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February 10, 2005

My Politics Since Bush

As long as I'm writing entries on reader comments and e-mails, I'll note a reader sent me an e-mail suggesting I've moved to the left politically since Bush came into office, and that my readership is far more lefty than it used it be, say, a couple of years ago.

My thoughts on both of these -- eh. On the issue of whether my audience is more liberal than it used to be, I don't know if I see it. Prior to March of '03, it's hard to judge, since I didn't have comments enabled, and since then the comments seem to break slightly more to the left than right. But there's plenty of representation from both ends as well as from the folks who prefer not to see their politics as being left or right but along "practical v. impractical" axis, which as it happens I tend to see myself along. I think during the run-up to the election things became a bit more polarized here, as they did on every site where people actually debated viewpoints rather than just doing a circlejerk with their ideological buddies. That's the nature of living in a political system that offers you two choices. Since then, however, I don't think the comments here have been particularly left or right, although that has as much to do with the fact that for the last six week's I've mostly written about writing, and not about politics.

As for whether I am more liberal than I was before: No, not really. I'm certainly less stereotypically liberal than I was, say, when Clinton was in office. As an example, in 1995, I was pretty resolutely anti-gun and held the opinion that the 2nd Amendment didn't specifically allow for a universal individual right to bear arms. Here in 2005, not only do I think that the individual right to bear arms is implicit in the formulation of the 2nd Amendment, I also recognize that with just about as many guns as people in this country, attempting to get rid of everyone's guns is unfathomably impractical and would likely start riots -- and armed riots at that. So for both philosophical and practical reasons, you can no longer call me anti-gun, even though I myself continue not to be a fan, particularly of handguns. I am also far more fiscally conservative than I was ten years ago, because I see the deficit as the single biggest impending crisis we have.

Socially, I am rightfully pegged as liberal, but I think that label comes down to two positions: Same-sex marriage, of which I approve, and the right of a woman to control her own body, of which I also approve. Why either of these positions are held as "liberal" is an issue for another time, but there you have it. The rest of my social positions are, I think, reasonably mainstream.

Politically, what I am, with a few notable positions both to the left and right, is a moderate, which is something you don't hear too much about these days. But in actuality, what I really am is anti-stupid, and I think this is where my correspondent might indeed believe I've gone to the left, because this administration has been so unremittingly stupid in its actions that it's all a thinking person can do not to have multiple simultaneous aneurysms trying to conceive how so much incompetence can be shoveled up in one place at one time -- and elected to lead a nation.

Here's my dirty secret about the Bush administration: I think it has some fine general concepts, but I'm appalled, over and over again, at how unremittingly awful it's been in the execution. Tax cuts when the US government is running a surplus? Well, okay -- I would prefer to pay down the deficit, but I won't complain. Tax cuts while the economy's struggling and we're in a friggin' war? Gold-plated stupidity is what that is. I like how Bush is running about, puffing his chest out about how austere his new budget is, but you know, I would have been rather more impressed with his fiscal-mindedness a couple of trillion dollars ago. Bush's wanting to get credit for fiscal toughness after he's spiraled up the US debt is like a drunk driver wanting to get credit for making it home without killing anyone.

Toughen security measures at home in the wake of 9/11? Absolutely. This is not the same as stripping US citizens of their constitutional rights, even if those citizens are brown and have an outside chance of being terrorists, or creating a Homeland Security department whose biggest security advance to date is color-coding and a one-time boost to sales of duct tape. Invade Iraq? Well, probably unnecessary, but for my own reasons I didn't complain. But who honestly believes the occupation of Iraq hasn't been one massive FUBAR-fest?

And now, Social Security: Who among us does not believe it should be overhauled? And yet I'd rather entrust my dog to come up with a workable plan to modernize it than the Bush Administration, because if there's a group of people who can plow the thing into the ground and leave millions of men and women starving and homeless in their senior years, it's this crew. Bank on this: If Bush somehow manages to push through his Social Security revamp, the USA is going to turn socialist in 2032 as all those dirt-poor retirees vote to start taking 70% of the younger generation's income for their own needs. You've got 27 years to prepare, kids.

