Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Inauguration thoughts

With President Bush's 2nd Term inauguration set a few hours from now, I've been thinking about what Bush's agenda for his second term will turn out to be. Here's some tidbits:

- Bush will tackle Social Security, and he'll spend some of that "political capital" that he earned in the election upon it. I have my doubts that he's sold his plan to the American public overall, but I like most of what I'm hearing. Privatizing some of Social Security will actually pay more money, longterm, than keeping social security under federal control. However, it will take a while for Bush to win this battle with Congress. They're notorious for maintaining the status quo, and the Democrats will most likely fight tooth and nail against Bush with his Security proposals. It will probably be a fight that Bush will have to take into 2006- but it will be one in which strategically speaking, Bush will maintain the initiative, and he'll also get the added benefit of the Democrats screaming bloody murder at the top of their lungs. This isn't to say that the Dems won't provide their own counter-proposals to Bush's plans, but that they will seek to play partisan politics right from the beginning. That will hurt them badly, because their image isn't one of moderation, at this stage. If they want to remain relevant in the 2006 mid-term elections, they'll have to cut their losses on the social security issue, and refrain from getting bogged down in ad hominen and character assassination tactics.

- Bush will begin to tackle tort reform, and make some inroads to it. But I think that it will take more than Bush's second term to get some serious tort reform through. It's not as conscious in the American minds as the Social Security issue is. And I'm not going to touch the potential to nominate new Supreme Court justices, just yet. That issue will probably arise during Bush's 2nd term, but it hasn't yet, and I really have no idea how he'll handle it. My gut feeling is that he'll end up choosing someone (or someones) who will please no one. But I'm not going to rely upon that feeling. Not just yet.

- The War on Terror will probably remain the major focal point of Bush's foriegn policy. Iraq will quiet down, sometime by April to June of 2005, and that will free Bush to start dealing more openly with Syria and Iran. The Europeans are going to have to start dealing with Bush on his terms, since they've lost a ton of credibility with the Bush administration (outside of Italy, Britain, and Eastern Europe), and that they really don't have much to offer the US if they continue to bicker and whine at the Bush admin. They'll have to seriously start to consider what the Bush administration is doing in Iraq- and may well do elsewhere- and realize that they're locking themselves out of the 21st century in the process. Also, watch for Peter Goss' reformed CIA to begin to take shape sometime in the middle of the year. Don't be suprised if we make some inroads into capturing the remaining heads of Al Quaeda as a result.

- Bush will also bring the United Nations to heel. The Oil For Food scandal is breaking open at a rapid pace, and the US government will be spearheading the efforts to get to the bottom of the case. It'll help to further reduce the UN to the role of a tin soldier, but it will also crystalize the global situation for those who have been hesitant, or unwilling to listen. The message will be loud and clear: the institutions that existed during the Cold War are rapidly becoming useless in the modern world. Anyone who wants to cling to those institutions, is of course, free to do so. But if they want to, they'll fail to realize that other institutions- and alliances- will be created, and they won't be a relevant part of that future.

- Lastly, the Bush Administration will let the mainstream media continue to implode on itself. They'll get plenty of help from various Democrats who sit on the political fringes, of course. The Bush administration will largely play a silent role, and let the media fall on their sword of their own accord. This will also help Bush get his message across, without wading into the fever pits of the mainstream (and leftist) media. He won't get sidetracked- but the media will.

- I would like to say that there won't be another major terror attack in the US, or somewhere in the world- but I won't. The odds are that there will be an attack, somewhere, somehow, and somewhen. But the odds of it happening in the US remain the same as it has been for the past year or so- and those odds are possibly falling.


Post a Comment

<< Home