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When a Year Isn't as it Should be
by Brian S. Wise

The Left is discovering that this year is not going in its favor.

When a Year Isn't as it Should be
Brian S. Wise
March 10, 2002

  Perhaps this hasn’t crossed your mind, but have you given any thought lately to how hard it must be for liberals right now? No? Huh; so much for “compassionate conservatism.” Anyhow, for the purposes of this column, please consider the matter: it’s March in a mid-term election year, where the party not in the White House traditionally picks up more than a few seats in both chambers. About this point in a President’s first term, voters are tired of seeing his face and hearing his voice, so much so they’re already deciding to send a centrist message at the polls.

  Not this year, at least not yet, and liberals are starting to feel it. Think of the Leftist funk as the Right’s general and political uselessness as Bill Clinton’s second term went on (and on, and on, and on); add to it the media’s savage inability to sway the opinions of their readers and viewers away from President Bush and you “get” their despair. And it’s only March, the hope being said despair will find more depth, in addition to significant width, between now and November’s first Tuesday. Think it won’t happen? It might not, but it could; here are five reasons why.

  One: The recession is over. That Old Objectivist has said so without saying so (as is standard operating procedure for all Fed chairmen), backing up conservative claims made – at least by your author – as recently as three weeks ago. The best we can get from That Old Objectivist is, the recession is nearing an end, which means it’s over, as economies in recovery don’t suddenly reverse themselves mid-recovery. What does it mean? It means Republicans can campaign, and President Bush can effectively back them, on what amounts to a clean and sturdy financial slate, at least so far as most voters can determine. The deficit? Necessary in a time of war, as the president mentioned at fair length during the 2000 campaign.

  Two: The Afghan War, however, is not over. Our losses at the beginning of Operation Anaconda alarmed enough Americans to pay attention again, underscoring what president Bush has been saying from the beginning: ours is not going to be a swift occupation with what amounts to a few high caliber slap fights scattered throughout. Whatever remains of the Taliban and Al-Queda fighters will regroup over the winter and pop up several times during the spring, summer and fall months. Every time these fighters appear, President Bush will make a few notable public comments toward the end of anti-terrorism, the fighters will be killed, support will grow. Therefore, Republicans can campaign in the name of maintaining a very successful military campaign, and the strength it provides us.

  Three: We are going to fight another war in Iraq, everyone knows it, it’s going to go on for a long time, and we’re going to win. This stands to be another phenomenally successful move by the administration, for two reasons: one, after the anthrax attacks in the District, New York City and Florida, everyone now understands the sort of weapons Saddam Hussein is developing; two, most people basically understand that Hussein is a problem the two previous administrations failed to solve. Of the four “Axis of Evil” States, Iraq is the only one we can logically invade, and the citizenry basically sees it as unfinished business.

  Four: Democrat smear campaign against President Bush aren’t working. Enron, which was supposed to be the President’s Iran-Contra (if not Watergate) has nothing that can logically be connected to President Bush, at least not in the much hoped for conspiratorial sense. To help here, two things: one, the video of Bill Clinton playing golf with Kenny Boy Lay; two, the circumstances behind that golf game. Enron donated one hundred thousand dollars to Democrats, which lead to the federal government guaranteeing two billion dollars in loans, used to finance two new Enron power plants overseas. Oops. While it’s clear President Bush had a closer connection to Kenny Boy Lay than most, there’s nothing criminal, and the company’s collapse can in no way be connected to the administration. Voters, normally easily fooled in matters like these, see through Enron, and generally don’t care as long as the retirement plan that was raped wasn’t theirs.

  Five: Republicans are starting to hit back. Orrin Hatch’s spectacular meltdown before a “Borking of Charles Pickering” Judicial Committee meeting last week wasn’t a singular occurrence; Trent Lott’s backhanded pimp slapping of Tom Daschle (for criticism of the war) displayed what is – one hopes – going to be a growing trend as the year goes on. Republicans will not win the fight for Judge Pickering, but they are making it known to Democrats, not to forget fellow Republicans, that a punch delivered will be a punch returned.

  Add to all of this the fact that President Bush is the first in the history of the Gallup Poll to score approval ratings of eighty percent or higher for five consecutive months and you’ll understand more completely the Leftist frustration. With four Republicans Senators retiring and the normal luck of the draw, Republicans are going to lose seats. But there need not be any concern of hemorrhaging as long as we continue effectively fighting, and frustrating, the Left.

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