Congratulations George Bush
George Bush deserves congratulations for his remarkable political accomplishments as he was reelected (albeit by a tiny margin for an incumbent wartime President) despite the opposition of most voters to both his domestic and foreign policy positions.
George Bush and the Republican noise machine have managed to convince voters they represent less government, when they have become the party not only of big government, but of big government of the worst type. They have expanded the reach of the state to areas of personal morality which only religious dictatorships of the middle east dared go in the past.
George Bush and the Republican noise machine have managed to convince voters they are the party which would keep us safe, while promoting a foreign policy which places us at increased risk of terrorist attack. They have also seriously hampered our capabilities for self-defense by tying down the armed forces in a war against the very type of secular Arab regime which was the worst enemy of terrorist groups such as al Qaeda, while confusing them for the enemy.
George Bush and the Republican noise machine have sold themselves as the party of capitalism, while their use of the state to back the same big business interests which contribute most heavily to them is actually the antithesis of the free market. They speak of reducing regulation, but what they really desire is ensure it is the foxes who guard the hen houses.
George Bush and the Republican noise machine have managed to get many to back their plans to aide the insurance industry (naturally one of their biggest contributors) by claiming they are working to solve the malpractice crisis in order to reduce health care costs. In actuality, their plans primarily help the insurance industry, while doing very little for doctors, and virtually nothing to reduce health care costs, as seen in projections from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.
We've also seen them succeed with a remarkable political campaign. Besides succeeding in misleading the public on policy issues as listed above, they also succeeded on a personal level. They managed to make a history of avoiding responsibility during wartime appear more desirable to the personal history of a war hero. They made a virtue out of George Bush's history of incompetence and deceit, distracting all attention from his many flip flops, while casting doubt on an opponent with a history of consistency and wisdom
These were remarkable political achievements which are providing George Bush with another four years in office--or as Teresa Heinz Kerry has predicted, four more years of hell.
We've already had the first clues of what is ahead, as they have invented a crisis in social security to promote a "cure" which could destroy the program, duplicating the same mistakes made by Margaret Thatcher, where her successors are now looking at the American Social Security system as a model for bailing them out of their real crisis brought about by privatization.
If they succeed at that deception, we can count on more to come. Our best hope is that history repeats itself. The last time a President who ruled based upon deception was reelected, and by a much larger margin than George Bush, the people ultimately caught on. The fate of Nixon and Agnew would be an excellent model for Bush and Cheney.