The left and the media and the ever-expanding blogosphere, and of course the Democrats, never permitted George Bush to recover from the circumstances of his 2000 election.
They deemed him unacceptable, accidental, illegitimate, likely a conniver in the national outcome -- and so took to lobbing their hateful commentaries one after another without end.
On issue after issue, they rejected his appeals for bipartisanship, especially in his second term. In his 2004 victory speech, Bush said:
"Today, I want to speak to every person who voted for my opponent. To make this nation stronger and better, I will need your support, and I will work to earn it....We have one country, one Constitution, and one future that binds us. And when we come together and work together, there is no limit to the greatness of America."
Yet from Social Security and judges to the surge and terror and continuation of the tax cuts, malign leftists dug in and sought to foil him on every front -- to deny him any victory, any success, anywhere.
"Malign" is too harsh? Consider:
Television, blogospheric, and newspaper commentaries slammed President Bush 24/7. Nicholson Baker wrote "Checkpoint," whose protagonists weigh whether to assassinate him. Twelve thousand San Franciscans signed a petition to rename an Oceanside sewage plant for him.
Hollywood went apoplectic, with Oliver Stone -- director of the detestable October-released flick "W" -- declaring: "We are a poorer and less secure nation for having elected (Bush) as our president. . . . America finds itself fighting unnecessary and costly wars and engaging in dangerous and counterproductive efforts to fight extremism. Even more significant and troubling, I believe, is his legacy of immorality."
Despite this vicious stream, George Bush persevered and prevailed. 9/11 changed him. Mistakes abounded, but no subsequent domestic jihadist strike ensued. As he noted at the Army War College last month, this staggering security success was "not a matter of luck." Against islamofascism pre-emption (described by the all-knowing as naive, idealistic and wrong) was -- as it remains -- the right policy for spreading liberty and democracy, particularly in a Middle East that boasts so little of either.
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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