In the wake of almost every Democratic defeat since 1972, liberals can be found insisting that, if their candidate had adhered to the party's core economic beliefs and steered clear of social issues, he would have done much better, if not won. If Democrats were to return to "the liberalism this country once heard from Woodrow Wilson, Franklin Roosevelt and John F.
Ernie Corts came to see me in Washington last September. Ernie is a legendary community organizer. In 1974, he set up the Communities Organized for Public Service in San Antonio, which helped get the city's Mexican-Americans involved in politics and was partly responsible for making San Antonio one of the most progressive cities in the Southwest.
Hans-Ulrich Klose, a thin, graying, 67-year-old Social Democrat, is deputy chair of the Committee on Foreign Affairs in the Bundestag, Germany's parliament. Known for his pro-American views, he was critical of Chancellor Gerhard Schrder for aligning Germany too closely with France against the United States before the Iraq war. But, seated around a table in the Bundestag on a cold, gray Berlin morning, Klose gives a cryptic answer when asked about the advisability of seeking regime change in Islamic countries.
George W. Bush's victory shows that the political strategy that conservative Republicans developed in the late 1970s is still viable. Bush won a large swath of states and voters that were once dependably Democratic by identifying Republicans as the party of social conservatism and national security. Massachusetts Senator John Kerry rallied a powerful coalition of minorities and college-educated professionals based in postindustrial metropolitan areas like Philadelphia, Chicago, and Los Angeles. In the future, this coalition may triumph on its own.
"The party of George W. Bush is very much the party of Ronald Reagan, " declared Ed Gillespie, the chairman of the Republican Party, in September 2003. It's a contention that one speaker after another will echo at the Republican National Convention. But they will be largely wrong. While there is continuity between the Reagan and Bush GOPs--as evidenced by Bush's tax cuts, for example--the outward similarities conceal a deeper truth: Bush's Republican Party is far more conservative than Reagan's ever was.U.S. political parties are not like tightly organized European parties.
July 29, Faisal Saleh Hayyat, Pakistan's interior minister, announced the arrest of a high-ranking Al Qaeda figure on local television. After a tense standoff in Gujrat, a city some 100 miles southeast of Islamabad, Pakistani security forces had capturedthe Tanzanian jihadist Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani, the FBI's twenty-second "Most Wanted" terrorist and a suspected conspirator in the 1998 bombings of the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania.
Late last month, President Bush lost his greatest advantage in his bid for reelection. A poll conducted by ABC News and The Washington Post discovered that challenger John Kerry was running even with the president on the critical question of whom voters trust to handle the war on terrorism.
In a speech in Hanover, New Hampshire, on January 24, John Kerry chided Democrats for "looking South," for thinking states on the other side of the Mason-Dixon line could bring them the presidency. But fortunately, in choosing North Carolina Senator John Edwards as his running mate, Kerry has done exactly that.
On May 28, George Tenet delivered for the Bush administration. Nearly two months had passed since the fall of Baghdad. U.S. forces had turned up no weapons of mass destruction (WMD) in Iraq, raising the specter of gross misjudgment on the part of the U.S. intelligence community and allegations of presidential dishonesty. But, that day, the CIA announced that two trailers found in northern Iraq the previous month were actually mobile biological-agent production facilities.