How Bush Will Govern
I've already noticed some liberals and Democrats comforting themselves with the notion that Bush won't be very conservative in his second term. Whether it's denying he has a mandate or thinking he has to "heal" a "divided" country or fancying he's concerned about his legacy, they seem to have talked themselves into thinking that he's not going to do what he said he would. (They made much the same mistake in 2000.)
This is just a heads-up for those out there who might be thinking this: Bush is going to govern like he won, not like he lost. That means he'll reach out to the other side to get support for his own proposals. Democrats will have three options at this point: support his proposal wholeheartedly, negotiate for some modifications they think will improve it, or reject the overture entirely. (They tried the third option way too much over the past term. That's part of the reason why they lost.)
The option Democrats do not have is the following: Bush coming to them asking their help in implementing their version of a bill or plan. He has the majority, he has the worldview, and he has the power; he doesn't need any of that from Democrats. Bush will come to Congress seeking cooperation, not permission.
That's not to say he won't reach out or be willing to compromise or swap political favors in the old Washington way. What it does mean is that he plans to call the shots, and Democrats who don't think that's what he'll do need to wake up to reality real fast. If they do this, they can work with the President to strengthen America, criticize the President when he needs it and when they need to protect the interests of their own supporters, and lay the groundwork for successful challenges for political power in the future.
If they fail to realize this and expect to be treated like the party in power, they (and the country) are in for more bitterness, disappointment, and political loss. The President let them badmouth him and act like the division was all his fault in his first term. I don't think he'll let them get away with it in a second.
Bush won. He'll act like it. Just don't be surprised, shocked, or offended when he does.