Friday, September 03, 2004

Bush's speech

I suppose I ought to say a word or two about last night's speech.

Like many others, I thought the first half was a bit too laundry list-ish, but that the second half was outstanding. I think he clearly laid out his rationale for going to war, and even though you might disagree, I don't see how anyone could accuse him of rushing into the war.

Relatedly, I think any honest observer who watched him speak about meeting wounded soldiers and the families of soldiers who gave their lives in the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq can possibly say that he acted in anything but good faith. Look at the man! He's a decent man! Don't tell me that he's a cold-hearted liar who just wants to line the pockets of his oil buddies... he did what he had to because he believed it was necessary for the security of our nation. You can think he was wrong, but there's no way you can honestly tell me that he acted dishonestly.

Among the many reactions, I'd like to note that of the Vodkapundit, Stephen Green, a libertarian blogger with whom I don't share a lot in common, in terms of worldview. But I think he's reaction is spot on in many ways, and I want to quote part of it:

    There was no overriding theme to President Bush’s speech, except for the unspoken one: “This is who I am.” No, wait -- let me amend that. The unspoken theme was, “This is who we are.” As Americans.

    For all its faults, for all its overtly- and overly-religious tones, this small-l libertarian prefers George Bush’s America to John Kerry’s. I don’t care for NASCAR. I’m not much for country music, Sundays at church, blue-eyed soul, or faith-based initiatives.

    But Bush made me feel welcome all the same. No, wait – let me amend that statement, too. Bush made me feel like his place is somewhere I’d like to spend some time and get to know the locals. You know -- down a few beers, chat up the natives and learn their quaint customs.

    I don’t feel as welcome, as at home, in the America Kerry painted for us tonight.

    I’ll repeat something I said earlier.

    Forget the war. Forget policy. Forget everything but two men who want something from me. Kerry could never have joked about the way he walks – or made any other joke at his own expense. Bush can, and did. That's a guy comfortable in his own skin, and that's a guy I'd give something to, before the other guy. I'm pretty sure a lot of people recognize that, even if only instinctively. In other words, my gut tells me to vote for Bush.

    My brain does, too.

Bush was apparently clueless and driftless for much of his adult life, until he was 40. I think that when he woke up, he wanted to make up for his time and serve, and I think that's a big part of what led him to seek the presidency, including his second term.

He's got my vote, now more than ever.

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