President Bush should listen to my advice this time
Every so often I feel compelled to give President George W. Bush my best advice.
I never hear back from him, but I am certain he considers my thoughts and ideas to help him decide what he really wants to do. For better or worse, here is my current advice Mister President.
On the Judge Roberts nomination: Brilliant. No one can tell what he thinks about anything. Now that's a nominee.
On Karl Rove: Did you actually think no one would notice you changed your statement on him from I'll fire anyone who leaked to I'll fire anyone convicted? Thumbs down, the leaker is making you look too political. President Nixon had a similar problem choosing loyalty or ethics in handling a really small event. You might want to read about how that ended.
On foreign policy: Good work. The old State Department policy in your first administration was to not speak to any country we disagreed with, including Iran, old Europe and, notably, North Korea. The new policy, starting this week, is to talk to them, North Korea notably. Great idea. By the way, the state department used to do this stuff for a living.
On energy policy: Thumbs down. Looks like you finally get legislation passed here after four years of work.
Unfortunately, the legislation is old-school stuff, more oil, oil, oil. A better idea would be to re-invent our national policy with new ideas and technologies. But, I can understand the problem, your VP has an oil background, so he may have a bias here.
On tort reform: Nice work. That should fix the lawyers and their liberal buddies and solve a big public problem with class action suits. Not so good news is the discovery that over the last four years litigation costs have actually risen 4.7 percent while insurance premiums in medical malpractice have risen 120 percent. Oops.
On, ahem, your personal poll numbers: Wow, the most recent polls have you at about 43 percent public support. I know you don't care about polls, but lose 10 percent more and no one but Republicans are left in your camp.
I think I can help you here. Remember your evening TV appearance to shore up public support for the war by sharing your actual plan in Iraq? Didn't work. You actually have to share the details to have a press conference about sharing the details.
On the First Lady: I think anyone would agree she is a terrific asset. Can't she maybe coach other administration members about how to relate to people? You know, maybe a few dozen sessions with Sec. Donald Rumsfield?
Finally, on your re-election statement about political capital: Have you noticed how expensive things are in a second administration? One minute you have bags and bags of political capital and the next minute it's all gone.
Well, I know how busy you are, so I will end with a suggestion that can really give your final three years as president a boost.
Be the president of all the American people, not just the 23 percent who are political and religious conservatives.
We want to support our president, but a president still has to be fair to the entire country with policies that engage the political spectrum and energize our public spirit.
Talk to the Democrats occasionally. Think about the middle, moderate Americans who need public policies that let them grow their families and have a brighter future for their kids.
Good luck, Mr. President.
Dr. Jim Crawford is a professor at Ohio University Southern. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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