Right Thinking From The Left Coast
We didn't lose the game; we just ran out of time. - Vince Lombardi

Why Government Doesn’t Work
by Lee

We all know Bush is as big government as Ted Kennedy or Nancy Pelosi or any other big government liberal.  He’s a much more strident believer in big government than even Bill Clinton was.  Okay, you say, fair enough, though these policies were necessary to get elected, and it’s much better that Bush be in the White House now, at this crucial point in time, than some liberal.  But is it?  Writing in Reason Online, Julian Sanchez explain why Bush’s foreign policy, much like his domestic policy, is nothing buyt a mishmash of the worst aspects of liberalism without any of the real conservatism.

Dissecting what he calls “the Bush administration’s incomprehensible failure to plan adequately for the insurgency that subsequently emerged in Iraq,” a failure that has equally baffled war supporters such as Andrew Sullivan, Fukuyama concludes that neoconservative hawks “seemed to think that democracy was a kind of default condition to which societies reverted once the heavy lifting of coercive regime change occurred.”

What is striking about this characterization is its extraordinary resemblance to the worldview economist and social theorist Thomas Sowell describes in his conservative classic A Conflict of Visions as the “unconstrained vision” of man and politics—a worldview that Sowell, here and in his more polemical follow-up The Vision of the Anointed, typically regards as distinctive of the left.

On the “constrained” or “tragic” vision, Sowell explains, we are all embedded in phenomenally complex social systems that embody the evolved, inexpressible experience of many generations. Human nature is largely resistant to change and frequently troublesome. Broad and ambitious plans for social improvement—especially when they propose bettering not just human conditions but humanity itself—are to be regarded warily, because the knowledge explicitly available to even the wisest individual or group is dwarfed by the implicit wisdom of our evolved traditions. As Sowell puts it, “the particular cultural expressions of human needs peculiar to specific societies are not seen as being readily and beneficially changeable by forcible intervention.”

And then there’s this.

Even when it appears to be most traditional, contemporary conservatism bears the imprimatur of the unconstrained vision. When, at a primary debate before the 2000 elections, Bush averred that his favorite political philosopher was “Christ, because he changed my heart,” most supposed that the candidate was either exploiting an opportunity to trumpet his religiosity or simply couldn’t think of an actual political philosopher. But taken at face value, it is a surprisingly telling comment: It implies that the function of political philosophy is to change hearts.

Bush’s defenses of his faith-based initiatives, for example, are redolent with the rhetoric of changed hearts, affirming that social programs are to be not merely ameliorative but transformative. Consonant with the constrained vision, Bush frequently recognizes that government is not equipped to undertake that sort of tax directly, without intermediation by more local groups with a more direct understanding of the communities they serve, yet he retains the core faith in government’s competence to steer a process that relies more on improving people than on improving the incentives people face. His Healthy Marriage Initiative recognizes, as thinkers guided by the constrained vision will, the importance of an evolved social institution, but seeks to manage it with the benefit of up-to-date social science. The No Child Left Behind act is meant to ensure the accountability of public schools—which sounds conservative enough—but it implements accountability to a set of centralized standards and measures, rather than local actors with more direct access to the needs and circumstances of children.

This is absolutely right, and it really clarified for me just what it is I find so unsettling about Bush.  He and Rove basically decided that they were going to use the exact same playbook as the liberals, only they were going to erase the liberal goals and put in conservative ones.  This is, of course, as stupid an idea as thinking you can turn a recipe for vanilla cake into one for chocolate cake merely by replacing the word “vanilla” with “chocolate.” So what we’ve ended up with are a plethora of bad policies, which are going to be with us a lot longer than Bush, simply because of Bush’s belief in the transformative power of government policy.

The thing is, I think that the relative failure of the war in Iraq has less to do with the underlying principles behind it than the sheer ineptitude of its implementation.  I honestly cannot believe that, had we has an additional 100,000 troops in theater, with an actual plan for dealing with the insurgency, the results would have been what we see today.  It’s not that I think the war is unwinnable, it’s that what should have taken us two years and 2,000 lives is now going to take us ten years and 10,000 lives, simply because of the Bush administration’s abysmal planning.

Transformative government is a seductive ideal.  I’ve fallen for it myself.  But reality always ends up kicking me square in the balls.  it doesn’t matter whether a liberal or a conservative (or a pretend conservative like Bush) is in the White House, the undeniable truth is that government simply doesn’t work, and the only sane policy to follow is the truly conservative model of free-market, limited government liberarian conservatism.

So, is Bush a conservative?  Not on your life.  And we’re all going to be paying for it for a long, long time.

Posted by Lee on 02/25/06 at 06:16 PM (Discuss this in the forums)

Comments


Posted by West Virginia Rebel on 02/25/06 at 08:24 PM from United States

Bush is Lyndon Johnson with a nicer disposition. Unfortunately for the social conservatives out there who seem to think they;re the sole voice of the GOP, this will only help either John McCain, who, say what you want, you at least know where he stands, or the Democratic candidate, and I don’t believe it will be the Hildebeast; by the time the primaries roll around she’ll probably be so radioactive she’ll make Al Gore look like a night light.

Posted by on 02/25/06 at 09:11 PM from Australia

Look, as long as those durn gays can’t marry, Bush can do no wrong in the eyes of a large chunk of the Republican base.

