Bush is reassuring our Asian allies (who are nervous after the Democratic landslide of last week) that there won't be a return to isolationism and protectionism of the past.
What? Who is he kidding? He's pulled this before... blaming the Democrats for pulling away from the global community.
Quoting from a January 31, 2006 article in Democracy Arsenal:
Bush referred a half-dozen times tonight to the dangers of an American retreat to isolationism. He's adopting a strategy of trying to paint his critics as favoring a retreat to inward-looking policies and a renunciation of America's role in the world.For more than a century isolationism has been a Republican, not a Democratic platform. In 2000 Condoleeza Rice said that the US should not do nation-building and should not be a police force for the world. And Bush thought the scope of the Clinton Administration's international involvements - many of which revolved around replacing dictators and building democracy in places like Bosnia and Haiti - was too broad.
Except for the fact that we're in Iraq.
To the extent that ordinary Americans are tilting toward isolationism, polls show that such attitudes are linked directly to Bush Administration policies in Iraq. If it surges, the isolationism Bush rightly dreads will have been born of his own misguided policies, his breach of the public trust, and the strain he has put on the military. (democracyarsenal.org)