Re-electing Bush is good for the American left

President George W. Bush is on an official state visit to London this week and he is encountering some, dare I say, resistance from the British public. To make sure the visit isn’t dampened by larger-than-life protests, the BBC news reports the president’s adventure involves increasing the street police force from 5,000 to 14,000 officers. As well, the BBC explains, Bush will be “protected by hundreds of armed guards from the (United States)” and the guards “will not be granted diplomatic immunity, and will be subject to the British legal system if they shoot anybody.” The last point is something of a sore spot with the U.S. Secret Service.

While many Londoners seem cheerily ambivalent about the president’s trip across the pond, other Brits are not so complacent. On Monday, a 61-year-old grandmother climbed the gates of Buckingham Palace (where the president is staying) to put up a banner telling Bush he is, to say the least, unpopular. She then voluntarily climbed down so Scotland Yard could arrest her. The total security costs for British taxpayers financing the official state visit will be over eight million dollars. Ken Livingstone, London’s mayor, has suggested sending the bill to the Republican National Committee here in the states.

Given all the turbulence Bush’s visit is creating, it’s worth pausing to contemplate the following: The British are our allies and friends.

Imagine the costs incurred if Bush went on an official state visit to a country where the entire population (and even the elected officials) did not like him as either a world leader or a person. More than a few people across the globe suggest these reasons alone are why Bush should not be re-elected in 2004.

I respectfully disagree.

Contrary to what many people might expect, I fervently hope Bush is re-elected for a second term. I might even work on his re-election campaign. All in all, I think Bush is an affable man, folksy to fault but entirely unfit for the office of the president. Despite his master’s degree from the Harvard Business School, his management skills seem better suited for clearing out brush in Texas than running a superpower. Herein lies my secret desire to see Bush reelected: Nothing would be better for the U.S. left (broadly defined) and worse for Republicans than a second Bush administration.

The Republican Party is supporting a president whom I do not think will ever achieve the deification bestowed on Ronald Reagan during his tenure, and as such, Bush runs the risk of taking his party down. Oddly enough, even though the Reagan administration committed some of the most egregiously dumbfounding foreign policy blunders of the latter 20th century, at least Reagan’s National Security Council had the good sense to illegally fight their wars under the radar. The Bush administration is not so fortunate because the master plan in Iraq appears to be liberation – one soldier at a time.

This said, I’m losing all empathy for my fellow Americans who proclaim their complete shock at how the war to liberate Iraq has not gone as predicted. I have a folder full of articles (many of them published well before the tanks rolled) from largely mainstream news sources explaining how these delusions of grandeur regarding democratizing Iraq on the cheap would fail. Contrary to growing public opinion, U.S. troops will remain in Iraq for years. And because the Pentagon doesn’t have the sense to at least plant chemical weapons as evidence in the Iraqi desert so something gets found, I want to watch the White House implode during a second term as events continue to devolve here and abroad.

Most importantly, however, is the suggestion that Colin Powell will not serve as secretary of state in another Bush administration. If Powell leaves, it literally means the Bush administration has no Cabinet person with any viable international credibility.

So I hope the president is re-elected because I want to watch the weight of all these situations and many, many more I didn’t even mention, begin to weigh the White House down. Only by achieving a second term will any of the current investigations into the Bush administration pan out, forcing, by voluntarily admittance or jurisprudence, the dam to break. I would also like a second term for Bush so he can acknowledge that both U.S. soldiers and Iraqis are dying almost daily in Iraq and maybe attend one funeral or mention a dead soldier by name. If he mentions one name, the president will be confronted by a long and growing list guaranteed to expand during second term.

Bush and Cheney all the way in 2004!

John Troyer is a columnist. He welcomes comments at [email protected]