An emailer writes:

Many of us either withheld or tempered our criticism before the election for the practical reason that (1) its detrimental effect on Bush’s election chances outweighed any curative effect it would have on his governance (which curative effect it could still have post-November); and (2) Bush, even with his weaknesses, was a better choice than Kerry. You obviously concluded otherwise. That doesn’t make you any more responsible for criticizing Bush or me any less responsible for holding my tongue.

Point taken. We all have to make judgments and I know few people who wouldn’t have preferred a better choice last November. But I think we had also learned by last November that Bush never listens to criticism (except, perhaps, from his wife); that his re-election would confirm him in all the worst judgment calls of his presidency; that his administration was slowly killing off conservatism as we had known it; it was manifestly incompetent and immune to correction; and that the only responsible thing was therefore to back Kerry as the lesser of two evils. I think Kerry would have made a pretty poor president. But Bush was already clearly on course for disaster (and had already made a basket case of Iraq). I wish I was being proven wrong. At least now I feel a little less lonely.


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