2002 October 31 Thursday
Mark Steyn: The Dems have turned right

Steyn thinks that between the Democrats at least pretending to have more right wing views and Bush's failure to push harder on more issues the result will be an election that does not advance the Republicans at all in Congress.

George W. Bush had a chance to remake the political map, to put Democrats on the defensive not just over guns and the Bible but on a broader range of values: everywhere from nukes in North Korea to energy exploration in Alaska, you see the failure of Democratic bromides about the world we live in. But, in contrast to Bill Clinton and his ‘permanent campaign’, George W. Bush seized on the war as an excuse for a permanent non-campaign. If 11 September was, as they say, ‘the day everything changed’, this 5 November, the first national election after the event, will be the day nothing changes. And, any way you slice it, that doesn’t reflect well on the President.

Bush has more of "the vision thing" than his father but still not enough to really galvanize his supporters or to force through big policy changes. Moreover, the necessity of preemption as a strategy, the one big policy that he has gotten right, runs the risk of being derailed by his willingness to seek UN approval for US military actions. After the US has conquered Iraq how well will the US be able to pressure (let alone find the will to invade) other nasty regimes that are developing weapons of mass destruction if the US can't even just go and take out Saddam Hussein's regime in Iraq without UN approval? The US needs to do something about the WMD programs of the Libyan, Iranian, and North Korean regimes. It certainly needs to pressure the Saudis to stp trying to buy nuclear weapons, to clamp down on terrrorist funding, to stop exporting Wahabbism, and to change its government press and schools to stop raising extremists. Also, Syria is a lesser problem that needs to be dealt with (are the Syrians developing bioweapons?).

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2002 October 31 12:37 PM 


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