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Monday, July 08, 2002
Matt Welch -who once left a comment on this blog in response to a May 31 entry- has a piece in Saturday's edition of National Post that is clearly and correctly titled "Dubya losing the benefit of the doubt: Moratorium on Bush-bashing is over."
Although he doesn't do a whole lot of original reporting, Welch is clear that he is talking about "non-Republican supporters" of Bush starting to criticize him. What he doesn't follow up, perhaps out personal bias and since this is a column as opposed to a news article this isn't a problem, is how the politics of these critics shapes their critiques. To put it bluntly, they are only concerned about whether or Bush is effectively fighting terrorism from the standpoint that the most effective way to fight terrorism is to wage a war and institute more agressive law enforcement.
This means they probably aren't going to criticize Bush for planning to attack Iraq while curtailing civil liberties, unless the basis of this criticism is that such actions are undermining support for the "war on terror" and they are unlikely to make such cricisms because attacking other countries and limiting civil liberties is the MO of this war so if those methods are losing support, the popularity of the whole war is losing support. These individuals believe the war as it is currently being waged is just and the only question is whether or not Bush is doing an effective job of waging it.
But this of course is only a very narrow criticism of the war. There are those who since September 11 have made criticisms of both the means and intentions of how the Bush and company have responded to the events and aftermath of that day. Welch is aware of these critics as a quick glance at his "war blog" -currently on hiatus more of less although he did link to the story in question on Saturday- and the pieces he has written on the topic will show but he doesn't mention them.
Why they were left out is not clear. Perhaps Welch merely feels they are out of the scope of the piece -that is most logical explanation- but none of this changes one simple fact. When Welch declares the "Moratorium on Bush-bashing is over," he isn't talking about all criticism, just acceptable criticism.