Posted by on 02/25/06 at 09:16 PM from United States

So, is Bush a conservative?  Not on your life.  And we’re all going to be paying for it for a long, long time

Again, we all knew Bush wasn’t a real conservative, pretend or otherwise.

So why is this such a big shock to you?

My advice to you is the same as I give to the other whiners, the libertarians

1) Stop whining
2) Work to elect candidates that share your point of view.

Posted by Lee on 02/25/06 at 09:44 PM from United States

Work to elect candidates that share your point of view.

Oh, that will happen, I have no doubt.  Because W has destroyed the honorable institution of American conservatism, within six or eight years we’re going to be living under a Democrat-controlled government.  This will cause the GOP to reinvent itself, which will entail turning away from Bush’s policies and towards a more traditional conservative message.  It’s just a shame that we’re going to have to do such damage to the country in order to save it.

But, damagin the country isn’t what’s important, right Rage?  As long as you beat them durn libruls at the ballot.  Leadership, initiative, vision… none of these really matter, provided you win.

Fucking weak.

Posted by on 02/25/06 at 09:50 PM from United States

.. it’s that what should have taken us two years and 2,000 lives is now going to take us ten years and 10,000 lives,..

This can’t be any good. The last conflict that went on for ten years was one we eventually lost.

Posted by mikeguas on 02/25/06 at 10:44 PM from United States

My advice to you is the same as I give to the other whiners, the libertarians

1) Stop whining

Why? I don’t know about you, but I waited my lifetime for a Republican controlled House, Senate, and President to start to break down the Socialist establishment in this country. We finally got this for the first time in decades. Not to mention a pretty good hold on the Supreme Court. A three hundred dollar tax credit is all I’ve seen. That’s not enough effort to get this type of dominance. We’ve also seen more spending for social programs than under Clinton. Why was Clinton an asshole then? Why were all the Republicans whining when he was in office? I’ll tell you why, because he was a promoter of spending for stupid liberal programs. So why shouldn’t we be whining about Bush when he’s an even bigger spender for stupid liberal programs?

2) Work to elect candidates that share your point of view.

It sucks we have to start all over isn’t it? Now it’s going to be twice as tough, because for the next several elections, Democrats just have to point out that Republican means bigger government. Who cares if it’s bigger government as long as it’s done by a Republican right? Back when I listened to Rush, a long time ago, he used to say the Democrats were all symbolism and no substance. The Republicans are different how? For modern day Republicans, it’s all about the defending the label, not the ideology that represents the label. Sounds like symbolism over substance to me. Not too mention that any internal criticism of how things are wrong is considered treason. It’s all about how others should be blamed, and excuses at every turn. Individual responsibility my ass. It’s all about blaming the other guy. Another annoying liberal trait the Republicans have adopted.

Posted by mikeguas on 02/25/06 at 10:55 PM from United States

To be honest I would have preferred a Libertarian controlled government, but I thought Republicans could at least do something to provide a fiscally conservative government, even if the social conservatism went along with it. Unfortunately, I threw a way a vote by voting for a party that is every bit as big government as the Democrats.

Posted by on 02/25/06 at 11:19 PM from United States

Things are not as bad in Iraq as it seems. Give war chance - Iraq troops are stepping up to deal with this now and US troops are withdrawing because their mission on the Big Security is done. I’m encouraged to see Al Qaeda now trying to blow up Saudi Arabia’s oil - how illogical and kooky is that?

It is amusing to see how USA Today has unleashed its sky-is-falling style of war reporting to cover Olympic speed skating. Apolo Anton Ohno winning a gold and a bronze medal “put an exhilarating exclamation point on an Olympics that had been, for him and the USA, somewhat underwhelming.”

Ohno, seemingly distracted by the Bush administration’s failure on WMD intelligence, did win the Olympic Gold Medal, but this was not enough to improve his country’s overall reputation as hoped by some, having just lost a humiliating war in Iraq.

Posted by Lee on 02/25/06 at 11:30 PM from United States

Why? I don’t know about you, but I waited my lifetime for a Republican controlled House, Senate, and President to start to break down the Socialist establishment in this country.

Do not question Dear Leader!  Questioning Dear Leader is counterrevolutionary!  Independent thought is treason! 

WAR IS PEACE
FREEDOM IS SLAVERY
IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH

Obey Dear Leader!  Obey!!!

Posted by West Virginia Rebel on 02/25/06 at 11:45 PM from United States

Lee: You gotta do that sounding like Cartman, you know : )

Posted by Drumwaster on 02/25/06 at 11:47 PM from United States

RESPECT MAH AUTHORITAY!!

Posted by mikeguas on 02/26/06 at 12:21 AM from United States

I don’t know the complete political ideology behind John Bolton, but if he’s for smaller US government in the same manner he is for a smaller UN government, then I’d certainly back him. At least he has the balls to fight for it, and not cave in to his opposition in a futile attempt to make everyone happy.

At least he takes a stand. One of the few good choices Bush has made. Too bad some of the GOP members in Congress pussed out in confirming his nomination. If the Democrats were the only ones fighting it, then I’d only blame the Democrats. When Republicans fight it too because they think he’s too controversial, then they should get some blame too (which is of course treason, as we all know that blaming Democrat opposition = good, blaming Republican opposition = bad).

Some recent kick ass comments he made today about how fucked up the UN is.

Posted by mikeguas on 02/26/06 at 12:42 AM from United States

One question for you diehards, who is betraying the Republican Party more?

