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Bush May Come Up With 2nd-Term Surprises

Old 11-08-04, 04:55 PM
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Bush May Come Up With 2nd-Term Surprises

Yahoo Story
By JENNIFER LOVEN, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON - Odd things can happen when presidents no longer have to worry about re-election. George W. Bush embarks on another four years in the White House unleashed from election concerns for the first time in his presidency, raising questions about what he will do with the freedom of a second term.

Past presidents have often reached big in their second term, with some accomplishments that build on earlier ones and others that can appear to contradict them. Regardless, with their eyes trained away from the voting booth and toward the history books, many have taken the chance to gamble.

Take President Reagan, who made fighting communism the hallmark of his presidency and famously proclaimed the Soviet Union the "evil empire" two years into his first term. But in his second term, Reagan seized on the ascension of Mikhail Gorbachev to power and despite rhetoric that remained fiercely hawkish became friends with the Soviet leader and worked with him to steer their nations away from nuclear confrontation.

By the end of his presidency, Reagan had signed a treaty with Gorbachev eliminating the entire class of medium-range nuclear-tipped missiles. The combination of toughness and conciliation helped end the Cold War.

Or take President Clinton (news - web sites), the Democrat elected in 1992 after embracing his party's centrist movement. He waited until the last year of his first term to utter one of the most famous quotes of his presidency that "the era of big government is over" and to tackle the historic welfare reform legislation that dismayed many in the left wing of his party. And then in his second term, he struggled for a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians but failed to pull it off.

Possibilities for a second-term Bush exist in part because of circumstances, and in part because of the agenda he has already set.

Either way, there's no disputing at least two things: He'll have lots of extra time now that he no longer has to devote time to raising money and campaigning for re-election. It also won't be long before attention will turn to the 2008 presidential contest and he'll be considered a lame duck.

White House political adviser Karl Rove said Bush in his second term "absolutely" would push for a constitutional amendment that says marriage consists only of the union of a man and a woman.

Bush believes states can deal with the issue of civil unions between gay people, an arrangement that if enacted would grant same-sex partners most or all the rights available to married couples, Rove said Sunday.

In foreign policy, one obvious opportunity is the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, as Bush's second term collides with changes in the region. Israel has taken steps to withdraw from Gaza after nearly 40 years of occupation.

With Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat (news - web sites) hospitalized and gravely ill, the man seen by Washington as an untrustworthy peace partner may be sidelined.

Those developments could give Bush a chance to risk trying to make peace, and White House aides have already begun signaling they see an opening.

Observers also see a legacy-building opportunity in Bush's proposal to increase Social Security (news - web sites)'s long-term solvency by partially privatizing it. "He could really make his mark there," said Lee Edwards, an analyst of presidential decision-making at the conservative Heritage Foundation.

But to be successful on both those difficult fronts, Bush might have to curb the my-way-or-the-highway approach that has dominated his relations with Democrats in Congress and international allies, two groups whose help he will likely need.

"He's got political capital," said Princeton political scientist Fred Greenstein. "He'll have even more if he does some reaching out."

Greenstein suggested Bush may decided to do just that fulfilling a promise he has made in the days since his successful re-election by nominating "some kind of uniting figure" for any Supreme Court vacancy, instead of a conservative who would spark a bitter Senate confirmation fight.

However, experts noted there's been little indication from Bush that he plans to be anything other than the mostly unbending conservative of his first term. Since Election Day, he has promised to earn the trust of Democrats and talked of bipartisanship. But so far, that has mostly meant inviting Democrats to support his proposals and leaving them behind if they decline.

And in recent days, Bush has appeared, if anything, more emboldened than ever, political experts and presidential historians said. When asked to name his most immediate priorities, he raised an issue that is one of the most divisive flashpoints between the two parties capping medical malpractice lawsuit awards.

"He talks the talk of conciliation, but he walks the walk of the solid conservative," said Allan J. Lichtman, a presidential historian at American University. "I see no sign the president is going to modify his approach."
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Old 11-08-04, 04:56 PM
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Oooooo - I love surprises.
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Old 11-08-04, 04:57 PM
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Old 11-08-04, 05:31 PM
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Old 11-08-04, 05:34 PM
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All weekend long on the talk shows I heard "the second term is usually filled with scandal!!" almost like the media is chomping at the bit to find something.. I would not be at all surprised if there was an impeachment attempt sometime within this term.
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Old 11-08-04, 05:34 PM
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Old 11-08-04, 05:35 PM
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Originally posted by General Zod
All weekend long on the talk shows I heard "the second term is usually filled with scandal!!" almost like the media is chomping at the bit to find something.. I would not be at all surprised if there was an impeachment attempt sometime within this term.
Given the makeup of the house, it would truly surprise me.
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Old 11-08-04, 05:41 PM
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Originally posted by General Zod
All weekend long on the talk shows I heard "the second term is usually filled with scandal!!" almost like the media is chomping at the bit to find something.. I would not be at all surprised if there was an impeachment attempt sometime within this term.
Good God, more? hasn't Bush survived just about every 'scandal' thrown at him? So far, the man appears invincible.
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Old 11-08-04, 05:44 PM
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Teflon president? Kvrdave - I didn't say a "successful" attempt There's been like 60? impeachment proceedings against presidents - and with all the division and instability going on Bush just seems ripe for the pickin'.

