Inspired by the many “Gore Won!” “No, Bush rightfully won!” threads.
I think it’s pretty clear that Bush, while he is now the sitting president of these United States, didn’t exactly have an overwhelming mandate from the people (and likewise, neither would Gore have possessed one, had a few hundred votes turned his way in Florida instead of Dubya’s way).
Many people are going on that since Bush’s victory was so narrow and disputed, he shouldn’t act as though he won a Clinton-style landslide, with the majority of the voters in this country behind him.
We don’t live in a parliamentary system. Bush doesn’t have to try to appease other people to stay in power. And he has enough chums in Congress to shove through almost any agenda he wants.
It may be rude, it may essentially give the finger to half the country, but, hey, he’s the prez.
My personal feeling on the matter is that the opponents of his swagger should clarify their warning thusly:
Bush shouldn’t act like he won by a landslide and has the support of everyone in the country, b/c it might alienate a lot of people and cause them to shy away from him–and other Republicans–in future elections.
Of course, that assumption (that such behavior will alienate borderline voters, thereby hurting Republicans) is highly debatable.
So how about it? Once a leader’s in office, no matter how narrow his margin of victory, should he be trying to
a) push through his own agenda, and to hell with what anyone else thinks
b) try to determine the will of the people and act in such a way that as many of them as possible are happy?