Andrews Sullivan is a bright guy with a good blog.
He does view stuff through a left of center lens, so he says stuff like this:
THE AIRCRAFT CARRIER LANDING: Can we all now agree that that was the dumbest political gesture of the last two years?
The proper response to this is "no." Of course the left didn't like it. They don't like anything he does. Even if he does something they would normally like, they wouldn't like it out knee-jerk response.
His base, the core Republicans did like it. They liked it a lot. So did most of the active duty & retired military, which is another base of his (remember the Gore-Lieberman lawyer hit squads roaming Florida, getting as many military absentee ballots thrown out as they could...).
So Bush did something to energize his base. Get over it.