A letter to our President

A letter to our President

: Dear President Bush,

Now it’s about your legacy, not about the next election. Now is your chance to make history.

You can govern the entire nation and not play to your right fringe anymore. Oh, you can still have (prayer) breakfasts together, but you don’t have to kiss up to them for votes now. You can surprise everyone and become a President of the center with a vision of your own, not someone else’s: a Reagan or a Clinton.

You can bring stability and democracy to Iraq and set an example for the Middle East. I do (still) believe that is an honorable and necessary goal.

You need to do some hard work to build relationships — not with France, not with yesterday’s world, but with tomorrow’s.

You can make tough decisions about truly managing government and not cutting taxes while letting it grow.

You can bring together coalitions to find new solutions to health care, insurance, energy dependence, even the environment.

You can try.

Just one thing: Don’t even think about appoint John Ashcroft to the Supreme Court.

Thank you.

  • Democracy in Iraq is indeed a good thing. It’s a campaign promise that we should hold him to.
    (My bet: He declares a victory after the election an d pulls the truth to Iraqi bases. In exchange for quiet (and perhaps giving up their nukes), Iran gets a nice helping of Iraq.)
    What else did he actually promise? What else can we hold him accountable for?

  • Greg D

    You’re right.
    He could be someone who uses people, then throws them away like a used Kleenex when they no longer have anything to offer him.
    In other words, he could be a worthless scum.
    I really hope he’s not that kind of person, but we shall see.
    What is it about “Democrats” who’s inherent response to democracy in action seems to be to immediately hope that the winner will spit on democracy by dumping the people who voted for him?
    We had an election about how this country should be run. Now it’s time for the winners to get their way (within the bounds of our system).
    That’s why we have elections. it’s about more than who gets the patronage, it’s about whose ideas should govern.
    You voted for the other guy. You lost. To the extent that you respect democracy, you should not expect to get your way.

  • Dishman

    I find I can generally support your letter, Jeff.
    For the most part, that’s what he ran on.

  • Jim S

    Sorry, but here’s the preview of Bush’s environmental policy.
    Remember the claims about how we just needed good science first? Well, here they are trying to suppress good science. Again.

  • alcibiades

    Er, Jeff, maybe if you want the president to heed you, you shouldn’t start by insulting him, claiming that all along none of the Bush doctrine has been his own vision but someone else’s.
    And just for the record. Telling a Republican he can aspire to be “a Clinton”

  • Lost Soul

    Greg D:
    You have nothing to worry about. W has no intention of becoming a “uniter.”
    There was no real ambiguity this election, he won an honest to God majority. He now has our permission to drag us straight into the pit. Not only that, he has a majority in the House and the Senate courtesy of the American Electorate. He can start chipping away at the Supreme Court and make a complete sweep if it.
    Checks and balances? We apparently don’t need or want them any more. A promise of security, the possibility of war spoils, and the Grace of God are all we need. We certainly don’t require a President that will level with us and produce results.
    As a Democracy, we have nothing to complain about. This time we did it to ourselves. With eyes wide open, in full view of the world.
    Shame on us…

  • I intend to hold the president to what he promised:
    – continued commitment in Iraq and Afghanistan
    – his vision of the ownership society
    – tax code reform
    – tort reform
    – the passage of his energy bill
    That’s what he ran on. He wasn’t evasive, but was pretty clear about it. The majority of Americans voted “yes” to that.
    It’s what it is. Is it the center? I don’t know and I don’t care. Give it whatever label you like, but he owes it to us who voted him into office to push the agenda as advertised. And knowing Bush, he’ll keep that word.
    So there ya go. If you want to know the man’s agenda, look at what he promised on the campaign trail. But don’t expect him to change his stripes now. He’s not going to please everyone.
    And yes – he’ll cut taxes even more. He promised that.

  • Mesa

    “Checks and balances? We apparently don’t need or want them any more.”
    Greed and power are self limiting. Soon they will start to eat each other.
    By next election, they will be no match for democrats.

