VIEW FROM AFAR

ORIGINALLY WRITTEN DALE SUDERMAN
George W. Bush as a two-term president seems like an interesting idea. I say this even though I am a registered Democrat living in Chicago.

(One has little choice but to be a Democrat in Chicago; if one registers as a Republican, a moving van shows up the next day and moves you to the suburbs.)

Even the most liberal of Democrats have good reasons to be proud of President Bush. For example, we have always defended huge federal spending deficits as both necessary and often good for the economy

And President Bush has created spending deficits that would make FDR proud. He exhibited tremendous courage and vision when he reversed the Clinton strategy of starting to pay off the national debt.

His strategy of sending the common folk a check for a few bucks while giving the rich folks tax cuts so they could buy yachts and more land for their hunting reserves and country estates was brilliant.

President Bush has been good for the environment. Rather than sign the Kyoto Accords to fight global warming, he took matters into his own hands and eliminated millions of industrial jobs in America.

(Factories are a major source of air pollution, so close the factories and let their dust go overseas.)

Yet he has also fought unemployment. Every time he mobilizes a National Guard person another job opens up for a civilian.

(There is no need for some persons to have two jobs-when other persons have none.)

President Bush promised to deal with Weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq. Today, he can look us straight in the eye and assure us there are no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq-and we can all believe him.

He has given hope to the refugees who come to America and speak English as a second language. After eight years of Bushisms, there will no longer be any standard American English-we will all be free to pronounce words any way we want and in any order.

President Bush has keen insights into the moral questions about war and peace. His likely opponent, John Kerry, had to head off to Vietnam and live in nasty swamps and get a bunch of Purple Hearts before he realized that war was based on a disastrous policy.

But George W. Bush, without cracking a book at Yale or getting involved in the difficult debates about morality and policy, serenely joined the Texas Air National Guard and sat out the war drinking beer in Alabama.

He found the perfect middle ground between being a combatant and a conscientious objector. (Plus, he had his picture taken in a flight suit that made him look very dashing.)

President Bush promised to be a Uniter and not a Divider. And today, both world leaders and ordinary citizens in countries around the world are united about George Bush-although their comments about him are mostly as unprintable as “potty-mouth” Dick Cheney’s Senate floor dialogue with Senator Leahey.

It is only in a second term that we see the true essence of presidential character. Thus, in his second term we determined that Richard Nixon really was a crook; that Bill Clinton really was libidinous and that while the porch lights were always on for Ronald Reagan, increasingly there was nobody home.

The raging debate in America is about the character of George Bush. One camp argues he is merely a Dan Quayle with a pedigree-a simple, uninformed soul doing very bad things based on bad advice. Another camp argues vehemently he is a bad man who smiles sweetly while he does bad things, in the very best tradition of West Texas oilmen and door-to-door Bible salesmen.

Certainly if we survive a second term for President Bush these questions will be resolved-for both citizens and historians.



You can write to Dale Suderman at: Suderman@aol.com

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