Clinton 2.0?

John Hawkins at Right Wing News is saying that President Bush is nothing more than Clinton 2.0 due to his flip-flops on the Middle East, steel tariffs, and now the report that indicates that global warming is both real and being caused by human activity. As much as I want to disagree, I’m starting to feel the same way.

Hawkins has his own theory as to what is going on:

What Bush is doing is trying to create a Dick Morris-style "triangulation" strategy to get the Republicans some traction for 2002. What Bush doesn’t realize is that this strategy isn’t going to work. In order to win, Bush needs to keep his base of conservative Republicans. He’s not doing a good job of that right now. Conservative Republicans have seen an administration that was cruising at 80 percent in the polls, was being proactive in the Middle East and was carrying the standard for conservative ideals become an administration that’s sinking in the polls, is mired in the Middle East, and has abandoned key conservative issues.

Bush touted himself as a "compassionate conservative" during the election. He needs to remember the last part of that phrase.

What Bush needs to do is promptly remove the greenhouse report, clearly say that the scientific evidence for global warming is too inconclusive to make a sound policy, and let the issue rest. He needs to show that he’s working on the side of democracy and freedom in the Middle East, and he needs to use the Presidency as a bully pulpit against the Democrats. Right now he’s squandering his political capital in a strategy that’s guaranteed to backfire.

America is sick of politicians who try to curry favor with "soccer moms" or "office park dads" or whatever demographic has been identified as the hot one of the day. What Americans responded to with Bush during the aftermath of September 11 was his conviction, his clarity, and his force of will. Unless he starts showing those three qualities again, he may very well follow his father’s path.