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Tuesday, April 15, 2003
Misunderestimating again?
Whether you like George Bush or dislike him, whether you think his priorities are right or totally screwy, it seems to me that you have to give him credit. Either he's the luckiest guy in the world, always in the right place at the right time, or he's a hell of a lot smarter than anybody (even his ideological friends) is willing to give him credit for. I read this post from Kevin Drum gloating over the fact that Democrats are successfully blocking Bush's tax cuts. But they're not! They managed to stand firm so that Republicans had to slash their proposed cuts from $725 billion to $350 billion over the next decade. A victory for Democrats? I don't think so. Remember, not too long ago Democrats were talking about wanting to stop all of Bush's future tax cuts entirely. Just a short while later, they're agreeing to $350 billion in cuts.

But it's not that Democrats have compromised by agreeing to some tax cuts that amazes me; it's that they actually consider it a victory. If you just read the daily papers, Bush always seems to be making a big misstep that's going to be a public relations nightmare. You begin to think he has no idea what he's doing. And yet, when you step back and look at the big picture a few months later, he always seems to come out on top, whether it be invading Iraq "unilaterally" or insisting on dealing with North Korea multilaterally or cutting taxes.

(Note that I'm not discussing here the wisdom of Bush's tax cuts; I'm discussing the success of his approach to achieving them.)

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