Zakaria's Newsweek article "Beyond Bush": I wish we were
But I do think Zakaria misses a fundamental point: we are not yet "Beyond Bush" in any way, shape, or form. Unless he dies, resigns, or is impeached and removed from office, he will be president until January of 2009. That's 20 more months. Almost 2 years of Bush doing the sorts of things that have made people around the world think China will act more responsibly than we will:
In a global survey released last week, most countries polled believed that China would act more responsibly in the world than the United States. How does a Leninist dictatorship come across more sympathetically than the oldest constitutional democracy in the world?If we're going to get "Beyond Bush", we've got to get rid of him and Cheney first. The longer we wait, the harder it will be to repair the damage. I wish we were beyond Bush. But if a Democratic congress won't even end this wildly unpopular occupation of Iraq, it's a bit premature to be talking about the post-Bush era.
Zakaria has all sorts of wonderful advice for what the U.S. can do to restore it's image, but it's all useless because it's the sort of stuff the Bush administration can't do, won't do, and doesn't take seriously. Those who wish this country well should stop wasting their breath giving advice to this administration, because they clearly aren't interested in hearing it. Iraq Study Group, anyone?
The other "Beyond Bush" problem that the article fails to address is that there is a substantial minority of voters in this country who approve of Bush and Cheney and their arrogant, insensitive, immoral policies. Even if we manage to throw the Republicans out in 2008, won't the rest of the world still be worried that America is the sort of place where people like Bush and Cheney can come to power? If we're going to get "Beyond Bush", our nation's political landscape will have to change substantially. Otherwise, we'll always be one terrorist attack away from acting like we have been for the past 6 years. And the rest of the world will know it. (And you can bet terrorists know it too, and will exploit it to get us to be stupid, as they've been doing for quite some time.)