The Courage Primary

For this election, Joe Klein offers an agenda of five issues for judging just how serious the candidates are

Illustration by Tim O'Brien for TIME

Two years ago, in his second Inaugural Address, George W. Bush called the nation to greatness with some of the most stirring rhetoric ever attempted by an American President. "Today, America speaks anew to the peoples of the world," he said. "All who live in tyranny and hopelessness can know: the United States will not ignore your oppression or excuse your oppressors. When you stand for your liberty, we will stand with you."

These days Bush's inaugural oratory seems, at the very least, a tragic overreach. It was foolishly messianic. It didn't reflect the reality on...

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