I'm only half-serious, of course.
But Bush has largely had a Mr. Magoo presidency--every time he was about to step off the ledge, a crane lifting an I-beam appeared to catch him and lift him even higher. One would think that luck has to run out eventually, no?
It may be apostasy, but recall that pre-9/11 Bush looked like an odd-on one-termer. Remember the downed plane in China fiasco? The punting on affirmative action? The cutting of the military budget to the point of scrapping the two-war maxim? Remember how lost he looked at times?
It could be that Bush is just now regressing to the mean--settling in where he would have been had Osama bin Laden not massacred 3,000 Americans.
Or alternatively, it could be that Bush's anti-intellectualism (a Frum reader puts this more delicately: "Rather than press his subordinates to make up for his shortcomings, the president seems inclined to think that because he's right and/or winning elections and wars that rhetoric is empty or unimportant, when it's often of primary importance.") is finally exacting a price.
There's a reason some of us went ga-ga listening to Tony Blair talk about the war on terror. Go back and read this speech. If only Bush could talk this way:
11 September was not an isolated event, but a tragic prologue, Iraq another act, and many further struggles will be set upon this stage before it's over.
There never has been a time when the power of America was so necessary or so misunderstood, or when, except in the most general sense, a study of history provides so little instruction for our present day. . . .
The risk is that terrorism and states developing weapons of mass destruction come together.
And when people say, "That risk is fanciful," I say we know the Taleban supported al-Qaeda.
We know Iraq under Saddam gave haven to and supported terrorists.
We know there are states in the Middle East now actively funding and helping people, who regard it as God's will in the act of suicide to take as many innocent lives with them on their way to God's judgment.
Some of these states are desperately trying to acquire nuclear weapons.
We know that companies and individuals with expertise sell it to the highest bidder, and we know that at least one state, North Korea, lets its people starve while spending billions of dollars on developing nuclear weapons and exporting the technology abroad.
This isn't fantasy, it is 21st-Century reality, and it confronts us now.
Can we be sure that terrorism and weapons of mass destruction will join together?
Let us say one thing: If we are wrong, we will have destroyed a threat that at its least is responsible for inhuman carnage and suffering.
That is something I am confident history will forgive.
But if our critics are wrong, if we are right, as I believe with every fibre of instinct and conviction I have that we are, and we do not act, then we will have hesitated in the face of this menace when we should have given leadership.
That is something history will not forgive.
Over the last three years I've had a number of Bush supporters chastise me for my Blairophilia and their complaint is always the same: Wouldn't you rather have a leader, like Bush, who takes the right actions but can't speak, instead of a Blair, who can speechify, but doesn't always go the right way?
And my answer is always the same: This is America. It's a big country. Is it really too much to ask for a president who can do both?