He's the lamest of lame ducks who will only be allowed to serve out his remaining term because -- unfortunately -- we don't have a British-style parliamentary system under which we could dispatch him immediately with a vote of "No confidence."
It's as if they are saying, "Finally, the faux legitimacy President Bush has enjoyed since 9/11 has ended. The masquerade is over. The jig is up. Everyone can see now that he's the boob we've saying he is, not the mature, crisis-managing executive he's been pretending to be."
Friedman said, "Well, I believe 9/11 truly distorted our politics, Tim, and it gave the president and his advisers an opening to take a far hard right agenda, I believe, on taxes and other social issues, from 9/10, that was not going anywhere from 9/10, and drove it into a 9/12 world. It put the wind at his back. And Katrina brought that to an end. It put the wind in his face." Friedman then suggested that President Bush's only salvation would be through a "fundamental recasting of his position and his administration." (Translation: He must act like a good liberal.)
I wouldn't cite Friedman if his position were not representative of that being expressed by many liberal commentators and Democrat politicians, who are behaving as if Democrats have just won a major election. Either they're deluding themselves or trying to fool the public into believing a national disaster has serendipitously vindicated their entire worldview. If anything, the opposite is true. While Katrina (and Rita) has put an additional financial strain on government, it hasn't laid a glove on the conservative blueprint for our nation's problems.
Despite their premature celebrating, President Bush is not likely to be buried or deterred by all the anticipatory obituaries from his leftist critics, who have grossly underestimated him before. Katrina notwithstanding, he has a spate of unfinished, conservative agenda items to pursue (and, if we're lucky, a number of liberal ones to scrap). On the bright side for the Bush-haters, they still have more than three years to bask in their rage.
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