Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

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for Tucker

David Tucker has his dander up, or tries to be provocative. I have already responded to most of his questions below. See The meaning of the election. The general point regarding foreign policy and terror is that the people trust Bush and the GOP and they don’t, for good reason, trust Kerry and the Demos. And that trust has very little to do with tactical issues regarding the war. So far, thank God, there hasn’t been another attack; even that’s something. Still, I find it hard to believe that there will not be one in the future because I don’t see how it can absolutely be prevented. Yet, this doesn’t mean that either I know of a way to prevent it, or, that Bush administration has an obligation to reveal their strategy or tactics to me regarding how they are trying to prevent it. I trust this administration more than I would have a Democratic one. Furthermore, so do the majority of the American people. And public opinion--even if it is wrong, and I do not think it wrong in this case--has to be considered. And public opinion, to be a bit too direct, said these bad guys attacked us, so let’s go and kick their butts, and let the administration figure out the best way to do that. Given that they have done certain visible things (Afghanistan, Iraq, etc.), and we have had an election, the citizens have approved. The rest is an inside-the-beltway discussion between folks who get paid for having opinions and for being testy and anxious.

Kerry and the Democrats gave us nothing, nothing in terms of their disposition, policy recommendations, or actions, that led the majority of citizens to have confidence that they could do it better. Furthermore, the flag bearer of that party had a notorious history for questioning America’s purposes and tactics, in Vietnam, in Central America, in the Cold War, in deploying mid-range missiles to Europe, in trying to establish nuclear free-zones, in the Gulf War, and the list goes on. Even Abraham Lincoln voted for appropriation for troops in the war with Mexico, all the while thinking that the war was unjust. But Kerry just couldn’t bring himself to do it.

Of course, it is possible to argue that sending a cruise missile into a desert hoping it will hit a camel’s rear is good strategy or tactics, or, that terrorist should be dealt with only as a criminal justice matter. I don’t accept such arguments. I also know that reasonable men can disagree about Iraq, but a decision has been made, and it’s time to come on board, for both strategic and tactical reasons. We will have to let future historians recount our disagreements, and make appropriate judgments.

If Bush is successful in overhauling the tax code and social security, as well as putting more rational folks on the federal bench, he will have made major contributions to the well-being of the Republic. Maybe he can even cut back on federal spending. Wouldn’t that be nice. But, given the daedal age we inhabit, such a former priority is now lower on the list. But tax cuts stay.

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After the President’s victory speech, Nancy Pelosi was out claiming that the election in no way evinced support for the President’s domestic agenda and economic philosophy. She claimed, citing exit polls, that the election was decided on values. She made no mention of the war or terrorism of course. The spin now, not unlike Ms. Pelosi’s, is that Republicans won on culture war devisiveness. I would sum up Ms. Pelosi’s position thus: While the American people are ready for socialism, they’re not ready for Godless or amoral socialism. Those pesky values keep getting in the way or the forgotten national security issue(apparently Kerry mitigated that Bush/Republican advantage to Pelosi’s distraught mind). From what I could gather, Ms. Pelosi’s plan will not be to adopt the American public’s values, but to work for the day when people vote valuelessly. I hope the President will press his domestic agenda agressively. If he is successful with Social Security, healthcare, and tort reform, the Dems will have to come up with another excuse next time besides God, guns and gays.

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