1) A President and Congress with complete control who constantly cave in to Democratic opposition, spend like Democrats, and after 4 1/2 years of not capturing Bin Laden have proven just as ineffective as we assumed Democrats would be in capturing those who want to harm our country.

2) Bitching about number 1.

I was patient about capturing Bin Laden for the first four years. Now I want results. Excuse me for being so impatient and whining, but 4 years was plenty of time. Maybe neither Kerry, Gore, nor any other loser in the Democratic party could do it, but neither can Bush and the current GOP. The GOP is supposed to be better isn’t it? That’s why we’re supposed to vote for them isn’t it?

{prepares to hit head on keyboard when the excuses come in}

Posted by mikeguas on 02/26/06 at 12:48 AM from United States

2) Bitching about number 1.

was meant to read.. Those who bitch about number 1.

Posted by on 02/26/06 at 01:01 AM from United States

But, damagin the country isn’t what’s important, right Rage?  As long as you beat them durn libruls at the ballot.  Leadership, initiative, vision… none of these really matter, provided you win

That’s right Lee, this is #1 in your (and Drum’s) playbook: go right to calling anyone who departs your idealogical line a Bush kiss-ass.

Fucking weak.

Sorry to tell you, but some of us on the right aren’t single-issue defined like you are. Issues of spending and big govt are worrisome, but frankly- they’re on the back burner for me when compared to other issues.

If to you, that translates to “not caring about the damage done to the country”, then so be it.

I understand that this is the cool way for those on the right nowadays to get their “free thinker” creds, kinda like all those junior HS kids all rebel in the same way. But damn it man, it strikes me as the whining of a child who can’t wait the 2 minutes it takes to microwave their french fries without knowing once it took 25 mins in an oven.

Posted by on 02/26/06 at 01:03 AM from United States

UN president Kofi frightens me. A few months ago he was saying the US invasion of Iraq was illegal. This was after something like 16 resolutions in the Security Council. The UN was created to prevent another Nazi Germany type thing or World War - yet Kofi is going full blast in enabling and defending Iran in its mission to deny the holocaust, while planning a new one. I hate Kofi, and his son Kumba, or whatever.

Posted by Drumwaster on 02/26/06 at 01:13 AM from United States

go right to calling anyone who departs your idealogical line a Bush kiss-ass.

If the shoe fits.

Have you figured out that letting the Democrats be seen as stronger on national security than Republicans is a BAD thing? Or are you so busy slurping on Bush to admit that this IS a screwup for which the repsonsibility lands squarely on Bush’s shoulders?

Why his shoulders? Because he could have avoided it. With a single paragraph in a single speech, and a few bullet points at the daily press briefing.

}POOF!{

No more crisis, and Dems are seen as where they belong - on the bottom, biting their pillows.

Bush didn’t do that. That was a major mistake for several reasons, but you don’t admit it.

That is why Lee call you a Bush kiss-ass, and why I call you a fucking moron. That’s not an ad hominem, it’s a statement of fact.

Posted by Drumwaster on 02/26/06 at 01:22 AM from United States

they’re on the back burner for me when compared to other issues.

Like what? National security? Guess what, dumbass? The Democrats have taken that issue away, even if only for a short time. Five years of elections won because of a single issue, and your boy Bush has just thrown it away because he’s still so fixated on “Trust me”. Meanwhile, ass-kissers all over the country are busy quoting each other and denigrating anyone who DARES speak out to say that the Emperor has no clothes.

But it’s nice that you have compromised all of the principles that were supposed to define the GOP, all because you’d rather keep the proles in line.

Phuqdat.

Look, I would LOVE if Bush would pull his head out and start LEADING - the way he did after 9/11. But for the last four-plus years, no dice, and far too many people are being castigated for daring to speak the scantest word of disagreement.

Try some independent thought for a while. If you do, you’ll find that the bad part is that it is addictive, even if the truths you reach are uncomfortable ones.

Posted by on 02/26/06 at 01:24 AM from United States

Best synthesis of a genuine problem made in a long time! Still, right-wingers will ignore the pimple on their nose for the log in their eye. This president has not shown ONE conservative principle in five years. I’m convinced that most “conservative” don’t have a clue what that tradition represents. As the left is intellectually bankrupt, now the right is equally bereft by the recklessness of this ONE president. Shame on all of us.

Posted by Lee on 02/26/06 at 01:26 AM from United States

Issues of spending and big govt are worrisome, but frankly- they’re on the back burner for me when compared to other issues.

I’m assuming you mean national security, right?  On this I agree.  I’m so glad we have Republicans in office.  I mean, if the Democrats were in power after 9/11, can you imagine what might have happened?

1.  Knowing how weak they are on military matters, they probably would have done something stupid like invade a country without enough troops any real plan for how to maintain order.

2. Four years later Osama bin Laden would still be at large.

3.  Their big government policies would have stretched the treasury so thin that we would get to the point where we would have to raise the debt ceiling, in the middle of a war!

4. They’d probably do something asinine like let a Muslim country have the contract to run our major ports.

5. Then, to top it all off, they’d probably cut funding for veterans benefits, which is typical of the liberal contempt for anyone who has served in uniform.

Yeah, you’re right.  It’s a damn good thing the Democrats aren’t in power.  I mean, just think of the shenanigans they’d get up to!  Thankfully we have Bush in office, which guarantees that none of the items I listed above will ever, ever happen.

