Bush, on the record:
9/13/2001: The most important thing is for us to find Osama bin Laden. It is our number one priority and we will not rest until we find him.
3/13/2002: I don't know where Bin Laden is. I have no idea and really don't care. It's not that important. It's not our priority.
8/30/2004: I don't think you can win [the war on terror].
8/31/2004: Make no mistake about it, we are winning and we will win [the war on terror].
10/3/2000: The vice president and I have a disagreement about the use of troops. He believes in nation building. I would be very careful about using our troops as nation builders.
3/6/2003: We will be changing the regime of Iraq, for the good of the Iraqi people.
5/29/2003: We found the weapons of mass destruction. We found biological laboratories...for those who say we haven't found the banned manufacturing devices or banned weapons, they're wrong, we found them.
2/7/2004: ...we haven't found stockpiles yet, and there's theories as to where the weapons went. They could have been destroyed during the war. Saddam and his henchmen could have destroyed them as we entered into Iraq. They could be hidden. They could have been transported to another country, and we'll find out.
Bush has flip-flopped on everything from the importance of "real science" in his administration to campaign finance reform. In 1978 he touted the right of a woman to choose, but in 2000 campaigned as pro-life. His campaign promises to the military and veterans remain unrealized, and his promise to not gut the social security trust is beyond a joke. He has steered this country into a "war on terror" that quickly evolved into a premeditated occupation of a country that had not attacked us.
Chris Bowers recently wrote of the importance of trust in candidate support:
I've helped out quite a few candidates who I don't really trust that much, because I can see that candidate's election as helping achieve my desired political ends in some way. Basically, if they are going to use my support for their ends, I can support them as long as their election can be used to achieve mine. However, for Presidential candidates in primaries, I need a lot more than that. As something of a public figure in progressive politics, I simply am not going to fight hard for a candidate in a primary election, I mean really try to make a positive difference on that candidate's behalf, unless I feel as though I can really trust that person on a deep level. I am not going to publicly lay myself out for someone if I believe that person will, once in office, do things I find abhorrent in a crisis, or a difficult political situation (such as mounting public pressure to invade Iraq, pass a bad trade agreement, attack immigrants, attacks the GLBT community, engage in a major corporate giveaway, etc).As did Fox News, regarding the Hilary's "tip-gate" scandal:
The Daily Kos noted on Friday: "A silly issue? Sure. But a mistake . . . ." The Australian Broadcasting Corporation referred to the whole thing as "trivialities."Trust is indeed a major force in candidate backing, especially when that candidate has inspired you to support them with not only your vote, but your time and energy. But trust also has long term effects on a party as a whole, some of which we are beginning to see. Seriously, Fox would have us decide the future of our country on a restaurant tip gaffe?
But it is not a silly or trivial issue. The perceived cover-ups surely gave the story much more coverage and made what might have just been a simple oversight look much worse, and the issue is a lot deeper than just Clinton using the waitress as a campaign prop.
What if, for the sake of argument, Hillary Clinton decided not to pay the tip? Why would this be so upsetting? Because tipping has to do with trust.
Democrats speak of protecting American soldiers from unnecessary engagement, defending our civil-liberties, and regaining our position as a world leader. In doing so, they have gained the ear of the nation once again. The GOP priorities are so out of whack, they can't decide whether to back the Mitt-Flop or Mr. 9-11, and their noise-machine (FOX) wants us to focus on restaurant tipping. While Democrats debate issues, the Republicans are one-upping each other on torture techniques and bat-shit crazy endorsements.
The 2008 election is going to be about more than Democrat or Republican. It is our chance to reclaim our country from these political indecencies, this media representation, and this President's failures. We'll choose well this time, no doubt, but the lessons of the last 8 years deserve the pages of a thousand history books.
(sources: debates.org and americanprogressaction.org)