george bush, baby killer and snow snorter?

There’s a quiet storm brewing, and like Hurricane Frances, it’s taking its time and gathering strength. At the eye of the storm is the question of whether bush paid to provide an abortion for his girlfriend in 1971. (Abortions were illegal at the time.)

Several of the big to-the-left bloggers are picking up on it, and moderate-left voice of reason Mark Kleiman today offers a reasoned and sensible argument for pursuing this if the story is true.

Mr. Bush has said that he thinks abortion is murder. Is an accessory to murder really fit to be President, no matter how much he now regrets it? Moreover, he thinks that it should be illegal. The fact that, when it was illegal, he helped arrange one is certainly relevant to his character.

I should have added what it should be unnecessary to add: that raising this issue, however ethically troubling if the story is true, would be flat-out wrong if it were false. (The same goes for the drinking question.) Telling inconvenient truths is one thing; telling lies is another. There’s no need for the opponents of President Bush (who doesn’t think America can win the war on terror) to descend to the level of his allies.

My correspondent also notes that, if the story breaks, Kerry should denounce it. Of course he should. He should say, “If this account is false, it’s despicable, just like the false charges Mr. Bush’s allies have been making about my war record. Even if it’s true, the issue in this campaign isn’t Mr. Bush’s private conduct thirty years ago, it’s the mess he’s made over the past four years.”

Another gathering storm is bush’s coke-snorting days. (I love the line by DC satirist Mark Russell, “He was born with a silver spoon in his nose.”) Since it’s now okay to go after crap from 30+ years ago, this is definitely fair game. After all, people have been sent to jail for decades for committing this crime, for which bush pushed for higher jail terms in Texas. Why should the Boy Emperor be allowed to just shrug and say, “Well, I was a bum back then?”

Tragically, all of this takes us away from the issues that really matter to Americans, the economy and Iraq. This kind of stuff is a waste of everyone’s time. But is there a choice? Kerry is being personally assaulted on all fronts for issues more than 30 years old, most of them false and with no relevance to the voters today. We can take the high road and stick to the relevant issues and lose, or fight back with everything we’ve got — if it’s true (a major distinction between us and them). Evidence of bush’s irresponsibility, immaturity and deceitfulness is low-hanging friuit, there for the picking. Lying isn’t necessary.

Then there’s the awol story, given a new lease on life by the GOP focusing on what Kerry was doing 30 years ago. Surely we wouldn’t want any double standards, would we? No, this has to be reopened and gone over with the an electron microscope, like Kerry’s medals. It’s only fair, right? Ben Barnes will be on 60 Minutes next week I think, explaining how he got shrub into the ANG.

Update: Just as a humorous aside, here’s what Secretary of State Colin Powell has to say about draft-dodgers who hid out in the Guard like shrub:

In Secretary of State Colin Powell’s autobiography, My American Journey,
he says, “I am angry that so many of the sons of the powerful and
well-placed managed to wangle slots in the Army Reserve and National
Guard units… Of the many tragedies of Vietnam, this raw class
discrimination strikes me as the most damaging to the ideal that all
Americans are created equal and owe equal allegiance to their country.”

The Discussion: 10 Comments

I confess a strong admiration for Colin Powell. I have always felt that he ought to be where Bush is today – Maybe the world would have been a better place today if that had been the case. Regretably Powell declined the opportunity to stand as the GOP presidential candidate, out of respect for, I understand, his wife’s wish.

Yes, Kerry ought to and undoubtedly will rise above the Bush type of ethics, or lack of.

September 5, 2004 @ 10:10 pm | Comment

On the otherhand, a Bush victory is oddly compelling, in a reality-tv trainwreck kind of way.

“Which Middle-Eastern nation will he invade next? Tune in next week…”

September 5, 2004 @ 10:52 pm | Comment

Michael, I couldn’t agree with you more, watching another four or so years of Bush would be interesting to say the least.

I wonder what the odds at the betting shop are on Iran or Syria being next, world opinion certainly holds that with each heavy handed response America get less safe not more because Bush fuels terrorist recruitment faster than he depletes terrorist’s existing forces.

As for the abortion story, pure mud, true or not, if people really cared about this then they should have brought it up a long time ago instead of waiting until it would be sensationalised.

I doubt that anything that Bush did or didn’t do would get a fair hearing during the elections, or Kerry for that matter.

It’s odd that people don’t bring up baby murders or bogus war stories until the election isn’t it.

September 5, 2004 @ 11:53 pm | Comment

Depends on the axis of evil – Cheney, Rumsfeld and that mastermind of them all, Wolfowitz.

If they’re still around, especially No 3, Iran is in for it.

If Bush dumps them, as he ought to, he may even turn out to be a most likeable President like Reagan.

September 6, 2004 @ 4:31 am | Comment

If Reagan was so likeable, then why did he employ this same group of scoundrels?

For those that respect military protocol there is this as well and if you dig in the bluelemur archives you’ll find the series they’ve done decoding those Bush military records which were destroyed/not destroyed.

September 6, 2004 @ 8:14 am | Comment

It’s the frame of reference. Having those guys around was probably a good thing, when you’re fighting a cold war.

Realistically, though, even Bush wouldn’t be stupid enough to pick on Iran while Iraq is still a mess and tensions are soaring in the Taiwan straights. Notice the withdrawing of troops from Europe? At least he’s doing something right.

September 6, 2004 @ 4:32 pm | Comment

Reagan was a while lot smarter than Bush – he could keep them under control. Reagan also resorted to bluff (Star Wars) and dealings (Iran) more than simply falling for BS, that has led to deployment of young men and women in strange land for nothing. Admittedly it was then a different world. But that’s why.

Sometimes, the way out of the mess in Iraq to some people (such as Wolfowitz) could well be seen as further adventures in Iran – nothing like a fresh crusade against the ugly muslims, and no Muslim is more easily portrayed as ‘ugly’ to an American than an Ayatollah-led Iranian. So the Iraqi experience may not necessarily be an impediment to intentions for, and actions against Iran.

September 6, 2004 @ 6:47 pm | Comment

No. Bush and crew has bigger fish to fry.

Case in point: operation Summer Pulse. The ability to project seven carrier groups anywhere in the world? Why would you need that, against Iran? It’s like using missiles to hunt rabbits.

Case 2: proposal of withdrawal of troops from Europe and Asia. Except the troops in Asia are being ‘withdrawn’ to Guam – which is right next door.

Nay. Bush is bracing for the Taiwan scenario.

Note that I am not trying to say he’s going to start anything, there. Nobody’s stupid enough to do that. He’s just prepared. And he should be.

Bloody stupid of Kerry to be against it.

September 7, 2004 @ 12:18 am | Comment

Nations don’t go to war for no reasons – besides defence, that would usually be national interest – eg. control of vital resources, or routes to facilitate flow of such resources, or states that can have an effect of such resources (buffet sttaes, threats, etc)

What would be the significance of Taiwan to the national interest of the USA, compared to oil-rich Iran, with an hostile Muslim leadership with possible Islamist terrorist links, and a geographically close threat to Saudi Arabia and Israel, the former being another area of vital national interest to the US.

September 7, 2004 @ 12:37 am | Comment

Dude, dude…

Taiwan is much, MUCH more important strategically. See my other post re the Jiang-Hu struggle.

September 7, 2004 @ 1:38 am | Comment

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