November 5, 2004

This reminds me why I don't read Business Week...

Wishful thinking from Business Week:
To appreciate Bush's achievement, consider the obstacles in his path: Despite four tax cuts, the pre-election economy was 940,000 jobs short of recovering from the losses of the 2001 recession. Sky-high oil prices are sapping growth, and consumer confidence declined in the final four months leading up to the election. The Dow Jones industrial average meandered all year, stuck near 10,000. And analysts scored a hyperkinetic Bush 0 for 3 in the fall debates against a confident, Presidential-looking Kerry.
Oooops, 337,000 jobs added last month, oil prices dropping fast, Dow heading up...and what "analysts" exactly?
As for Iraq, the President's defining metaphor for leadership, the U.S.-led occupation looms as a disastrous counterpoint to the 3 1/2-week blitz that toppled Saddam Hussein's forces. After more than 1,100 U.S. casualties, what Americans mainly have to show for Operation Iraq Inc. is a seething Iraqi insurrection, uncertain prospects for free elections, and allies who are buckling under the threat of kidnappings and murders.
In your dreams. The election, like the transfer of sovereignty and the interim government, will happen right on schedule. The insurgency will be crushed. Democrats buckle under the threat of kidnappings and murders...that's why they can't be trusted to govern in wartime. Republicans will stand fast, because we still BELIEVE in American and the rightness of our cause. And we believe our battles should be WON.
[What we also have to show is tens-of-thousands of Iraqis saved from hideous tortures and murder...and millions saved from the soul-destroying effects of tyranny. Nothing there that would matter to Democrats.]

Bush's clear-cut victory puts him in a strong position to push ahead with the next leg of his ambitious conservative agenda. But given the deep divisions rending the nation, it would be a stretch to interpret his triumph as an overwhelming endorsement of anything concrete -- much less "stay the course" entreaties on Iraq, a deficit-be-damned drive for more tax cuts, or a dimly perceived "Ownership Society" that proposes partial privatization of Social Security and aims to replace the employer-based health-insurance system.
A new bumper sticker for your Volvo: "Visualize No Mandate."
Also the Ownership Society is not at all "dim." It is very concrete, and you will be dealing with it very soon.

Hemmed in by hostile Democrats, a busted piggybank, and a lack of national consensus on his conservative reforms, Bush faces tough struggles on Capitol Hill.
Does anybody remember Bush's first term? Starting with NO margin of victory? And how he instantly started wringing congress out like an old dishtowel, extracting 3 tax cuts, NCLB, Fast Track, Iraq, Missile Defense, Medicare & HSA's?...And somehow these lunatics think that now he's going to feel "hemmed in?" By Democrats? Ha ha ha ha ha.
What the President mainly won on Election Day, experts say, is a chance to revise the script of 2000, when he ignored a contested victory to govern more from the conservative than the compassionate end of the spectrum.
Actually, conservatism is inherently compassionate. It saves lives and souls from being destroyed by collectivism and "postmodernism.". But to make you happy, the script is being revised. Instead of the falling-safe cartoon, you will get the steamroller cartoon.
He also gained an opportunity to reach across party lines and bind the nation's wounds. "The country remains clearly divided," says Richard M. Kovacevich, chairman and CEO of Wells Fargo & Co.. His hope is that "President Bush would decide to bring the country together and be President of all the people."
When you hear that kind of cackle, do NOT make a bet on which little cup the ball is under.
Will Bush seize the moment, morphing from partisan to conciliator?
No. How about you? Why not morph from ankle-biter into useful citizen?
Not likely, longtime Bush-watchers suspect. While the President may mute some base-stoking rhetoric for a while, when Congress convenes in January he's expected to dig in his spurs and charge. good. That means pushing ahead with a troubled Iraq venture, good. possibly upping the ante in a showdown with Iran, good. kicking off a sweeping drive for free-market reforms of domestic programs, good. and -- given the chance -- naming conservative anti-abortion jurists to the Supreme Court. I hope he does it just to make Nancy Pelosi shit ice cubes...
"If Bush were like Thomas Jefferson -- which he is not -- he would issue a statesmanlike call for reconciliation," says Rutgers University political scientist Ross K. Baker.
Them calls never mean anything, even from Jefferson. But here's the deal, guys. The Republicans are now the majority party. It's up to YOU to find ways to deal with that. Ways to accommodate yourself to our plans, and get some crumbs in exchange. And when you join our parade, in a supernumerary capacity, one of the rewards will be told that you are "statesmanlike!"
"Instead he'll interpret his win as a strong sign of support for things like private Social Security accounts."
You political "scientists" are so quick on the uptake...

You know, I'm never sure what these saps mean when they say the President should "bind the nation's wounds." Whatever it is, I'm sure I wouldn't like it. This essay is a good collection of meaningless political clichés. Like "bring the country together and be President of all the people."

Posted by John Weidner at November 5, 2004 8:15 PM
Weblog by John Weidner