Monday, November 13, 2006

We Should'a Read the Book

For my money, Bob Schieffer of CBS is the embodiment of what a television journalist should be; even handed and headed, intuitive without being arrogant, scrupulous. In the few times he expresses his opinions they are easily distinguishable from news, the way it should be and often isn't, and you find credibility in his commentary even if you don't agree with it.

But Sunday, on Face the Nation, he ran sideways of the past.

He opined that in the changed clime -- the result of the infamous midterm Dem power grab -- Bush “must return to his roots.” His governmental roots. The ones that served him so well in Texas, Schieffer said.

Pointing out that when switching from state government to a national campaign, Bush left his moderate roots on the advise of GOP handlers to cater to the party’s right end base and stayed there. Schieffer used Bush’s bi-partisan success in Texas as a starting point if not a blueprint for the next two years, saying GW could “accomplish more by bringing people together than driving wedges between them.”

‘Course, this is working on the assumption Bush did a fine job in Texas.

I sincerely hope there are not a lot of people who believe there was success in Texas, but I fear they are.

As promised in an earlier post, here is an excerpt from Molly Ivins’ and Lou Dubose’s 2005 book, Bushwhacked, Life in George W. Bush’s America. On the subject of Texas immediately post-GW:

"After Bush left, we had us a little spate of what we call ree-form. The 2001 session of the Texas Legislature had to clean up some of the mess Governor Bush left behind. A conservative Republican senator from Dallas introduced a bill to rescind the $2.9 billion tax cut Bush passed. The voluntary-emissions law written by an industry lobbyist was replaced by a law that compels polluting industries to clean up. A hate-crimes bill that includes protections for gays and lesbians (that was the deal-buster for Bush) passed both houses and was signed by the Republican who took over as governor here after the Supreme Court appointed Bush president. Roadblocks to Medicaid, in a state with the nation’s highest percentage of poverty, were eliminated…"

That's just a small sampling. And remember, in Texas he hadn't gone to war with anyone, at least not for the record. There's lots more we should be aware of. Ivins' works are a start.
There is no better, or longer, observer of Texas politics and the effects on Texans than Ivins. And Ivins would certainly take issue with Schieffer.

In the introduction to Bushwhacked, Ivins invokes her and Dubose’s 1999 book, Shrub : The Short but Happy Political Life of George W. Bush that covered GW’s six-year stint as Texas governor. She says they were tempted to begin Bushwhacked by observing, “If y’all had’ve read the first book, we wouldn’t’ve had to write this one.”

That didn’t make the title, or the first line. However, it is in the introduction.

The trouble’s not over yet, folks.

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