How Bush and his merry band of draft-dodging miscreants came to be seen as strong, steady, or courageous continues to escape me. Spiegel Online reports (link via
During his trip to Germany on Wednesday, the main highlight of George W. Bush's trip was meant to be a "town hall"-style meeting with average Germans. But with the German government unwilling to permit a scripted event with questions approved in advance, the White House has quietly put the event on ice.


Neither the White House nor the German Foreign Ministry has offered any official explanation, but Foreign Ministry sources say the town hall meeting has been nixed for scheduling reasons -- a typical development for a visit like this with many ideas but very little time. That, at least, is the diplomats' line. Behind the scenes, there appears to be another explanation: the White House got cold feet. Bush's strategists felt an uncontrolled encounter with the German public would be too unpredictable.
Again we must note the difference between strength and power; Bush may have the power to control his environment, to tame it into something weak and deferential, but he lacks strength. It takes a strong man to face his detractors and address their criticisms; what bravery is there in avoidance of the same? Such pusillanimous evasion is indicative of nothing but cowardice and insecurity, neither of which are attributes I am particularly proud to see exhibited by my president.

It’s always easier being part of the firing squad than the poor bastard facing them, but if you’re tough enough to take your nation to war, you ought to be tough enough to stand on either side of the line, cowboy.

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