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Yet Lincoln stood fast by his vision even as his critics lacerated him as a bumbling incompetent when he wasn’t busy being a tyrant, precisely the portrait painted by Bush’s legion of noisy critics.
The other week, Fox News and National Public Radio commentator Juan Williams summed up his view of Iraq and America’s commitment to Bush’s vision of democracy in the Middle East: “Unless there’s some real change, we’re not in this forever.” But Williams seems to forget that Lincoln’s vision did not, in fact, take a mere four years to accomplish. It took America another one hundred years after that death toll of 600,000 — until the Civil Rights successes of the 1960s — for Lincoln’s vision to begin to be realized. That one hundred year period, surely not foreseen by Lincoln, was rife with lynching, segregation and the rawest, ugliest racism this side of slavery itself. Should Americans have simply walked away from Lincoln’s vision because it seemed to be taking “forever”?
The hard truth is that there are important goals in life that take time. Freedom for African Americans was one of them. Freedom and democracy in the Middle East is clearly another. And America’s security from the terror rampant in the current world is still another.
So with the new year upon us and already filled with the chorus of modern day Copperheads doing their best to undermine America’s will in the midst of a life and death struggle not only for Iraqis but the rest of us, it is decidedly to George W. Bush’s credit that he has the courage that Bobby Kennedy spoke of so often as RFK quoted Shaw.
George Bush has the courage to dream of a good and decent something that never was — a free and democratic Middle East — and to stake his presidency on the hard and yes, imperfect work, of saying “why not?”
Thank you for that, Mr. President.
As with Lincoln, there is a word for your behavior. The word is leadership.
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?