Thursday, May 04, 2006
RICH MAN, POOR MAN...
George W. Bush baffles me everyday. The more I want to like him, respect his ethos and convictions, the more I shrug my shoulder (like him) and pray to the Electoral Gods that the next clone we drop in the oval office has something to reverse or just correct this man's idea of navigation.
Not being one to just walk the conservative line let me spell what I think he's been "good" at.
1. He did take the bull by the horns and provide a steady hands in the aftermath of 9/11. No matter what you think of the 2 minutes "deer in the headlights" classroom moment of that day, or the war that followed, to say he did not provide a shaken nation confidence in the days ahead is just being caddy, dumb and partisan.
2. He did bring in an anti-Clinton atmosphere that most of the country needed. After the shameful example set by our ex president and the indictments of many of his administration's members (I know, I know, Scooter Libby etc etc...)it was good to see a scrubbing of the White House. Regardless of the fact that Clinton was a better "TV President", eloquent beyond belief (as opposed to W's language polio) and quite possibly the best politician of our time, the nation was Clinton-fatigued and GW did give us a chance to exhale (but we never did inhale).
3. Say what you will, but Bush is a revolutionary man. He has governed the nation not giving a damn about polls, the political shifting winds, the press, or prevailing wisdom. Given the fact that we all got used to focus groups, and policy by concensus, it was refreshing (if not shocking) to see a man steer the helm by the heel of his principles and his moral compass. Regardless of my views I have to admit I admire that in any person, not just this man.
Now for the bad. I'm not razzin' you Dubya, but fair critique is fair critique.
1. You gave the opposition plenty of ammo by not being flexible enough to change your policy or at least adjust it when it was evident you were just being stubborn and closed to discourse.
2. You have spent money like a Democrat on his way to an Iowa straw poll. Even today you rail against the Senate for adding pork to the emergency funding bill, yet you have never vetoed one, not ONE spending bill during your tenure. A fiscal conservative Sir, you are not. Bill Clinton certainly used the veto well,... you should have taken notes.
3. The borders. The minutemen deserve your praise. After 9/11 you admonished the nation to "be vigilant". Well, take the "e" out of "vigilante" and you get VIGILANT! They are trained to observe and report to the border patrol and never raise a gun unless their own lives are in peril. Why do you demean a wonderful example of the people doing the civic duties to protect our land from invasion, something YOU are instructed to do by the Constitution yet seem to have lost the spine to do so. Sheriff Arpaio of Maricopa County in Arizona is the only elected official in the land doing his duty. I would be honored if THAT guy was in charge of the Border Agency.
4. The war. You are Bush-41 redux. Not allowing the military to fight the war with all its might and power. Note that as a libertarian I am against ALL foreign intervention unless there is clear and irrevocable consequences for not doing so. Having said that, when you release the war machine you RELEASE IT! Do you think Truman (a Democrat).. or Roosevelt (gee, another Democrat) were worried about polls, political correctness or the street mood of foreign countries when they nuked Hiroshima and Nagasaki to the stone age and turned Berlin into a parking lot? These men let the Generals be Generals. War is not pretty, surgical, cosmetic or adaptable to the TV May sweeps. When we went into Iraq we should have never allowed the looting and civic platitudes that took place. THAT is the day you let them know that we were not to be feared. That was the day it went from a swift kick in the ass, to "quagmire" as Messiers Kennedy and Biden are fond of saying. Release the Hounds sir, in the words of Admiral Farragut, "Damn the torpedoes, full spead aheah!". Fight a damn war or dont fight one at all.
I like you George, I really do. I did not vote for your country ass but I really believed you were the panacea necessary for the times.... I can't wait until 2008.