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CHICAGO _ There is no sign that an aggressive President Bush, pursuing a threatening, mysterious enemy overseas even as he builds a new security bureaucracy at home, is close to testing the nation's political patience in the U.S. government's war on terrorism.
Bush has one of the strongest approval ratings in modern history, a measure that goes up and down for every president but has remained above 70 percent in most polls for months, despite some recent slippage. He also is waging his campaign in a nation where a fearful but strong minority of about 4 in 10 nervously anticipates more terrorist attacks.
Both of those factors build up his pool of political capital.
The idea of unleashing a new anti-terrorism bureaucracy in the form of a Department of Homeland Security, anathema to conservative opponents of big government, or of fingerprinting tens of thousands of foreign visitors, now becomes feasible because of Bush's strength and the nation's fear of more terrorist attacks.
Bush cannot do anything he wants, because people generally bristle when they feel their rights as U.S. citizens are challenged. But he can apparently be as tough as he wishes on visitors to the country, particularly if they …