Bush is back
By Christian Hartsock
Well I was going to open this column by stating that the president we voted for one year ago to this month was not the same president who was inaugurated in January. A recent stir in events however, has led to me to feel otherwise.
Before last November, the no-B.S. American response to 9/11, the successful toppling of Saddam, the sight and sound of seizure-ridden liberals screaming "Fascism!", "Imperialism!" and "Halliburton!", and Zell Miller's fiercely powerful speech at the Republican National Convention all instilled in me an optimism that President Bush would win, and that the fight would be worth it.
Then came his inauguration speech in which Bush appropriately used the term "freedom" about as frequently as Dustin Hoffman used the term "definitely" in Rain Man. It was an inspiring speech, but everything went downhill from there.
Now I had predicted that in 2004, Bush would win on account of his foreign policy. After Clinton spent two terms treating terrorism as a law enforcement rather than national security issue and responded to terrorist attacks in 1993, 1995, 1996, 1998 and 2000 by, well, not responding, Bush stormed into the White House, insisted that he was "tired of fly-swatting," and after 9/11, promptly showed the Islamofascist enemies who was boss. After Clinton had pulled U.S. troops out of Somalia in 1993, Osama bin Laden claimed that he had scene "the weakness of the American solider." But by now Bush had shown the Islamofascist world that America had a brand new bag.
The president had specifically warned that the U.S. would not only crack down on terrorists, but countries that harbored and aided terrorists as well. All eyes were then set on Iraq, a nation that had, in fact, harbored terrorists and financially aided Palestinian suicide bombers. Saddam Hussein had received nothing but a series of slaps on the wrist for the sixteen United Nations resolutions he had openly violated, but after he disobeyed a seventeenth one, Bush launched a successful military campaign in Iraq to oust the dictator, thus fulfilling his vow.
Needless to say, this was a national security president who would probably win for his national security policies, especially against a former war protestor who insisted on more(!) diplomacy prior to military action. However, it was discovered on the morning of November 3 that 22 percent of voters in exit polls, the highest number, had selected "moral values" as the most important issue. Indeed it was the social conservatives, the "religious right," to whom Bush could thank for getting to continue on with a second term.
The president was obviously not in the mood to show his gratitude when on January 24, he decided to take a rain check on his campaign promise to lobby for a federal constitutional amendment defining marriage as strictly heterosexual, explaining to the Washington Post that there would not be enough supporters to approve the measure anyway.
Two days later, he responded to a question as to what steps he planned to take against abortion, saying: "I think the goal ought to be to convince people to value life. But I fully understand our society is divided on the issue and that there will be abortions. That's reality. It seems like to me my job is to try to convince people to make right choices in life, to understand there are alternatives to abortion, like adoption, and I will continue to do so." Bush claimed that "changing hearts" was a better alternative to making laws. When Barbara Walters asked him if he wanted to see Roe v. Wade overturned, Bush refused to answer the question.
At this point it clearly seemed as if President Bush cared more about fixing social security than affirming social values, and it was even uncertain as to whether or not the president was pro-life, or what to extent he was. After Justice Sandra Day O'Connor miraculously announced her retirement from the Supreme Court, instead of nominating a judge whom his constituents knew enough about to approve and whose opinion on abortion, like Clarence Thomas's during the time of his confirmation process, was clear, Bush picked Judge John Roberts, a stealth nominee who had vowed in the past and would vow in his confirmation hearings to apply the principle of stare decisis when it came to Roe. Around this time I said on the radio: "Bush's legacy will live on in the Middle East but it will not live on in the United States."
Then after Justice William Rehnquist's death, Bush seemed more concerned with appeasing his wife's demands than giving the 59,117,523 Americans who voted for him what they deserved. As a result, he nominated Harriet Miers, a woman with no judicial experience, who had in a 1993 speech to a group of women business executives in Dallas, called abortion a matter of "self-determination" and spoke of "the ongoing debate" about "the attempt to once again criminalize abortions or to once and for all guarantee the freedom of the individual woman's right to decide for herself whether she will have an abortion."
Before all this, Bush had already been pushing it with his radically liberal immigration policy, but this was ridiculous. Rumors had even been circulating that the president had gone back to the bottle. Conservatives, most of whom had oddly embraced Roberts, were absolutely furious about Miers. The poor woman ended up resigning on October 27. Four days later, Bush, having apparently snapped out of whatever weird phase he was going through, nominated Judge Samuel Alito.
Unlike Roberts, Alito has a known track record and unlike Miers, he has qualifications. In 1991, he argued in the case of Planned Parenthood v. Casey that a legal provision requiring women to notify their husbands before obtaining an abortion was not an "undue burden." As a result, liberals are now whining and moaning about Alito being "hostile to civil liberties" (the ACLU), an " opponent of fundamental legal rights and protections for all Americans" (People for the American Way) and a "psychopath" (Air America), while feverishly proclaiming the right of a woman to have a doctor cut her baby's head open with scissors and suck its brains out with a suction tube without its father knowing about it.
In 1997, Alito wrote the majority opinion upholding a city's right to stage a holiday display that included a Nativity scene and a menorah. It is apparent now that Alito is on the right side of the two most important and challenged freedoms in American today: the right to life and religious freedom.
But do we know that for sure? In 2000 Alito concurred in the case of Planned Parenthood v. Farmer, that New Jersey's ban on partial-birth abortion violated Supreme Court precedent. Liberals have a way of claiming that the Constitution is a living document, but Supreme Court precedent is irreversible. It is the aggressively pro-abortion left that Roberts and Alito are appeasing and catering to when applying the principle of stare decisis when it comes to Roe. The big question is not whether or not Alito is pro-life, as his mother insists he is, but whether or not he will vote to overturn precedent. We will hopefully find that out in the confirmation hearings.
Alito's nomination could be the first truly commendable act of Bush's second term. Let's hope it's the start of something good.
Christian Lee Hartsock, 19, is a screenwriter, filmmaker and political columnist. He has been a guest on Sharon Hughes' talk radio show, and his columns have been run in various newspapers, publications and websites including American Daily, Newsmax, Political Vanguard, Renew America, The Berkeley Daily Planet, the World Magazine blog, TheConservativeVoice.com and others. A native of Oakland, California, Chris is currently a student at Brooks Institute of Photography in Ventura where he is pursuing a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Film and Video Production. He is at work on a film called "Separation," a documentary on the secular left's attempts to purge Christianity from the public square. You can visit his website at ChristianHartsock.com and e-mail him at
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