Are things getting worse? Really?

I listened to about 10 minutes of the Mark Davis Show this morning. I used to listen to Mark all the time and appreciated his straightforward, relatively fair dealing with issues.

This morning I learned that there had been booing of George W. Bush during the inauguration. I agree wholeheartedly with Mark (and the caller) that such atrociously inappropriate.

But then they went on to lament the incivility that has been heaped upon President Bush during his tenure in office. They agreed that Bush had been treated worse than any other president.

I can’t agree with this. I remember fairly clearly how poroly Clinton (or, more accurately, the Clintons) were treated by some throughout his time in office. I don’t think Bush has been treated any worse by the left than Clinton was by the right.

Do you?

9 thoughts on “Are things getting worse? Really?

  1. Including the world media – yes- I do think President Bush was treated worse than any other President.
    Did he make a LOT of mistakes -yes- but that does not make him worthy of the disdain he received in all sectors of the media, or its counterparts that tried to exonerate him and crown him King. I have a hard time with it, because I support the President, and I realized that when I started down the road of vilifying Clinton in my mind. I can choose to disagree with his position, and sometimes do. But on the whole, this is our president and we need to find the ways to encourage, correct, and affirm the work that is done. Too often we want to condemn, degrade, and discourage the President. Maybe we just need to treat them like we do children who need to be corrected in their behavior…it seems to have worked much better for MLK, Jr and Gandhi than the current streak of verbally abusing the choices and actions of the President.
    At any rate…here’s to the President

  2. The moment one innocent person lost their life to a war that is becoming more clear by the day was spearheaded by the Bush administrations love affair with oil, Bush deserved every last piece of criticism he received.

  3. It’s really tough to say. I’ve never been a fan of Bush, but often times during his tenure, I would reflect on his simple humanity. I do think that his lack of respect for or civility towards other leaders/international players–or for the citizens of the country he claimed to rule–created an atmosphere where incivility was about the only way to express our collective displeasure.

    As much as I love Gandhi, MLK, and look to them as models of positive, civil social change, it sure can get dreary when the machine crushes (or ignores) any attempt at civil protest.

    I agree with David on the child rearing analogy…Bush needed a good spanking or time out…but was about as unruly as the kids who end up getting left at the fire stations in Omaha–no amount of socially acceptable discipline, no amount of civil discussion or protest would do anything to get him to change his behaviour.

    As soon as the twin towers came down, i had a creeping fear that all forms of dissent would be quickly squashed as unamerikan, and apparently those fears were not unfounded. In fact, as time went on, it only got worse. At all campaign stops, conventions, etc., any protests could either be sequestered to areas of town where they were effectively not heard or seen, or peaceful protesters could be arrested because of the perceived fear of the president and his uber-security platform. Shoot first, ask questions later…

    For eight years, and all the cries falling on deaf ears, let that bastard hear us now. I prefer civility, but booing, while less that civil, is still probably far short of what he deserves.

  4. I don’t know that anyone really deserves ALL the criticism they get.

    At the same time, most of us carry hidden things that are never revealed.

    When a person sets themselves in front of others as any kind of leader, they should expect for their actions & words to focused on, weighed, measured, & commented upon. This goes for us in ministerial roles as well.

    As far as the political commentary on Bush & Clinton:
    Clinton’s major issue came down to a person indiscretion. Bad for him a person, of little consequence to us as a nation.
    Bush repeatedly pursued flawed courses of action that have created or exacerbated troubled issues that affected our nation as a whole and have cost some individuals even their lives.

  5. Back during the Clinton days a pollster called and asked, “Do you approve of Hilary Clinton?” I told them I didn’t understand the question. So they repeated it. I said I understood the words, but couldn’t grasp why they would ask me the question, why I should or should not approve of Mrs. Clinton, why my approval or disapproval mattered to anyone, or whether I was approving of her mere existence as a human, some perspective she took on life or governance, or some action she had taken. So the pollster said, “So I can take that as ‘You don’t approve of her?'” I told the pollster my approval of Hilary was irrelevant – but I DID disapprove of the poll.

  6. Seriously? yeah I think Bush was treated far worse by the media than the Clinton’s were. Yes you have a few far right radio shows that went too far with Clinton. But from the very beginning except for a few short months after 9/11, nothing Bush did, from his polices to his pronunciation was correct in the eyes of the media.

  7. Well said, Michael Honza.

    My view: There are a variety of reasons why, say, Halle Berry is “treated well” by the beauty magazines, and, say, Amy Winehouse is “vilified” by the pop-culture media. But the *main* reasons are that the former is physically very beautiful, and the latter is prone to erratic, public displays of socially unacceptable behavior.

    Likewise, Bill Clinton was treated generally well by the mainstream media, as was Ronald Reagan, because these men were (for most of their two terms each) effective executive officers. And, they were respected BY the media because they in their turn showed respect FOR the media.

    Not only has George W. Bush never shown respect for the media (just read anything recent by Scott McClellan, his former press secretary), but he has been in over his head as an executive leader of the “world’s most powerful nation” since day one — and it is not mean-spirited for the media to reflect this. Indeed, it would be a travesty if they painted a different picture. And, in fact, to some extent they have done just that. For example, I have never seen a media response that was more unquestioning than the response to our going to war against Iraq. Every news channel I saw treated it as if it were simply a pep rally, a sporting event, an opportunity only to show support, regardless of the circumstances. It was shameful. Contrary to what those folks said on the Mark Davis show, Steve, in my opinion Bush has been treated MORE kindly by the media than he deserved. I became convinced of this in part after watching some of his speeches and press conferences on C-SPAN (unfiltered) and then reading press reports about those same events later. They would “quote” him, but they would correct his horrific grammar, and they’d ignore his gaffes and errors. You’d have to rely on Jon Stewart or Michael Moore to get the full picture of what happened — and then pro-Bush people would say that those guys were just being mean or unfair. What’s so unfair about reporting the whole truth?

    If Bush has indeed been treated worse than any other president, then, I say, there’s a precise reason for that.

  8. Michael,
    I just don’t understand this radical bifurcation of the public and private spheres of morality. It makes no sense.
    I believe all presidents recieve undue criticism and undo credit.

  9. The difference between public and private morality has to do with what they were hired (elected) to do.

    Suppose we have a mechanic that we use to repair our cars.

    Do we still use him if we find out that he looks at porn & is an alcoholic?
    I could.

    Now suppose we find out that he launders money through his shop and buys weapons for a drug dealer.
    I would not.

    Does that explain the difference enough to make sense?

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