And it's not just the administration. The stupid wing of conservatism is falling out all over the place, running about like untrained dogs, pissing on the constitutional furniture. To call the current crop of conservatives "unthinking" is too neutral -- they are actively anti-thought, and that offends me enough that I generally choose not to be silent about it. Sadly, most of the the anti-thinking branch of conservatism also claims to be the "Christian" branch, which, if I were a Christian, conservative, and owned a brain, would offend me to absolutely no end.

Look, it's simple: Give me a conservative who I can see engaging his or her brain to make argument and points -- even points I disagree with -- and that conservative will have my undying respect. Give me a conservative who thinks it's a perfectly legitimate tactic to simply lie, ignore or bully, and I'm going to get out my whack stick. I'm not stupid and I'm not going to be bullied, certainly not by a bunch of smug dicks who assume both that they're smarter than me, and that they have got God in their back pocket.

Yes, the left has more than its share of anti-thought folks, but a gentle reminder: The left's not in power. I guarantee you if Gore had won and his administration had been as despairingly dumb as Bush's, I'd have people wondering why I had suddenly swung to the right. However, in the real world, it's the Bush folks who are running things, and doing so very poorly. It's not about their politics, or at least, not all about them: It's mostly about their competence.

Part of me wants to cringe when I say this, but at this moment, ideologically speaking, I'm probably closer to Arnold Schwarzenegger than any other high-profile politician out there. He's socially liberal, apparently fiscally conservative, pro-environment and pro-business, open to compromise but also willing to take on the existing political structure (his current fight to de-gerrymander California's congressional and Assembly districts? Swoon). He's not a perfect match for me, and I loathed the way he managed to get into office (with the caveat that he was a far better person to have gotten in than the other grasping GOPers who manufactured the recall in the first place). But by God, he's awfully close to what I'd want in an ideal candidate. I wouldn't amend the Constitution on his behalf, but if it happened, oh the temptation.

That's where I am politically in the Bush era.

Posted by john at February 10, 2005 10:49 AM

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Comments

JamesG | February 10, 2005 01:05 PM

“Part of me wants to cringe when I say this, but at this moment, ideologically speaking, I'm probably closer to Arnold Schwarzenegger than any other high-profile politician out there.”


Funny you should mention this. I witnessed friends arguing this point just the other night. What started out as a joke (by me, I really need to work on that whole being funny thing), quickly escalated into a full-blown debate.

Oddly enough, it was my republican friend that was most adamant that Schwarzenegger should be forced to just…fade away. He actually had the gall to tell us that the Kennedy on his arm was making him soft. The Terminator…soft?

One of my other friends responded by saying something to the effect of: “She’s not making him soft, she’s making him smart.”
“Can’t you see she is really the one running the show, he is just the voice, the giant head that hides the midget.”

I could go on and on (because they argued for what seemed like hours) but you get the drift.

It took me making up an inaugural speech and performing it in my best Arnold voice to break up the argument before it came to blows.

Jas | February 10, 2005 01:52 PM

Funny, when I try to come up with a high-profile politician that I agree with most, it's Bill Clinton, blowjobs and all. I don't agree 100% with his decisions, but for all my professing to be a bleeding heart liberal, he comes the closest to an ideal, politically.

Though I really am upset about not having Al Gore as president. I voted for him wholeheartedly, not just in a kneejerk Democratic way or even an 'anybody but Bush' way. His problem was seen to some degree with Kerry as well-- too intellectual. The vast majority of folks, while they'd never admit it, are wildly anti-intellectual.

Andrew Cory | February 10, 2005 01:55 PM

Part of me wants to cringe when I say this, but at this moment, ideologically speaking, I'm probably closer to Arnold Schwarzenegger than any other high-profile politician out there. He's socially liberal, apparently fiscally conservative,

“Fiscally conservative” these days tends to mean “complete jackass about government revenue”. So, yes, Gov. Schwarzenegger is fiscally conservative. The first thing he did in office was re-instate a costly (US$4billion) program that kept drivers from paying their share of taxes. Then he took out loans to cover the difference...