Keep dreaming, Rage, you fucking simp. 

All hail Dear Leader!  Do not question his Divine Brilliance, for he has our best interests at heart!  Thinking is counterrevolutionary!

Posted by Drumwaster on 02/26/06 at 01:30 AM from United States

Now THAT’S gonna leave a mark.

Posted by mikeguas on 02/26/06 at 01:35 AM from United States

Sorry to tell you, but some of us on the right aren’t single-issue defined like you are. Issues of spending and big govt are worrisome, but frankly- they’re on the back burner for me when compared to other issues.

Like capturing Bin Laden, or is that on the back burner too? Like making sure a nation where the leaders of that nation were visiting with Bin Laden do have access to our ports? Nice that controlling spending and big government is on the back burner. That’s the same policy as the Democrats. What issues are left that you think Bush and the current GOP are working so hard at? Just curious?

Why we should not vote for a Democrat? Here’s why.

1) It’s assumed Bin Laden would still be free if we voted for a Democrat.

2) Spending on Social programs, and lack of respect for the idea that the best way to resolve social problems is in the free market.

3) Democrats would block means of having more secure oil sources such as ANWR, and would instead promote spending government money on alternative energy research that the government should not be involved in. Alternative energy great, using public funding for it bad.

4) Do nothing to find a solution to the Social Security issue, other than make a few statements here and there.

5) Spend loads of money on the ever failing public education system instead of looking for private alternatives.

6) Restrict free speech, and fine companies for their speech because someone might have been offended.

Why we should not vote for a Republican? Here’s why.

1) Bin Laden would still be free.

2) Spending on Social programs, and lack of respect for the idea that the best way to resolve social problems is in the free market.

3) Republicans would block means of having more secure oil sources such as ANWR, and would instead promote spending government money on alternative energy research that the government should not be involved in. Alternative energy great, using public funding for it bad.

4) Do nothing to find a solution to the Social Security issue, other than make a few statements here and there.

5) Spend loads of money on the public education system instead of looking for private alternatives.

6) Restrict free speech, and fine companies for their speech because someone might have been offended.

Unless your one big issue is a church in every home, there isn’t much difference between the Republican and Democratic party.

Posted by mikeguas on 02/26/06 at 01:37 AM from United States

Lee, I was writing my list while you were writing yours. Either we have ESP, or the problem is just so fucking obvious that everyone at the same time knows it. Except for a few.

Posted by on 02/26/06 at 01:45 AM from United States

Lee - what do you think about Schwarzenegger’s conservatism? We’ve got a pretty interesting governor’s race shaping up with Steve Westly, Phil Angelides, and Rob Reiner out but still in the news. These opponents are as liberal as they come, so we get to laugh at California voters who support them again.

I think the GOP’s criticism of the governor is unfair. The special election was a good idea, and he came close to winning some of those. Who knows how better results would have been without that inflamatory abortion parental notification proposition on the ballot. The hard-right message just is not going to fly here. It’s hard to imagine anyone else being a more effective conservative than Governor Schwarzenegger, considering the legislature.

Posted by Lee on 02/26/06 at 01:51 AM from United States

Lee, I was writing my list while you were writing yours. Either we have ESP, or the problem is just so fucking obvious that everyone at the same time knows it. Except for a few.

It’s true.  You can see it in the makeup of the readers of this blog.  I still get about 3,000 pageviews a day, despite the number of “conservatives” who don’t want to read the site any more because of my changing position on Bush.  For every Bush Republican who defects over to Hugh Hewitt’s blog, I get a solid libertarian Reagan conservative to take his place.

The emperor has no clothes, and the only people who can’t see it are the Bush worshippers.

Posted by Lee on 02/26/06 at 01:56 AM from United States

Lee - what do you think about Schwarzenegger’s conservatism? We’ve got a pretty interesting governor’s race shaping up with Steve Westly, Phil Angelides, and Rob Reiner out but still in the news. These opponents are as liberal as they come, so we get to laugh at California voters who support them again.

I think the GOP’s criticism of the governor is unfair. The special election was a good idea, and he came close to winning some of those. Who knows how better results would have been without that inflamatory abortion parental notification proposition on the ballot. The hard-right message just is not going to fly here. It’s hard to imagine anyone else being a more effective conservative than Governor Schwarzenegger, considering the legislature.

I agree.  In a state like California you have to take what you can get.  I don’t like a lot of Arnie’s ideas, but he’s a hell of a lot better than the Democratic alternative.

Here’s an interesting observation.  Both you and I feel the same way about Bush, and the same way about Arnie.  When it comes to California, I’m more than willing to take a centrist Republican over a Democrat any day.  I still like Arnie, and I really think he wants to do the right thing, and even if I don’t agree with everything he does, I still support him.  But with Bush, I don’t think he wants to do the right thing.  I think he wants to do it his way, results be damned.  And this is why I have such a high dislike for Bush these days, because he’s putting ideology over results, and partisan cronyism and politics over national security.  If Bush was even half-way competent at what he was doing I’d be more than willing to compromise, but he’s not.  I can’t possibly imagine a Democrat doing a worse job, whereas here in California, I think we’ve got a pretty good compromise in Arnie.  Bush is just, well, Bush.

