Friday, April 08, 2005

Foreign Bush and Domestic Bush

Victor Davis Hanson has yet another thought-provoking article on National Review Online. The President's foreign policy successes have made believers of most people, with even some of his sternest critics publicly admitting he may have been right all along:
"Yet after the president's successful reelection, and the stunning news of the Iraqi voting and its encouraging aftershocks in the region, George Bush enjoys little more than a 50 percent approval rating. Unemployment is low. Inflation remains moderate. Interest rates are affordable, and real growth is strong, Why, then, the discontent?

Perhaps the wear and tear of being targeted by elites for nearly five years, from Michael Moore to the New York Times, has taken its toll. Or perhaps the casualties from the Iraq war and hysteria over Social Security reform explain the discontent. It is said that the Terri Shiavo matter did not win the president American support either.

Perhaps. But I think the answer lies instead in a strange paradox of George W. Bush and the optimistic prospects he has raised about solving problems of the first order. The President has shown himself so resolute in matters of foreign policy that he has raised the bar of his expected performance on the home front.

That is, by standing nearly alone in the Middle East, by never wavering in the face of unprecedented venom, and by weathering everything from Abu Ghraib to the televised beheadings, Bush has established himself a man of principle who welcomes the chance to offer unpopular but needed solutions to real crises.

But, on the domestic front, there are at least three critical issues that engage Americans Left and Right — and right now Social Security reform, as salutary as it could be, is unfortunately not one of them. In contrast, worry about long-term American financial strength, illegal immigration, and soaring energy prices most surely are."[Emphasis in original]
Read the rest.

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