Imperial President Decider is not content merely to reign during his actual tenure in office, for such temporal limitations impugn the majesty of his office and the grandeur of his vision. To the contrary, so refulgent is the splendor of his geopolitical idea, executed with such transcendent mastery, that any possible successor must bathe in the light of its glory and perpetuate the legacy. Thus, Arnaud de Borchgrave, mentioning in a recent edition of the Washington Times a rather telling Bush remark:
Pity President Bush's successor. He or she will inherit a mess on all fronts — national security, economy, defense, trade, health. Huge interest costs should also be factored in as combat is funded with borrowed money.
The full impact of Mr. Bush's answer to a question put to him by a European author in a private Oval office meeting a year ago leaves no room for doubt. After an optimistic briefing on Iraq, the author asked the president, "What about your successor?" Mr. Bush replied: "Don't worry about him. We'll fix it so he'll be locked in."
It is a neat encapsulation of the imperial idea in American politics: not simply the open-ended commitment to foreign misadventures, but the idea of stasis, of timelessness, often a pretense of the imperial form. We may change our leadership as we desire, though we may not change the policies; and we may have any political arrangements we wish, so long as they are interventionist and imperial. We can do it our own way, if we do it how they say. "We'll fix it so he'll be locked in." Distressingly, I don't believe that he need have troubled himself; what differences the candidates have permitted themselves are scarcely even trifles.
The 44th President of the United States will not be the only one who is 'locked in'.