It's been a tough couple of months for George Bush fans. Those who appreciate and support our president have found themselves defending the seemingly indefensible: mounting US casualties in a slow-moving Iraq war. A muddled federal response to a natural disaster. Spending habits that are anything but conservative, and a Supreme Court nomination that has left many scratching their collective heads.
But regardless of one's political leanings, the coverage of Mr. Bush's performance here of late has been unfair and, quite obviously, even more biased than normal. One example: it appears that Iraqis have voted decisively for a new constitution. Of course, we should not overstate the importance of this moment, but we must not understate it as well. Despite the certainty of violent retribution, Iraqis turned out in solid numbers to give their new form of government a vote of confidence. Had you watched any of the Sunday TV chat shows, however, you’d be led to believe that either the vote was irrelevant, or unsuccessful. For instead of sharing images of smiling Iraqis with ink-stained fingers…most American news interests chose to focus the grumblings of Senators Levin, Biden, and Durbin…or the incendiary rhetoric of Messrs. Jackson, Sharpton, Farrakhan, speaking at the “Millions More March” on Washington.
The language was brutal. One senator called the Iraq Constitution a "divisive" document-- a "setback," even if approved. Another claimed that it was "pretty clear that President Bush is not very much in control of much." He apparently works for the Department of Redundancy Department.
But at the very moment Iraqis were casting their ballots, the speakers at the "March" reserved their harshest rhetoric for the president. One attorney called Mr. Bush a "gangster, racist, criminal, liar and a killer." He, too, recounted the ridiculous claim that was the recurring theme of the day: that the president somehow caused the breaking of the levees in New Orleans. Another speaker posited that aid to that city would have been quicker, had it been "whites on the rooftops, calling for help." Several others incited the crowd with calls for the president’s impeachment.
But these are just a few examples of how extreme partisanship has become in America. We won't allow ourselves a brief moment to celebrate a small victory in Iraq, even if it denies our troops the slightest bit of encouragement they are due for making such a day possible. Alas, the "other side" of the aisle must always be portrayed as the enemy, and we must always be at war. But the American people are quickly losing patience with such pitched battles for political power. They are becoming physically ill from the effects of the partisan political pandemic.
Soon, Americans will clamor for some new way of getting things done in their country. Because not only does the party lockstep often border on the absurd...Americans are tiring of the notion that the solutions to our growing problems are only to be found in the talking points of one party or another. Indeed...true liberals and conservatives are finding it more difficult each day to see evidence of their core beliefs in the behavior of their Democratic and Republican Party leaders.
Who will win the next election? The answer is simple: the candidates with the obvious courage to look past the next election, and toward the leadership Americans need...indeed, while freedom still rings.