For most of us this is the first inauguration we will witness in Washington. Now it is finally time for a new Republican administration to take over. Throughout the campaign, Bush pledged to ensure every American child has the opportunity to receive an exemplary education. He promised a tax cut with the focus of giving a larger tax break for low income families. He will make sure Social Security will be solvent for many more generations, and our military will again be strong.
Bush’s main priority will be to form a bipartisan coalition between Congress and the White House. Even though Republicans control both houses, it will take cooperation to pass legislation positively affecting Americans. As governor of Texas, Bush reached across the aisle to form bipartisan relationships. Even the highest-ranking Democrat in the Texas legislature endorsed Bush’s presidency because he knew Bush could unite the two parties. Bipartisanship can only be achieved through cooperation. If the Democrats try to stonewall the Bush administration, Americans will suffer.
One issue that has become a point of contention is the nomination of former-Senator John Ashcroft as Attorney General. Liberals are trying to scare the public into thinking Ashcroft is a right-wing religious zealot. This is completely false. Jesse Jackson and his supporters have portrayed Ashcroft as a racist. However, he appointed more African-Americans to be judges in Missouri than anyone else.
Another point of contention Democrats have used to try to derail the nomination is the issue of abortion. During the hearings this week, Ashcroft strongly pledged to “uphold the law.” Ashcroft stated that even though his religious beliefs cause him to be pro-life, he will do all that is within his power to enforce the current laws. He provided the Senate Judiciary Committee with examples in which as attorney general and governor of Missouri he enforced abortion laws despite his philosophical opposition to those laws. Ashcroft’s past record in Missouri proves he will uphold the Constitution and its current interpretations regardless of his personal views.
Yes, Senator Ashcroft is a religious man; yes, Senator Ashcroft is conservative. But he is also a man that reveres the Constitution and statutory law and will adhere strictly to the interpretations of the Supreme Court.
These are exciting times, and I look forward to seeing the positive policy goals President Bush will pursue. I only hope the Democrats will take Bush’s outstretched arm and be willing to work with him to achieve a better America.
-The writer is chairman of the GW College Republicans.