Sunday, May 07, 2006

Is the Bush Administration over?

At least one prominent Republican pollster thinks so. Here's the Post: "'This administration may be over,' Lance Tarrance, a chief architect of the Republicans' 1960s and '70s Southern strategy, told a gathering of journalists and political wonks last week. 'By and large, if you want to be tough about it, the relevancy of this administration on policy may be over.'"

I'd like to believe this, but I just can't. Bush won't be able to accomplish much domestically over his final 1,000 days, but it's premature, and simply erroneous, to conclude that he has nothing left. There's still Iraq and the ongoing war on terror, after all, not to mention Iran. How will Bush handle the nebulous situation in Iraq? Will he stay the course, so to speak, or will he call for a strategic withdrawal of troops. If a withdrawal, when and how many? Will he launch another Battle of Baghdad? With respect to the war on terror, how will it continue to be waged both at home and abroad? With respect to Iran, will Bush negotiate with Tehran, pursue a diplomatic solution through the U.N., or launch a military strike of some kind? And how about Darfur? How about other as-yet-unknown crises that may spring up at any time?

True, there's no domestic agenda left. New White House Chief of Staff Josh Bolten has a five-point plan to try to boost Bush's popularity and prevent a complete Republican collapse in November, but that's about it. The problem -- a problem for those of us who don't like Bush -- is that the president still has immense power in terms of diplomacy, the military, and national security. And he still has almost 1,000 days left.

I suspect he isn't quite done yet.

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