Schock und Schrecken der Bush-Regierung
--- Auch der Economist widmet sich jetzt der wachsenden Realitätsverzerrung in den Reihen der Bush-Regierung: MOST presidents get more defensive and hesitant as they go on. George Bush is getting bolder. Since his re-election, the president has committed himself to transforming, among other things, Iraq, the Middle East, the tax system, pensions and the legal system. Phew. If he were allowed to win a third term, what would he do for an encore? Yet the gap between Mr Bush's rhetoric and what is actually happening, or is likely to happen, is embarrassingly wide. The day after his “freedom speech” his officials fanned out to explain that he didn't really mean anything specific. In Iraq things are not going according to plan—if indeed the administration actually has a plan (see article). Tax reform has been sidelined to a commission, with action this year, next year, sometime. His attempt to privatise part of the Social Security system is in trouble even before it starts. The gap between ambition and follow-through at home can partly be blamed on the fact that Mr Bush has yet to start revealing the details of his policy. But in foreign policy, the contradiction looks well established. Neo-conservatives, who loved the inauguration speech, claim that Mr Bush is undermining it through the people he has appointed. ... There is often a gap between promise and achievement in politics—and nearly always one in inauguration speeches, which are supposed to be aspirational. What is unusual about Mr Bush's ambition is the way it is centred on what might be called “discretionary policies”. Social Security privatisation, tax reform, the overthrow of Saddam Hussein and the “war on tyranny” are all causes Mr Bush chose to espouse. He was not forced to take them on by events, and no one would have censured him (much) had he not mounted these hobby-horses. In contrast, many of his other policies have either been “reactive” (the overthrow of the Taliban, the “war on terror”) or are more conventional, with deep roots in Republican tradition (like cutting taxes). The discretionary element makes Mr Bush's job much harder. Compare, for instance, the bipartisan support Mr Bush received for his “reactive” war in Afghanistan with the more patchy support he received from Democrats for his discretionary quest in Iraq; or the initial acclaim for the “war on terror” with the mixed response to his new “war on tyranny”. And this is about to get worse. Schlechte Aussichten. Cäsar Bush hat sich wohl wirklich ein wenig zu viel vorgenommen mit seiner Politik, die allüberall einen Unterschied machen soll.