It's my party and I'll cry if I want to

Published 4:16 pm Tuesday, October 18, 2005

By By Tray Smith
After last year's election, I was full of excitement. Republicans had increased their majorities in both houses of Congress. President Bush had been re-elected to the White House with a larger percentage of the vote than any candidate since 1988. I was excited, though, not because Republicans won, but because the party in power was the one that I knew America could count on to defend our nation from cowards and thugs, reform Social Security so that it will be around for me when I need it, and reform our tax code so that we can create more jobs and compete economically with China. I also knew that President Bush would continue to fight judicial activism and restore the judicial branch to its proper role by continuing to nominate conservative judges to all of our courts, especially the Supreme Court.
It is now almost one year later, and my excitement has become disappointment. We might as well be letting Ralph Nader run the country. The entire Republican "agenda" is falling apart. President Bush refuses to defend himself. The war in Iraq is going south and gas prices are at all time highs. Polls show the President's support down among not only Americans in general but among his conservative base. Despite all this however, Republicans in Congress are acting as if we are now living in a perfect utopian state. They are not doing near enough to address our major problems. Add to this investigations going on into the affairs of several major Republicans, rather they are innocent or not, and the American people see a party falling apart and a country headed in the wrong direction. It seems like the Republicans are trying to lose their majorities in the House and Senate in next years midterm election.
Not everything went well for conservatives during President Bush's first term, either. We had record spending, record deficits, the largest expansion of Medicare in it's history, and one of the largest intrusion into state's rights in our history by the passage of the unconstitutional No Child Left Behind Act. Conservatives stayed behind the President then for two reasons. First, they knew that he would be rock solid in his defense of the Untied States of America. Second, they knew that President Bush would ruthlessly defend American values from activist courts. These are the feelings Americans took to the polls last year, and that is why President Bush won.
Now, those issues are becoming less and less positive for the President. The President is loosing support on the issue of defense because Americans are becoming less and less supportive of the war in Iraq. To combat the concerns of the public, the President should engage in a more robust defense of and promotion for his policies in Iraq. He should be in a different state every day trying to convince and persuade people that our efforts there our justified. He should have primetime press conferences every month on Iraq. He should devote our full attention to the war and unite us behind the troops. Most importantly, instead of painting a dreamed up rosy scenario of the situation, he should admit that Iraq is a mess, but say too that war is messy, so let's move on and win! He must do this, because if he does not get the support of the American people, then we will not be able to finish the job.
On the issue of values, the President was doing very well until he nominated Harriet Myers, who has no more experience as a judge than I do, to be on the Supreme Court. Her main qualifications are working on the Texas State Lottery Commission (even though most conservatives are opposed to lotteries in the first place) and working in the White House as White House Counsel since January. We have no published writings or the slightest clue about what Harriet Myers thinks the role of a judge should be. While the White House will shoot back at criticisms by saying that the late Chief Justice Rehnquist had no judicial experience before he became a Supreme Court justice. It is also true, however, that seven out of nine of the judges on the Court have been nominated by Republicans and yet we still have abortion on demand and could soon have gay marriage. The stakes now are to high for the President to risk everything on a stealth nominee. Besides, a big fight with the Democrats over a qualified person like Janice Rodgers Brown would have been much more interesting and could have helped boost the President's popularity. Besides, Mrs. Brown is an African-American woman from California who would have been a great political advantage to the Republicans as well as a huge political liability for the Democrats. Instead, though, we got stuck with someone who we know absolutely nothing about.
The only way that President Bush can revive his Presidency is to go out on a new campaign to raise support for the War in Iraq, lower gas prices by getting a real energy bill instead of the junk bill that he signed this summer, and do something to end the crises along the border. Maybe then he can regain enough political capital to move on with the big things like Social Security reform and tax reform.
I write this not out of a personal dislike of the President, nor because I disagree with the President on policies. It is the exact opposite. I think the President has some great ideas. I want him to succeed in getting those ideas passed into laws. My frustration with this administration is that it refuses to stand up for itself . People elected George Bush to do something and all he has done is cower down to the Democrats and idly watch his administration fall into disarray. He needs to start acting on his promises and doing what he believes is right. That is the bottom line.
Tray Smith is a freshman at Escambia Academy. He is a political columnist for the Atmore Advance. He can be e-mailed at

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