President Bush limits his options
It is possible that George W. Bush will go down in history as the president who oversaw the beginning of America's retreat from greatness. All because of his character flaws. He has squandered much of the nation's political and moral capital through poor vision, planning and execution. America's military might and economic clout are now over-extended to make up for the shortfall in global goodwill and real progress in the 'war'.
In many ways President Bush is a parody of his strongest supporters. In large measure he emulates the style of what the Christian Right was hoping for in a president. Fortunately he has not lived up to their aspirations completely and we can all be thankful for such a mercy. However, his defining qualities of laid-back confidence (read: conceit) and boldness (read: recklessness) have combined to deliver a leader of such unwavering certainty and myopic action that America herself has been imperilled by his leadership.
Astonishingly, even now after the obvious failure of his Middle-East policy in general and Iraq in particular, the president is heaping scorn on those who propose any variance from his (anointed) vision for the region. In yesterday’s Washington Times Stephen Dinan reports:
"The Democrat Party that has evolved from one that was confident in its capacity to help deal with the problems of the world to one that is doubting, today still has an approach of doubt and defeat," Mr. Bush said in a campaign speech to donors to the National Republican Senatorial Committee at the Mayflower Hotel near the White House.To President Bush, the problem with the Democratic Party is not that they are soft, but that they have doubts! And he seems to think that doubts are somehow undesirable things to have. To doubt is to be possessed of any apprehension other than absolute certainty. A quality that is a pre-requisite for understanding. What a profoundly ignorant man President Bush aspires to be. Worse still, he wishes us (and the Democrats) to join him.
To be ignorant is sad. To be willfully ignorant is criminal. Mr. President, please understand, for the sake of the future: certainty kills opportunity. Right now, we need every option we can get.