Dana Milbank has been having a ball lately ridiculing George W. Bush — his latest says of the Bush administration “It’s About Nothing.” I know that’s a great all-America, all-European, all-late-night, all-Jon Stewart (everywhere, all-the-timetime) past-time by now, but there’s something tiresome and damaging about it.
The White House continues to take a lead on some important issues. As I’ve vented in my syndicated column in response to a previous Milbank filing about last week’s Rose Garden press conference: It includes little things about helping out our important friend, Colombia, and passing that free-trade agreement. It includes giving the intelligence-community the expired FISA tools it’s asked for. It includes passing the war-supplemental — funding our troops. It includes looking beyond complaining about a recession we’re not in and looking for real answers, not gimmicks, to high gas prices.
Credit to the White House, too, for using the bully pulpit to highlight innovative approaches to the crisis that is faith-based inner-city schools (and most of the solutions highlighted at the recent White House Summit on inner-city schools were not government solutions, by the way).
Milbank ridicules some of the White House schedule yesterday. I feel his pain. He didn’t get an invite to the Cinco de Mayo dinner either. But for every CdM dinner there’s plenty going on not on the public schedule. And there’s plenty going on that’s public but that doesn’t get overexposed. As I write, the president and secretary of defense Gates are hosting a Military Spouses’ Day event at the White House with over a thousand spouses of service members about to deploy.
My point is: This administration is not about nothing. Mistakes have been made and all the rest, but we’re at war and there are serious people doing serious things in this administration. Conservatives, I think need to remember this. We should not let our legitimate criticisms blur the big picture.