says Gerard Baker in the London Times, who also echoes the Jonah Goldberg thesis that it would serve the democrats right to win in 2008. The theory that the burden of responsibility would sober the democrat leadership is an interesting one, I think, but it is obviously not necessarily right.
Somewhere, deep down, tucked away underneath their loathing for George Bush, in a secret place where the lights of smart dinner-party conversation and clever debating-society repartee never shine, the growing hordes of America-bashers must dread the moment he leaves office.
When President Bush goes into the Texas sunset, and especially if he is replaced by an enlightened, world-embracing Democrat, their one excuse, their sole explanation for all human suffering in the world will disappear too. And they may just find that the world is not as simple as they thought it was.
It’s been a great ride for the past six years, hasn’t it? George Bush and Dick Cheney and all those pantomime villains that succour him — the gay-bashing foot soldiers of the religious Right, the forktailed neoconservatives with their devotion to Israel, the dark titans of American corporate boardrooms spewing their carbon emissions above the pristine European skies. Having those guys around for so long provided a comfortable substitute for thinking hard about global challenges, a kind of intellectual escapism.
When one group of Muslims explodes bombs underneath the school buses of another group of Muslims in Baghdad or cuts the heads off humanitarian workers in Anbar, blame George Bush. When Vladimir Putin, the President of Russia, denounces an imbalanced world and growls about the unpleasantness of democracy in eastern Europe, blame George Bush. When the Earth’s atmosphere gets a little more clogged with the output of power plants in China, India and elsewhere, blame George Bush.
Some day soon, though, this escapism will run into the dead end of reality. In fact, the most compelling case for the American people to elect a Democrat as president next year is that, in the US, leadership in a time of war requires the inclusion of both political parties, and in the rest of the world, people will have to start thinking about what is really the cause of all our woes.