Dear President Bush,
I want to begin by telling you how much I admire you. I've defended you from your attackers, and it has been an honor to do so. I can't count the number of letters I've received accusing me of taking pay from the Republican National Committee.
Even before Sept. 11, I prayed every day that you would follow the right path. And more than any president in my lifetime, you have. I have never been so proud to be an American than I was watching your speech on Sept. 11. Your moral vision, your clarity, your understanding that good must face evil and defeat it -- all of it made me proud.
Your vision dictated that America defend herself against the scourge of terrorism. And so our brave men and women liberated Afghanistan. Our government shut down organizations funneling money to terrorist groups. We freed women from the brutal oppression of fundamentalist Islam.
Your vision dictated that despots be forbidden from threatening civilization with terrible weapons of mass destruction. And so our brave men and women, along with our loyal allies, liberated the Iraqi people.
Your vision extended to domestic policy as well. You knew that it was unfair to force hard-working men and women to hand over huge sums to the government. So you cut taxes and prevented a mild recession from becoming a deep depression. You saw that judicial activism was determining policy far beyond the scope of its limited powers. So you nominated conservative judges who would interpret the Constitution of the United States not with their hearts but with their heads.
I haven't agreed with you all the time. I thought going to the United Nations for approval of action against Iraq was time wasted. I believed that raising steel tariffs was economically foolhardy. I disagreed with the bloated education bill you signed with Teddy Kennedy. But all in all, I agreed with your policy far more than I disagreed. And even when our views differed, I could respect your point of view.
I hope you can understand what pain it causes me to say what I will now. You are losing your moral vision. Perhaps the State Department has finally convinced you that moral foreign policy is passe. Perhaps you have repeated the mantra "Islam is a religion of peace" so many times that you are willing to stake your entire administration on that dubious claim. But whatever happened, you have lost your way.
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