I wish I were this stupid

The common theme in Massachusetts during the presidential election was the need to replace the bumbling fool from Crawford, Texas with our own intellectual, worldly, French—speaking war hero from Massachusetts. Surely the country would see the difference between the two. After all, the differences were so stark. A dangerous unilateralist provoking conflict throughout the world, engaging in a Viet Nam—like quagmire while wasting human lives and the country's resources versus an international consensus builder who recognized the need to build bridges to our European and other global 'allies'. Diplomacy would be the order of the day and we would be convincing our antagonists with words not bullets.

As we all know now, the country didn't quite see it that way. After the shock began to wear off the new mantra was that Massachusetts would be vindicated by events:

— Palestine and Israel would continue in conflict.
— Afghanistan would be reduced to tribalism.
— Iraqi elections would be a dismal failure and would require more troops to quell an ever—growing domestic insurgency.
— As a nation we would become more and more isolated as a result of our cowboy style foreign policy.

In Massachusetts, both our junior and senior Senators seemed to not only expect such outcomes but were indeed cheering sections for it.

At home it would be more bungling:

— The economy would stagnate,
— Cabinet appointments would be far right God nuts.
— The third rail of social security would make Bush retreat and his judicial nominations would face virulent opposition.
— All of things were likely to result in a huge flow of emigrants from the U.S. into the friendlier confines of Canada.

Well, so far none of those things have happened. In fact, it would appear early on that President Bush has begun to gather even more momentum. His State of the Union address was both bold and specific in terms of goals he wishes to achieve in a second term. The economy continues to improve. Some sort of voluntary program for Social Security looks possible, as does tort reform. Healthcare, AIDS and education all figured prominently in his address.

The Iraqi elections have been universally lauded throughout the world (except by Senators Kennedy and Kerry). Israel's Sharon predicts a bold breakthrough in relations with the Palestinians in the near future. Additionally, both Afghanistan and Iraq have enjoyed substantial increases in economic output, which apparently are outstripping pre—conflict levels.

Contrast this with current state of the president's opponents. CBS and other big media have been humiliated. The UN has been exposed as corrupt and ineffective buffoons in the Oil for Food Program and the Asian tsunami event. The ever—fickle Hollywood crowd had no Oscar nomination for Michael Moore; and George Soros is back to trying to destroy various nations through currency speculation.

Lightweight Sen. Barbara Boxer has become a leading liberal voice in the Senate, and raging Howard Dean is likely to become the DNC national chairman. Coupled with this is Sen. Hillary Clinton's swift move to the right on God and abortion.

Sen. Daschle was replaced by Harry Reid as Minority Leader and he, quite frankly, does not instill a good deal of confidence in anyone. The Senate Democrats were reduced to embarrassingly poor losers in opposition to Condoleezza Rice as Secretary of State and Alberto Gonzalez as Attorney General. One can only wonder how the Hispanic and African American communities viewed the treatment of these two

It might be nice to find someone as stupid as Bush to lead us Democrats.

Phil Gallagher is a Massachusetts Democrat.

The common theme in Massachusetts during the presidential election was the need to replace the bumbling fool from Crawford, Texas with our own intellectual, worldly, French—speaking war hero from Massachusetts. Surely the country would see the difference between the two. After all, the differences were so stark. A dangerous unilateralist provoking conflict throughout the world, engaging in a Viet Nam—like quagmire while wasting human lives and the country's resources versus an international consensus builder who recognized the need to build bridges to our European and other global 'allies'. Diplomacy would be the order of the day and we would be convincing our antagonists with words not bullets.

As we all know now, the country didn't quite see it that way. After the shock began to wear off the new mantra was that Massachusetts would be vindicated by events:

— Palestine and Israel would continue in conflict.
— Afghanistan would be reduced to tribalism.
— Iraqi elections would be a dismal failure and would require more troops to quell an ever—growing domestic insurgency.
— As a nation we would become more and more isolated as a result of our cowboy style foreign policy.

In Massachusetts, both our junior and senior Senators seemed to not only expect such outcomes but were indeed cheering sections for it.

At home it would be more bungling:

— The economy would stagnate,
— Cabinet appointments would be far right God nuts.
— The third rail of social security would make Bush retreat and his judicial nominations would face virulent opposition.
— All of things were likely to result in a huge flow of emigrants from the U.S. into the friendlier confines of Canada.

Well, so far none of those things have happened. In fact, it would appear early on that President Bush has begun to gather even more momentum. His State of the Union address was both bold and specific in terms of goals he wishes to achieve in a second term. The economy continues to improve. Some sort of voluntary program for Social Security looks possible, as does tort reform. Healthcare, AIDS and education all figured prominently in his address.

The Iraqi elections have been universally lauded throughout the world (except by Senators Kennedy and Kerry). Israel's Sharon predicts a bold breakthrough in relations with the Palestinians in the near future. Additionally, both Afghanistan and Iraq have enjoyed substantial increases in economic output, which apparently are outstripping pre—conflict levels.

Contrast this with current state of the president's opponents. CBS and other big media have been humiliated. The UN has been exposed as corrupt and ineffective buffoons in the Oil for Food Program and the Asian tsunami event. The ever—fickle Hollywood crowd had no Oscar nomination for Michael Moore; and George Soros is back to trying to destroy various nations through currency speculation.

Lightweight Sen. Barbara Boxer has become a leading liberal voice in the Senate, and raging Howard Dean is likely to become the DNC national chairman. Coupled with this is Sen. Hillary Clinton's swift move to the right on God and abortion.

Sen. Daschle was replaced by Harry Reid as Minority Leader and he, quite frankly, does not instill a good deal of confidence in anyone. The Senate Democrats were reduced to embarrassingly poor losers in opposition to Condoleezza Rice as Secretary of State and Alberto Gonzalez as Attorney General. One can only wonder how the Hispanic and African American communities viewed the treatment of these two

It might be nice to find someone as stupid as Bush to lead us Democrats.

Phil Gallagher is a Massachusetts Democrat.