Friday, April 08, 2005

The Bush Dilemma

An excellent article in National Review Online by Victor Davis Hanson on the odd domestic discontent with the President. An excerpt:

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?

After the first four years, even the president's critics expect him to take on tough issues and offer controversial solutions. Calling for bipartisan efforts to cap federal spending and balance the budget, craft an energy policy involving more alternative and traditional domestic fuel sources (coupled with conservation and nuclear power), and close the borders to illegal immigration, fine employers who break the law, end ethnic Balkanization and state-subsidized bilingualism, and return immigration policy to equity and legality — all that is what we might have expected of someone who remade the Middle East.

....How odd that the more risk-taking and principled the administration's sense of purpose abroad, the more we demand the same at home — and thus feel it sorely when such tough leadership on what matters most to Americans is wanting. And that, I think, explains the paradox of why a president, in the midst of crafting one of the most successful foreign policies since World War II, can only convince half the population that they are, in fact, living in historic times.



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