Saturday, July 12, 2003

all this bickering

The Bush Administration is an expert at making high-handed decisions.

Anybody can agree with the premise of that statement, if not the exact wording. We were told simply to trust the President's judgement of the intelligence on Iraq. We were babied with the same "tax cuts make for more jobs" line as our balanced budget vaporized and our National Debt reached unprecedented levels. Whether or not you think Bush is at fault, it's clear that he made decisions at a cabinet level, and expected his party (which holds the majority in both houses of Congress) and the American people to accept his decision. "President Bush, we want more funds for education, not tax cuts." "Too bad. I've already decided tax cuts will help our economy return to its full strength and glory! God bless America."

Now, many political pundits predict a crushing victory for Bush in the 2004 elections. The economy is horrible, but Bush has made no one care. Our international relations has been mostly replaced with an unilateralism that irks the rest of the world, but no one cares. And despite huge pre-war peace protests, the Iraq issue is mostly a plus for Bush--even with the latest scandal over the Niger-Iraq link. And ABC News reports that "Bush's overall job approval rating dropped to 59 percent, down nine points in the past 18 days."

Yes there was a huge drop, but Bush's ratings remain well over 50%. Couple that with the fact that the Democratic Party has not united under one leader yet, and you can see why most people forsee a victory for the GOP in 2004.

I predict almost the exact opposite to occur in 2004. Bush, with his bullying around of the Democrats in Congress, has unwittingly incited the Democratic Party to vote in full force in the next elections. More over, Bush's high-handed decision making is the anti-thesis of Independents' open decision-making. With the entire center, left-of-center, and left vote unified against Bush (whoever the Democratic candidate turns out to be...Nader will not get any ideology votes this time), Bush will be humiliated in 2004.

Unfortunately, a Democratic sweeping of Washington riding the wave of anti-Bush sentiment may be just be High-Handed Administration v2.0

Democrats have obviously had their pride hurt by their relative unimportance under this Administration. They must be itching for payback. Possible Democratic candidate Howard Dean illustrates this point well with his campaign that prides itself in being anti-Bush:

So this is a serious credibility problem, and it's a lot deeper than just the Iraq-Niger deal, it has to do with assertions by the secretary of defense that he knew where weapons were that turned out not to be there, it has to do with assertions by the vice president there was a nuclear program that turned out not to exist, and assertions made by the president himself, not just about the acquisition of uranium, but also about the ability of [deposed Iraqi President] Saddam [Hussein] to use chemical weapons on the United States. We need a full-blown public investigation not held in Congress but by an outside bipartisan commission. (full text)

By a "bipartisan commission" Dean is either hoping that a) Bush gets reprimanded or b) the commission splits into the Bush supporters and Bush haters. Either way, the entire vote left of right will unify around the Democratic candidate.

Instead, any investigation into Iraq intelligence has to be nonpartisan. All members have to be as objective as possible, and being rational people, they should reach a sound, firm consensus on if Bush distorted intelligence on Iraq.

Anyway Bush is attacked, it can't be out of the spirit of Bush-bashing for its own sake. I don't support Bush. I don't like him. I hate Bush. But I would hate for the Democratic Party to resort to His tactics after the 2004 elections.


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