Just why did George H.W. Bush ever imagine that it would be a good thing for him to give his oldest son his rolodex and his blessing to run for president?
The Carpetbagger reports:
Carpetbagger Report: Diplomacy still isn't his strong point: At a press conference in Vienna, Austria, this morning, a reporter, speaking to the president, noted that only 14% of Austrians believe the United States is good for peace and more British citizens see Bush's policies as a destabilizing force in the world than Iran's. The reporter asked Bush to explain why, from his perspective, he's failed to win over the Europeans' "hearts and minds."
Time for the president to go into diplomatic mode, right? Turn on the charm? Well, not exactly.
"Look, people didn't agree with my decision on Iraq. And I understand that. For Europe, September the 11th was a moment; for us it was a change of thinking.... "I believe in the universality of freedom. Some don't. I'm going to act on my beliefs so long as I'm the president of the United States. Some people say, 'It's OK to condemn people to tyranny.' I don't believe it's OK to condemn people to tyranny, particularly those of us who live in the free societies."
He's quite a diplomat, isn't he?... He uses the exact same baseless, straw-men demagoguery against his critics in Europe as he does against his critics in the U.S. If you disagree with Bush, you don't understand 9/11 and you want to condemn people to tyranny. Where have I heard that before?
As for Bush's standing in Europe, I had foolishly assumed that he couldn't get any less popular. The president, once again, is able to go well beyond my expectations.