John Scalzi | February 10, 2005 02:14 PM

You'll note I said he's not a perfect match.

Andrew Cory | February 10, 2005 03:45 PM

Fair enough.
You just have no idea how frustrating it is watching friends drop off the Student Senate because they have to get jobs to pay for the tuition raises our Governor has necessitated...

Though I have to say that I find it weird that a man with the history of Schwarzenegger isn’t doing a noticeably worse job than anyone else has. Perhaps in the future we’ll just hold a lottery to decide who becomes our elected officials. They’ll have to serve longer if don’t take it seriously...

Brian Greenberg | February 10, 2005 04:23 PM

Must let the topic pass...Must not get into another Bush/anti-Bush screed...must....calm....down.... ah, to hell with it:

John - I know we come down on different sides of this issue a lot, and I know that you declared Bush incompetent some time ago, but I have to ask: do the ends justify the means *at all*? Are any of the results we've seen recently enough to get you past his lousy public speaking and the wise-ass smirk he's always got on? To wit:

"Tax cuts while the economy's struggling and we're in a friggin' war? Gold-plated stupidity is what that is. "

Under Clinton, our economy had the largest peacetime expansion in history. Would you not expect the next economic cycle to include a sharp drop from such lofty heights? If so, then how do you account for the relatively mild recession? I'm not saying it was perfect by a long shot, but we could easily be in much worse shape right now.

"Toughen security measures at home in the wake of 9/11? Absolutely. This is not the same as stripping US citizens of their constitutional rights, "

Agreed. But where are mountain of civil rights abuse cases that the anti-Patriot Act clan promised us? Short of Michael Moore's example of the FBI investigating old folks eating cookies, I haven't heard much. Perhaps that was a bunch of overblown campaign rhetoric? Or is the disaster still "just about to happen?"

"Who honestly believes the occupation of Iraq hasn't been one massive FUBAR-fest?"

The term "successful failure" leaps to mind.

Granted, there were many misteps, and yet the goal of elections by the end of January was achieved despite all naysayers, with minimal violence, and with a sense of Iraqi nationalism never seen before. Still no change of heart? It's still a complete & total failure?


"if there's a group of people who can plow the thing into the ground and leave millions of men and women starving and homeless in their senior years, it's this crew."

OK, so now they've failed before they even started?

I'm very much looking forward to the blogosphere picking apart his proposal (spreadsheets! I want spreadsheets!), but let's talk facts, not knee-jerk impressions...

John Scalzi | February 10, 2005 04:42 PM

Brian asks:

"Under Clinton, our economy had the largest peacetime expansion in history. Would you not expect the next economic cycle to include a sharp drop from such lofty heights?"

My complaint wasn't about that -- it was Bush's response to it, which was to aggressively and irresponsibly cut taxes when our nation needed (among other things) to fight a war. Even accounting for "stimulus" his cuts were bad.

"The term 'successful failure' leaps to mind."

Or, "Phyrric Victory," which is probably more accurate in this case. And yes, while I agree the elections are a fine thing and much to the administration's credit, it is absolutely worth asking if it *had* to cost 1,400 US lives and billions upon billions of dollars, or if it could have been done rather more intelligently with better planning. Also, let us not forget that the Iraqi elections were *not* our stated reason for invading Iraq -- for the reasons we invaded Iraq (the WMDs -- remember them?), this invasion was a sham and a failure. Again -- *I'm* happy Saddam is gone and the Iraqis are free. But let's not pretend this was done well.

"OK, so now they've failed before they even started?"

