It’s easy to forget that when George W. Bush first pitched for the Whitehouse, it was as a moderate, a compassionate conservative, full of compromise over abortion, a belief in focused and energetic government, expansion of the Department of Education and a believer in Medicare.
And that’s why he won, even if it was by the most tenuous of margins, he kept under wraps his fiercely conservative political beliefs, so well hid were they that Republican moderates like Colin Powell thought that they, rather than the neo-cons, Moral Majority and hawkish libertarians, would be guiding junior’s time in the Whitehouse.
Bush had merely reversed the tactics of many a Republican Presidential candidate, instead of pretending to be conservative to secure their votes, he repressed his fervent conservatism and wooed the middle ground with a moderate approach. Without this tactic, I doubt Bush would have made it any where near Gore…with or without the electoral fraud in Florida.
Brilliantly and to the utter indignation of the left, Bush did not linger on the small winning margin or the size of his mandate but rightly saw himself as the winner and began mercilessly pursuing his intensively conservative political agenda. This was blitzkrieg politics: the largest tax cut since the days of Reagan, education reform, business regulation rollback, dumping Kyoto, scrapping the ABM treaty and moving power back to the executive and away from the congress.
Bush was focused by a clear plan, backed up with a clear set of beliefs that he knew to be right and as the Democrats wallowed in pity politics, along came 9/11 to only sharpen his resolve as he turned into one of the most powerful Presidents of modern American history.
And Texas is to blame…