Another example of what speaking clearly and carrying a big stick means in the political world is brought to us by way of The Belgravia Dispatch (hat tip to American Digest for the pointer).
In Bush we do not have an intellectual who sets dinner companions atwitter on the Left Bank and Islington; but, and putting it plainly, we have someone who is not a bullshiter (like his predecessor, who was an unusually good one). He walks the walk. And people know it (I have a friend who was recently deep in the Amazon. An Indian, in a primitive and remote hamlet, said he was scared of Bush's electoral victory. Why? Because he really means what he says came the response, ie more wars could be in the offing the Latin American, lefist-infused thinking went). Chuckle at my feverish cheerleading in trotting out such vignettes. But the fact is that when a typical President might have said something like "I call on the great and proud nation of Egypt to bla bla" the typical reaction in Cairene ministries would have been to ignore the prattle deeming it was meant mostly for domestic consumption. Not this time; as Mubarak felt compelled to start pushing forward real reforms. Again, Bush is judged to really mean it. The Saudis ostensibly get this too--despite all the Mooerian distortions of the House of Saud's relationship with the Bushies. And, of course, there was the specter of millions of Iraqis risking very life and limb to vote in convincing number. This too is Bush's legacy--the bad WMD intel aside. It took boots on the ground to have those elections come off (even if we didn't have enough at critical junctures allowing the insurgency to fester). Look, anyone who thinks Bush's forward-leaning posture on the entire democratization issue has had no impact on the Lebanese filling the streets of downtown Beirut are in denial of reality; or rabidly partisan fools, or both.(Recognize yourself there, Ed Kilgore?)
Previous related posts:
The No-Nuance President
He Really Doesn't Do Nuance
Which Would You Rather Have in a President?