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Second, actively push good, solid, articulate, and telegenic judicial nominees, and let them actually make their own case in public. Have them especially focus on issues of law and order. It can’t be repeated often enough: When the issue is judges, conservatives win, because almost all judge-related issues are ones where conservative “positions” are politically popular.
Third, as indicated earlier, use Tony Snow and Karl Rove to best effect to get the White House message out.
Fourth, VETO SOMETHING! Even if it means apparently embarrassing a few congressional Republicans, a Bush veto, specifically on the basis of a bill being too costly, would invigorate the conservative mainstream that has been deserting this President in droves. This also means dropping the utterly absurd contention that the administration so far has actually been fiscally disciplined: It hasn’t, not at all, and trying to claim that it has been is like putting a stick in the eyes of tens of millions of Americans frustrated with the spending orgy. But a Bush veto, loudly trumpeted — and, if possible, backed by a second and a third — would send the message that the president is now on board, finally, as a true fiscal conservative. (It also would overcome the canard that on domestic issues Bush actually has no backbone.)
For that matter, it actually would help Republicans of all stripes, not hurt them, if they were made to vote one way or the other on overriding a Bush veto. The conservatives who stick with Bush would be bolstered by their show of strong fiscal rectitude, while the moderates who vote to override would get credit from the “swing” voters they so covet for having the guts to stand up to a President unpopular in their own districts. In short, a veto gives every Republican in Congress the chance to play the situation to his or her best political advantage.
Fifth, make a big effort in the fall to ramp up operations in Iraq, while calling it something like “a final push to victory.” Yes, put Iraq back on the table, with lots of upbeat noise and rhetoric and on-the-ground action, and force the Democrats to be in the position, if they oppose the ramp-up, of again looking as weak on defense as they actually are. (This does not mean they are unpatriotic; just foolish.) The Iraqi war effort needs more and louder, more Churchillian, publicity efforts, rather than being swept under the rug as an embarrassment.
The most important reason for such an effort, though, isn’t political; it’s moral and practical. The best way to win the post-war fight against the terrorists in Iraq, once and for all, is to hit them harder, faster, and more repeatedly, while focusing everybody’s attention on the effort and raising morale for that effort. Slow fade-outs don’t work; they just encourage the Zarqawis to keep fighting. What’s needed, in effect, is a reverse Tet Offensive. The whole, worldwide, anti-terrorist effort needs the boost that only a major, (apparently) final victory in Iraq can provide. (Also, think creatively here: As frustrated as the president may be with Colin Powell, perhaps the way to give the big final push a real sense of legitimacy is to publicly bring back Powell to be heavily involved in planning it. Tell Powell to forget trying to be a diplomat; as one last service to his country, he is being asked to put on his military hat once again, as in the first Gulf War, and help us first cut off the terrorist network, and then kill it — kill it dead.)
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There: That’s enough for now. Other ideas, and there are indeed others, can wait. This agenda alone is far more easily said than done, especially with a Congress that has utterly lost its way and which, therefore, may well get in the way.
But this president, for all his faults and for all his honestly mistaken policy choices at times, does have the best interests of his country in his heart. All of us as Americans need to see him succeed — because, after all, it’s more than politics that is at stake here. It’s our country that George W. Bush is trying to serve, and we all benefit when his efforts succeed.
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?
H/T to National Review Online