Well, Brian, considering that they've failed at everything *else,* what should one expect? I think *four years* of visible and unremitting incompetence is evidence of a *pattern,* don't you? So, yeah, I feel perfectly reasonable in assuming Bush and his boys and girls will screw things up unless proven otherwise. History is on my side on this. Bush and his folks are already misrepresenting how severe the "crisis" is, so he's off to a predictable start on the matter.

Again: This isn't about ideology, it's about execution. Bush is a screw-up, plain and simple.

John Edwards | February 10, 2005 05:20 PM

Regardless of the competence or (indeed more likely) incompetence he might bring to the job, Bush's approach to Social Security isn't to fix it. It's to end it. That's not hyperbole--the president himself has said he sees the system shifting entirely at some point from defined benefits to defined contributions. In other words, from a national pension system to a national 401(k) system. Nothing terribly social or secure about that. And it'll cost around a trillion dollars in "transition costs," but don't worry, that's not new debt (says the White House), it's just transition costs. Well, anyway, Josh Marshall over at Talking Points Memo has much more on this if you're interested.

In general, I proudly count myself a Scalzian, politically. From what I know of your views, we're closely aligned. Plus, we both have adorable daughters, though I've recently added the distinguishing characteristic of an adorable son as well.

John Scalzi | February 10, 2005 05:23 PM

Heh. Yes, it'll be good for people to be able to tell us apart, if only by our progeny.

Scott Elyard | February 10, 2005 05:35 PM

"Granted, there were many misteps, and yet the goal of elections by the end of January was achieved despite all naysayers, with minimal violence, and with a sense of Iraqi nationalism never seen before. Still no change of heart? It's still a complete & total failure?"

I agree with you. However, I think the core of John's point may be that it is so easy to see how it could have been so much more, probably starting with Rumsfeld's miscalculation involving Turkey's support.

Byron | February 10, 2005 06:20 PM

"Under Clinton, our economy had the largest peacetime expansion in history. Would you not expect the next economic cycle to include a sharp drop from such lofty heights? If so, then how do you account for the relatively mild recession? I'm not saying it was perfect by a long shot, but we could easily be in much worse shape right now."

First, it wasn't so mild. Yeah, brokers weren't throwing themselves out of windows but brokers also have a lot of tools at their disposal these days to make money in pretty much any market (except maybe an all out free fall). It was pretty bad for average people (all sorts of fun job loss records, basically nil in real income growth---a little bit better than Bush Sr who got to preside over a loss in real income) and the 'recovery' has, frankly, sucked.

Stephen | February 10, 2005 06:21 PM

"And yes, while I agree the elections are a fine thing and much to the administration's credit, it is absolutely worth asking if it *had* to cost 1,400 US lives and billions upon billions of dollars, or if it could have been done rather more intelligently with better planning."

And also, what about the ~18,000 Iraqi civilian deaths (http://www.iraqbodycount.net/)? We could have had another terrorist incident (with less than 1400 deaths) and let Saddam Hussein kill as many of his own people as he wanted to and still saved tens of billions of dollars.


"Under Clinton, our economy had the largest peacetime expansion in history. Would you not expect the next economic cycle to include a sharp drop from such lofty heights?"

Yes, I would love to drop sharply, but you don't do that by spending more and cutting taxes. Liberals may be "tax and spend", but that still beats the "spend and spend" Bush policy.

Anonymous | February 10, 2005 06:23 PM

"First, it wasn't so mild. Yeah, brokers weren't throwing themselves out of windows but brokers also have a lot of tools at their disposal these days to make money in pretty much any market"

Speaking of which, those brokers and Bush's blue-blood friends are the ones who will have your retirement money if the plan to privatize Social Security succeeds.

Scott | February 10, 2005 08:49 PM

When I first heard of the "Starve the Beast" ideology... I thought it was a rationalization for croneyism. Spend all the money on things that congress can't control and then say, "Well, we have to tighten our belts, all of our spending programs have to go away".

