ARC's 1st Law: As a "progressive" online discussion grows longer, the probability of a nefarious reference to Karl Rove approaches one

Thursday, November 09, 2006

W's Last Two Years

Why do I have the feeling that this is the return of the Harriet Miers presidency? Remember the Harriet Miers fiasco? I point to that episode because it was one instance where Bush went with his gut instinct - and ran into problems with his conservative base. We started off giving W the benefit of the doubt with Miers, then moved to the neutral camp, and became more negative as more info came out about her.

My gut tells me that W. is a principled guy who will oppose Dem attempts to eradicate the tax cuts and to undermine our efforts in Iraq.

However, keeping the Dems on-board in Iraq isn't the same as keeping the Dems on-board with the "strategery" of transforming the Middle East and bringing them into the 21st 20th century. The cause for my concern is the immediate sacking of Rummy the day after the election. W's gut may have told him that it was the the right step, but it is terrible politics immediately following the election. The only benefit was that it took the Dem "thumping" of the GOP out of the cycle for a few hours - or perhaps changed the direction of the conversation somewhat. The signal that such a sacking sends to our troops, the Democrats, the Iraqi people, and our enemies (in Iraq and elsewhere) is terrible.

I think Rummy did a decent job (two rogue regimes down), although he didn't make many friends in the Pentagon. (Not in the job description, btw.) However, it was clear that he understood the stakes and the larger strategery at play. Hopefully current reports RE Gates being a pure realpolitik guy are over-played. However, the smiles on the faces of the punditry who were already gleeful over the GOP loss that they helped manufacture does not bode well in my book.

I hope that the new SecDef follows the policy and strategery as set by the President - and I hope that this isn't a return to the realpolitik which proved to be disastrous to the US vis-a-vis Islamofascism during the Cold War. Yes, there were bigger priorities then (defeating the USSR - at least, if you weren't Ted Kennedy and the Dems), but the biggest priority in the 21st Century is defeating the ideology of Islamofascism which is consuming our world (see America Alone by Mark Steyn for details).

Only time will tell...

If we return to realpolitik, I'm concerned about our chances of success in the Middle East and around the world.

And if W is willing to return to the realpolitik of Bush I - which resulted in a 12 year semi-hot war with Saddam - then will W. similarly forget the disastrous capitulation of George HW Bush to the Dems on taxes?

Is George Bush's "Democracy In the Middle East" going to be transformed into the foreign policy equivalent of HW Bush's "No New Taxes" pledge?

And could he try and meet the Dems halfway on taxes, raising the top brackets and eliminating the CapGains tax cuts which have proven to be so successful?

I mean, what's in play here? I have to trust W's instincts, but the last time I did, it didn't turn out so well.

*** UPDATE ***
This post by Victor Davis Hanson sheds some light... and I think I trust him more than W. on this.

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler