Transformed by Crisis examines how the Bush presidency was born and was then profoundly altered by the terrorist bombings of September 11, 2001. In truth, there have been two George W. Bush presidencies, the one before 9/11 and the one after. September 11th transformed Bush’s presidency in at least three fundamental ways. First, the underlying political environment within which the Bush presidency exists was fundamentally changed by the devastating attack on New York City and the Pentagon and fears of further attacks. In times of national crises and wars, people look to strong leadership to deal with the crisis and to provide hope and reassurance, as they did, for instance, in all countries during World War II. People bestow authority upon the leader, surrendering their misgiving. George W. Bush was elected by a minority of voting Americans. But the American public and major U.S. institutions—from Congress to the judiciary to the CIA—responded to this attack with strong support for the United States and its national leadership, at least for a time. This created enormous political space within which the Bush administration could mobilize the American public, the media, and various government institutions to fulfill new national security and public safety goals. The Bush administration did not completely alter its policies after 9/11, but some major policy priorities were changed.
KeywordsForeign Policy Bush Administration Supreme Court Decision Justice Department SEPTEMBER 11th
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