On foreign policy, many Americans say in public surveys that it isn't necessarily war in Iraq that so severely troubles them. What they want in dealing with Iraq or Iran or North Korea or anyplace else is a coherent and realistic plan. They want to do whatever can be done, and be done. No promises, just mission clarity.
Instead, a sincere and well-meaning President Bush digs himself and his nation a deeper and deeper foxhole. For practically forever we weren't going to budge in the face of our enemies. Now, suddenly, in a recent press conference, instead of "staying the course," we're going to "react as is necessary," but also stay the course.
Governing the world's only superpower nation -- and sometimes, it seems, the whole stinking planet -- is perpetually problematic for the White House and Congress and the citizens who put them there and remove them. But that doesn't excuse our top elected officials from having spent the last year or two barking at one another and chasing their tails.
Maybe it's time these old dogs got kicked off the porch. Sure enough, Americans may be strapping on their boots just in time to do just that on Election Day.
Regardless, if and when the Republican Party again controls both the presidency and the Congress -- be it next year or next lifetime -- they'd do well to go to school and study the misspent days of 2005-2006. Precious days they've been indeed, and now lost.