  • da

    Hogwash! Bush does not need to move anywhere. Its the democrats who have to make the moves. All Bush needs is a working coalition with about six democrats in Senate to get anything he wants passed. If you have not noticed in 1980, the democrats controlled twenty of the twenty-six Senate seats in the old Confederacy. After the election, that number has fallen to four! If I were these four Southern democrats, I would be requesting a meeting with Bush and Frist to work out a deal. I guarantee they will be the next targets by the GOP.

  • df

    Rove used gay marriage to get out the vote.
    It was a cynical exploitation of a gut fear greater than terrorism in a population conditioned to follow the leader.
    best we can hope for is that he gets into alternate energy to get out from under the blackmail of gulf oil.

  • you lost him at “legacy”.
    those $5 words throw him for a loop.
    try phonetics next time.

  • Brother Nikko

    Oh perpetually-capitalized-challenged-one,
    Do you ever have anything constructive to say here, Tony? Anything at all that hasn’t been soaked in bile before you fling it onto the comments board? What do you bring to this place of any value, other than snide, flippant consescension? I am amazed and frankly humbled that Jeff tolerates your sort of sneering “commentary.” He’s a better man than I would be under similar circumstances.
    I don’t agree with a good part of what Jeff espouses here, but he seems to be a thoughtful, respectful gentleman, who takes great pains to be true to his own values and fair to those who hold different views. Do you have any idea at all what that entails? Any desire to take a page or two from our gracious host’s book? Why do you even bother to come here if you have such disdain for the sort of example that Mr. Jarvis embodies?
    Truly, I’m at a loss to know why.

  • Dishman

    Jeff, I’m afraid that these two posts may have gone over the heads of a few people. Once emotions have settled down a bit, they may understand.

  • Greg D

    Yep, Bush used the fear of “judges” deciding to force their values on the rest of us to get people out for his campaign. And it worked.
    This, IMHO, is great news. For too long the left has gotten away with the entirely anti-democratic action of legislating from the bench. Now you’re finally gettting the backlash you deserve.
    Something to remember the next time you contemplate encouraging judges to rewrite a Constitution according to their personal desires.

  • Fred

    I guess you are not completely naive about GWB, or you would have voted for him, Jeff. Nonetheless, it seems like you don’t get who and what he is. In all seriousness, I strongly suspect (either outloud or to himself), he laughs at people like you … and the many millions who voted totally AGAINST their economic self interests at his/Rove’s persuasion/fear/hate baiting.
    I am assuming your letter is sincere and not just rhetorical.
    I would LOVE it if events prove me wrong, but I believe it will not be long before you go back and look at this letter and wonder to yourself “how could I have been that delusional about this man, his agenda and his brutality.”

  • There were too many anti-gay marriage Bush votes in this victory for my comfort. The Democrats will be locked down in a knife-fight over their destiny, so the political misfit Mystery Men will have to defend the city for now. That’s you, Jeff — and me, and all the other Sept. 10 Democrats and liberal hawks who backed Bush for the GWoT and the vision of a democratic Iraq.
    Get used to Arlen Specter, one of the least-liked and least-likeable Senators, as the bulwark of centrist common sense, especially if Bush tries to turn hard right. We in the Pennsylvania media know him well; you can see a lapel button above many a political reporter’s desk that reads, “I got yelled at by Arlen Specter.” I have no idea who makes them, but clearly there’s a market. He’s old and arrogant and starting to look alarmingly like Strom Thurmond.
    But this may be the moment when the moderate mice will have to roar.

  • pele

    I think you underestimate Europe Jeff. This is good for Europe of course.

  • Drew

    I’ll settle for Chief Justice Clarence Thomas.

  • david

    Here’s hoping he turns even more to the right instead of coming to the center. Forget the center…forget the left…reward the people who put you in power. Let him put into effect all the things the right wingers have been dying to do for the last 30 years. Either the country will be better off or it will lead to the re-emergence of the democratic party. You got your mandate…now put up or shut up.

