On President Bush

I was asked yesterday about any political issues that might be on my mind lately. I answered that I have been and continue to be disappointed in President Bush. I had pretty high hopes for him, and I voted for him — twice. Three times if you count Governor of Texas.

I don’t for a minute regret either of my votes for president. Kerry is a boob with contempt for the common man, especially those in uniform, and Gore is a one-trick pony that would wreck our economy and throw hundreds of thousands of Americans out of work. As bad as Bush has been, I’m convinced that either Democrat would have been far worse.

For me, three issues define Bush’s failure as a president:

  • The Harriet Miers nomination.
  • The failure to win in Iraq.
  • Insisting on amnesty for Illegal Aliens.

The Harriet Miers nomination to the Supreme Court was the first issue that damaged my willingness to support Bush. Here’s how I described it at the time to a friend:

How dare he use the United States Supreme Court to reward his friends like it’s not much more than ambassadorship to an english speaking county? The arrogance. He hurt my feelings. And he lost me as a supporter. What’s more, he can’t repair that. All of the things I gave him a pass for before… So he finally nominated the kind of jurist he promised, fine. Too, too bad he didn’t do that instead of Miers. I don’t know what was worse, the nomination or the wink and nod that she would ‘vote right’ like that would fix it, like that’s all that mattered.

The supreme court of this country makes the most important decisions affecting our lives. I want the smartest people doing that. The first word I heard to describe John Roberts was “brilliant”. The first adjective I heard to describe Harriet Miers was “intelligent”. In my mind there’s a gap there in that difference big enough to stick half of Texas.

I’ve probably more than made my point here, but this particular rant could spring up at any provocation.

The next issue where I have drifted away from the Republican party line is the war in Iraq. I’m sick and tired of Bush droning on about how important Iraq is. We understand very well how important it is, Mr. President. What we don’t understand is why you aren’t doing everything you can to win. We expected you to go to Iraq ready to play, and instead you left some mighty fine toys (like diplomacy) back here in the toybox. I’m convinced our military are being misapplied, and I’m of the opinion the American people only blame Bush for not winning. Am I being impatient? Tough nuggies.

As long as the military is the only idea coming from this administration as an Iraqi solution we see it as more of the same. And “the same” is clearly not “winning”. Our military is not set up to be a police force. They are not community outreach. They are trained and equipped to effectively and efficiently destroy an enemy. They are the best in the world at it and it is simply wrong to ask anything else from them.

The last issue where I have been disappointed in our President is the area of immigration reform. Here, as in Iraq, the President pulls a “bait and switch”. He correctly assesses our need for a quest worker program then the only program he offers is amnesty. He seems to make the argument that it needs fixing so we must be in favor of his fix. It’s the citizenship that is the problem, Mr. President. Canada has a guest worker program that from all accounts works well and does not involve the granting of citizenship. We have a guest worker program, it’s called a green card. Why can’t we fix whatever is wrong with that? This is an issue that could prompt a nationalist backlash that would be disastrous, even to the point of threatening our way of life.

The President is fond of starting sentences with the phrase “what the American people need to understand…” Oh, we understand Mr. President. But after watching years of an administration devoid of a single innovative solution to our problems, we are wondering if you do.