Mark Davis

Say what you will about the methods and strategies of Bush’s war on terror. At least he waged it, and he never failed to identify the enemy by name.

Obama fans grow frustrated that despite killing bin Laden, keeping Guantanamo open and launching the (brief) Afghan surge, the 44th president does not carry the image of a brave protector of America.

That is because we cannot truly fight terror unless we recognize where it comes from. When Obama wants to protect our lives with the same energy he expends protecting Muslim feelings, we will be instantly safer.

On immigration, I suspect Bush would favor the Rubio-led “Gang of Eight” reform plan. I get that feeling because I have big problems with that plan, and they match up with some of my criticisms of immigration policy under Bush, who was never the border warrior many conservatives wanted him to be.

Nor was he the spending-cutter Republicans supposedly require. This makes me suspect he might work to erode the sequester, which I love more with each passing day.

But if W were to plug back in, even with all of his “big-government conservative” instincts, in no way would he approach the severity of the plunder we have seen under Obama. And if he were to spend more than I would like, at least it would be fueled by the engine of an economy energized by lower taxes.

If the fiscal issues would be a mixed bag, at least the social agenda would be returned to some level of human decency.

There is a reason why Barack Obama knows any remarks he makes to Planned Parenthood are an invitation to a reputational barbecue. He knows-- or should know-- that we are reminded of his Illinois State Senate votes against protecting babies who happen to survive the carnage of abortion. And we are stunned by the silence of this White House amid the ghoulish revelations of the Kermit Gosnell trial.

I don’t pretend that President Bush would be issuing daily Gosnell laments as the trial goes to the jury, but we would regain a President who believes the unborn deserve protection, and who would nominate Supreme Court justices who would see to it that states wishing to issue that protection were not thwarted by the constitutional obscenity that is Roe v. Wade.

But I do not suggest that a reinstalled Bush would seek a national abortion ban, any more than he would seek a federal definition of marriage as one man and one woman.

Much is made of Laura Bush’s quote favoring “the same sort of rights” for gay marrieds. That is not “marriage equality” in its strictest sense, and she made clear to an advocacy group that she does not wish to be joined in an ad with various figures who have boarded the equivalency train.

I believe the Bush approach would be to push for strong abortion limits and unique recognition of man-woman marriage in every state, with the knowledge that states may ultimately do what they wish on those issues.

Would that the current administration respected the states’ right to run their own affairs on matters not specifically described in the Constitution.

In short, a new Bush presidency would probably satisfy conservatives in some ways and annoy them in others, much as his eight actual years did.

But at the dawn of a second term of Europe-style neo-socialism, insufficient attention to global evil and hard-left social leanings, it would be a substantial improvement.