Thursday, June 17, 2004

Mark Steyn misses the Great Communicator

Although he likes Bush, Mark Steyn wishes he were as well-spoken as Reagan:
I feel a bit like a guy who’s been dating a pleasant lady in the office for a couple of years and suddenly bumps into the gal he always adored in high school. As readers will know, I’m very supportive of George W. Bush, especially on the foreign policy front. But it was unfortunate that a week of 24/7 Ronald Reagan greatest hits on the cable networks should have had to stop once or twice a day to cross to a blinking, groggy Dubya at some G8 press conference with a duplicitous pseudo-ally going round in circles on Iraq for the umpteenth time. Bush is a great and remarkable president and, between Normandy and G8 and the UN, he actually had a very good week. But gosh, it’s hard not to miss the Gipper...
Bush has set himself a similar challenge — to remake the Middle East. I think he can do it. He’s played a shrewd hand with both fractious Iraqi politicians and devious UN diplomats and he’s seen off Chirac, but at home there’s undeniably a rhetorical shortfall, as there was in his Reagan eulogy. He could use some Reaganesque clarity and toughness, plus a little more lyricism in the patriotic uplift. But one of the problems with the Bush Administration is that they think they’re so good at walking the walk they don’t have to bother talking the talk. Wrong. Last week conservatives were reminded of everything they’ve missed these last ten years. Never glad confident ‘Morning In America’ again? Your call, Dubya.

It's hard to disagree with Steyn. On the whole, I agree with what Bush is doing and what he's trying to do. I think that too often he refuses to make the strong arguments he needs to make, preferring to let his actions speak for themselves. If the media were the bastion of truth and objectivity it makes itself out to be, that might work. But it's not. Even without the transparent liberal bias, all too often its quest for sensationalism and bad news would keep it from reporting on what's really going on. I'm just glad blogs are taking up some of the slack.

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