Your average Martian, dropping in and checking the ideological landscape to get his bearings, might think — what?
Oh, that the American enterprise in Iraq is a catastrophe, that the American economy is tanking, that global warming will get us long before global terror does — and that these and a host of other dismal datums are all the fault of a dread someone named George Bush.
The Martian also would learn, or at least hear, that this Bush is a congenital liar — about the need and reasons for going into Iraq (really, it was all about oil), about jihad (and so about Iran), about petroleum (and the need to drill offshore and in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, as well as to gasify coal, so as to ease our oily foreign dependence), and about the economic benefits of tax cuts. Yet, bro’ Martian would hear, a president who stole the election would of course be a liar as well as a thief.
So in these days of rage, the opponents of President Bush are heavily invested in recession at home and failure in Iraq. Partly this is because they so detest the man, so want him and his party removed from power, that their watchwords are negativism and pessimism.
A strong economy and success against terror are the two ingredients that just might make a Republican-conservative recipe work. In this game, doom and gloom trump optimism. Democratic accession to unchallenged power depends on a declining economy. The Democrats’ political success cannot abide American success in Iraq; Republican defeat depends partly on American defeat. Thus, in an hour of wish-fulfillment, Democrat-liberal defeatism.
Regarding the economy, we hear incessantly of the credit crunch, the housing debacle, soaring oil prices, the plunging dollar, deficits in the budget and trade — and the screaming need for new taxes. Far less do we hear (1) that those deficits are declining, (2) that economic growth and productivity are up, as are (3) non-farm jobs (8.4 million since the 2003 Bush tax cuts) and gross domestic product (18.5 percent, or $1.8 trillion, since the beginning of the Bush presidency).
Regarding Iraq: Remember, just months ago, the leftist proclamations of unmitigated disaster and failure in Iraq — ululations that the mission there was unwinnable, that the troop surge could not work, that liberation, democracy, and freedom were somehow the wrong goals? Remember Guantanamo, Abu Ghraib, the Patriot Act, waterboarding, electronic surveillance — all offered up as examples of misdirection, incompetence, and violations of rights?
Ross Mackenzie lives with his wife and Labrador retriever in the woods west of Richmond, Virginia. They have two grown sons, both Naval officers.
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