Salon readers debate whether the 34 Bush scandals on Peter Dizikes' list are evidence that Americans will forgive the president anything, or a sign that Democrats need to intensify their efforts.

By Salon Staff

Published January 19, 2005 11:05PM (EST)

[Read " The Scandal Sheet," by Peter Dizikes.]

What separates our losing strategy from the Republicans' winning one is that we make long lists of the Bush administration's wrongdoings, while Republicans find one issue and hammer on it ad infinitum. Travelgate, Whitewater, Monica Lewinsky and Marc Rich were all "scandals" that, regardless of their merits, Republicans managed to keep the media's attention on. They even managed to package their scandals into nice buzzwords.

Harry Reid would do well to throw a dart at Dizikes' list, come up with a catchword description (e.g. append "gate"), and then spend his time getting that one transgression into the public consciousness.

-- Jim Voris

Just for the sake of argument, even if half of the 34 scandals Dizikes reported weren't true, there's more than enough reason for apoplectic outrage. The revelation that WMD aren't in fact around Tikrit, Iraq (or to the region's north, south, east or west), should have news reporters dogging the administration until their eyes pop out from the pressure.

But it's no surprise that the "Saddam didn't have weapons" issue is being shrugged off because Bush and his people get away with whatever they want. We're outraged about a boob showing a boob at the Super Bowl, but not about the dishonest motivation for launching a war? Maybe it's the apathetic public that is to blame here.

I stopped being shocked by the surfacing of these scandals a few years ago. My thought was, how much more does the American public need? People have heard enough, and they won't support Bush in November 2004.

Apparently, more than half the voting populace needed to actually see the president murder someone on camera before they realized he was unworthy of his job. Short of that, he's the man they want in charge. Thank God he didn't have sex with an intern or get his goons to break into a hotel because then, by George, they'd string him up by his knuckles. Breaking laws and urinating on the Constitution gets him four more years. So that's how it works.

-- Ryan Ellis

The claim in Dizikes' article that all of Bush's scandals are worse than Whitewater is a great example of why we lost the last election, and why we'll continue to lose them for the foreseeable future.

Excluding the "scandals" in the article that have a clear political cant, where there can be a legitimate opposite point of view to a disinterested observer, none of them are an example of the president personally, affirmatively involved in anything illegal, as was alleged in Whitewater.

Insinuating such equivalency between the scandals is just the type of conspiracy-laden, one-sided spin that turned Middle America against us.

-- Scott Allen

Peter Dizikes's work on "The Scandal Sheet" is why I pay to be a premium subscriber to Salon.com.

There are a whole lot of us out here who feel the media are just sitting silently by, turning a blind eye, while all this continues. It's far past the time for truth telling.

-- Sandra Underwood

As evidenced by "The Scandal Sheet," you Americans do everything better than us Gomers up here in Canada.

Our prime minister (we don't even have a president yet!) is willing to sit down and talk with Tamil Tigers and not call them a terrorist group, in hopes of forging a new era of peace in Sri Lanka. Bor-ring. Your president is creating new terrorist groups with each passing month through the Iraq liberation. That's smart and proactive -- keep the military sharp with all kinds of new types of warfare.

One of our female M.P.'s calls your president a "moron" and Americans "bastards," then stomps on a Dubya doll, and finally gets fired for it after, like, two years, only to become a talk show heroine. You guys had a troublemaker who said a few awkward things about bogus Niger uranium sales, and his wife's life and career got wrecked by the top people in the White House. Dramatic! So American, that scale of personal devastation. A Canuck simply wouldn't have the onions to think it up.

Your flashy company, Halliburton, gets a five-year, no-bid, $7 billion deal with your military, and your government just says "F-U whiners, we do what we want." There has been government infighting for decades over just getting our military some new copters, because the Sea Kings they use now can only run an hour for every 24 hours of maintenance and would do a lot more for our war museum than they ever have for our national security. And our government lets itself get raked over the coals by our media year after year and is made to look foolish and incompetent, instead of treating those hacks like your government does. That's leadership, American style.

It's an indisputable truth: America is better at everything than everyone -- especially Canada. Hopefully when Fox News opens up here in a month or two, we'll start thinking bigger, better, faster, stronger -- more like you American guys, anyway.

Thanks for letting us live next door to you, and sorry we're such gaylords.

-- Paul Fenn

Salon Staff

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