Let's look at major issues so that you see where I'm coming from.
Healthcare: a mess; no reform in sight.
There is no rational reason to believe that the federal government can do squat about healthcare; creating an ever-growing, massive bureaucracy will assure only one thing: an ever-growing, massive bureaucracy. One need only look at numerous other arms of the federal government to witness this truth.
Education: a mess (latest OECD report, released two days ago, is quite clear about that); no reform in sight.
Same answer; what can the federal government do about education?
Economy: does not look very good. Budget deficit at record height.
The hangover from years of artificial economy activity will take a while to get over; but the recovery (and it is happening, I can easily see it in the backlogs of work my clients have these days) based upon cyclical patterns is inevitable. BTW, there is precious little a President can do for, or against, the economy, other than to champion fewer confiscatory taxes at the federal level. In this respect, I am none too pleased with President Bush's agreeable nature on tax policy, having compromised way too much with those who would continue the transition from our federal system (with states dominant, as mandated by the Constitution) to a purely centralized power, in DC.
Energy: he fixed nothing, so far. US more dependent on oil than ever.
Tough one, our long-term dependency on imported oil is a nut we will have to crack some day. Certainly, getting on with exploration and production in untapped areas is vital (read: ANWR), but only stopgap at best.
Environment: a mess (did not sign Kyoto).
Neither did Clinton [sign Kyoto], and good on him for it. Kyoto is bad policy, and any President (of whatever party) who supports it is either (1) fatally ignorant of its provisions and consequences, or (2) utterly dismissive of the disaster it would represent for US citizens.
Foreign affairs: a mess; he angered some of US best allies; respect for the US, world wide, is at an all time low.
No, it is not. There are those (as always there will be) for whom appeasement is the sole option. The respect of these is a commodity we can do without.
Justice: major threats on civil liberties within the US, refuses to support the International Penal Tribunal.
I certainly agree that there are serious issues in my mind about many of the initiatives passed BY
CONGRESS following 9/11. As for volunteering to subject US citizens to the jurisdiction of a tribunal whose inherent due process protections are wholly inadequate, well, that smells like a bad idea anyhow.
Military affairs: from an American perspective, okay. From any other perspective, scary and unsustainable.
Rhetoric 1, Truth 0. The only thing worse (for the world as a whole) than a strong US military, is a weak US military. In any event, we cannot afford to soften up then hope like hell it will not hurt us later. Every effort at that has failed as a natural consequence.
President Bush is very far from perfect- he has been way too willing to compromise with those who seek to further consolidate power (read: economic and taxing power) in DC, and to deprive the states of their proper sovereignty. But these have been compromises, as opposed to the stated intentions of those who ran against him (DNC candidates), and those who now are lining up to run against him again.
An ever-larger federal government is a bad thing. President Bush would be well-advised to remember that, and to use such governing authority as he has, together with his influence over legislation, to head off expansion of federal programs.
...three miles from BRONS, clear for the ILS one five approach...