UK columnist Nick Cohen perfectly captures the realities of the post-Bush era, both for Europe and for liberals in general: "Why Bush has been a liberal's best friend."
By building him up into a great Satan, the oil man who invades countries to seize their reserves and the Christian who orders bloody crusades, [the liberal-left in Europe and North America] have hidden the totalitarian threats of our age from themselves and anyone who listens to them. Bush allowed them to explain away radical Islam as an understandable, even legitimate, response to the hypocrisies and iniquities of American policy. Even those in the European elites who do not buy the full 'America has it coming' package believe that Bush is a cowboy who doesn't understand that the postmodern way to end conflict is to compromise rather than fight.
In January, Bush will be history, leaving liberals all alone in a frightening world. Little else will change. Radical Islam will still authorise murder without limit, Iran will still want the bomb and the autocracies of China and Russia will still be growing in wealth and confidence. All those who argued that the 'root cause' of the Bush administration lay behind the terror will find that the terror still flourishes when the root cause has retired.
Agreed 100%. In many ways, an Obama presidency would be a relief, in that it would force the Democratic Left to confront the realities of an ideology of religious supremacism that stands foursquare opposed to all of its professed ideals. But since that ideology doesn't originate with familiar opponents, it may take awhile for the realization to set in. But those realities will be there to be confronted, and the illusions will last only so long once hard decisions must be made.
Once back in power, the Democrats will find that they can stay in power by pursuing popular programs here at home and putting out soothing idealistic rhetoric abroad, all the while quietly building on the assets left to them by the Bush administration, i.e., an emerging democratic Iraq and an al-Qaeda back on its heels after a stinging defeat in Mesopotamia -- a defeat Obama the Democrats would have gladly embraced to repudiate Bush and his war, regardless of the enormous cost. Fortunately, Bush made it easy by doubling down on the Surge, enabling that victory to occur at virtually no cost to the Democrats.
For their part, if the GOP is out of power, they will need to put country above politics and lend enthusiastic support to any moves by Obama to counter the influence and aggression of radical Islam, even if that means on occasion siding with the opposition party on principle, as did Joe Lieberman. Will the GOP have the courage of its convictions, even if they no longer call the shots?