The Internet Monk
"the power of opinion, the phenomenon of speech, the impact of truth"
A Webjournal edited by Michael Spencer
Honeymoon Over (Thankfully)
by Michael Spencer
The honeymoon of President George W. Bush was, as political honeymoons go, better than average. The removal of the Arkansas mafia from the Presidential premises brought sunshine, light and a blissful soundtrack of patriotism into an office that had become more famous for DNA and cigars more than anything resembling leadership. The Bushes are normal, and for a time, we all basked in the mundaneness of it all.
The President did not waste his honeymoon. Legislation made its way quickly up to congress, carried by the indestructible man of iron, Dick Cheney, and a genuine spirit of do-something bi-partisanship. Ted Kennedy dropped by, and signed on to education reform. The military heaved a sigh of relief that they would no longer be defending sandboxes in Patagonia under U.N. command. The President's tax bill passed, and the snittering of the liberal media couldn't stop the news that "help was on the way."
Missteps? Of course, all over the place at times, but none that took the ship into an iceberg. Polls showed strong support for the President, and few Democrats had anything really negative to say, even sounding surprisingly complimentary. The media found itself doing little more than grunting, left with no Clinton-style felonies to discuss.
Like most honeymoons, this one has ended with an accumulation of minor matters, that put together, begin to take the form of a major shift in the political winds. Note with me please, in no particular order:
1. The loss of the Senate due to Senator Jeffords not getting to bat clean-up at tee-ball. Or something like that.
2. The economy has stopped rocketing through the roof without regard for God or man, and has become too complex for anyone to understand. The constant barrage of financial nonsense of cable is enough to make anyone turn to a religious channel for peace and quiet.
3. California politicians, who decided that the best way to enter the millennium was without electricity, have managed to blame the Federal government for not rescuing them from their idiotic lack of foresight. Governor Gray Davis must be next Democrat Presidential nominee because the man has more cold-eyed lying skills than OJ.
4. The environmental wackos have belted the White House with everything they know how, and finally are finding something that sticks in portraying Bush as pro-oil and anti-environment. Now, no one in America cares about this because gas is $75 per gallon, but the media is having a field day with it, proclaiming every kind of apocalypse because GWB refuses to sign the Kyoto treaty, which sends America back to the forties and lets China and India pollute without a single restriction.
5. The Europeans decided to greet the President as if he were Hitler. No, on second thought, they would have invited him in for tea if he were Hitler. They decided to treat him as if he were a bad guy, and a thousand Europeans mooned the President's residence. (Or were they saluting Senator Jeffords? Hmmm.) Riots broke out because the president is an "oil cowboy." While all this made the Europeans look like products of the California public schools, it also made the President look diminished, and Tony Blair had to scold the mobs. Oh my.
6. A lot of ridiculous criticism from the right on the China Spy Plane deal and similar potholes. The far right really needs to run that Thurmond-Helms ticket in 2004 and get this country back where it belongs.
7. More idiotic nabobbing on the left about the President saying Russian President Putin was trustworthy. Now guys, you have to remember, President Bush has been spending a lot of time with Daschle and company. The left criticizing Bush on this is particularly laughable, since half the Democratic party never met a communist they couldn't love.
8. The Bush White House began to get some ethical heat over access by major corporations like GE and Intel. Karl Rove seemed to be studying at the Hillary Clinton school of finance for a while.
9. The Bush daughters, looking far better than Chelsea on tv and in print, attracted the media for the crime of ordering a marguerite on a fake ID. Thank God for 911.
10. The Democrats are getting mean. Now that's a surprise.
11. (Is John McCain a Democrat?)
12. The press has gotten mean, too. Did you know the President made C's in college? And mispronounces some words? Aren't you glad the press is telling us the REAL story about this president?
What can we say about all this? Good. It's about time. I like President Bush more than any Republican I have seen in a while, and I think he has a great agenda. But he has to know it's a fight. Not a fight without rules and character and even bi-partisanship, but a fight to win. And no one fights on their honeymoon. So I am glad its over. Let's get on with the real show.
Should the President ever compromise? Sure. And when he does, he needs to tell the American people that he won and won big. It is arguably one of the great truths of politics that the guy who looks and acts like he won is usually perceived as the winner. GWB knows how to look like a winner. The Democrats look like losers even when they win because the country doesn't win when big government wins. Reagan understood this and I believe Bush can as well.
The test of this Presidency will come as the Democrats increasingly fight him over social programs, the patient's bill of rights, higher spending and missile defense. On all these issues, (except PBR) the President has good support and friends on both sides of the aisle. But his friends need a fighting leader, not someone who acts surprised at the dirty side of Washington. Here's hoping our President gets in the fight and kicks a few shins- hard- on his way to many victories and a second term.