W. Bush: Born Again, Again?
by Lefty Dal Vero
From the early days of the campaign to his first months as
president, George W. Bush spoke and acted like the born-again
Christian he professed to be. His public policy, like his
morality, was simply black and white. He saw no need to ponder
abstract theological questions like "How many angels could
dance on the head of a pin?" or "Who really won the last election?"
There was evil and there was good, and what was good was what
was right, in every sense of the term.
Whether abrogating labor and environmental regulations or
lobbying successfully for a tax cut for the rich, Bush's economic
policies were straight out of the Book of Reagan. Damn the
deficits. Never mind the lack of support from the faithless.
Forget about the ramifications from party-switching relativists.
Supply side economics was an absolute good.
On social issues, the president became a burning bush of
faith-based initiatives. He promulgated restrictive abortion
and stem cell policies. His Justice Department offered unabashedly
Christian rhetoric and prayer breakfasts. After years of secular
apostasy, state and science could now take a backseat to religion.
Always verbally challenged, Bush intentionally spoke in tied
tongues on the diplomatic front. He was dismissive of an active
United Nations and made "nation-building" the punchline to
a conservative joke. He disregarded multilateral treaties
as well as the names of leaders from inconsequential nations
like Pakistan and India. And on defense, Bush called together
the apostles of previous administrations to fulfill old prophesies.
In all areas of public policy, Bush was determined to follow
the right creed and to go it alone if needed, come high water
or hell. And then hell came.
In the past two months, the events at home and abroad have
rattled the faithful. So much so that Bush is starting to
sound like a man who's found a new religion - one that acknowledges
the importance of pluralism, federalism, and internationalism.
Bush has moved, if only slightly, to acknowledge that economic
stimuli must consider those who get fired, not just those
who fire them. His social rhetoric has emphasized the importance
of ethnic and religious tolerance-even for non-Christians.
We have heard that the UN actually has a role (i.e., "nation-building")
worthy of our dues. He has placed dubious missile defense
plans on the back burner to make way for multilateral harmony.
Could it be Bush is recognizing that there are some problems
so big they require big government solutions? Could some crises
be so complex and sensitive that a leader can't go it alone,
at home or abroad? Could it be that George W. Bush has been
reborn ... as a Democrat?
Not a chance. But keep praying that he will see the light.