Saturday, May 13, 2006

The Do Something President in a Say Something World

The Anchoress passionately and eloquently argues that President Bush is being vilified both on the left and the right largely over his willingness to take on hard issues (immigration, energy, social security, and terrorism) that previous President's ignored and passed on. After briefly discussing how past President's neglected these crucial issues that Bush has attempted to take on, she declares:

It's not just about the president, though. There is a terrible toxicity to our political and social exchanges - there is little real thought and lots of shrieking going on, lots of noise, little real discourse and precious little honesty. There is no way to debate because - no matter which side tries to get serious - a well-thought-out discourse is immediately shot down by the other side with a one-line-sneer, usually a specious one, that distorts or misdirects and never allows a thought to go forward. The disrespect between "sides" is staggering, and completely unproductive. But non-productivity seems to be what people like. It's "safe." If you don't do anything, you can"t get blamed, right? More kicking things down the road. Let the guy who actually wants to take some action bear the brunt of your fear, your insecurity, your anger, your scorn, your impotencedoesn'the doesn"t do it all perfectly, he's a bum. Prof. Bainbridge and Ed Morrissey report that "conservatives are abandoning Bush."

While holes could be knocked in some of her arguments, sometimes the sum is greater than its parts, and her point that Bush has been willing to take on tough issues, and has received little cooperation or credit for doing so, is a valid one. Much of the problem lies in the fact that neither party's leaders seem to have much political courage, and political cowards find it easy to play on public fears and claim victory with compromises that offer no solution at all.

Conservatives are correct to criticize the President's failure to control government spending, but his willingness to expend his now diminished political capitol on real issues should not be forgotten.

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