Posted by mikeguas on 02/26/06 at 02:22 AM from United States

Apparently the port deal is for 21 ports, not 6. I also found this interesting

The security of port terminal operations is a key concern. More than 7 million cargo containers come through 361 American ports annually, half of the containers through New York-New Jersey, Los Angeles and Long Beach, Calif. Only a small percentage are physically searched and just 37 percent currently screened for radiation, an indication of an attempt to smuggle in nuclear material that could be used for a “dirty bomb.”

Link

Let’s see, we need more survailance on American citizens, but the ports are still wide open, the borders are still wide open. A country who has had strong ties with terrorist supporting nations shouldn’t be scrutinized before gaining access to our ports.

I understand that people would argue that for a brief time we may have to have potential government encroachment on our privacy. While I may not agree, I could understand that, but I’ll be damned if I’m going to be second class to those who illegally cross the border, and second class to those who had terrorist ties. They now get the luxury of having the President argue on their behalf that they shouldn’t be heavily scrutinized by our Congress in a public setting. Either you’re with us or you’re against us Mr. President. Make up your fucking mind.

Posted by Hal_10000 on 02/26/06 at 02:27 AM from United States

When P.J. O’Rourke spoke here in Austin, he defined a “leftist” as someone who believes in the transformative power of government.  that it can make you a better person.  As he likes to say, government can make you taller, happier and get the chickweed out of your lawn.

It has been obvious for a long time that this administration is decisely leftist in their thinking.  Government can make people stay married.  Government can make people un-gay.  Government can provide for your healthcare.  Government can definitely educate your kids.  The only reason the government failed to do all these things before was because the Democrats were not moral enough.

But thank God for the blogosphere.  The real revolution against the Christian Socialists is taking place right here.  We screamed loud enough to ditch MIchael Brown, loud enough to ditch Harriet Myers and loud enough that this year’s budget is the most restrained of Bush’s career (granted, that’s not saying much—and it doesn’t include Iraq funding).  We were the first to stop drinking the Rove Kool-aid.  And slowly, the traditional conservatives like Will and Buckley and sometimes even Rush are breaking from the flock.  If we shout loud and long enough, maybe we’ll get a true conservative in ‘08.

The Gipper wouldn’t have us give up now.  And I don’t intend to.

Posted by on 02/26/06 at 02:30 AM from United States

Besides the war, Bush’s biggest deal has been to lower taxes - a topic kept mostly out of the newspapers. He’s been able to keep the economy pumping, revenues up, and taxes down. This is extremely positive. I tear up with anger every time Kerry, Pelosi, Kennedy & Co get close to having their way. They literally *prefer* a damaged economy if it means they get to inflict more taxes on the wealthy. Really, what the hell is that all about?

I like Bush’s war. (Can I say that?) Lack of action on the deficit is baffling, considering how Congress is on his side, and how Congress is vulnerable with all its corruption these days. The highlight of Bush’s presidency will be Ted Stevens (Alaska) crying on the Senate floor, threatening to resign, to get money for his bridge - And He Gets It.

Posted by Ed Kline on 02/26/06 at 09:54 AM from United States

Hey Lee, long time reader , once in a great while contributor, solid libertarian Reagan conservative. :)
This post has got me thinking, along with whats been going on in the news, and I think at this point to say that this is a lame duck presidency is an understatement. I am beginning to believe that the entire Bush presidency is an outright monumental failure. About the only place he hasnt failed is in regard to the supreme court, and it wasnt for a lack of trying. I wont bother to relist what you and section 8 already have in regards to the domestic side of Bush’s policies, but would at this point like to make what is probably not an original observation about the “war on terror”.
Understand firstly that I have always been a supporter of Bush in regards to Iraq, and the larger war on terror, and I voted for him twice.
Whilst we have have been bogged down in “nation building” in Iraq, Iran has been showing itself more and more to be a very legitimate threat. More so than Iraq may have ever been. There is at this time no dispute betweens the U.S. and the handwringing pussy Europeans about the intentions of this Iranian regime to make weapons grade nuclear materials. At this point they (Iran) are basically giving the entire civilized world the finger, and we, because of our involvment in Iraq, are ill prepared to do a whole heck of a lot about it.
Metaphorically speaking, its like Bush went out on a saturday night, and found a not particularly pretty, somewhat fat girl ( lets call her ....hmmm....Iraq) to get it on with. They go back to her place and he bangs her for a few hours, unitl he is pretty much spent. Tiredly he stumbles into the kitchen to get something to drink, and in that kitchen waiting for him patiently is Iraq’s roomate...Iran.  now Iran is wearing a catholic schoolgirl uniform without panties, and looks vaugely like Angelina Jolies unknown hotter younger sister. Drained of nearly all his vital bodily fluids Bush has about as much a chance of getting it up now as I do of winning the Kentucky Derby riding my pet pit bull.
Unfortunately this goofy metaphor fails spectacularly. Iran has always been there, and we have always known about it. There is no surprise inthe kitchen here. There were people posting on this very blog that were questioning the wisdom of Iraq over Iran before April of 2003. I myself was not one of them, as I was to busy drinking republican kool-aid.
Everyone talks about the massive intelligence failure in regards to Iraqi WMD’s, but i never doubted that in our year long buildup to the war, that Saddam probably exported much of what he was working on to Syria, and or buried the shit in the desert somewhere.
I am now convinced that the real intelligence and policy failure was seeing an isolated Iraq with limited means to build weapons as a greater threat than a free to do whatever the fuck they wanted, nearly unlimited means ( no sanctions) islamo-fascist regime in Iran.
If Iraq is the main front on the war on terror, then Iraq has to be looked upon as the equivalent of 1943 France in 1943-44. A stumbling block on the road to germany ( Iran).
God my metaphors are awful, but my point might be dead on, and if I can see it, what the hell is our “war presidents” excuse?

