Now begins the primary season — in earnest. Who will win? Impossible to know. Who should win? Easy — at least on the Republican side.
The fundamental tasks of any national government are two: to protect the populace and stabilize the economy.
Benazir Bhutto’s murder reminds, albeit too vividly, of the terror war we are in. The mortgage crisis brought to us by top lending institutions (can you say savings-and-loans?) suggests destabilization of an economy on a roll since shortly after 9/11.
The president gets little credit for Pax Bush — no subsequent attacks on the American heartland. However one seeks to dismiss this president and his administration, he has protected the populace by heightened domestic vigilance and carrying the war to the enemy abroad — the latter on the indisputable principle, voiced by him so many times, that it is better to fight the enemy there than here. And Bush receives little credit for the tax-cut-based economic stability that has endured through most of his presidency.
Recall, please, the Democratic record. A year ago, when Democrats took control of Congress, they passed a five-year budget resolution that assumes — assumes — expiration of the Bush tax cuts. In addition, every Democrat on the presidential trail recommends raising taxes in one form or another: on Social Security (by raising the income cap), on income, on estates, on capital gains. There is but limited support, statistical or historical, for the proposition that raising taxes ever increases economic stability.
The Democratic record on taxes and the economy is one reason the Democrats have driven public approval of Congress to historic lows (yes, well lower than public approval of President Bush). The other reason is the pitiful, shameless yearlong Democratic enterprise to undermine the now seemingly successful war effort at every turn — even to cut funding for the very troops the Democrats insist they support.
During the past year the Democrats’ hammered out an 0-40 congressional record on votes affecting the war in Iraq, so it’s not for their lack of trying to niggle, harass, defund and withdraw. On the campaign trail, the Democratic response to the Bhutto murder has been to blast Bush — to say his departure from the White House cannot come soon enough — and to insist on the removal of Pakistan’s President Pervez Musharraf. Never mind that, respect Musharraf or not, he may be the only individual in the way of Pakistani rule by the great Osama or his sidekick Zawahiri — or whoever is al-Qaida’s regnant throat-slitter.
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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