What Ross Douthat Overlooks About Bush's Failures
Pre 2003 President Bush had already laid the groundwork for not only getting reelected in 2004 but getting reelected in 2004 in a landslide. By what he was doing to not only secure the right, with tax cuts and helping the poor with non profit sector and so fourth. But was reaching out to independents on things like education reform, his initial response to 9/11 and his handling of the Afghanistan War. Upfront this is how Republicans won back the Senate in 2002 to give Congressional Republicans a united Congress for. 2003-04 because he had his entire party behind him as well a Independents and a Democratic Party that was in the opposition. They didn't want to get behind President Bush obviously but at the same time weren't sure how to confront a popular President who at one point had an approval. Rating in the eighties especially Senate Democrats led by Leader Tom Daschle, who controlled the Senate for President Bush's first two. Years and weren't sure how to confront both President Bush and House Republicans with and agenda of their own.
After Democrats lost the Senate in 2003, they were left pretty much out of the dark as far as the agenda that Congressional Republicans and President wanted to offer. How to confront a Republican President, a Republican House and a Republican Senate when you can't set your own agenda. They weren't even sure how to counter what Republicans were trying to do because their members especially in the Senate. Were divided as well so what you do is obstruct as best as you can. The problem with that is you end up with no agenda going up against an agenda with a President behind it who was still fairly popular in. 2003 it really took the Democratic Party all of 2003 to figure out not only how to fight Republicans but to push a. Positive agenda of their own and in a lot of ways the divisive President primary season of late 2003 and early 2004 was the best thing for the Democratic Party. And made John Kerry a better candidate in the primary season against Howard Dean. Instead of Democrats just automatically nominating Senator Kerry without much of an opposition.
President Bush should've lost in 2004. The economy was still not very good, rising debt and deficits thanks to two wars that weren't paid for, two tax cuts that weren't paid for, Medicare Advantage not. Paid for, by late 2003 the Iraq War already looking like a bad mistake and something the. Bush National Security Council looked completely unprepared for. But the Democratic Party had John Kerry who I believe is a great man and a great Liberal-Democrat and someone who I was proud to vote for. But who was a Vietnam War veteran, a real war hero who saved lives in Vietnam and didn't do everything he. Could to avoid military service unlike his opponent whose also from the baby boom generation. And yet he didn't seem to be able to defend himself and was a punching bag for a lot of that general election and. Election he should've won but it was really 2004 that reunited the Democratic Party that just needed a leader. Who would defend himself and lead the party to victory.
Today's Democratic Party was born politically in 2004, we've seen what Republicans have to offer. We not only don't like it but know it doesn't work and have our own agenda and know what does work. Based on experience from the Clinton era and we have George W. Bush to thank for that.