George Bush hasAfter chuckling at this I started to think about it seriously. I know it's not meant for serious consideration, but it's just my nature to analyze everything under the sun. It struck me that those eight points are the most common eight points put forth by the Left before the 2004 election to bash Bush and the Republicans. The problem is that even with these claims being constantly bandied about in the media, Bush and the Republicans had a pretty solid victory in 2004.
- started an ill-timed and disastrous war under false pretenses by lying to the American people and to the Congress;
- run a budget surplus into a severe deficit;
- consistently and unconscionably favored the wealthy and corporations over the rights and needs of the general population;
- destroyed trust and confidence in, and good will toward, the United States around the globe;
- ignored global warming to the world's detriment;
- wantonly broken our treaty obligations; he has condoned torture of prisoners;
- attempted to create a theocracy in the United States;
- appointed incompetent cronies to positions of vital national importance.
Would someone please give him a blow job so we can impeach him?
What's worse is that most of those eight points are somewhat less "true" today than they were in 2004 when Bush won and it looks to me like the trend may well continue to favor Bush and the Republicans. Let's consider the points one by one:
- The war seems somewhat less disastrous at this point than it did before the 2004 election. There is a Iraqi constitution, elections are forthcoming, the Iraqi army is getting closer to being ready to take over from us, and Iraqis are generally pretty upbeat. It may still all fall apart, but it could also be that by 2008 it will be difficult to consider Iraq a disaster.
- The budget deficits have been getting smaller every year. By 2008, the federal budget may even be balanced, in which case this won't be an issue that the Democrats can hang their hats on.
- On the surface, this point was and remains true (though the "unconscionably" part is definitely arguable). Indeed, the Republicans' business friendly policies have led to record growth in corporate profits. However, as I've written previously "[w]ages and profits are always linked over the long run. When doing business becomes more profitable, companies seek to expand their business. This increases the demand for labor which reduces the labor pool causing wages to increase. Because of these earnings increases, I expect to see the median family income increase nicely during 2006 and 2007". If I'm right, most people will be feeling richer just in time for the 2008 election season. I don't think all that many middle class people really care about the "wealthy and corporations" as long as they are getting richer too.
- I just got back from Europe and I got the feeling while there that anti-Bush sentiments are subsiding a little. Perhaps they are just growing used to him; perhaps new European leaders such as Germany's new chancellor, Angela Merkel, are causing Europeans to rethink their relationship with America; or perhaps they're just focusing too much on their own troubles of poor economic growth, growing pension and other liabilities, and ethnic unrest to worry about America and Bush so much anymore. At any rate, they seemed less interested in Bush bashing than during my visits earlier this year and last.
- Many other countries are now backing away from meeting greenhouse gas emissions targets (see here, here, and here) which makes it seem like Bush and the Republicans were just more realistic than everybody else.
- Torture in certain conditions is supported by 60% of Americans. That may be horrifying, but it is reality and, as a result, point 6 doesn't help the Democrats all that much, if at all.
- A large majority of Americans want more religion. This makes Bush's religious stance a feature, not a bug, to most Americans. Indeed, the Democrats appear to be unfriendly to religion and this hurts them badly in elections.
- Sure, but what President didn't appoint incompetent cronies? Besides, Bush isn't running again, so his successor can't be faulted ahead of time for appointing incompetent cronies.