  • wd

    I say “amen” to the earlier post by Brett. The President told the American people what he would do if re-elected, and the people re-elected him. Period. He may talk with a drawl and deliver a mediocre speech, but he also talked to us in very plain no-nonsense terms that every vote understood.
    It’s always funny to hear liberals screaming for conservatives to “reach out,” “find common ground,” and “move to the center” when a Republican gets elected. Tell me again how you find “common ground” on the war in Iraq, partial-birth abortion, gay marriage, and the tax code.
    Either abortion is the murder of an unseen human being, or it’s discarding a blob of tissue.
    Either gay marriage is a civil rights issue and hence two men at the altar is a beautiful sight, or it’s an attempt by anti-religious, anti-family radicals to redefine 5,000 years of Judeo-Christian tradition.
    Either it’s wrong for local, state and federal government to take 50 percent of a person’s income, or it’s a terrific system.
    The voters heard two opposite opinions on those issues, and then they cast their ballots.

  • EddieP

    I am a solid Bush supporter and will be extremely disappointed if he takes Jeff’s advice. If he worries one iota about his legacy, he will be a loser in my eyes.
    Bush has always been the guy who says what he thinks and does what he believes in. That’s already his legacy. Why try to improve on that?
    Read Arthur Chrenkoff today if you want to see how our offended Old Europe allies feel today:
    Like him or not, he is irreversibly changing the world. Our children and grandchildren will be safer because of his courage and integrity. Legacy? Leave that to the pundits and historians, let’s get on with what we’ve got started.

  • Don Mynack

    I don’t know Jeff. If Bush veers too right, I guess you can unleash the awesome power of the “Howard Stern Voters” to throw Congress to the left. I mean, they were a huge factor in this election, weren’t they?

  • The electorate speaks; the dems are left hanging by their fingernails on the edge of left field; and somehow their fringe position is all Bush’s fault. Sounds like the same old leftoid chant.
    All American politics takes place around the center, and if you’re not within spitting distance of the center, you’re just not in the game. The Left can move, or they can wait for the game to move to them. It could be a long wait.

  • Margaret

    I expect Pres. Bush to honor all the promises he made. The reason I and other social (and economic) conservatives voted for him is that we oppose the libertarian ethos of license and believe that he does also. Further, we voted for him because he does what he says he will, including, unfortunately, loose immigration and federal funding of education.

  • JJ, what you suggest is that Bush should be dishonest and betray the largest popular vote in US history. He will of course work with Democrats, as he has done in the past, because it’s in his nature. But most likely, whenever he does reach out to Democrats in the future, it will not be appreciated or acknowledged, just as it was not during his first term, because the Democrats are a little too used to getting a larger share of what they want.
    I know that it’s no fun to have your candidate lose, but there is a reason the loser lost and the winner won. We didn’t come out in droves to vote for the guy just so he would turn around and give us watered-down Kerry.
    What happens now is that the Democrats must choose their battles wisely. The burden is on them to reach out to Bush. They can’t block every judicial nomination; they can’t block every conservative initiative; it’s not fun, but the minority party will have to fight for what it gets, just as Republicans had to fight for what they got when they were in the minority.
    And this is also going to require greater moderation in the unquestionably uncivil tone of Democrats, after four years of constant invective. In a position of weakness to begin with, you do not begin your negotiations with “by the way, I agree with Michael Moore that you’re an AWOL war mongering neocon chimpanzee war criminal cokehead”. The Democrats need to do a better job of repudiating their own fringe, which is huge, vocal, and omnipresent compared to the current right fringe.

