The Goatherd

One of the more notorious examples of the hysterical overreaction of critics overcome by their hatred of George W. Bush was their harping on him taking a few minutes to finish reading a children’s book (The Pet Goat) to a classroom full of second-graders on the fateful morning of September 11 after getting the first news of the day’s terror attacks. But if you’ve ever had children, you may appreciate TIME Magazine’s look back at that incident through the eyes of some of the kids in that classroom – then 7 year olds, now teenagers – who were glad for Bush’s calming presence in reading to them on that most insane of mornings.
As Ace notes, while Bush was pilloried for waiting in that classroom for seven minutes while his security detail got in place to get him moving, Obama has been hailed as a model of swift deciveness for concluding in just sixteen hours to go forward with the operation against bin Laden. Like Ace, I’m not going to quibble over Obama taking some time to make up his mind on a major decision – you can’t argue with the results, and 16 hours isn’t like his months of indecision on the Afghan surge or weeks of agonizing while the Libyan resistance got routed – but the people who made fun of Bush for seven minutes of reading to some kids can’t very well expect to be taken seriously when they now parade Obama as a paragon of decisive action.

17 thoughts on “The Goatherd”

  1. Crank,
    Your 9/11 fetish has been showing again lately.
    While you’re re-writing history, explain to us all again why (if it’s So Important) did W make Rice his Sec. of State after she lied to the 9/11 Commission.
    I’ll be making popcorn so as to really enjoy your reply.

  2. Are you seriously comparing the moment when, in the face of the worst terrorist attack on US soil, Bush looked, acted and in every way seemed totally out of his element and Obama executing the decision to go for one of the most precarious, dangerous and, ultimately, successful military strikes known to mankind? Really? That’s where the third of these completely ridiculous threads have ended up? You should go on the Glenn Beck show at this point.

  3. What churlish nonsense. What utter sophistry. The Bush Cheney Administration was a disaster from start to finish — an intelligence failure on the scope of Pearl Harbor (followed by hours of flying around aimlessly), an economic disaster, decision “by gut” instead of “rational thought and analysis, a failure of intelligence to support an botched invasion, failure to devote resources to the real eenmy. The list goes on and on.
    Keep trying Crank, each day a new low.

  4. When the Left compare/contrast an alleged hypocrisy between treatment of Bush and Obama, you cry foul. However, you just did the same. Apples and oranges. Stop fishing for trouble. If your biggest beef against this Obama decision is merely to say it took longer to decide than Bush’s 9/11 storytime, why not man up, and just say, “Good job for AMERICA, Mr. President…” Why the unneeded partisanship on EVERY issue…?

  5. The difference between the two incidents is that Dubya is a natural leader while Obama merely portrays himself as one. Surely there was a policy already in place for how to react once Pakistan gave its OK to the reduction of bin Laden. The idea that Obama needed to sleep on the decision [that is, obtain Michelle’s approval] indicates either that he was unfamiliar with the policy or is a natural born ditherer. Or both.

  6. “The difference between the two incidents is that Dubya is a natural leader while Obama merely portrays himself as one.”
    Obama has a particular personality style – you either like it in a leader or you don’t. If you value “decisiveness,” then you were never going to like Obama. He’s analytical and fact-driven; he weighs options and alternatives. Yes, this personality style can lead to indecision if he just wants more and more facts, but so also does the “decisive” leader fail if he rushes to make a decision without enough information or forethought. It’s a coin-flip really, and has little to do with “leadership.”
    As for this particular decision, you will note that reports indicate that his advisers were divided over whether this was the time or manner to proceed, so I’m not really shocked that he would take time to mull it over a little.
    As for your point about some policy for reacting to Pakistan’s giving its OK, I have no idea what you are talking about.

  7. MVH,
    Dai Alanye lives in a world in which there are voices whispering strange conspiracy theories in his ear. Don’t waste time trying to discern his meaning. There typically isn’t one.

  8. “…Obama. He’s analytical and fact-driven; he weighs options and alternatives.”
    Right. This is the guy who campaigned on Hope and Change, among other slogans. Everything in his campaign had to do with gaining an emotional response from voters, and it must be admitted he succeeded. I congratulate Michelle for realizing how effective that could prove.
    But it was a natural choice, as Obama himself is largely emotionally driven, the primary emotion being narcissism.
    I can understand how the typical voter was swept up in the moment during late 2008, but now that we’ve seen him in action for a couple years there’s no more excuse for it. Anyone capable of looking beneath the surface should realize how small a part analysis plays in his decisions, and how badly his intelligence was overrated.
    His basic response to every problem is to let someone else do the analysis and take the actions while he slides along. It’s his life story if we look beneath the myth.

