Las Vegas Review-Journal

Sunday, September 12, 2004

EDITORIAL: George W. Bush for president

Only one candidate holds in his hand a hope for resurgent American greatness

As John Kerry's inability to connect with the average voter manifests itself and President Bush's lead in the polls widens, it would be easy for Republicans to become complacent.

But that would be a mistake.

Energized Democrats could still make this a very close race.  Eight weeks is an eternity in politics.  That means demographics and the Electoral College could still combine to make Nevada one of perhaps a dozen states so closely contested that a few thousand voters could actually decide who will steer the nation through the dangerous next four years.

Democratic activists in the Silver State are hoping Nevadans will choose Sen. Kerry based on his promise to stop nuclear waste from coming to Nevada.  So it's time for some straight talk.  Sealing up the nation's nuclear waste inside a mountain where no one can watch for cannister corrosion is absurd.  It is unlikely to happen, primarily because safer and cheaper reprocessing technologies are not 50,000 years away, but -- in all likelihood -- closer to 50 years away.

That said, Yucca Mountain has been on track for 20 years, under Democratic and Republican congresses, under Democratic and Republican presidents.  Are we to pin our future on the hope that one politician can (or even wants to) change all that, based on a last-minute election-year conversion?


Sen. Kerry's entire campaign has been like the red cape that's designed to keep the bull from seeing where the matador really stands.  The only government spending he has ever opposed has been boots and rifles and ammo for our troops.  A Kerry administration would mean a resurgence of job-crippling environmental, land-use and workplace over-regulation, a turn-tail foreign policy designed to please no one but the Spaniards and the French, and an economically crippling tax-the-rich regime that would make Washington look like Leningrad on the Potomac.

John Kerry is the kind of liberal even the Democratic Party abandoned when it loudly nominated moderate "New Democrats" Bill Clinton and Al Gore in 1992.  Yet was any of this admitted in the recent Democratic convention in Boston?  No, this was all kept carefully hidden, as Mr. Kerry presented himself as the personification of George S. Patton and Dwight D. Eisenhower rolled into one.

Did Mr. Kerry show courage during his four months in Vietnam, 35 years ago?  Yes he did, and he is to be honored for it.  But if that were all the qualification needed to lead this nation in the age of al-Qaida, there are thousands of other worthy veterans ahead of Mr. Kerry in line -- ahead because they did not come home and give comfort to the enemy by accusing their fellow soldiers of atrocities.

Meanwhile, what of George Bush?

On the domestic front, President Bush's first term has been a disappointment to many Americans who favor smaller, constitutionally limited government.  That said, however, Americans need to remember that moment on Sept. 11, 2001, when the first shock of the collapsing towers began to wear off, and many of us said to ourselves, "Bush, Powell, Rumsfeld, Cheney.  Thank God we've got the starting offense already on the field."

George Bush identified the enemy and took the battle to them.  There's a reason there has been no second attack here -- he has the enemy scurrying from hole to hole. George W. Bush sets his course, straightens up in the saddle, stands firm in the face of all the name-calling from the left, and stays a resolute course.

The genius of American democracy has somehow done it again. George Bush is the right president at the right time.  The economy is making significant strides post 9-11 and Mr. Bush has sketched out a second-term domestic agenda that would move the nation firmly back toward sound free-market principles.  He is far more likely to appoint judges with a crucial respect for freedom, the free market, prosperity and property rights.

At this moment in history, when a cowardly and increasingly desperate enemy that beheads the defenseless and murders innocent women and children is finally on the run -- an enemy allowed to fester and gather strength through eight years of Democratic procrastination -- now is not the time to turn tail and give the gibbering mullahs time to rebuild their strength.

A great man is not a perfect man, but rather a man who finds the strength to overcome his own flaws, and then to lead others to unlikely triumph over great adversity and great odds.  There is only one man in this presidential race who holds in his hands a vision and a hope for resurgent American greatness and triumph.

President George W. Bush.

© 2004 Las Vegas Review-Journal.  Reprinted by permission.  (Thomas Mitchell Sept. 15, 2004)

The editorial board is made up of publisher Sherman R. Frederick, editor Thomas Mitchell, editorial page editor John Kerr, and the editorial writers.  Mitchell said the paper endorses in most elections and generally leans conservative.  He also said this endorsement was made earlier than usual.  (Note that President Bush appeared in Las Vegas a couple of days after the endorsement was made when he addressed the National Guard Association on Sept. 14).

  ...Stephens Media Group.>