I don't usually take my cues from the President on the real substantive issues, since I know he is going to deliver the most watered-down information. Of course, he is given good information himself, but that goes through a filter before it reaches the public. That is not to say that I ignore everything he says, but I understand his role is push his own agenda. I may not always agree with his agenda.
Here is one of the problems I am having in discussing the PATRIOT Act. Due to the sunset provisions of PATRIOT there is a change from day to day in the risks, and protections the bill can offer. Whenever Congress has a hearing, those that testify are only obligated to speak to the provisions that are implemented into law--Not those that could be law. If PAREA, which recently made it through the Intelligence Commitee, is made into law, then PATRIOT becomes an entirely different beast than it is now.
CNN quotes President Bush as follows:
"Sen. Dianne Feinstein worked with civil rights groups to monitor the use of the Patriot Act; here's what she said: 'We've scrubbed the area, and I have no reported abuses,'"
"Remember that the next time you hear someone make an unfair criticism of this important, good law."
A criticism of PATRIOT is a different thing than an admonition on how to proceed in implementing PAREA.
CNN.com - Bush to Congress: Renew Patriot Act - Jun 9, 2005