason to put a little distance now between himself and the president: Senator John Kerry carried the district in the 2004 presidential race.

    But Mr. Bush retains his strong backers.

    At the Sept. 11 ceremony on Monday in Arvada, Nancy Goodman, whose 21-year-old son is finishing a tour as a marine in Iraq, expressed full confidence in Mr. Bush’s antiterrorism strategy.

    “I agree with what he is doing,” said Ms. Goodman, a Republican, who said the public could not always know the reasoning behind the administration’s actions. “We have to trust our leadership, and we have to trust our military, and we have to trust that they want to protect us.”

    Blaine Engdahl, an off-duty police officer who was waving the flag Saturday as he watched Arvada’s annual harvest festival parade from the back of a pickup, said: “I think he has made his mistakes, but he is trying. If we don’t fight them there, we are going to be fighting them over here.”

    Dale Burkhart, another Bush supporter, urged the president to step up the effort to get his message across. “Everybody has forgotten why we got hit,” Mr. Burkhart said. “Americans need to be continually reminded because of the way we live. We are blessed, and we take it for granted.”

    But independents and Democrats repeatedly characterized Mr. Bush’s recent spree of speeches and actions on terrorism as a cynical effort to thrust the issue into the Congressional campaign season.

    “I think it is a calculated attempt on the part of the president and Karl Rove to push terrorism before the election,” said Patrick Bassett, a Democrat and software developer from Golden who was visiting a mall in Aurora. “All these issues could have been brought up at an earlier time.”

    Robin Dodich, a retired teacher and self-described independent who was part of a small group of antiwar protesters along the Aurora parade route, called Mr. Bush’s recent actions disgusting.

    “Republicans believe their party is in trouble and they want to help their campaigns,” Ms. Dodich said. “It is almost like Bush is frantic.”

    Mindy Sink and Katie Kelly contributed reporting.
  2. neophyte321

    neophyte321 Guest

    -US Embassy bombing today
    -Recent thwarting of a plot to blow up 10 planes
    -Israeli bombings in Lebanon, (beginning of WWIII?)
    -North Korean Nuclear testing
    -Iran "wipe Isreal of the face of the map" is getting closer to nukes

    It's all just smoke and mirrors. Bush is just lying to us all about the dangers in the world. "Using fear as a tool to manipulate the public ...." . "Worse, yet, HE is the one perpetuating all this violence to keep us all in state of constant fear!"

    Yeah, the democrats have a chance in hell of gaining much ground in the up-coming elections,


    The article you cut/paste had interviews with people nearly exactly as far geographically as possible from the most likely targets. Yeah, terrorism might not be on the top of their lists, fortunately it isn't their job to thwart it before it shoots to the top after an incident.
  3. ZZZzzzzzzz, you get the award for being the number 1 Bush hater in the world.

    They should lock you away for being an enemy combatant.

    Baron and Joe, can ZZZzzzzzzz be banned.
  4. I do not hate Bush.

    If he were living on his ranch pulling weeds, instead of running the country, I certainly would not hate Bush.

    I do not hate Bush, I strongly dislike what Bush has done as President.

    There is a big difference...

  5. Liar. ;-)
  6. No, I am not lying.

    I separate the man from his actions, and strongly dislike his actions.

    If I were in Texas and met him, not as president by like so many other goobers in Texas, I would not hate him.

    I don't support hating people, period.

  7. I think you're just afraid the government will arrest you for being an enemy of the state, spreading political anti-government sentiment.

    Now you're trying to cover your @$$ because you're scared.

    You can't get out of it, Z10, everyone knows you're anti-USA / anti-Bush / anti-government and that you try to invoke hatred of the US government.

    You should be locked away for being weird.


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  8. You are even dumber than it appears, if you think Bush is America...

    Bush is the temporary custodian of the presidency, nothing more.

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