Michael Van Winkle argues that Bush focuses on his own reelection at Republicans’ political peril. I agree, though there’s not much that we can do about it. Bush is currently the best that Americans have got. There is no good Republican alternative, and the Democrats are so unserious, and in such political disarray, as to be almost beneath consideration for national leadership.
(Via Randy Barnett)
5 thoughts on “There’s a Lot of Clinton in Bush”
There is no good Republican alternative. . .How about John McCain? He’s serious and credible on nat’l security. He’s been a pretty harsh critic of some of the spending bills that Bush has/will sign. I don’t know how he is on trade (a little help?) but I’m not sure that he would have done the steel tariffs if he was the President. Plus, he’s got national name-recognition and he doesn’t seem to have the social-policy downside (i.e., way too conservative for a lot of people) that Bush does.Obviously, it’s a pipe-dream to think that the Republicans will nominate anyone other than Bush in ’04, but if McCain was nominated, I think if anything he would be a stronger candidate than Bush.
I don’t think McCain is a good alternative. First of all, he didn’t prevail against Bush in 2000. I think that Bush is an even stronger candidate now, given his war leadership.
Second of all, McCain has a history of trying to score Democratic votes by opposing Republicans on substantial issues (notably campaign finance, where he has been quite destructive). This kind of record isn’t likely to get him much help from his own party’s leadership, much less the grass-roots Republican voters and workers a less-than-conservative Republican like McCain needs if he is to win national elections.
Finally, McCain is on the left side of too many issues. He is neither conservative nor libertarian enough for many Republican voters, a lot of whom don’t trust him anyway. Based on election results, it appears that McCain’s liberalism is more of a problem than is Bush’s conservatism.
I’m not so sure that Bush is doing anything of the sort. The election is still almost a year away, it’s too soon to tell what his election strategy will be. Personally, I think he’s doing the smart thing and just ignoring the whole thing mostly until it’s actually, you know, near election time. That way his opponents spend the most time arguing against a brick wall and using the same arguments over and over again until their threadbare whereas he, I think, will be able to make a strong, smooth run to the finish without leaving enough time for anything he puts forward to get old and worn out before the election. We’ll have to wait and see though
I am curious about what Bush will do (if) he is re-elected, and becomes less centered on appeasing liberal causes.
I don’t know, but I think it’s unwise to assume that he will become more solicitous toward conservative and libertarian causes.
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