Sixth year slump

The Weekly Standard
by Noemie Emery

Now in the sixth year of his crisis-wracked presidency, George W. Bush is perceived as being in desperate trouble, having spent the two years since his reelection falling all over his feet. His democracy project looks stalled, his drive to reform Social Security seems to have been a huge waste of effort, his response to Katrina was more like sleep-walking, his pick of his White House counsel to fill a Supreme Court vacancy caused cardiac arrest in his base. Opinions differ as to whether he is a dead duck, or merely a lame one. Democrats claim he is going the way of one-term fiascos Carter and Hoover, who not only failed in themselves, but also ushered in long years of dominance by the opposite party. History, however, suggests something different: that sixth-year pain is nothing but normal, and has been shared in some way by all two-term presidents; that the judgments made of presidents in their sixth years of office (and in their seventh and eighth years, for that matter) have not always stood up over time... (for publication 10/16/06)

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