"Why I Miss George W. Bush" -- Mehdi Hasan in the New York Times, November 30, 2015:
Minorities matter — in general, if not primary, elections. A study commissioned by the Republican National Committee in the wake of Mitt Romney’s 2012 defeat noted how “many minorities wrongly think that Republicans do not like them or want them in the country.” To be sure, Muslims constitute just 1 to 2 percent of voters in the United States, but in 2000, when the presidential election turned on just 537 votes in Florida, more than 46,000 Muslims in that state voted Republican. In the view of the influential conservative activist Grover Norquist, “George W. Bush was elected president of the United States of America because of the Muslim vote.”
Mr. Bush’s foreign policy may have harmed Muslims abroad, but at home he courted Muslim-American voters and refused to lazily conflate Islam with terrorism. Mourning Mr. Bush’s re-election in 2004, the economist John Kenneth Galbraith remarked: “I never thought I would ever long for Ronald Reagan.” I recognize the sentiment, as I listen to the irresponsible Muslim-hating rhetoric of the current crop of candidates.
I never thought I’d say it, but now I long for the Republican Party of George W. Bush.
Gang-- I live in Michigan. Peoplehere aren't worried about a depression, they're convinced we're in the midst of one. And they're right. GM and Ford are losing so much money, people are realistically thinking that they may go out of business. Obama is all over the airwaves--with positive ads (and some negative ones, to be sure)-- but the really good ones, where he loks into the camera and talks. McCai's ads (they're still up, and of course on cable) are all about scaring people to death. But people are already scared to death--they want hope. And help. I don't think the pullout is that big a deal, except insofar as it demoralizes republicans and totally screws at least two vulnerable representatives. I think McCain just scares the bejeezus out of an already terrified population; who wants that? Obama in short is--surprise surprise--here with the right message at the right time. Calm is good.
Q Mr. President, you haven't been golfing in recent years. Is that related to Iraq?
THE PRESIDENT: Yes, it really is. I don't want some mom whose son may have recently died to see the Commander-in-Chief playing golf. I feel I owe it to the families to be as -- to be in solidarity as best as I can with them. And I think playing golf during a war just sends the wrong signal.