  • Solly

    This is laughable. I love it that whenever Liberals lose an election, they call upon the Conservative to “govern from the center”. On the rare occasions where Liberalism carries the day, they pronounce a “mandate for change”. Consistency is not a virtue of the Left.
    More laughable is your mischaracterization of Ronald Reagan as having somehow governed from the center. Reagan was a staunch Conservative archtype, and rammed a Conservative agenda through a Democrat-controlled Congress by taking his cases directly to the American people. It is delusional or misplaced wishful thinking to claim that he was somehow “centrist”.
    There are many reasons that the Democrats lost this election cycle, (indeed the last 3), so thoroughly, but first and foremost is the near total lack of honest self-reflection and assessment on the part of Democrats as individuals and as a Party. Your Party has no foundation on which to build, and all the emnity in the world for a Republican candidate can’t compensate for this fundamental flaw.
    If you disagree on matters of policy, fine – present your dissenting case, but concurrently present an alternative that is at least as thoroughly constructed as the proposition you oppose.
    Belittling the President’s intelligence, (Yale grad, fighter pilot, Harvard MBA, Governor of Texas – that’s NOT the resume of an idiot), characterizing his campaign manager as an evil mastermind, assigning Apocolyptic consequences to his every policy, ridiculing his Faith in God and the importance he places on that Faith, impugning the intelligence of 59 million, (and still counting), of your fellow American citizens, etc., etc., etc. – These are not useful arguments. They’re petulant and small-minded, and utterly useless to the public discourse. Making them the crux of the Democratic campaign was a recipe for disaster, and you got it.
    Conservatives aren’t evil; neither are Liberals. Conservatism is the only means to Liberal ends, and the sooner this is embraced, the sooner you’ll see a progressive agenda become viable in a country where Conservatism is the manner is which people live their own lives more than it is a political identity.

  • Thom

    There’s no way Bush would nominate Ashcroft to the Supreme Court, he’s already committed to naming Ken Starr as the next Associate Justice.
    (Boy would that provide fodder for the media)

  • Jim Jernigan

    Don’t even think about appoint John Ashcroft to the Supreme Court.
    Oh, puh-leese…at least use good english. Your usage spoils your arrogant presumptiveness in lecturing the President of the United States.

  • a.moose

    It’s certainly a good thing your breathing is an autonomous function.
    A. Moose.

  • Rove used gay marriage to get out the vote.
    It was a cynical exploitation of a gut fear greater than terrorism in a population conditioned to follow the leader.

    Actually, it was a reaction in 11 states to an issue pressed in MA long before the election. A lot of people saw the court rulings there and said, “Not in my state.”
    I’m not saying their right, I’m just saying it is hardly a grand evil scheme to get out the vote divined by Karl Rove.

  • Greg D

    Lost Soul,
    The main reason why I’m a Republican is because, unlike the Democrats, their programs (welfare reform, vouchers, privatizing social security, pushing issues to the state level instead of the Federal level) actually work. I look forward to Bush pushing conservative programs now that he has a real majority in the Senate. And I look forward to those programs succeeding, and the Democrats being discredited (again) when they shout that the sky will fall if the programs are adopted.
    I also look forward to the electorial gains the Republicans will make when their programs do work.
    And if I’m wrong, and the programs fail? Well, then, the Democrats will start winning elections. And deserve to.

  • syn

    Not everybody wants Ashcroft or the Patriot Act to go.
    In Amsterdam this past Tuesday film maker Theo Van Gogh was stabbed and shot for making a film exposing the horrific treatment of Islamic females. His murderer was a radical Islamic Fascist of Moroccan descent who was born in Holland. The murderer attached his Quran message of death to Western civilization upon the the body of Van Gogh.
    Some Dutch bloggers are wondering when their own government will create an Ashcroft form of Patriot Act in order to confront this type of terrorism. They also speak of the manner in which their so tolerant society has brought this form of terrorism upon their people.
    I am relieved we have the Patriot Act.
    On the other hand, the ‘tolerant’ progressive Hollywood artists, are too busy receiving botox
    injections to notice the disturbing implications of events which occurred on the streets of Amesterdam this past Tuesday.
    Europe is being assimilated into radical Islam and will be confronted with 8th Century barbarism for decades to come.
    I will not to listen to the spawns of Drummond Pike any longer.