Late saturday night I saw a reference to "The Bush Tapes" on Drudge. It didn't jump out to me as anything important so I didn't read the article. Sunday morning I turn on the news and everyone is talking about "The Bush Tapes" so I figure I better find out what the Bush tapes are. As I began to read about them I admit I was nervous. When I read that Bush admitted that there were code words in talking to Evangelical Christians I initially thought this can't be good. After I had read the entire description of the tapes I reflected on them. I realized the reference to "code words" had to do with the fact that Bush was a Presbyterian and he was trying to connect with evangelicals. But the substance of his deep, personal relationship with Christ was the same and that was reflected in the tapes. And when you look at the tapes overall there is nothing that is particularly damaging. In fact it shows that he is the same guy in private as he is in the public. And to be honest I loved the part where he was told that liberals wouldn't like Ashcroft being appointed to a position and Bush said, "Tough."
I am still upset though, about the nature of these tapes. I thought the White House had an awesome response in that it said "these were casual conversations with someone Bush considered a friend". I don't know much about Doug Wead. I have heard mixed things. Some say that he is a man of integrity and others say he is clearly doing this to sell more copies of his book. I find it hard to believe he is a man of integrity. Although these tapes do not particularly show Bush in a bad light they are unfair to him and to many others. John Ashcroft is probably the only one feeling good today because it was obvious from the conversations that Bush held him in high esteem. I am not a huge fan of John McCain, Dan Quayle or Steve Forbes but is it fair that the whole world now knows what Bush thinks of them and that they know? How does that bode well for his future relationships with these men? I admit I got some enjoyment out of Bush mocking Gore but I don't know how shocking that is. Also, the very reason Bush spent all those months refusing to answer the drug question was the example that it would set for his kids and the kids of America. The kids of America now have heard Bush admit that he tried drugs when that was the exact thing he didn't want to happen. It was unfair to him and them. The bottom line is I'm a "loyalty" person and this is the ultimate in disloyal. I am a very open and honest person but everyone needs some close friends to vent to and be able to expect not to have those conversations tape recorded. (And please don't compare this to Linda Tripp and Monica. Monica was asking Tripp to perjure herself and cover up crimes and moral failings. There is no way this is comparable). The ultimate betrayal was Wead taking these tapes to the New York Times. He might as well have posted them on IhateGeorgeW.Bush.com (there probably is a real website with that name). When it is all said and done though Bush is not the one with egg on his face. The joke is on Wead in revealing his lack of character and on the NY Times for thinking that these tapes would make W look bad. Wead has just convinced me to be sure not to buy his book. His plan may have backfired.