The Democrats' repeated charge that President Bush broke his 2000 campaign promise to be a uniter, not a divider, is fundamentally dishonest and wrongheaded, as is their insistence following this election, that he begin the healing process.
In the 2000 campaign, President Bush promised to reach out to Democrats if elected. And based on his record as Texas governor, this wasn't just empty talk.
When he took office, he didn't initiate any rash partisan actions like President Clinton did when -- through Janet Reno -- he summarily fired all 93 of the country's United States attorneys before their replacements were secured.
By contrast, President Bush didn't fire Clinton CIA Director George Tenet, even after the War on Terror became the consuming issue of his presidency. He approached Tenet with an open mind, not a partisan heart.
On the education bill, President Bush not only reached out to Senator Kennedy personally, he accorded him great deference in drafting the "No Child Left Behind Act." In return, Kennedy stabbed him in the back, denouncing him as an intransigent partisan. Not only was that a personal betrayal, it was a calculated distortion of the highest order.
Consequently, Kennedy got the best of both worlds. He achieved 90 percent of his education agenda (angering many conservatives), yet still excoriated President Bush for being a miserly, uncharitable Republican ogre for not going far enough.
President Bush got no credit for his overtures to this partisan ingrate or for his genuine efforts to "set a new tone" in Washington. As usual, the Old Media spewed the Democrat propaganda that President Bush was a shrill partisan.
Democrats, in the meantime, while falsely condemning President Bush for his "partisanship," proceeded to engage in the most egregious partisan obstruction in recent history, especially with the attempted wholesale usurpation of his judicial appointment power, using the filibuster weapon to block his judicial nominees.
Having deluded themselves into believing Bush had stolen the presidency, they lambasted President Bush for four years straight, with a short hiatus following 9-11. Democrats were firing all the partisan volleys -- incessantly calling Bush a liar, racist, homophobe, and corrupt benefactor of big corporations and rich individuals -- and Bush was the one tagged as a partisan. It was right out of the Twilight Zone.
It was hard to stomach the Democrats' allegation that Bush broke his promise to be a uniter, since he did try to unite and they wouldn't let him. It takes two to play that game.