Still Pissed Off About the Hawley-Smoot Tariff

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Surprise! Bush is Religious

Drudge is reporting an excerpt from a Washington Times interview with President Bush, in which he says, "I don't see how you can be president without a relationship with the Lord."

Neal Boortz expects the crap to hit the fan over that statement, and is quick to emphasize (as did Drudge) that the President also said, "I fully understand that the job of the president is and must always be protecting the great right of people to worship or not worship as they see fit."

Will the crap hit the fan? I don't see how it possibly could. This is not news, by any stretch of the imagination. Maybe I should check the Kos and Atrios types before making such a guess, but seriously, people have been objecting to this very same point for four years now. Why would their objections be any more prominent or vehement this time around?

But as long as I'm on the subject, I read a while back that someone counted the number of times Clinton mentioned God while speaking publicly, and compared it to Bush. It seems Clinton mentioned God more frequently than Bush, and (no one will be surprised) no one seemed to care. Why is that, do you suppose? Just another liberal double-standard? Maybe, but I think that what's more important is that no one ever took Clinton seriously. When Bush mentions God, everyone knows he's being serious. When Clinton mentioned God, everyone read it as political posturing, creating a persona.

The reason I think that's the dominant motivation is because I've seen it operating elsewhere. Consider this exchange on Instapundit from last October (scroll down to "still more"):

Andrew Sullivan writes: "The usually even-keeled Instapundit says that Kerry's 'position on gay marriage is the same as the President's.' I can't see how that's even remotely the case."
Well, it was
this Kerry statement that led to my conclusion:
"The president and I have the same position, fundamentally, on gay marriage. We do. Same position."
Call me crazy, but I took that to mean that they had the same position. Since it was a Kerry statement, I should have realized that I was probably missing out on a crucial nuance. My bad.

What's going on there? Andrew Sullivan has ears, doesn't he? Of course, but no one ever believed Kerry when he said it (and Instapundit is right to rib Kerry on that point), and so it made no difference. I think the exact same phenomenon is at play with Bush's religious life compared to that of Clinton.

Update: Dave has a post that proves Andrew Sullivan is determined to have a hissy fit at this statement in spite of the points I made (if he'd read my blog, it would save him a lot of trouble), and which also proves that Jonah Goldberg steals my ideas.