Brownstein shows liberal blindness when it comes to Bush

Ron Brownstein:

More Americans than ever may participate in Tuesday's presidential election — as volunteers and, on Tuesday, voters. But in its tone, its agenda and its fervor, the marathon race for the White House bears the unmistakable imprint of one man: President Bush.

As much through his unflinching style as his aggressive policies, Bush has powered a campaign that has engaged, motivated and divided Americans — and much of the world — like none in recent times.

The Democratic presidential nominee, Sen. John F. Kerry, has his admirers and his critics. But the unprecedented sums of money raised by both parties, the long lines of early voters already crowding polling places in many states and the anticipation of a sharply higher turnout Tuesday are all primarily reflections of the passions Bush has stirred in four turbulent years, especially by invading Iraq, analysts agree.

"This is about Bush," said Andrew Kohut, executive director of the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press.

Half a century ago, the philosopher Isaiah Berlin famously separated intellectuals and artists into two categories: the fox, who is clever, creative, committed to many goals; and the hedgehog, a creature driven by a single unwavering conviction. By Berlin's standards, Bush has produced one of the purest examples of a hedgehog presidency.

With his repeated tax cuts, his support for a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage and the war in Iraq, Bush has consistently pursued goals that generate strong support among Republicans and conservatives, but at the price of provoking antipathy among Democrats and liberals.

In his policies, Bush has sought to advance his ideas mainly by holding to sharply defined positions — and attempting to shift the debate in his direction almost by magnetic force.

In his political strategy, he has sought more to deepen his support among groups that lean in his direction than to broaden his appeal among groups that have resisted him.
Brownstein is a typical liberal on Bush. He should read George Will's endorsement of Bush where he goes through a litany on things conservatives disagree with Bush on. Conservatives know the capaign finance reform was a mistake. They did not like the compromises Bush made with Ted Kennedy to get his education bill passed. They do not like the farm giveaways he agrred to with Daschale to get other things passed. Liberals seem to only remember the issues they lost on not the ones they won.

As will says:

This column has expressed abundant skepticism about the grandiosity of George W. Bush's foreign policy. And about his passivity about spending (he has vetoed nothing), his enlargement of the welfare state (the prescription drug entitlement), his expansion of inappropriate federal responsibilities (concerning education from kindergarten through 12th-grade, through the No Child Left Behind Act) and his complicity in vandalizing the Constitution (he signed the McCain-Feingold bill, which rations political speech). Still, this column prefers Bush.
These are all items where Bush has reached out to liberals and angered them by stealing their clothes. They are angry that he took the issues away from them so they go onton others where he still disagrees. It is not that Bush has not reached out, it is that liberals have an emotional reaction to losing their issues and losing on thers. Beorge Bush did not create the Gay marriage issue, liberals did. The war to liberate Iraq reflects the emotion that the anti war pukes of the liberals side had toward the war on terror in general, but were to cowed to express. This just made them angrier when he "forced" liberals like John Kerry to vote for the war when they really did not want to liberate Iraq. Once the inurgency started they felt vindicated and were ready to leave in a rout. Just about any resistance to the use of force is enough to rout liberals these days.


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