PRESIDENTIAL POLITICS & THE NOVEMBER, 2004, ELECTION:
WHY PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH IS VULNERABLE
By Christopher G. Adamo
That an arrogant northeastern Liberal like John Kerry is even on the radar screen indicates that something is amiss in the Bush camp. For Kerry to be in a virtual tie with Bush in the pre-election polls stands as evidence of critical failings on the Republican side. It is ludicrous to suggest that Kerry has garnered any “momentum” of his own. Americans truly enthused by him are a rarity. In reality, the overwhelming bulk of Kerry’s “support” amounts to nothing more than anti-Bush sentiment.
The clock is ticking on towards Election Day, which means that time is running out for the Bush camp to recognize the nature of its problems and take decisive action to correct them. Unfortunately, the events of the past two weeks suggest that quite the opposite is happening. Both on the foreign and the domestic fronts, President Bush appears to be in retreat. This is particularly unfortunate because an aggressive and proactive agenda is clearly needed, not only for the fortunes of his reelection campaign but also for the good of the country.
In his dealings with the Democrats, the President has succumbed to their malicious partisanship to a far greater degree than can possibly be justified. Rather than confront their unconstitutional usurpation of his authority to nominate federal judges, he now agrees to cease making recess appointments, thus forfeiting his keys to the judiciary. No doubt this is an attempt to revert to his ineffectual “new tone” philosophy. But regardless of his intentions, it is a political fiasco on the order of Bob Dole’s“Enough is enough” capitulation during the 1995 budget battle.
While key members of the Bush administration still hope that such a move might reduce the level of partisan rancor Americans find so distasteful, its real effect will only be to further demoralize the President’s already frustrated “base.” Hardly appreciative of his conciliatory action, Democrats will merely move on to other issues with which they believe they can discredit him.
Some major voices among Conservatives contend that the shrillness of Liberal partisans in the media and on Capitol Hill makes them look small and undermines their case. Though a possibility, any negative backlash will not occur until such time as the Republicans attempt to meet them on some nonexistent “middle ground,” whereupon they begin to appear comparatively resolute, and thus more credible.
Time and again, the President is handed opportunities to clearly define the differences between himself and his opposition, but ultimately fails to do so. He claims to advocate a federal constitutional amendment protecting marriage, but supports it with only a tiny fraction of the zeal he devoted to such dubious causes as the campaign for ultra-Liberal Republican Senator Arlen Specter or congressional legislation establishing and funding new and expanded entitlement programs.
The Democratic Party's immigration policy, which Kerry supports, is a fiasco that would essentially abolish America’s borders. This by itself could sufficiently polarize the overwhelming majority of voters against Kerry, except that President Bush’s immigration policy is merely a “watered-down” version of the same thing.
Unfortunately, this same flawed thinking is apparently creeping into the President’s formerly resolute foreign policy. Feeling the heat of the intense media attacks that predictably follow even minor mishaps in Iraq, and still reeling from the Abu Ghraib scandal, the Bush administration is becoming increasingly conciliatory with Islamist thugs who hope to frustrate American efforts to secure peace in Iraq. Furthermore, U.S. forces now refrain from all-out assaults on Iraqi cities that hold significance within the Muslim religion (Not surprisingly every wide spot in every Iraqi camel trail is being designated as “sacred”). Predictably, such a show of moral uncertainty will only serve to embolden America’s enemies.
In the 1980s, Ronald Reagan faced down a much larger Liberal political machine domestically, while confronting the far more potent and disciplined Soviet enemy internationally. Amazingly, he accomplished this without the benefit of today’s alternative media. In short, Reagan’s success was due to his resolute confidence in his unmistakably Conservative agenda, never allowing his opposition to define him. If George W. Bush truly wants to win in November, he must follow Reagan’s example with the full courage of his convictions.
American Government & the U.S. Presidency
Africa: Black Africa *
Africa: North Africa *
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