The clock has now tocked

by Stephen Tall on November 8, 2006

It’s interesting, sometimes, to look back at old blog postings. On the day of George W. Bush’s second inauguration, 20th Jan, 2005, I wrote an article, After Inauguration – will it get better from here on in?:

… a mandate is about power, and power is a slippery, fluid, elusive commodity. … There are other factors, too, which might mean Dubya’s victory is as good as it gets for the Republicans. …

Dubya’s first term may well come back to haunt him in his second. Most obviously – let’s hope not inevitably – Iraq could slip off the precipice on which its teetering, and descend into civil war. The US and its Allies would not be able simply to wash their hands of the bloodshed they’ve fomented. Active military re-involvement, not the disengagement for which even the neo-cons are now hoping (if only so they can flaunt their hawkish menace further afield), would be an unavoidable, and humiliating, outcome. … thirdly, the domestic agenda is by no means assured. Dubya has, somehow, to attempt to curb his reckless spending habits, and to staunch the spiralling budget deficit.

Control of the White House, Congress and Senate present Dubya with immense leverage, a generational opportunity to carve the political landscape in his ideological image as clearly as Mount Rushmore. He remains the most polarising of politicians, squeaking both his presidential victories, governing as if they were landslides. His approval rating continues to hover at 50%, remarkably low for a freshly re-elected second term President. Most of his Party are already looking towards the 2006 mid-term elections. He has three years until he becomes a lame-duck President. He’s enjoyed his day of glory. But the clock is now ticking.