Friday, July 23, 2004

Does Bush feel any regret about not having done better?

In "There was no way Bush could have won." I talked about why Bush can't possibly be re-elected. One is that 9/11 happened on his watch.

The idea that Bush should hold himself in some sense responsible for 9/11 seems not to have received much attention. I don't understand why.

In saying that Bush should publicly accept responsibility I'm not arguing that a formal trial-like process would pin the blame directly on him.

What I am saying is that the event happened while he was in charge. We know that it could have been avoided, and it wasn't. Whether Bush should formally be held to a standard that assigns blame to him for incompetence is not the point. He should hold himself to such a standard.

Why has he not spoken to the American people and expressed remorse that he didn't do better. He certainly might have done better. Doesn't he regret that he didn't do better? Why haven't we heard about any regret he may feel?

Bush likes to talk about values. One of the basic elements of values is holding oneself to a high standard. Does he? It doesn't seem so. As quoted in the previous piece, when asked about his reaction to the Presidential Daily Briefing (PDB) entitled 'Bin Ladin Determined To Strike in US,' Bush said that the PDB didn't have enough information for him to take any action. Perhaps it did; perhaps it didn't. But certainly from hindsight, we would have been much better off had he acted. Why hasn't he expressed any regret about not having acted? Does he feel any regret?

Richard Clarke, when testifying before the 9/11 commission said
"Your government failed you, and I failed you. ... We tried hard, but that doesn't matter because we failed."
Why haven't we heard anything remotely resembling such a statement from Bush?

Instead, in mid October 2001, we get the following from OMB director Mitch Daniels while talking about how Bush was justifying breaking his campaign promise not to run a deficit.
"[Bush] had always listed, throughout his campaign and since, the reasons ... he had given as acceptable for running fiscal deficits: for war, recession, or emergency. As he said to me in mid-September, 'Lucky me. I hit the trifecta.'"

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