Thank Gd It's
Friday Victor Davis Hanson Day!
On Loathing Bush
. . . what is not explicable in terms of rational disagreement is the Left's pathological hatred of George W. Bush. It transcends all contention over the issues, the Democratic hurt over the Florida elections, and even the animus once shown Bill Clinton by the activist Right. From where does this near-religious anger arise and what does it portend?
Let's start with the admission that much of the invective is irrational, fueled by emotion rather than reason. Thus the black leadership uses slurs such as "Taliban" and "Confederacy" against Bush, even though no other president has selected an African-American secretary of State and national-security adviser or pledged so many billions for AIDS relief in Africa. Liberals talk of social programs starved, but domestic spending under Bush increased at annual rates greater than during any Democratic administration in recent history. Just read howls of conservatives who worry about Bush's Great Society-like programs.
On foreign policy, Kerry rips Bush apart — but can't say whether he would have gone into Afghanistan and Iraq and is unable to specify how he would have gotten pacifistic Europeans on board. It is common to caricature Ashcroft as some Seven Days in May insurrectionist, bent on overthrowing the Constitution; but given the almost daily arrests of terror suspects in the United States, Kerry cannot tell us how exactly the Patriot Act has eroded our freedoms, much less why it is unnecessary in hunting down potential mass murderers.
What is it about Bush that elicits such hatred, that galvanizes even usually mindless rock stars, self-indulgent Hollywood actors, lethargic ex-presidents and vice presidents, and hypocritical Democratic senators to embrace such canonical fury? Why was the Left content to make fun of Ford's clumsiness, Reagan's forgetfulness, and George Sr.'s preppiness, but now calls George W. a Nazi and worse still? Why are there forthcoming novels and plays that discuss the assassination of George W. Bush? Why did we not get a Reaganwacked, a Reaganworld, a Lies of Ronald Reagan — a similar vast industry of paperback pulp equating Reagan with evil incarnate?
"The failure by the Left to articulate an alternative vision of a
post-September 11 world except in the negative has banished what should have
been the most momentous public policy debate of the last 50 years into the outer dark."
--Wretchard, writing at Belmont Club