As far as I am concerned, I am done with George W. Bush. I have spent most of the last few years of my political life apologizing for him. No more.
I've been apologizing for his failure to implement a "surge" strategy in Iraq back in 2004, when it could have worked just as well as today and resulted in much more rapid progress. Sure, he didn't have the political clout to do it when his enemies had too much power in the Senate. Sure, the situation in Iraq had to get worse before a clear majority in Washington would agree to make it better. So what? A real leader LEADS and makes the tough decisions. Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!
I've been apologizing for Harriet Miers. Sure, with folks like McCain and Specter among the Senate GOP, and the democrats filibustering everything, W felt his hands were tied and he would be unable to advance a great conservative candidate. So what? He needed to put up the best judges possible and fight for them. As we saw from the conservative backlash over Miers and the subsequent appointment of Alito, the power was there all along to get the right people on the bench. W just needed to actually do it.
I've been apologizing for the out of control spending. OK, we all know Congress spends, not the President. But the President can do two important things: lead and veto. Where was W during the first six years of his Presidency when it came to out of control spending? Was he out there preaching small government and fiscal responsibility? Was he breaking out the big red pen and saying "NO!" to Congress? Nope. He was too busy rubber stamping whatever Congress threw at him to give a crap about our financial future.
And now... the last straw.
The Solicitor General, an agent of the Bush administration, has submitted a brief in the upcoming DC gun ban case that... SUPPORTS THE GUN BAN!
That's it. Done. No more apologies.
I tend to be a single issue voter when it comes to guns. For the last several elections, I've basically supported the Republican Party without looking to hard at individual positions on gun rights. After all, most Republicans are far, far better than most democrats on guns. The Clinton administration gave us the assault weapons ban. The Republicans who took over allowed the ban to expire without renewing it. That was good enough for me on my single issue, allowing me to look at other things like national security, the judiciary, and fiscal policy. And... President Bush has come up lacking on these issues. But I always felt the need to apologize because, damn it, at least with W in the White House no one was going to take away our guns.
I can no longer continue to believe that.
If this is the way a Republican administration responds to a constitutional challenge of the outright ban on handguns in our nation's capital, then the time has come to remove the blinders and return to single issue voting. If the Second Amendment fails, all our other rights become meaningless. Our next President HAS to be one who will support and defend the Constitution, all of the Constitution, and especially our Right to Keep and Bear Arms. Who will that be?
Of the current candidates, only two have a demonstrated record of supporting gun rights: Mike Huckabee and Fred Thompson. Of these two, I believe only one can defeat his democrat opponent in November, and that's Fred. And... Huckabee is a wishy washy liberal who "talks good" to Republicans about a few "red meat" issues like guns, gays, and babies. But his record is liberal. He says he is a fiscal conservative, but he raises taxes. He talks tough on immigration, but he supported benefits for illegal aliens. So he talks good on gun rights - but what would he actually do?
I can't trust Huck on ANY issue, so why should I trust him on THE issue?
So that leaves Fred Thompson. Period. End of discussion. I don't care about his age. I don't care about the fire in his belly. I don't care about his wife. I don't care about his late entry.
I care about our Right to Keep and Bear Arms.
And I care about getting this election over with and getting the next President sworn in so we can put the era of Bush behind us. I can't wait for his administration to end. I only hope the next President is an improvement, and not a step further back.