PICK ONE

Reading various commentaries on President Bush, there seem to be two mutually exclusive opinions floating around:

  • He’s in danger of losing his base because he does not fight hard enough for conservative principles and is willing to compromise on damned near anything.
  • He’s energizing his opponents and driving away moderates in droves because he is a right wing ideologue who refuses to make even the slightest concession to achieve consensus.

    Which is it? It can’t be both, can it?

  • FILED UNDER: Campaign 2004
    James Joyner
    About James Joyner
    James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

    Comments

    1. Norbizness says:

      Or, it’s (a) for domestic policy and (b) for foreign policy. Of course, nothing drives away moderates and energizes opposition like the appear of failure and/or actual failure.

    2. Gunther says:

      He’s in danger of losing his base because he does not fight hard enough for conservative principles and is willing to compromise on damned near anything.

      He’s energizing his opponents and driving away moderates in droves because he is a right wing ideologue who refuses to make even the slightest concession to achieve consensus.

      It’s certainly possible that he could end up with the worst of both worlds, seen by his base as overly compromising but at the same time seen by moderates and opponents as too inflexible. Perception is everything, and it’s plausible that the same actions would be seen in an entirely different way by these factions. For a simple example, look at the situation the Palestinian P.M. finds himself in, where he’s unable to satisfy either the hardliners on his own side or the Israelis.

    3. JohnC says:

      Welcome to the squeeze.

    4. howard says:

      does the name jimmy carter ring a bell when it comes to this conundrum?

    5. CalPundit says:

      Splitting the Difference
      SPLITTING THE DIFFERENCE….James Joyner has a question today:Reading various commentaries on President Bush, there seem to be two mutually exclusive opinions floating around: He’s in danger of losing his base because he does not fight hard enough for …