Posted by Ed Kline on 02/26/06 at 09:57 AM from United States

Damn, I am horrible writer. I have got to work on that as it blunts my point I think.

Posted by John Cross on 02/26/06 at 10:27 AM from United States

This is getting too much. 

Come on, people. 

I’m no Nostradomus (sp?), but if you people couldn’t figure all of this out about Bush, then I have no darned idea where some of you have been. 

Look...there are two main sects within Bush’s voting bloc...the Religious Republicans, and the Rational Conservatives.  Bush has never...NEVER...been an outright conservative.  He, and the people that think like him, wantto use the government to do good as they define it...they have no problems utilizing the resources of the federal government to further the agenda they have.  However, instead of funding abortion-on-demand, they fund faith-based education. 

The other bloc, the Rational Conservatives, seem to be in the ascendancy now (especially in the House), but remember that they voted for Bush in large numbers.  Why?  Because no matter how you put it, having Bush as POTUS is better than having either of the two individuals he ran against.  Period.  Debate it all you want, but the thrill of anti-Bushedness that we are seeing on the Right as a whole is because of the present situation, mashed in with a lot of ‘hindsight’.  we are looking at all of the bad things, and using those things to prove the point. 

I give Lee all credit due.  He’s the reason I got into blogging, but I have to disagree with him on this point.  The Iraq situation is not as bad as the press is painting it, even now.  The economy is very good.  The Dubai Ports World story is a friggin’ non-starter (sorry, folks, but it is)......this is simply a chain of unrelated events, joining with Bush’s obvious political leanings, to present a picture that I understand as negative to libertarians. 

But....itis better than the situation would be if either Gore or Kerry would have won.

Posted by on 02/26/06 at 12:57 PM from United States

My advice to you is the same as I give to the other whiners, the libertarians

Rrrrraaaaack! Libertarians. Rrrrrraaaack! The Democrats are worse. Whoo hoo! Rrrrrraaaack!

When threatened, the brainwashed Bush sycophants will immediately attack the “libertarians”. What’s the name for this?

Posted by mikeguas on 02/26/06 at 01:09 PM from United States

John, if you would have written that two years ago, maybe a year ago, I would have agreed with you, but I have been patient, I have stayed the course, I’ve been made a fool, and it makes me bitter.

Two years ago, there were lefties all over the place talking about how we’re not going to get Bin Laden, because the focus has been taken away from that hunt. I disagreed I believed that this administration could walk and chew gum at the same time. Four and ½ years since Bin Laden attacked there still no Bin Laden. He still mocks this Country with tapes every now and then, and he should be in jail by now, not mocking us. With a two plus trillion dollar Budget, and the fact that all the money Bush has asked for has been given to him, there better be some fricken results.

I understood the extra funding needed for this war on terror, and even the Iraq war. I don’t understand the extra funding for all the social programs. We’re not talking faith based education, it’s more spending on Medicare, welfare programs, public education in general, and even the programs Clinton started. While I wasn’t for the idea of the Iraq War, and doing the job of the inept UN in enforcing the resolutions, I was willing to tolerate it. I still believe we need to get the job done there. I will agree progress has been made. I’ll give him credit for throwing Bolton into the UN. The organization sucks, and I think Bush knows this.

The port deal is a big issue. An attempt to block it, even temporarily, for further investigation is the only thing Bush has hinted at vetoing in his 5 years in office. This from the same guy who believes in wire taps, extra police powers, and weakening of the Constitution in the name security. Five years later, port inspection is piss poor. Borders are still wide open (a little extra security is provided by what Bush calls ‘vigilantes’), and a country with terrorist ties doesn’t deserve scrutiny from our Congress according to this President. Why am I supposed to be a good American and support the Patriot Act again?

I’m thankful for the tax cut. That was one of the few positive things. The problem is spending has gone up in nearly all sectors over government. I was also thankful when I got my first thousand dollar credit card. I had a thousand dollars extra buying power. Of course, like all debt, it needs to be repaid. A tax break is good. If the spending on lost revenue is just going on credit, then that’s not so good. It’s just deferring payment for a later day. I didn’t know that was his strategy.

It’s not just Bush that has disappointed, it’s the GOP in general. It would be nice for the Congress to start pushing for fiscal responsibility. They won’t do that though while their boy is in power. I bet they’d be fighting tooth and nail if this crap was coming from Kerry. I’m not upset that we have a Republican President having to fight with Democrats to get things done. I’m upset we have a Republican Congress, and a Republican President who aren’t fighting to get things done. I guess I was naïve enough to think we were going to get another Reagan Revolution, or at least a watered down version. I didn’t think we were going to get a watered down FDR, and a Congress that supports it.

Posted by on 02/26/06 at 02:00 PM from United States

I think Bush has done an excellent job managing big business and international corporate interests.  Look no further than our porous borders supplying plenty of illegal workers and the Dubui port deal as current examples. You worry about his big government initiatives, but he never really funded no child left behind and only created enough paperwork to further twist the schools into knots of inertia.  Medicare wasn’t big government on behalf of the elderly as much as a sop for the drug companies who are making out like bandits.  And there is nothing like a war to fill the larder of the military-industrial complex.  If anyone gets a hard on watching billions of dollars change hands, you couldn’t ask for a better president.
And before you call me a moonbat, I’m against illegal immigration, I think the borders should be sealed and employers who hire illegals should be penalized. I’m against the medicare drug bill because we simply can’t afford it.  No child left behind is a cynical, totally political action that has done far more harm than good.

