finacial times comments on bush victory

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    Much the same could be said of the Howard victory...


    By Martin Wolf


    These US elections were an earthquake. The American people have done far more than re-elect an administration that is as reckless as it is radical. They have also given the same party secure control over Congress. Republicans will now try to secure a Supreme Court of much the same complexion. Should they succeed, right-wing populism will animate all three branches of the American government.

    Contemporary Republicans are not conservatives. On the contrary, theirs is a revolutionary movement aimed at overthrowing much of the post-second world-war order at home and abroad.

    For two groups, in particular, this seismic shift in US politics poses a huge challenge. The Democrats must reverse their slide from predominance to irrelevance. Europeans face much the same task. Let us leave the former to their pain and turn to the latter instead.

    While powerful Americans view Europeans with contempt, the latter respond with growing dismay. This is only partly because the contemporary European attachment to secularism and the welfare state is as powerful as that of Republicans to their opposites.

    Far more important is the divergence over foreign policy. As two distinguished American scholars, Robert Tucker and David Hendrickson, note in a brilliant article in Foreign Affairs, this administration has proudly overthrown all four of the pillars that supported US legitimacy in the postwar world: "Its commitment to international law; its acceptance of consensual decision-making; its reputation for moderation; and its identification with the preservation of peace."

 
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