A new agenda for Bush

By Joseph Farah

Now that President Bush has the political mandate he never received in 2000, it’s time to wield that clout.

It’s time to shake things up. It’s time to take some chances. It’s time to do the right thing. The American people have demonstrated they have confidence in the president. They trust him. They like him.

That’s what Tuesday’s midterm elections showed in dramatic form. Now Bush has a chance to get some things accomplished. Here’s what I recommend:

  • Secure our borders: Nobody blames George W. Bush for Sept. 11. But if and when another dramatic terrorist attack occurs on his watch, he will be more accountable. If terrorists enter our country through our porous borders, Bush will deserve plenty of blame. It’s time to defend our country. It’s time to secure the borders against all intruders.

  • Cut taxes: The economy is still stumbling. President Reagan initiated the biggest peacetime economic expansion in the country’s history with large tax cuts. John Kennedy did the same thing before him. We need bigger and deeper cuts than those approved by the last Congress. It’s time to get this economic engine running on overdrive.

  • Get government off Americans’ backs: Cut the red tape. Eliminate the bureaucracies. Close down agencies. Downsize the government. Now you have the power. Now you have the votes, Mr. Bush. If you don’t do it, nobody ever will.

  • Reward Israel: For the last 12 years, the U.S. has pushed Israel into one corner after another – coercing the tiny Jewish state into a series of never-ending concessions to its hostile neighbors. Due to no fault of Israel’s, that peace process has, once and for all, broken down. It’s time for the president to keep one of his campaign promises – moving the U.S. Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. This would be a great sign of encouragement to Israel as it faces terrorist attack after terrorist attack. It’s the right thing to do.

  • Stop support of Palestinian Authority: It’s time for the U.S. to change course in the Mideast. It’s time to declare Yasser Arafat a terrorist enemy. It’s time to cut off all aid – direct or indirect – to Arafat and his Palestinian Authority. This experiment has failed. We need to admit it.

  • Fire CIA director: It’s time to rid the government of key Clinton holdovers like CIA Director George Tenet. Tenet is described in a new book as “perhaps (Yasser) Arafat’s most loyal supporter in the Clinton administration.” He has made one blunder after another as CIA director. If any man in government has more to answer for than Tenet after Sept. 11, I’d like to know who it is.

  • Emphasize civil defense: With threats from weapons of mass destruction wielded by terrorists and rogue nations alike, America needs to get serious about civil defense. No offense is good enough to protect America from future attacks from missiles and suitcase nukes. Bush must re-emphasize the imperative of building a strategic missile shield as well as a new shelter system for the American people.

  • Disengage from U.N.: Since the United Nations is not going to lift a finger to enforce its own sanctions against Iraq, it’s time to recognize the U.S. doesn’t need the U.N. It’s time to disengage. It’s time to protect our own national interests. It’s time to reassert our own national sovereignty.

  • Reassert the primacy of the Constitution: Bush should tell Congress its authority – like his own – is strictly limited by the U.S. Constitution. He should suggest a radical change in Washington – from now on, all laws, all regulations, all presidential orders, all actions and decrees are going to be measured against the standard of the Constitution. If they don’t pass muster, they go right into the circular file.

If the president followed this simple advice, he would be re-elected in 2004 in a landslide. But, more importantly, he would be doing the right thing – no matter how he was judged politically for it.

Not many presidents get the opportunity he has before him. Let’s hope he makes the most of it.