Warbs asks “Why did I vote for you?” to the president and the republican party in general.
Why indeed, when they seem to be busily engaging in an orgy of self congratulation, cluelessness and fiscal excess not seen since Roman times.
an extended quotation:
“Let’s run down the laundry list of what Bush has done to screw up so far:
* Signed a blatantly unconstitutional campaign finance bill
* Increased federal government intrusion into education— without corresponding improvements like vouchers
* Created a bloated new medicare drug entitlement— all the while hiding its true estimated costs
* Threatened veto after veto, without following through on a single one
* Comported his entire administration as if it were a monarchy
* Supported the Patriot Act & domestic wiretapping— dramatically increasing the police power of the state
* Failed to respond to Katrina, one of the greatest natural disasters in recent history
* Imprisoned Americans without trial, counsel, judicial oversight, or even a hearing
That’s not even addressing Iraq, which is a whole different debate.
As Bartlett points out, Bush is the “conservative” president who said “We have a responsibility that when somebody hurts, government has got to move.”
Contrast that with Ronald Reagan: “The most terrifying words in the English language are: I’m from the government and I’m here to help.”
George W. Bush has been described as a “big-government conservative”. Bush’s idea of government is that it doesn’t work, except when he’s holding the reins. His presidency, however, is better described by PJ O’Rourke: “The Republicans are the party that says government doesn’t work and then they get elected and prove it.”
Bush could have been defeated in 2004. In many ways, I wish he would have. Not by Kerry, of course. I don’t see how the Democrats could have their fingers so far from the pulse that they nominated so uncharismatic and vacillating that he couldn’t beat a weak Bush. If the Democrats had nominated someone who had come out with an understanding of at least finishing the job in Iraq, I would have voted for him.
With a pro-war Democrat in office, we might have had a chance at Bush’s only redeeming quality, coupled with the best feature of Clinton’s final 6 years: gridlock. We might have seen the Republican Congress start acting like Republicans, fighting spending. Instead, we’ve been stuck with a Congress who wants to send pork back home, coupled with a president too scared to rebuke members of his own party. Republicans have all three branches of government locked up, and they spend their time trying to act like Democrats. What’s worse? They have such little experience administering and creating welfare programs, that they’ve screwed up every attempt at doing so (i.e. Medicare Part D). It’s gotten so bad, that I DON’T EVEN WANT Social Security privatization if it comes from this batch of Republicans, because I know they’ll be serving the needs of investment bankers, not me.
The last several years have seen complete mismanagement of government. Just as PJ O’Rourke predicted. 2006 and 2008 are going to be a big wake-up call for the Republican party, and I, for one, think it’s about damn time.”
So why did Bush get re-elected then?
Well, how about the fact that Kerry was nearly the worst possible candidate? How about the fact that the democrats didn’t particularly WANT Kerry (or any other dem candidate who presented themselves) to win?
I’m not saying they deliberately threw the election, it’s just that the dems didnt particularly want to win in 2004; much like the republicans in nominating Bob Dole in ‘96. Sure they knew Dole was going to lose, hell they knew ANY republican was going to lose; so why not give Dole his last shot, and lets make sure that Clinton is around to boner up everything and increase the republican majority.
The Dems wanted the same thing, and it looks like they may get it. What they wanted, was to improve their congressional position, because it is the house of representatives contingent that actually controls the democratic party (along with their “fringe” donor element). The best thing for the democratic congressional contingent has been the hostile to republicans press, and G.W.B. as president.
The congresscritters knew Kerry was a loser, after all they worked with the guy (he was one of my senators much of my life and I certainly knew). They also knew that he would be horrible for them in the mid terms if he won.
Did they throw it? No, they just picked the worst candidate from the field (welllll, other than Dean or Kucinich) , counted on him to lose, and counted on GW to make a huge ass of himself after the election (which he did like clockwork); thus improve their position for the midterms, and making it easier to put someone they actually want to get behind with full effort in for ‘08.
That said, honestly, I think if the republicans put up any halfway acceptable candidate, the “I will not vote for a democrat for president until this war is won” demographic will be enough to keep the presidency in Republican hands.
I’m a dedicated libertarian minarchist, and I’ll be voting with that demographic, because giving the reins to ANY democrat is even worse than if we were to have another GWB in office next term.
Not only that, I think congress is going to get spanked; but the reps will still hold a (thin) majority in both houses this midterm. If that happens, I’m willing to bet that a lot of congresscritters will newly descover the religion of restraint.
And no, I will never vote for a democratic president again, so long as the democratic party remotely resembles what it does today; because not only do you get a president, but you get a whole administration and executive branch.
What do I mean by that? Well the damage Bill Clinton did in his 8 years is utterly phenomenal if you’ve seen it from the inside. Because its all “inside baseball” stuff the general public doesnt see it, but I think a democratic president and republican congress would do more FAR more damage than a democratic congress would do with a republican president.
The problem isn’t the president, it’s the folks the President and his party appoint to the administration who truly believe in statism, socialism, and democratic political opportunism.
Although people always think of executive power, they don’t really understand what it means.
In legislative matters the president in not very much more than a figurehead; but when it comes to executive matters; basically the execution and enforcement of that legislation, and of the beurocracy of running the country; the president, and more improtantly the presidents party, is supreme.
I mean that literally in that the supreme court and congress can’t easily strike down what are called “adminsitrative procedures”; basically the means by which the executive departments choose to go about their business; even if those procedures might violate the law, or in some ways the constitution. Nor can they interefere with most appointments and promotions.
It’s a separation of powers issue, and it has been a HUGE sticking point recently for the ATF and congress, as well as the IRS.
Whether Clinton did anything or not due to gridlock, the damage his adminsitration did to the country as a whole through the civil service and executive beurocracy was ENORMOUS.
I myself was a junior officer in the Air Force, and I decided it was better that I take a buyout package, than continue serving under that president while he was so busy dismantling my service. I personally know of hundreds just like me who made the same choice, and there were literaly thousands more. In fact well over a hundred thousand more. People with 2 to 10 years of service who simply gave up on serving while under Clinton, because he made it that bad.
Those men would now be Majors through Colonels (promotable to general), and Sergeants first class through master sergeants (promotable to sergeants major).
These are the ranks within the military that truly get things done. They are also the ranks that have slots unfilled across the board in the combat arms fields (the loggies and supply guys are as always filled with career minded folks clogging up the middle ranks, but they dont have enough good people either).
You can’t build a sergeant major in less than 15 years. You can’t have a regiment or a brigade function well without a good sergeant major, and some good first sergeants. You can’t build a general in less than 20 years, or a colonel in less than 15 (and 15 is really pushing it); and you damn well can’t have a good brigade without a good brigade commander.
So there are literally thousands of men who would be Colonels, Generals, Sergeants Major, and Master Sergeants (not to mention the mid grades) right now if it weren’t for Clinton.
Eric is one of them in fact. So is Combat Controller (a frequent commenter). So are a whole hell of a lot of my friends, commentors, and co-bloggers. Heck I’d be right on the edge of Major myself (I made it to Captain in the reserves).
We can’t get those men back; they are needed, and we can’t replace them. That is only one small portion of the damage Clinton did to this country.
Then there’s all those decisions made in the executive departments by appointed functionaries. Every day they were building our government up, and tearing our citizens down.
Right now, 14 years later, these people appointed to low and mid level positions during Clinton, are taking that ideological view, and uing it to run our country into the ground. In particualr they are using it to push the government into near open war against it’s elected masters.
No, I will never again vote for another democrat.