David Broder Responds to Blogger Greenwald on ‘Propping Up’ Bush

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By: E&P Staff

Glenn Greenwald slammed David Broder today on Salon.com for his rosy assessment of the current situation for President Bush — and Broder responded hours later during an online chat on WashingtonPost.com.

“David Broder … declares that ‘President Bush is poised for a political comeback’ all because of some supposedly ingenious rhetoric and strategic tricks Bush employed in his generally ignored press conference yesterday,” Greenwald wrote in his blog post. “It really never ceases to amaze how out of touch with both American sentiment and basic reality is the Beltway pundit class — as though Americans are going to re-evaluate their fundamental dislike of the president and their contempt for this war because of some clever phrasing and political tactics Bush invoked in his press conference.”

Greenwald, known for his Unclaimed Territory blog until he started this week blogging at Salon, added: “Beltway pundits have long been petrified of the REALITY that most Americans have turned against the president permanently and with deep conviction. Because the David Broders of the world propped up the Bush presidency for so long, they are deeply invested in finding a way to salvage it. They do this exactly the same way — driven by the same motives and using the same methods — that they refuse to accept the reality that the Iraq war which they cheered on and enabled is a profound failure. …”

Broder answered back during the Post online chat. “You will find no one in the White House or on the Republican side of the House or Senate who thinks I have been propping up the Bush presidency,” said the columnist, who’s syndicated by the Washington Post Writers Group. “I have been a persistent critic of him and his policies. The notion that I am invested in him is bizarre — unless it is meant to suggest that anyone who would rather see his country and his president succeed than fail is ‘invested’ in him.”

In the column that Greenwald criticized, Broder wrote that Bush “is demonstrating political smarts that even his critics have to acknowledge,” “has been impressive in recent days,” “has been far more accessible — and responsive — to the media and public,” and “has been more candid in his responses than in the past.”

Greenwald also said: “The collapse of Bush’s approval ratings is not some isolated or fleeting event that can be reversed with a few magic tricks from Karl Rove. Americans who once vigorously supported the president have simply abandoned him over time. Contrary to Broder’s desire (masquerading as belief), the contempt with which Americans regard the Bush presidency is not some recent, fleeting, reversible phenomenon.

“Instead, the Bush presidency has been steadily collapsing over the last two-and-a-half years. … And yet all along the way, the David Broders have repeatedly insisted that Bush was on the verge of some grand ‘comeback,’ as though eventually, the poor, confused Americans would come to their senses and realize what a decent and honorable man the president really is.”

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To read Broder’s Friday column, click here.

To read Greenwald’s post click here.

To read Broder’s online chat, click here.

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