  9. His campaign message had an emotional theme – hope, change, etc., but we are talking about the way he makes decisions, which is an entirely different ball of wax. He certaintly thinks very highly of himself, which is clear from his reaction to any criticism, but that doesn’t drive his decision-making style.
    As for letting everyone else do the work, that seems more of a political calculation, not a failure of “leadership.” Obama has tried to avoid the problems the Clintons had with health care and a democratic congress. Remember what happened when Bill locked Hillary away for months, and then tried to run it through Congress? Obama did not want to shoot himself in the foot by fighting with his own party, so he left it to Congress, and he seemed more than willing to accept something less than what he wanted.

  10. You right wingnuts are all so sad. The simple truth: Proper intelligence and military training was applied in the right ways. The information was gotten, apparently in conventional ways, since, as the history of the last 6,000 years has shown, torture really only benefits the torturer, but not the receiver of needed information. And the right people went in at the right time. Across someone else’s borders, who clearly did not want this operation to proceed.
    So here are the facts wingnuts: Fact 1:Bush let bin Laden escape. You know what? It happens, I don’t really intend to come down on him for that, although had a Democrat done that, you wouldn’t stop. Fact 2: The Bush Administration disbanded the bin Laden search desk at the CIA, and let’s face it, stopped mentioning him. Fact 3: The Obama Administration revived the desk, and went after him again. Which meant pulling together all the stuff that was still gathered after the BL desk was dissolved (the search continued, but clearly on a lower priority). Fact 4: Upon receipt of the orders of the Commander in Chief, a military mission was launched across the Pakistani border, a line the Bush Administration always refused to cross (read The Unforgiving Minute for some real truths here). Fact 5: Under those orders, our men killed US Public Enemy no. 1.
    Boy the truth hurts. You would all rather a Democrat lose than the nation win. Which basically makes you a large group of traitors, doesn’t it?

  11. To be or not to be? To be a wingnut or a moonbat—that is the question.
    1. The Pakistanis had to know bin Laden was in Botta-bing-bad, and have almost certainly been hiding him since the breakout from Tora-Bora. Only the hopelessly naive would believe otherwise.
    2. Our intelligence has certainly known ObL was alive and living in Paki-land. The only question is, how long have we known?
    3. Did Dubya know? I consider it quite possible, since he was steadily more accommodating to Muslims in general the longer he held office, and no rational man would in any case want to risk a serious break with Pakistan. It has always been a question of gauging how far we could push them.
    4. It is, therefore, EXTREMELY LIKELY that Pakistan gave permission for the assassination of ObL. By way of supporting evidence, notice the dog that didn’t bark in the night. That is, the lack of military response to our attack on a site adjacent to a military base.
    5. As for the notoriously analytical BHO, the man has dodged responsibility his whole life. One swallow doesn’t make a summer, nor does one apparently forthright decision a leader make. Let’s not accept the fairytale of decisive-Barack immortalized in Dreams From My Father, nor supporting statements from the media echo chamber.
    6. On the other hand, when he invades Libya, calls for the overthrow of Assad, recognizes a government in exile for Iran, and begins to chant “Drill, Baby, drill!” I promise to make another evaluation of the man—always assuming Michelle hasn’t started attending meetings of the National Security Council.

  12. Wow, Dai. Your misogyn really can’t stay under wraps can it? Unprovoked and hallucinatory shots at the First Lady in every post.

  13. How about showing some decisiveness on ending the war in Afghanistan? With the death of bin Laden the United States has a historic opportunity to rethink its approach to a $120 billion a year war that is adding significantly to the national debt without adding to our national security. It is time to bring America’s engagement in Afghanistan back into balance with its interests there…and it can be done for far less than $120 billion a year. More and more conservatives see the struggling economy and excessive borrowing for decade-long wars as the greatest threat to America’s national security.
    Ann Coulter, for one, recognizes that this war is “bleeding us dry” with no strategic benefit. You can find Coulter’s thoughts on Afghanistan here:
    So why isn’t the Republican leadership showing decisiveness in taking a stand on wasteful spending in Afghanistan and offering a policy alternative to Obama’s failed status quo?

  14. All this arguing is missing the point. This post is of historical significance. For the first time in the history of this blog (and possibly his life), Crank is relying on statements by poor black people to make an argument.
    Never mind the inanity of comparing an immediate reaction to one event to a necessarily heavily discussed and well thought out decision. And never mind the fact that he’s relying on decade-old memories of teenagers that are directly contradicted by videotape of Bush in the classroom.
    Congrats Crank! Way to expand your group of sources!

Comments are closed.