Like many Americans I guess, I received an email from George W. Bush this morning asking for my contribution to the Republican National Committee.
Bush’s appeal starts out:
Republicans have a record of dealing with some serious economic times during my presidency. We have had a recession, a stock market collapse, terrorist attacks, corporate scandals and major natural disasters.
Because Republicans acted and had an economic recovery plan, we have created strong economic growth and nearly 5.3 million new jobs in the last two and half years; the national unemployment rate has dropped to 4.6% — that is lower than the average rate of the 1960s, 1970s, the 1980s and the 1990s; productivity is up and household net worth is at an all-time high.
Republicans understand that by cutting taxes people will have more of their own money to save, spend and invest as they see fit, not as the government wants. So our Party and GOP members of the U.S. Congress stood squarely for tax relief for everybody who pays taxes.
We have a lot of work to do to make sure America remains a prosperous country, so that every single citizen can realize the great promise of America.
America is at war — a few wars if you add up the so-called Global War on Terror, the fight against Iraq’s insurgency, a brewing conflict with Afghan warlords and emerging Taliban forces, and perhaps next Iran, and that’s leaving out challenges with North Korea and Israel’s mess in the Middle East — but yet George Bush mentions “nothing” about the need to sacrifice to manage these challenges.
On top of this, the Doha global trade talks collapsed today — yet another indication of a long list that America’s role and status in the world are rapidly deteriorating. We seem unable to achieve our objectives — and these failures are not registering with the political class in Washington yet.
Gambling away America’s moral credibility in Iraq is one crime — but the bigger one that the Bush administration has committed is overtly showing the LIMITS of American power in the world. America’s mystique has been shattered. Our military and financial limits put on open display. Friends are not counting on America as much as the case before. Foes are maximizing agendas Americans oppose.
These are dangerous times because those who are fundamentally and substantively weakening often lash out in a desperate attempt to demonstrate resolve and strength.
These are toxic matters. Bush is asking nothing of Americans. We will go on with our wars and commitments abroad without regard to domestic impact or cost — and Americans can continue to enjoy their Wal-Mart subsidized high quality lives.
But the Doha Round failing is a big deal. It’s a foreshock.
— Steve Clemons