“Bush and the Fear Factor”–A Commentary by Prof. Jack Balkin: “Abraham Lincoln once said that you can’t fool all the people all the time. But Bush and Rove realized they didn’t have to. Their goal was to split the country almost in half and seize the slightly larger piece. The strategy worked brilliantly. We now live in a bitterly divided nation, with each side unable to understand the other, and with one party controlling all the levers of power. With new judicial appointments and new partisan gerrymanders like that in Texas, the Republicans hope to entrench themselves into the distant future. All the Republicans have to do is hold on to that 51 percent and keep them devoted, distrustful of the other side, afraid and angry.

At some point, however, the piper must be paid. The problems the administration papered over during the past year have only grown worse. Huge tax giveaways have produced only a tepid recovery and sent deficits soaring. The situation in Iraq is slipping out of control. Serious foreign policy crises in North Korea and Iran await. Scandals are brewing beneath the surface: about Halliburton, about the misuse of intelligence before the Iraq war and about prisoner abuse and torture.”

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