Edit: I was going off memory. Most web sites say 35 impeachment proceedings, I thought there was more....

Last edited by General Zod; 11-08-04 at 05:46 PM.
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Old 11-08-04, 05:58 PM
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Originally posted by kvrdave
Dogs and cats living together?
That happened in his first term, actually.
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Old 11-08-04, 06:19 PM
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I predict the biggest surprise of Bush's second term will be the size of the tax cut that he proposes for the wealthy.

It's likely to be humongous.
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Old 11-08-04, 07:17 PM
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Originally posted by classicman2
I predict the biggest surprise of Bush's second term will be the size of the tax cut that he proposes for the wealthy.

It's likely to be humongous.
And that's surprising how? He's already said tax reform (along with social security reform) will be one of the major goals of his second term, and we all know what the modern Republican means when he says "tax reform."
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Old 11-08-04, 07:41 PM
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Old 11-08-04, 07:55 PM
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I wish I was wealthy so I could enjoy the tax cut.

Oh well.
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Old 11-08-04, 09:08 PM
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Originally posted by JasonF
And that's surprising how? He's already said tax reform (along with social security reform) will be one of the major goals of his second term, and we all know what the modern Republican means when he says "tax reform."
when is the last time democrats voted for a tax cut for the middle class? JFK?

I've been hearing how the deficit is so big for 15 years now and we can't afford a tax cut. and yet the deficit grew every year.
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Old 11-08-04, 09:11 PM
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Originally posted by al_bundy
when is the last time democrats voted for a tax cut for the middle class? JFK?

I've been hearing how the deficit is so big for 15 years now and we can't afford a tax cut. and yet the deficit grew every year.
They haven't had a chance.

The Republicans haven't presented a middle-class tax cut.

You're confused. The Republican tax cuts primarily don't benefit the middle-class.

But you already knew that, didn't you?
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Old 11-08-04, 09:31 PM
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Originally posted by classicman2
I predict the biggest surprise of Bush's second term will be the size of the tax cut that he proposes for the wealthy.

It's likely to be humongous.


They said surprise, that is a given.
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Old 11-09-04, 08:22 AM
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Originally posted by General Zod
All weekend long on the talk shows I heard "the second term is usually filled with scandal!!" almost like the media is chomping at the bit to find something.. I would not be at all surprised if there was an impeachment attempt sometime within this term.


The only real surprise would be if Bush honestly reached out to Democrats, but I doubt that will happen.
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Old 11-09-04, 08:25 AM
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Old 11-09-04, 09:13 AM
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Originally posted by VinVega


The only real surprise would be if Bush honestly reached out to Democrats, but I doubt that will happen.
Ah!!

Isn't that sweet - reaching out to Democrats.

How many Democrats voted for the Bush tax cuts? Isn't that reaching out?

That's called forming voting coalitions - in other words, reaching out.
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Old 11-09-04, 09:49 AM
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Originally posted by classicman2
Ah!!

Isn't that sweet - reaching out to Democrats.

How many Democrats voted for the Bush tax cuts? Isn't that reaching out?

That's called forming voting coalitions - in other words, reaching out.
More like "My way or the highway!" and the Dems see the writing on the wall. I expect the same kind of knuckling under for the next 4 years as well.
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Old 11-09-04, 02:23 PM
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Originally posted by classicman2
I predict the biggest surprise of Bush's second term will be the size of the tax cut that he proposes for the wealthy.

It's likely to be humongous.
I'll see your tax cut and raise you the elimination of the Internal Revenue Service and the replacement of the federal income tax with a nationwide sales/consumption tax
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Old 11-09-04, 03:21 PM
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Don't they float a bill like this almost every year in Congress?
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Old 11-09-04, 05:07 PM
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Originally posted by classicman2
They haven't had a chance.
The Republicans haven't presented a middle-class tax cut.
You're confused. The Republican tax cuts primarily don't benefit the middle-class.

But you already knew that, didn't you?
When the Democrats controlled congress, I don't recall them proposing/passing any tax cuts (for the middle class or otherwise).

And if the Republican tax cuts weren't designed to benefit the middle-class, then I'm thankful that I was the "accidental" beneficiary of those cuts...which were quite noticeable to our household.
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Old 11-09-04, 05:22 PM
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A tax cut that is 'designed to benefit' *anyone* [ie, not *everyone* who pays taxes] is inherently unfair. [I'm not :"rich" either, but I did benefit from the tax cut as well. As did everyone who pays federal taxes]

I don't know if I believe this, but why *should* he 'reach out'? It's obvious that many ranking Democrats are not going to be doing any reaching; Kerry, who a week ago pledged to work together, is now saying "Kerry is relishing the prospect of renewed combat with President Bush, fighting such measures as the president's proposal to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling.'

Bush is 'winning'. No it's not a filibuster-proof majority, and no, he's not a de facto dictator, but the results were clear enough that Bush has a solid victory for at least 2 years or so till people start focusing on 2008.
Throughout his whole first term, apart from Iraq, Bush made many attempts to 'reach out', letting key liberal Democrats virtually write some of the legislation Bush wanted. And he gets a year-plus of abuse and vitriol for making the attempt.

And the truth comes out:
""We have to treat the disease, not the symptom," Carville said. "The purpose of a political party is to win elections, and we're not doing that.""
Not to show people your beliefs, or 'help people' but to win elections.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp...nguage=printer
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