Democratic Underground

George W. Bush: Born Again, Again?
November 1, 2001
by Lefty Dal Vero

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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.