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Maybe Bush is Right On
by Raymond Green
30 January 2004

President Bush has taken Democrats’ issues from them and set the stage for an election based primarily on national security – not a Democrat strong suit.

Much has been said about the Bush administration’s handling of sensitive issues to conservatives like illegal immigration and entitlement spending. The criticism is both broad and intense, coming from traditional allies and longtime foes. Though the criticism coming from opponents is severely hypocritical, it scars no less.

Conservatives are consistent in their disparagement of excessive government spending and amnesty programs for illegal immigrants. This, however, leaves no one to thoroughly explain Bush’s policy strategy because his adversaries stringently attack for the sake of power regardless of policy. Though I don’t personally condone the liberal approach of the current administration’s handling of these specific policies, I do understand the strategy involved.

As conservatives, we must force ourselves to look at the big picture. Our country faces a crippling moral dilemma; the tort system cost our economy an estimated $233 billion in 2003; we desperately need a national energy policy; we need to continue reducing the overwhelming tax burden in our country; our intelligence gathering methods must be vastly overhauled and improved; it is critical that the defense of this country continue to be improved and grow; and we must continue to fight the war on terrorism as we currently are or we will find ourselves in the same war on our soil in coming years. This is a minor explanation of what the macro picture currently looks like.

We can safely assume atheists will continue to embrace – and even encourage – the degradation of morality and religion in this country; trial attorneys will never propose tort reform; environmentalists will not support any realistic energy policy; those dependent on government subsidies will fight any tax cut; and liberal anti-military, anti-intelligence, anti-war, special interests-appeasing politicians will put our country at great risk if left in charge of such issues. These people are Democrats and for this reason alone it is critical that Republicans maintain control of Congress and the White House. Fortunately, this isn’t where supporting the Bush administration ends.

President Bush and company have trademarked setting traps for Democrats. He trapped Democrats into supporting the war by initiating the debate just before elections and trapped Democrats into making the capture of Saddam Hussein an issue. He trapped Democrats into opposing an entitlement to seniors and he, not Howard Dean, forced the Democrats further to the left. Bush has taken Democrats’ issues from them and set the stage for an election based primarily on national security – not a Democrat strong suit.

So we come to Bush’s base supporters. Needless to say, we are not happy – but we must be smart. I pose the following questions to ponder: (1) Will excessive government spending and entitlement programs ever be reformed with Democrats in office and (2) Does politics end when Bush’s term ends? The answer to both is obviously no. The end goal is to place Republicans in Congress strategically to outlast Bush. Bush has been accused by allies of repeating his father’s mistakes. I strongly caution against trying to use a slight majority in Congress to overhaul our country in one term – we’ve seen what that brings before.

Our country faces a number of critical issues we must address in coming years. The easiest to fix is (a) excessive government spending and (b) illegal immigration – if, and only if, Republicans are in office. Excessive government spending can be weaned down over time with a Republican majority in Congress (and it will in due time). Illegal immigration can be solved with technology, a slight bump in spending, and a determined Republican president. Neither, however, can be fixed unless steps are taken to regain a firm control of Congress and overall politics.

Do I agree with amnesty or excessive spending? No; quite the contrary. But I disagree with – and to a great extent, fear – the radical agenda of the left. It will, and has already begun to, destroy this country. It is critical we take control and if a bump to the National Endowment for the Arts silences a few artists, amnesty shuts a few radical Hispanic groups up, and a prescription entitlement makes a few seniors happy, so be it. These policies may not make an overwhelming difference in polls or make many people vote for Bush who wouldn’t have otherwise, but they change the image of Republicans and set the stage for a long-term Republican takeover.

Right or wrong, that is the Bush strategy. Choosing not to vote for him on these specifics simply counts as a vote for his opponents. He may be taking his voter base for granted; however, he may just be assuming we’re smart enough to figure out what is going on. Politics will outlast President Bush; he simply hopes it is politics dominated by Republicans who can eventually take on the issues we are forced to swallow at present.

Raymond Green's website is SupportNoSpin.com

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