Wednesday, December 08, 2004

In Praise of George W. Bush

James Trotter by way of PoliPundit has a list of accomplishments for the first Bush term that are worth your while (I agree with all of them except the last by Joe. If anyone gets credit for exposing Oil-for-Food, it should be Claudia Rosett). Bush's accomplishments are impressive indeed- clearly he is a man who understands how to be an executive in the Executive Office. It's not accomplishments that I love about George W. Bush, though - it's ideas.

Now, our leftie buddies would scoff at this - in their minds, it's a wonder Bush can tie his shoes. I'm not talking about debating points or mental gymnastics - I'm talking about principles. In 2000, then-candidate Bush was asked in a debate who his favorite political philosopher was. His answer was stunning - "Jesus, because he changed my heart". To the left, it was stunning because it confirmed all their fears about Bush - look, he believes in that junk! He doesn't know any political philosophers! He's beholden to the Religious Right! To the majority of Americans, and particularly those who knew a little about Bush's younger days, the answer stunned because it was so direct and honest. This directness came through again in this year's debates when Bush talked about his family and faith.

This is not about Church and State, and I'm not out to convert anyone - this is about conviction. While Michael Moore and his ilk worry about the seven minutes Bush spent in a Florida classroom (would Moore have us believe if Bush had jumped up, dashed out of the room, and onto Air Force One, that a single person who died would not have? What a non-argument!), most Americans were paying more attention when the President gave his now-famous "Axis of Evil" speech, or when he stood on that rubble at Ground Zero and swore the terrorists would hear all of us soon, or when he gave in my mind the greatest speech of my lifetime to a joint session of Congress in the early aftermath of that horrible, horrible day.

This is a president who recognized evil and called it by name, who provided the essential comfort to a shocked nation that we would no longer be complacent, we would no longer settle for appeasement. This is a president who has led the world with an unprecedented funding campaign to combat the AIDS catastrophe in Africa. This is a president who believes in the transformative power of democracy and the eventual triumph of freedom over tyranny. This is a president to thank God for every day.

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