Sunday, August 15, 2004
Ugh. I know it's the Daily Indefiskable and all, but this is approaching absurdity even by their bottomfeeder standards:

Bush accused of exploiting hurricane in Florida as he offers aid to disaster area

By David Usborne in Orlando

On closer reading, I wonder if the by-line should have been separated at all. Perhaps it was really meant as a continuation to the headline. Because, try as I might, I can't find a single instance of anyone quoted in the article that accuses Bush of exploiting anything. The closest we come is here:
"The most politically useful trips of all are the, quote, 'non-political' ones," commented Larry Sabato, a professor of political science at the University of Virginia. "Presidents never look better than when they appear to be acting decisively in situations such as these."
What Prof. Sabato says is perfectly true, but far from "accusing" anyone, he merely offers statements of fact. Yes, of course a President looks good when offering aid to disaster victims -- who doesn't? One has to make quite a leap to read into this that Bush is nakedly using suffering people for his own political purposes. In fact, the accusation is much easier to level against Usborne, who twists a perfectly ordinary Presidential visit to help people who have lost everything into a sinister ploy, all for the benefit of his half-baked political "theories."

I hate to break this to anyone, but not everything done by a sitting President is a calculated political ploy. Just because Bush has a corn muffin with his dinner is not an indication of trying to appeal to Midwestern farmers, and eating waffles for breakfast is not a dig at John Kerry. It is perfectly right and expected for a President to visit the hurricane-ravaged state of Florida, to use federal resources to provide relief, and to praise the aid workers who helped out the victims. If you're going to insist that this is all just an attempt to turn a disaster to political advantage, then first please make sure you're not merely projecting.

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