Bush Family Now "Preeminent Dynasty of All American History," Prof. Ken Bode Writes in Weekly Op-Ed
November 5, 2004
November 5, 2004, Greencastle, Ind. - "To the extent that America has political dynasties, the re-election of George W. makes the Bush family the preeminent dynasty of all American history," writes Ken Bode in his weekly op-ed, published in today's Indianapolis Star. Bode, Eugene S. Pulliam Distinguished Visiting Professor of Journalism at DePauw University, notes, "There is much talk of mandates right now... Everywhere Bush looks he sees a Republican Party ascendant. So, whatever the president says about reaching out and healing divisions, he is more likely to heed the advice of his hard-core supporters who say, 'If you don't implement a conservative agenda now, when do you?' A mandate is not a mandate unless you use it... Now it is time to put an indelible Bush imprint on national policy."
Dr. Bode, former senior political analyst at CNN and former host of PBS' Washington Week in Review, continues, "His legislative agenda will include both rewards and paybacks. Privatization of Social Security is a high profit reward to the loyal, Republican financial industry. Tort reform -- caps on awards in liability lawsuits -- is retributive payback to the trial lawyers for their constant support of Democrats." The professor says in Bush's second term, he'll also have an opportunity to "remodel the federal judiciary," and likely nominate several US Supreme Court justices. "What's at stake here? Environmental regulations, affirmative action, civil liberties, disability rights, gay rights, campaign finance reform, clean water, sexual harassment, religion in the schools. Then there is abortion. If Roe v. Wade is overturned and sent back to the states, it could provoke a culture war that will paralyze American politics."
Bode suggests that in the area of foreign policy, "the president already has thumbed his nose at the finest part of his father's legacy. In his farewell address, George H.W. Bush laid out the rules for conflict in the post-Cold War world. Coalition building, consensus on the mission and goals, a clear exit strategy. In Iraq, George W. Bush had none of the above."
Looking ahead to 2008, Bode sees the president's brother, Jeb Bush, as the likely Republican nominee for the White House. "Jeb is a hugely popular governor who has delivered Florida to his brother twice and would easily take that state out of the battleground category," Bode writes. "He has the Bush family machine behind him and everything George W. could put into the federal pipeline to help him get the nomination. Rudy Giuliani? George Pataki? Bill Frist? Jeb will dust them off like so much desert dust. The legacy continues."Back