You can call me a moonbat over the war if you want because I think what Bush has done is criminal and he should be impeached. His administration put the same amout of thought to sending our troops to war and the aftereffects has he has hurricane Katrina.  I wish we had a tower somewhere to lock him in for the next 3 years.

Posted by on 02/26/06 at 02:02 PM from United States

sorry for the typo X 2 in the last paragraph

Posted by mikeguas on 02/26/06 at 02:45 PM from United States

And before you call me a moonbat, I’m against illegal immigration, I think the borders should be sealed and employers who hire illegals should be penalized.

Do you also think that the government should not be giving handouts, or are you like many other left minded people, who believe that once they cross, they can get the goodies at the taxpayer expense, but not a job. Free shit also motivates people to cross too, and the Dems are guilty of promoting that. 

No child left behind is a cynical, totally political action that has done far more harm than good.

As is the reason and result of all social spending bills and programs. Even the one’s by Democrats. Remember, they had decades of majority control, if not complete control. Why didn’t all these social programs turn us into the Utopian paradise?

Posted by on 02/26/06 at 03:03 PM from United States

The existance of this so-called Religious Republican block of voters is a myth - A myth used by all these newspaper op-ed pieces to invent some irrational reason why so many people reject their foaming at the mouth liberalism.

I hate Tim Russert. He asks every guest if they are still for the Iraq war even though there is no LINK between Iraq and 9/11. What the hell is this LINK, and why does he say LINK like that? People like Tim Russert (NBC) get their jollies saying things which damage the US reputation abroad, because that makes them seem intelligent.

The god damned LINK is that arabs blew up the World Trade Center, and the president of Iraq was out saying “maybe we have nukes, maybe we don’t”. If I ever meet Tim Russert, I’m going to kick him in the shins. My chance to Meet the Press.

Posted by mikeguas on 02/26/06 at 03:04 PM from United States

And there is nothing like a war to fill the larder of the military-industrial complex.  If anyone gets a hard on watching billions of dollars change hands, you couldn’t ask for a better president.

You mean the war the Democrats supported? You mean the one where Democrats were saying Saddam was hiding weapons, and making a joke of the UN inspection process? The same Democrats who were calling for action, and in many cases BEFORE Bush was in office? I don’t have a problem with criticizing Bush. It’s almost become a daily routine for me because he is such a fuckup. That doesn’t mean the Democrats get a free pass, that their rhetoric should be ignored, that their cronyism should be ignored, that in their prime some of them were cozying up to China at our expense, that they were soft on capturing Bin Laden who had already attacked us. Bush is incompetent, but don’t pretend the same incompetence is ok if it’s done by a Democrat.

Posted by on 02/26/06 at 03:54 PM from United States

Section 8,
I am not a blind partisan.  The Democratic party is pathetic.  I would have rather gone down to thunderous defeat with Howard Dean, who at least had some principles, than the “nuanced” view of politics espoused by Kerry.  The Democrats in congress, for the most part, don’t have the courage of their convictions about the war or anything else.  You guys are whining cause GWB let you down, but at least you have someone to blame...I have a regiment of spineless politicans to point the finger at. Truly, I accept incompentence as bipartisan.  I almost pulled my hair out before the war started because the dems were so afraid of Bush and looking weak on the WOT, that the majority of them signed on to the war with no questions.  There was nobody home when it came to asking the hard questions about what was about to happen.  They all just sent the troops on their way on a wing and a prayer. God damn them all.

Posted by on 02/26/06 at 04:21 PM from United States
Do you also think that the government should not be giving handouts, or are you like many other left minded people, who believe that once they cross, they can get the goodies at the taxpayer expense, but not a job. Free shit also motivates people to cross too, and the Dems are guilty of promoting that[/quote

]It is wrong whatever party does it.  The borders need to be sealed.  As for those here, yes we have encourageded it by our passivity and bear some responsibility for the result.  It is easy to turn a blind eye, but are you really comfortable creating third world conditions in some of our cities? 
The other thing I do know is this country is going to have to start taking better care of its middle class before it completely disappears. 
Drum, and everyone, I respectfully ask tou to go to vdare.com/roberts and click on his 2/11 column and read.  This is a Reaganite Libertarian talking and he is sounding the alarm bells for the middle class as well as unchecked illegal immigration.  His take on this hot economy might surprise.

Posted by on 02/26/06 at 04:23 PM from United States

encouraged. Jeez

Posted by on 02/26/06 at 04:47 PM from United States

Fixed.

beano owes a pint.

Posted by Lee on 02/26/06 at 04:50 PM from United States

Jesus Christ, Beano, why do you find this so difficult?

Posted by John Cross on 02/26/06 at 04:54 PM from United States

Lookit, the point is that the GOP is a coalition party (like the Dems) and we have to realize this.  WE can’t wish for a candidate that meets all of our wishes..especially with a non-conservative bloc within our party.  We have to either decide to vote within the coalition, or votwe our conscience, and that might be two different things.

Sorry.  Drunk-blogging makes it hard to has things out.  Just got back from performing at a wedding..hard to type properly.

