This was supposed to be the "domestic issues" State of the Union address. In his January 2002 speech, President Bush dwelled on the war in Afghanistan. Last January, he dwelled on the war in Iraq. This year, his aides told reporters, he would turn to the home front, beginning the speech with national security and building to a domestic policy crescendo. It's not hard to understand why. Since he took office, President Bush's popularity has swung largely along a single axis: When national security predominates, it goes up; when domestic policy predominates, it goes down. On September 9, 2001, Bu
Known Threat The New Republic's December 1 & 8 cover article seeks to paint as "radical" the vice president's conclusion that Saddam Hussein's Iraq posed a gathering threat ("The Radical," Spencer Ackerman and Franklin Foer). Far from radical, that conclusion had been widely held for years by the U.S.
It's hard not to scoff at the president's call for a return to the moon, Mars, and "beyond" if for nothing other than its political transparency. The president's sudden dose of the vision thing immediately endeared him to the thousands of aerospace workers in Florida, while costing him almost nothing before he leaves office.
Everybody knew Howard Dean's proposal to repeal the Bush tax cuts would prove controversial in the general election. But during the Democratic nomination fight, too? Over the last few weeks, rivals have attacked Dean for saying that, as president, he would rescind even those parts of the Bush tax cut that are not directed at the very rich. "Some in my party want to balance the budget on the backs of the middle class," John Kerry declared recently, in a typical broadside.
The sunburned Englishman sat at the bar of the Peponi Hotel in Lamu, nursing a vodka-and-grapefruit-juice cocktail and sucking on an Embassy cigarette. A former resort owner who sold out a couple of years ago but still pays regular visits to this island off the Kenyan coast, Gerald had recently returned from a fishing trip to the neighboring island of Kiwayu—a journey that had turned up unsettling evidence of the changes creeping into the region. The Kiwayu beach hotel was deserted, he said, except for a pair of FBI agents who had converted their bungalow into a listening post.
On December 18, two federal appeals courts rejected the Bush administration's claim that the president has the unilateral authority to identify citizens or aliens as enemy combatants and to detain them indefinitely, at home and abroad. The rulings were a clear sign that President Bush's sweeping claims that he can do whatever he likes in the war on terrorism without review by the courts or Congress are provoking a judicial backlash.
This month, the Afghan leaders gathered in Kabul for a loya jirga, or grand council, agreed on a new, progressive constitution for this war-torn country. Unfortunately, Afghan officials say, the new constitution will not guarantee security. In fact, in recent months violence has risen sharply across Afghanistan, much of it instigated by Islamist Taliban remnants who despise President Hamid Karzai's vision of a liberal state.
For all its flaws, President Bush's new immigration plan has one virtue: It recognizes that the U.S. economy rests on a two-tiered system. For years, economists have noted that the eight to ten million undocumented workers currently in the United States play a vital role in making the country tick, taking jobs most Americans don't want and arguably contributing more than they receive from the nation's health care, welfare, and Social Security systems.
Well before he officially launched his candidacy in mid-September, Wesley Clark was hailed as the Democrats' savior. Party strategists, convinced that the front-running Howard Dean would flame out against George W. Bush, saw in Clark not only a sensible political alternative but, just as important, an electable one.