Bush can't put off everything until his successor takes over
Bush can't put off everythinguntil his successor takes over
Kansas City Star: It didn't exactly come as a shock when President Bush this week acknowledged that he would bequeath the U.S. involvement in Iraq to his successor.
The United States has made great strides toward the establishment of the first true democracy in the Arab world. But regardless of whether we classify the continuing bloodshed there as a "civil war" or not, it is obvious that much remains to be done -- and that we and the new Iraqi government face many determined adversaries.
In addition, as Bush himself has been forced to acknowledge, a lot of American mistakes have been made.
Other problems fester
Frustration over Iraq, however, is not the only explanation for Americans' growing disenchantment with Bush. Consider some of the other big national problems that remain unaddressed:
U Huge gaps remain in homeland security, causing the bipartisan Sept. 11 commission to continue ringing alarm bells.
U Individuals, companies and government at all levels are struggling to cope with skyrocketing health-care costs. Far from attacking the problem, Bush made things worse with his misguided Medicare changes.
U When Bush ran for the White House he promised to deal with the looming crisis in Social Security. Yet nothing has been done.
U The federal government continues to spend far beyond its means, saddling taxpayers with billions of dollars a year in new interest payments.
So while Americans continue to worry about Iraq, these other problems have taken a toll on the country as well.
If Bush hopes to rebuild his public support, he will need to show that he plans to do more than simply leave the most difficult problems to his successor.