September 4, 2002
Disturbing Deja VuAccording to Matthew Engel of The Guardian, Bush has squandered the immense reserve of international good will that was the result of September 11.
"A year ago, sympathy for the United States was close to unanimous across the planet," says Engel. "The murderous attacks raised the country's moral credit rating sky-high. But it was not limitless. And the Bush administration dissipated it all on a spending spree of ideological indulgences and hubris."
Bush's political capital is rapidly diminishing like the last few grains of sand in an hourglass. It is much like it was last year at this time, when he had played his cards like there was no tomorrow. Issues were closing in on him: his mismanagement of the budget, the tax cut that would force him to break his promise not to break into the Social Security fund, his many broken campaign pledges. He had offended nearly every sector of the population except the rich corporate elite. His approval ratings had dropped below 50%. He had painted himself into a corner politically. His position seemed almost hopeless.
Then came September 11, and his political career was redeemed. Suddenly all his reckless actions of the previous nine months made sense. Did he know something most of us didn't know? Now he is in a similarly bad situation politically and the capital he gained from 9-11 is nearly spent. The most disturbing question is, what does he have up his sleeve this time?
-- By David Cogswell