One thing Republicans should have learned over the past six years is the importance of having a President who is a master communicator. Unfortunately they have had to learn it by having a President who is not one. Not only is President Bush not a master orator, but he has just been too darn nice to Democrats who are playing politics at the nation's expense.
I realize that last statement goes against conventional wisdom. The Bush administration has been painted by opponents as sinister; manipulated by the dark forces of Dick Cheney, Karl Rove and (last but certainly not least) Halliburton. Not only have Democrats been successful spreading that nasty and inaccurate caricature, but they have not been held accountable for the damage that has resulted from their over-the-top partisan attacks.
This week House Speaker Nancy Pelosi went to Syria, in spite of objections from the White House, and bungled things in a big way. The Washington Post described the events. "After a meeting with Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad in Damascus, Ms. Pelosi announced that she had delivered a message from Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert that 'Israel was ready to engage in peace talks' with Syria. What's more, she added, Mr. Assad was ready to 'resume the peace process' as well… Only one problem: The Israeli prime minister entrusted Ms. Pelosi with no such message… Ms. Pelosi not only misrepresented Israel's position but was virtually alone in failing to discern that Mr. Assad's words were mere propaganda."
When Pelosi's Syria trip was first announced the White House issued a statement saying it was a "bad idea." Tammy Bruce perfectly described the communication failure of the administration in her comments on that statement. "A really bad idea?! That's the most they can come up with? The reason the president, and consequently this nation, is in such trouble is because neither the president nor the Republicans behave as though they have the moral high ground, or are even defending themselves or their policies enough to break a sweat."
"How dare Pelosi give extraordinary legitimacy to a terrorist nation whose own foreign policy rests on the murder of Christian leaders in the region. And how dare the Bush Administration for not saying something as simple as just that."