When President George W. Bush held a press conference to defend the Iraqi war, everything he said boiled down to one thing: refusing to admit he was wrong.
It was a refusal to admit the government did not do everything it could do to prevent terrorism before Sept. 11, 2001. A refusal to admit that the war in Iraq might not end so quickly. A refusal to admit Richard Clarke or any of the various Democratic critics were right. Even a refusal to admit the case for Saddam Hussein having weapons of mass destruction was less air-tight than it seemed.
No one likes a liar, and the president seems more and more like he is becoming one. There are legitimate questions on the Iraqi war and in the fight against terrorism that need to be asked; the April 13 primetime press conference saw Bush not even answering one of these questions.
Opinion polls have already found an America more divided than at any point in its history; Republicans by and large adored Bush’s performance on Tuesday while the Democrats disdained it. But there are people in the middle – the undecided. There are the military families who found out their loved ones will be in Iraq six months longer than they thought. The small business owners finding new Republican tax plans could very well put them out of business. There are those, both Democrat and Republican, who are still undecided on who they will support for many reasons.
But George W. Bush has been doing an amazing job of alienating these people. Just like his father, he is losing ground among undecided voters in an election year for one reason only: his own arrogance.