2005-01-09

Bushs Krisenrethorik -- etwas �berstrapaziert?

--- Die Washington Post beleuchtet Bushs Strategie, k�nstlich Krisen herbeizureden, um seine politischen Ziele dann als "perfekte" L�sung zu pr�sentieren: President Bush had great success in his first term by defining crises that demanded decisive responses. Now, as he begins a second term, Bush is returning to the same tactic to accomplish three longtime conservative goals. Warning of the need for urgent action on his Social Security plan, Bush says the "crisis is now" for a system even the most pessimistic observers say will take in more in taxes than it pays out in benefits well into the next decade. He calls the proliferation of medical liability lawsuits a "crisis in America" that can be fixed only by limiting a patient's right to sue for large damages. And Bush has repeatedly accused Senate Democrats of creating a "vacancy crisis" on the federal bench by refusing to confirm a small percentage of his judicial nominees. This strategy helped Bush win support for the war in Iraq, tax cuts and education policies, as well as reclaim the White House. What is unclear is whether the same approach will work, given the battering to the administration's credibility over its Iraq claims and a new Democratic campaign accusing Bush of crying wolf. ... Democrats and some presidential scholars say there is a danger for Bush if he appears to stoke fears for political gain. The Bush administration was criticized throughout the campaign -- and before -- for its repeated prewar warnings of Saddam Hussein's deadly weapons cache, which turned out to be based on faulty intelligence and proved largely untrue. Democrats contend Bush also exaggerated the nation's economic problems to justify tax cuts, terrorist threats to convince the public of the need for restrictions on civil liberties, and John F. Kerry's record to win a second term. "One of the key problems of this form of rhetorical leadership" is discerning the difference "between a genuine and manufactured crisis," said Jeffrey K. Tulis, author "The Rhetorical Presidency" and a government professor at the University of Texas. "People do respond to crisis -- if you think there is one, you tend to support the leader. The danger there is if it appears there is not one, you can have a credibility problem."