December 21, 2000: Good Luck to President-Elect George W. Bush

Honorable George W. Bush

President-Elect of the United States

Congratulations on your election as the 43rd president of the United States.  I know you are glad to have this ordeal behind you.  The rest of us are, too.

Because you barely squeaked by Al Gore, the assumption is that our nation is deeply divided.  It isn’t.  We found that our democracy works well and we are pretty pleased as a result.  But you wouldn’t know that by the screeching you are hearing from the losers.  They aren’t happy to be on the outside looking in.  Liberal Democrats have this condescending view that they know what is best for us.  Their view of government is the bigger, the better.  Big government means spending lots of money – our money – and in politics, money is power.  By winning, you have robbed them of their power and their right to exact their political philosophy upon us. They intend to make you pay dearly.

Since the national media generally share the Democrats’ philosophy, expect labor unions and every special-interest group you can imagine to have a bully pulpit from which to launch attacks on you and your administration.  Fortunately, I don’t think the American public paid much attention to the network commentators and the self-important newspapers during and after the election and I don’t think they will in the future.  I am convinced the national media’s influence doesn’t extend much beyond the Washington beltway.  Take the New York Times.  They call themselves the “paper of record,” as if they don’t print it, it doesn’t count.   Horse hockey.  I doubt anyone reading this column gives a tinker’s damn what the New York Times thinks.  Or the Washington Post.  Or NBC.  Or any of the rest of them. We make up our own minds.

The fact that you will have the opportunity to appoint three, maybe four, members of the U.S. Supreme Court has Democrats and their special interest friends apoplectic. That is another divine right you have taken from them.  You saw their reaction to the court’s recent decisions that ensured you the presidency.  They can’t accept the fact that conservatives can and do act with integrity.  I pity the first person you propose for the high court.  The Democrats will make the Robert Bork and Clarence Thomas hearings look like a stroll in the park.

Sometimes it is hard to tell your friends from your enemies.  Some people in your own party will assume your election is a mandate to take us back to the 19th century.  Remember, Republicans have the ability to self-destruct faster than the tape recorder in the old Mission Impossible television series.  In 1994, Newt Gingrich led a much-ballyhooed Republican revolution.  Six years later, Gingrich is gone, the U.S. Senate is split 50-50 and the Republican margin in the House of Representatives is down to nine.   The revolution was too extreme and the American people said so at the ballot box.   Left to their own devices, the right wing will become a homophobic, anti-everything group of old white men.  If that happens, Republicans will get blown out of the water in the 2002 elections.  You say you are a compassionate conservative. To the hardliners, that is an oxymoron.  Watch them.

While we want health care reform, Social Security reform and a strong national defense, we also want to see integrity restored to the Oval Office.  No more messing around with interns.  No more lies.  No more debates over the meaning of the word “is.”  Your predecessor let his libido get the best of him and severely diminished the dignity of the office.

I think you are a decent man who will survive the slings and arrows from the media, nighttime comics and Jesse Jackson and his gang because you seem comfortable with yourself.  You definitely come from good stock.  Your dad is a decent man and your momma is my hero.  No offense, but Barbara Bush might be the most qualified of the whole family. She’s certainly the most outspoken!

Because you won the most electoral votes, including those from your home state and the home states of the President and the Vice President (Hmm, I wonder what those voters knew?), the ship of state is now in your hands.  Please steer it to the middle where most of us are, give the extremists on both sides half a peace sign for us and remember you are governing the greatest nation on earth.  Good luck and God bless you.