Bell Curve The Law Talking Guy Raised by Republicans U.S. West
Well, he's kind of had it in for me ever since I accidentally ran over his dog. Actually, replace "accidentally" with "repeatedly," and replace "dog" with "son."

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

"Elections Have Consequences"

Last year, Democrats managed to block the confirmation of three ultra-conservative judges--William J. Haynes, William Myers and Terrence Boyle. After the 2006 midterm elections, Democrats hoped Bush would let sleeping dogs lie, but in a move that infuriated Democrats, Bush re-introduced the nominations in December. Now, at last, Bush has changed his tune: Bush quietly withdrew those three names yesterday. Ah yes... as McCain famously explained his support for Bush's very conservative Supreme Court nominees in 2005, "Elections have consequences."

Bush's retreat is, of course, belated concession to political reality... but might it also signal the start of the final stage of the Bush presidency? As he enters the home stretch, maybe Bush realizes he no longer must pander to the religious right. Could it be that he finally has begun to contemplate his legacy? And if he indeed has decided to pick his battles more wisely, what will those battles be?


Anonymous said...

GWBush is a lame duck. What's more, his VP is not running for Pres, and he is massively unpopular, so there is no party faction trying to give GWBush a legacy. GWBush is unlikely to get any legislation through Congress at all, because he can kill anything by attaching his name to it.

So what will GWBush do?
1. Foreign affairs. More troops to Iraq is just the start. If he wants a legacy, he has to do more foreign adventurism. So he will involve himself in more wars against terrorist subgroups, like in Somalia.

2. I suspect he will start making large proposals that are popular but legislatively impossible. He will propose reforming the income tax, perhaps even a flat tax. He will propose radical trade reform - a Worldwide Free Trade Zone or something. Big, possibly popular, but politically impossible ideas will give the Republicans running for President or for re-election something to attach themselves to. School vouchers for all.

If Republicans can't be the party of legislation, they can be the Party of Ideas. If they don't do succeed in changing the subject, the national conversation for 2008 will become "how do we best provide universal health coverage?" That is something conservatives are desperate to avoid talking about.

// posted by LTG

Anonymous said...

#1 seems to be happening right now, but I question LTG's #2. If Bush is really thinking of a legacy, he may try to work with Democrats to some extent to achieve something tangible. The Republicans in Congress may wish to make such large, popular, impossible proposals--but Bush may be on a different page.