Sunday :: Feb 27, 2005

Ain't Sayin' It's So Joe


by pessimist

I was going to write about the sorry performance of Joe Biden on Meet The Press this morning, but MSNBC seems to be uninterested in providing transcripts, inviting us instead to buy them from Burrell's. As the expense of such a purchase is beyond the means of The Left Coaster, I'm forced to fall back on another post.

But before I do, allow me to make the comment I intended to make about Biden:

Forget about running for president, Joe.

On to other topics.

Despite the emergence of bloggers as an acceptable additional news and commentary source, the MSM [MainStream Media to you non-cognoscenti] is still up to its old tricks. Despite a relatively friendly piece of reportage provided by former Dean staffer Joe Trippi, note how MSNBC plays with the headlines as a means of spinning his article in Bu$h'$ favor:

Europe warms to Bush
European headlines reflect mixed reactions to the U.S. president's visit

"Isn't that special!" exclaims the Red State Headliner bird. "Old Europe is finally coming around to follow Owwer Leedur!"

"Bu$h didn't do as well as he hoped," muses the Blue State Newsline Scanner bird. "Some in Europe still look askance upon him and his policies."

So which is the real story?

Let's find out:

London, England - It is clear that President Bush is indeed enjoying a warmer reception in Europe, particularly from Europe’s leaders, than he has at any other time in his presidency. The papers of Europe are full of warm headlines and quotes regarding President Bush and his latest visit to Brussels and beyond. Today, the headline in The Times of London proclaims "Leaders accentuate the positive". The paper suggests President Bush scored points with the German people.

But something else has changed as well. Just one page from The Times story celebrating the newfound warmth for President Bush is a more troubling story with the headline "Germans believe debt of gratitude has been settled".


"Today 70 percent of 30 to 44 year-olds in Germany say they have no debt of gratitude to the U.S." writes Mariam Lau (considered by The Times to be one of Germany’s shrewdest commentators). She also says that "Never in the history of the United States was anti-Americanism so broadly spread and so deeply anchored as today."


So as Europe’s leaders work to warm their relations with the U.S., the people of Europe don’t seem to give a damn.

Europe is full of politicians — politicians who will fan the flames of anti-Americanism if it serves their purposes or helps in their own election efforts. Chancellor Schroder did just that in his 2002 campaign to boost himself at the expense of his relationship with our government. Political parties will fan the flames of anti-Bushism for their own benefit, in an attempt to defeat those in other European parties who supported America, even if they did not always agree with how Bush implemented policy.

I have always believed that President Bush means it when he chooses the path of 'go it alone' America, but I keep hoping I am wrong. Therein seems to be the confusion in Europe as well. I find myself in Europe rooting for Bush as president of the United States to succeed, but he seems to have a tin ear for this stuff.

When asked by the German media if he would reaffirm his father’s pledge to make Germany a partner in leadership (as President George Herbert Walker Bush had proclaimed during the struggle to unify East and West Germany), our current President Bush’s response was extraordinary: “Germany, he said, was a welcome partner, but not a co-leader,” he said.

You can not make this stuff up. Why could he not just say “Germany is a welcome partner”?

Later today I’ll visit my favorite English pub and raise a toast to my president — to the hope that he shows a better understanding of what “a full partnership” really means.

My second toast will be in hopes that he really wants one.

President Bush may have succeeded with some of Europe’s leaders on this trip, but to really succeed Bush has to project that Europe is a full partner in moving forward. The leaders of Europe can only move as far as the people will let them.

If the people believe that Bush wants to continue to go it alone, they will be inclined to let him and America do just that.

You know, Joe, for a guy who tried to unseat the Chimporer last year, you sure are starting to sound like a couple of other Democratic Joes [Lieberaman and Biden] who have lost favor with (at least) this Web pundit! Your sympathetic [to Bu$h] presentation of the European opinion situation ignores the reasons that the European leaders are being so cordial to the man who snubbed and insulted them for not joining the war (which you yourself have expressed opposition to in the past) while their populations are open in their disdain for the Cowboy pResident. The real story was there. You missed it.

Maybe Howard Dean knew what he was doing when he let you go last year after all.


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