It has been one year since the Democrats took control of Congress. The President's performance at his news conference the day after the election demoralized me. He was so weak, pathetic, and self-defensive that I thought that unlike Reagan in 1986, in a similar election debacle, Bush would seek to accommodate the Democrats at every turn. However, he seemed to get his second wind, and has for the most part performed credibly. He has outsmarted his opponents and stood firm on Iraq. He has showed the country and the world he is no lame duck.
After the election, it was considered that the Baker Report on Iraq would be the blueprint for the U.S. withdrawal from Iraq. No one, including myself, was expecting Bush to stay firm in his commitment to keep the troops there for as long as necessary. However, he not only stood up to Congress and the media, he accepted the surge as a change in policy. Although some thought it was too late to save the situation, it has achieved success to the point that the Democrats cannot rely on the issue to win them the election. And the U.S. has been spared the reputation of being a paper tiger that will cut and run when the pressure gets to be too much. Also, Bush has stood firm on protecting the American public through surveillance. Not only did he prevent Congress from outlawing needed surveillance techniques, the Congress reauthorized them. He has so far fought successfully against a Congressional intrusion into Executive powers over the issue of Congressional subpoenas. True, he no longer can bring about positive change, yet he has succeeded in preventing the Democrats from inflicting a lot of damage. He has also fought needless Federal spending, even if his efforts in this area are rather late.
There are two issues that disappoint me concerning Bush. One is immigration. Had he succeeded in passing his and the Democrat's bill on immigration, he could have split the party, guaranteeing a Democratic victory in the next election. Thankfully, he lost that effort and the Republicans will not have that issue to weigh them down in the coming election year. Then there is the attempt to create a Palestinian state. This seems to be a never ending issue that waning administrations hope would elevate them in the polls and receive a favorable historical judgement. But as the quote from either Irving or William Kristol says, "Those whom the gods will destroy are those who try to bring about a Palestinian state." (Quote not exact)
I expected George W. Bush to disappoint me in some areas. But there was one area in which I completely trusted him, and that was in the appointment of Conservative, pro-life judges. In this he has not disappointed. And if he remains steadfast on this issue, I will have no reason to regret my support for him over John McCain in 2000.