But look... it's freaking HAPPENING! A budget which, not including known ongoing expenses still shows a large deficit, and with (hundreds of?) billions carved out of progressive programs. Another $40B-$100B for 2005 military campaigning (I have no idea what the pricetag for Iran is going to be). It's a little nauseating for anybody who thinks that elected officials should be elected based on what they're actually going to do [rather than a mythologized re-imagination of what they previously did].

I should note that it would be the unsavory and rapid end of any congressman's career to be vocally opposed to special appropriations for any of the military actions (they have plenty of leeway to try and bring troops home, but none to stop spending money).

Re: Arnold
Strange thing about Gov. Schwatzenegger... he's more liberal than Clinton. Clinton was liberal about WHAT issues exactly? He was fiscally conservative, to the tune of promoting business, countered modestly by not assaulting welfare/SS/medicare. He was socially conservative to the tune of the DoMa, stem cell research funding restrictions, watching the FCC become increasingly intrusive on broadcasters content (but decreasingly intrusive on business practice regulations), countered by being pro-choice (which amounts to not doing anything against the standing right).
Man... what a liberal!

Gov. Schwartzanegger is a Californian everywhere Clinton was an Arkansasian (or whatever they're called).

Scott | February 10, 2005 08:55 PM

Err, forgot something because I rambled too much.

Putting money that used to into social security into stocks and bonds.

In the former case, it enriches current stock-holders, because, despite what stock is SUPPOSED to be, it's a supply & demand driven market, and with a big influx of new money trying to purchase stock (in mutual funds, etc) the prices will all rise.

In the latter, it props up utterly irresponsible government debt by creating a domestic demand for bonds that has been remarkably absent for a long time now. It frees Bush's nuts from a Chinese C-clamp vice (the clamp where the Chinese keep buying American debt bonds for no KNOWN reason, and the failure to do so would give Alan Greenspan an inflation related heart-attack)

I'm still undecided on whether the idea is good or not (because the idea is so vague it has no actual financial meaning or implications yet) but I can certainly tell you why Bush is interested in doing it...
And please please PLEASE could people stop talking about the costs and benefits of the SS overhaul since it's not even clear what would actually happen in it? If you want to say that a GIVEN idea has CERTAIN problems, go for it.... but if you want to say that BUSH'S proposal has whatever problems, you're off your tits, because Bush hasn't actually made a proposal yet.

John Scalzi | February 10, 2005 09:11 PM

Let me just say I find the expression "off your tits" unaccountably amusing.

Brian Greenberg | February 11, 2005 12:51 AM

Sigh...I knew I couldn't win this argument with this crowd, but still, I press on...

First, the economy: whoever told you the recession wasn't mild was lying. The economy created 22.1 million jobs in the eight years of the Clinton presidency. In the first three years of Bush's first term, around 3 million jobs were lost, and in the fourth year, about 2.2 million jobs were created (Source: BLS). So, even at it's trough, the recession cost us roughly 15% of our previous gains, and the recovery has erased most of its effects already.

Don't trust job statistics? Look at the stock market: When Clinton took office, the DJIA was around 3,300. When Bush took office, it was roughly 10,800. It got as low as ~8,000, and is now 10,750 again.

We went through transformational growth in the '90s, followed by the perfect storm of a simultaneous recession and terrorist attack. On most measures, we took a 15-20% dip, from which we've basically recovered today.

I'm not defending or supporting the policies here, I'm just looking at the results. It could certainly have been better, but it could have been much, much worse.

On Iraq: I'm aware of all the arguments used to justify the war, both to Americans and to the world.

It's clear to me, though, as I suspect it would be to anyone who has read the 9/11 report, that the main objectives in the GWOT were (and are) to remove Al Qaeda's organizational infrastructure, eliminate "safe zones" where they could train & travel freely without fear of government reprisal, and control their ability to transfer & spend money. I'm firmly convinced that the reason we haven't had another attack since 2001 is because we've basically accomplished these three goals.

If democracy does take hold in Iraq, it will severely disrupt any terrorist organization's ability to move freely throughout the region, and will put huge, *internal* pressure on the remaining fascist regimes. I don't know if this will happen yet or not, but if it does, history will remember Bush as a hero, much the same way it has remembered Reagan for ending the Cold War. You heard it here first...

