Essay / Politics

Mistake of the Moderates

Moderate, often liberal Republicans, are giving the President a hard time. Why? There is no administration scandal that often plagues second term presidents. The nation is at war which should lead to a tightening of party ranks. Sadly, the answer is simple.Moderates have fallen for the siren song of “History.” Normally unimportant, indeed hack, politicians from tiny states like Rhode Island can derail the Bush second term. Given that the people whose favor they most want to court at parties hate Bush this is tempting indeed. Retirement is always looming for any senator, youth is not much in evidence in the Senate, and so the group of people to “hang with” in those golden years becomes more important. It is no accident that most men of conviction work until their health fails. As men of principle they have no choice. The best of the highly paid jobs where pay is given for little work and cruises are locked off from them by their behavior.It is the same with the moderate senators and Bush. Bush will get a very long encyclopedia article. Lincoln Chafee will get none. Bush is frequently googled and will be always. The only way for the Republican with the right first name, Lincoln Chafee, to get googled is to go after Bush. His entire life has devolved into needing to be a bad Republican to be famous.But it will not work anyway.A very long time from now when the history of the twenty-first century is written, Bush will be a great figure. His leadership in the victorious war against terror and in the moral revival of a nation that seemed to be in decline will be the subject of many dissertations. His partnership with Benedict XVI will be compared favorably with that of Reagan and Saint John Paul the Great as part of reversing the decline of Western Europe. After the great revival that swept Europe, it will seem odd to historians at the nations leading University, Biola, that anyone ever doubted the wisdom of the plan. Just as historians today marvel at the small minded Republicans who mocked Abraham Lincoln (“ape!” “ignorant!”) so they will regale young adults with the words of obscure Republicans who opposed their Rushmore war-time leader. The veterans of the Grand Army of the Middle-East (GAM) will share a drink and toast each other with stories of the time they met Bush. And nobody will know Chafee’s name.Why? Because he is being used by the left and will be mocked by history as turncoats always are. If the Bush administration fails, then his party will fail and the Lincoln Chafees will be ridiculed as those who lacked the courage to join the Second Clinton term team. If Bush wins, then Chafee will the the punch-line of the joke regarding the men who missed history when it was happening. Poor Lincoln. Deluded by his glorious first name he hears “Hail to the Chief” when he shaves, driven by ego and his father’s heritage. Insteads he is just one of a long line of hack pols who sell their soul and their tiny place on the team of a great man for a good write up in the New York Times, an election defeat, and an instantly remaindered memoir with a painfully self-referential title (“Man in the Middle” or “Mr. Lincoln Goes to Washington”).

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