"Reaching these goals will require the broad support of Americans," Bush said, as he asked Sen. John Kerry's disappointed supporters to back him although many of his proposals are anathema to the opponents of his re-election. "I will work to earn it. I will do all I can do to deserve your trust," he said.Even those of us with such memories finely tuned to conveniently forget all of Bush's miscues, mistakes and flat-out lies, will never forget that little "I'm a uniter, not a divider" promise from four years ago. He was given the golden opportunity to do exactly this with 9/11, and he dashed it to the ground almost as soon as he received it. His sincerity in this message is about as convincing now as it was then.
I expect to see no sincere efforts on his part and treat this portion of his address as the usual victory speech filler. He no longer has to worry about popularity or polls. His staff, which according to the article will include some changes but not important ones (i.e. Rumsfeld and Ashcroft), will continue to isolate him from reality so he'll see minimum protesters and hear minimum contradictory facts.
Most of all, he has an even stronger hold on both the House and Senate, so he can pretty much do whatever the hell he wants. He doesn't need to mend fences. Do people honestly think he'll look at this total control, then look at his objectives and then say "I should make some concessions to make the other side happy"? He might throw Democrats a bone so he can say he's making compromises, but it will not be anything major. His lip service to Democrats resembles a rapist whispering in his victim's ear, "You know, if you don't tense up, this won't hurt as much." Either way, we're getting screwed.
Listen, it comes down to this: It all depends on the man. There's too much history and too much dislike for Bush to ever undo what he has done over the past four years. If Gore had won back in 2000 and he pledged the same thing, Republicans at large would be telling him to blow it out his ass. Why? Because they had spent eight years in a state of bloodlust and would have seen Gore as a continuance of that. Katherine Hepburn in "The Lion in Winter" could have easily been speaking about the animosity Republicans felt for Clinton when she said "You have a gift for hating".
So now Republicans are asking us to accept this same guy we have been vigilantly opposing for four years? His policies haven't changed, his staff isn't changing (much) and he himself sure as hell isn't changing. If Republicans truly want to reach out, then they need somebody brand new. Somebody not even remotely connected with the Bush family or administration. Somebody with new ideas.
To that I say, good luck in 2008.