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And make no mistake: They do hate him. In the wake of the recent capture of Saddam Hussein, a sensible, human reaction would have gone something along the lines of: This is a great day. I am proud of our troops for their persistence and restraint. I’ve had my differences with the president but this isn’t the time or place for political posturing. Today, all Americans should be proud of our troops and hopeful that this will bode well for the future of Iraq.
Instead, the anti-Bushies kvetched. The presidential hopefuls said that somehow they would have done better, and caught the former strong man of Iraq faster. A few kooks and respected officials speculated that Saddam was found earlier and held until it would produce the maximum political payoff, and wondered if the same was true of one Osama bin Laden. They were absolutely incapable of accepting the good news for what it was, if it would benefit George W. Bush.
I pick on the liberals because it’s fun and because they’re a bit more blatant about it, but the phenomenon is certainly not limited to one side of the aisle. The substantive issues of this next election are going to be few and far between. Assuming the nominee is Dean and that Bush doesn’t decide to quit while he’s ahead, both candidates will tilt away from gun control, toward more entitlement spending, toward liberalized immigration policies, toward staying in Iraq, and against reducing the size of government. The issues don’t matter nearly as much as either keeping or gaining power, if they matter at all.
Rather, the contrast is, for lack of a better term, tribal — though the affinity is cultural rather than genetic. Red and blue state designations are still in use because different voters feel that that says something about who they are. If you want to see yourself as a progressive, affluent, educated type and you live in a red state, you’re likely to gaze longingly at certain parts of the map. And red staters, as they watch the inflow of blue state refugees, must oil their guns with increased vigor. Earlier this year, descendants of the famously feuding Hatfields and McCoys finally got together and signed a truce. They must be loving this.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?