Posted by John Cross on 02/26/06 at 04:56 PM from United States

Sorry Lee....followinjg in your footsteps is hard when I have so little resistence.

Posted by on 02/26/06 at 05:48 PM from United States

Lee,

I learn things by watching someone and then doing it myself.  When I read instructions, the trial and error part gets in the way of my remembering what is correct.  Plus I’m essentially self taught with everything I know on the computer..word/powerpoint.  I never had a typing course either so I lose some of the obvious in translation to the computer.  Just a real dumb ass for the most part.
How was that for a bullshit excuse?!

Actually, I was totally concentrating on what I was trying to say rather than thinking about the formatting.  It is a question of discipline and taking time to edit properly. Oh well.

Posted by Lee on 02/26/06 at 06:10 PM from United States

Here’s a simple rule for you to follow.  Try and use the formatting buttons like normal, but get in the habit of hitting the “Close All” button immediately before you hit submit.  This way any open tags in your post will be closed out.  If you don’t have any open tags hitting the button won’t hurt anything.

Posted by Drumwaster on 02/26/06 at 06:39 PM from United States

I tried that earlier, Lee. I’m beginning to wonder.

Posted by mikeguas on 02/26/06 at 06:45 PM from United States

I tried that earlier, Lee. I’m beginning to wonder.

Clearly the reason she doesn’t figure it out is because as a baby, someone came up to her and said Shhhhhh, while we all had people come up to us as males and tell us how strong we were. Right Stogy?

Posted by Drumwaster on 02/26/06 at 06:56 PM from United States

Heh.

Posted by on 02/26/06 at 07:19 PM from United States

For those who have forgotten… “neoconservative” was a political label given to LIBERALS who wanted to use American FORCE to “do good.”

This grew out of the late 1970s… and included Paul Wolfowitz, who was a Democrat who worked for Jimmy Carter… doing things such as voter registration in Indonesia!

The whole point all along has been that President Bush surrounded himself with Nixon and Ford Administration re-treads, who may have gray hair but are still liberals at heart.

Yes, they are “patriotic” liberals… but they still want the U.S. to be the global cop, etc.

The concerning part to me is that these Neocons have worked their way into the Republican leadership… and they are like weeds:  hard to pull up all the roots and spreading like wildfire.

So, yes, this article is a good one… but the title is stupid.  Neocons are all the worst misteps of liberals—they are LIBERALS in Conservative drag!

The antithesis would be to bring back Gingrich, Dick Armey and the folks who believe this stuff to the core.  It saddens me that the GOP has come to this.  I still hate Kerry, Hillary Clinton, Teddy Kennedy, Dr. Dimento Howard Dean and Gore and all those dopes who are unabashed SOCIALISTS.  I had no choice but to vote against them.  I would do so again, given the choice.

But that doesn’t sadden me any less that the Bush Administration has squandered useful and important tax cuts to spur growth in the U.S. for the sake of pretending to be Democrats with Medicare entitlements, general pork spending and other horrible big government policies.

Too bad Ross Perot was such a fake.  We could have had a credible third party at the national level to keep the other two parties at least somewhat honest…

Posted by on 02/26/06 at 07:46 PM from United States

Clearly the reason she doesn’t figure it out is because as a baby, someone came up to her and said Shhhhhh, while we all had people come up to us as males and tell us how strong we were. Right Stogy

Actually, it was my two year old brother who came up to my crib and beat me in the head with a shoe!

Posted by californianative on 02/27/06 at 01:18 AM from United States

The existance of this so-called Religious Republican block of voters is a myth - A myth used by all these newspaper op-ed pieces to invent some irrational reason why so many people reject their foaming at the mouth liberalism.


My thoughts exactly.

Posted by John Cross on 02/27/06 at 08:48 AM from United States

The Religious Republicans are not a myth....it’s actualy pretty clear.  Best way to see it is the Terry Schiavo situation.  There was a very clear division in the Republican side of the issue....those that supported her because of the moral implications, and those who believe that the federal government did not have the Constitutional right to interfere. 

Point being, the Religious Republicans are not necessarily conservative.  The Rational Conservatives are not necessarily religious, either.  However, both blocs voted for Bush. 

I mean, think about it!  Everyone reading this knows someone who will not vote for a Democrat because they “....support abortion, and that’s just not right.” It’s not a myth, folks....these are people that tie in morality and government, and their idea is to use the government to do what they see as moral. 

Is it similar to what the liberals want?  Sure.  It’s just the results of the expansion of government that are different.  One side wants to create the secular socialist state.  One side wants to create a ‘Under God’ state.  Neither are what I want, to be honest.  However, Religious Republicans vote for, you guessed it, Republicans, who still tend to be more conservative. 

Another situation is that this Congress has gotten into spending our money way too much.  They are the ones with the purse-strings, and they can chop away at any budget that Bush sends them.  Period.  Republicans or Democrats, there is a shortage of conservatives in the House and Senate.  You can’t blame Bush for the House’s or Senate’s behavior.  They’ve needed to put the kabosh on his spending for three or four years, and they haven’t done it. 

I’m no Bush lackey, but it’s easy to pile on at this point.  Suffice to say, I’m taking up for him in this case, namely because the situation is not as bad as the picture has been painted to be.

Posted by on 02/27/06 at 09:39 AM from United States

Jesus Christ, did I just stumble into the DU?

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