Friday, December 16, 2005

Left Coaster Attacks Warner - Washington Rolling in His Grave

Gov. Warner's recent (sliced) quote in Times Community paper (Northern VA) are now the subject of controversy by a liberal blogger. The incomplete quote in contention:

“Where I disagree with the president is not any action he took, but in an action he has not taken: His need to make an appeal to all Americans to stand up and be great,” Warner said. “After 9/11, after the war, after Katrina ... We know we have enormous challenges, and we know the problems will not be solved by a Democratic or Republican solution but by Americans stepping up and rolling up their sleeves.”

The Left Coaster angrily responds:

But if you are going to give Bush a pass in an attempt to move beyond the divisiveness and poor judgment of the last five years, then you are not going to get past the primaries.

You’re not running to be a cheerleader here governor, you’re running to show voters why the Democrats need to be returned to the White House and what they would differently to address the country’s challenges. And Stuart Smalley-platitudes like this don’t point out differences, or tell voters why they should vote Democratic in 2008. Ignoring the Bush years is not a recipe for change.

Okay, I have two problems with this blog.

1) I understand that the Left Coaster probably has a chip on his shoulder since Warner is precieved as a "centrist," but it really burns me his how he uses an incomplete quotation from Warner's speech to make the attack.

If he had bothered to do any research before blogging, he would have known exactly the full context of Warner's comments. Matter-of-fact in covering the same part of the stump speech, the Washington Post leads with the title of "Warner Faults Bush for 'Missed Opportunity.'"

Virginia Gov. Mark R. Warner (D) criticized President Bush yesterday for missing an opportunity after the 2001 terrorist attacks to rally Americans around solving some of the nation's intractable problems.

After a speech to journalists at the National Press Club in downtown Washington, Warner said that the country yearned to shed partisan differences after the attacks and come together toward a common purpose.

Virginia Gov. Mark R. Warner said that "too often, the only people . . . asked for sacrifice" have been military and National Guard members and families. Warner said Bush could have gathered support for such goals as cutting the federal deficit, increasing energy independence and aiding a struggling educational system.

"I wish and pray that it would have happened," Warner said. "Instead, what we got was that folks like me got a tax break. Most Americans are told to go about their daily lives. And, too often, the only people that were asked for sacrifice were the members and families of our active duty, Guard and Reserve."

He said Democrats across the country have "a lot of frustration" with Bush. But he said his "biggest concern with the president is not any particular policy issue. It is really that chance, I think, of missed opportunity." Entire article:

In the stump speeches I have heard, Warner takes on the Bush Administration on various policy issues. Yes, while his speech is full of policy differences with the Bush Administration, but his main attack (biggest concern) is personally directed at Bush for not calling the American people to be great. Warner is saying Bush lacks leadership as reflected by his responses to 9-11 and Katrina. Hey, Warner should know. You don't build a company like Nextel from the ground up without being able to lead and motivate people. Warner is speaking from his heart about the "single characteristic" he values most in President.

2) The other criticism is less bothersome than just blatantly misrepresenting Warner’s remarks. I sense that Warner was not "angry" enough with the President to suit the Left Coaster.

Sen. Barack Obama recently took issue with the “angry left” ascertain that Democrats need to get meaner and madder to beat the Republicans. Barack’s response is a must read for all Democrats.

And lastly, I defer to George Washington’s Farewell Address and his warning to our country about the negative effects of partisan spirit.

Let me now take a more comprehensive view, and warn you in the most solemn manner against the baneful effects of the spirit of party generally.

This spirit, unfortunately, is inseparable from our nature, having its root in the strongest passions of the human mind. It exists under different shapes in all governments, more or less stifled, controlled, or repressed; but in those of the popular form it is seen in its greatest rankness and is truly their worst enemy....

It serves always to distract the public councils and enfeeble the public administration. It agitates the community with ill-founded jealousies and false alarms; kindles the animosity of one part against another; foments occasionally riot and insurrection…

But in those of the popular character, in governments purely elective, it is a spirit not to be encouraged. From their natural tendency it is certain there will always be enough of that spirit for every salutary purpose; and there being constant danger of excess, the effort ought to be by force of public opinion to mitigate and assuage it. A fire not to be quenched, it demands a uniform vigilance to prevent its bursting into a flame, lest, instead of warming, it should consume.


If the Left Coaster wants to call Warner naive for agreeing with the greatest Virginian, then so be it. I, for one, applaud him for trying to move Americans beyond the “baneful effects.”

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