As for the argument that "it could have been done better/cheaper," that's Monday morning quarterbacking (I especially like the line, "History is on my side on this," given that some of this history is literally weeks old).

We've been at this for *decades* with no success - Bush's father tried & failed, Clinton tried repeatedly & failed. I'm sure there were ways it could have been done better, but this is how we *did* do it, and an empirical "partial success" is better than any theoretical "complete success" in my book.

As for Social Security: as others have stated above, the jury is still *way* out on this one. The misleading statistics are just starting to roll in, and we all need to start wading through them. Two quick examples:

1) This $900 billion transition cost appears to include the money that gets moved from the SS Trust Fund to private accounts as a *cost*. Now, I understand that it's a cost *TO THE GOVERNMENT*, but that doesn't make it a cost to us - I still get my money, it's just invested differently.

2) Thanks for pointing me to Talking Points Memo. Interesting Stuff. Here's one link from the Senate Democratic Communication Center (http://democrats.senate.gov/~dpc/press/05/2005210519.html):

"[The] privatized accounts are . . .expected to produce a risk-adjusted rate of return of 3% above the inflation rate. Therefore, the automatic reduction of Social Security benefits would equal the entire value of the privatized accounts. In effect, the automatic benefit reduction would constitute a 100 percent tax on the retirement savings in those accounts"

Great guys, except for a couple of things: No one has said what the benefit reduction would be yet ("all options are still on the table," right?). The plan calls for 4% of the contribution to be diverted, so if we use this number as a proxy, we have two more issues: First, the 4% is 4% of your income, and the 3% return is 3% *on top of* that 4%, so we're comparing apples to oranges. Second, if the rate of return covers the tax, you still have the principle. That's not a 100% tax, it's a 0% tax (or, to be more fair, it's a tax equal to the difference between the rate that government-funded SS benefits would grow and the inflation rate).

This is going to be a wild ride. If the plan sucks, I'll be happy to admit it, but it's going to involve an argument with numbers in it, not something along the lines of "four years of visible and unremitting incompetence is evidence of a pattern."

Matt McIrvin | February 11, 2005 08:40 AM

"I am also far more fiscally conservative than I was ten years ago, because I see the deficit as the single biggest impending crisis we have."

I think that the behavior of the Bush administration provides evidence that the term "fiscally conservative" should be given a decent burial. Nothing that it implies is characteristic of today's supposed conservatives.

It also provides the last nail in the coffin of the notion that the Gingrich Republicans were the ones really responsible for balancing the budget during the 1990s. What we have here is something close to a controlled experiment. Given Sept. 11 and the collapse of the tech bubble, I wouldn't expect the Republicans to continue to run a budget surplus; it would probably be imprudent to do so. But what they've actually done is just ridiculous.

Matt McIrvin | February 11, 2005 08:45 AM

...I do think it's funny that people are complaining about your swing to the left, given that among the liberal blogs I read yours is probably the least lefty.

John Scalzi | February 11, 2005 09:01 AM

Brian, if Bush manages to put forward a coherent plan on Social Security that also makes fiscal sense, I'll mention it, just as I mention other things he does that I've approved of.

However, I quite obviously disagree with what appears your belief that we should not have expectations of his performance in this issue, based on previous performance (i.e., a pattern of near absolute incompetence on every issue of importance in the last four years). If a football team was 1-10 and up against a strong opponent, would you not expect them to lose? If a film director had released four bad movies in a row, would you not have diminished expectations for film number five (especially if he never had a *good* film)? Since when should we *not* use previous experience to anticipate future actions?

To sum up: Bush's administration has been incompetent for four solid years. To expect him to suddenly *become* competent, especially on a complex issue like Social Security, requires a sort of faith I do not have. He may yet surprise me on the matter. But I really doubt it.

Matt: The person who wrote in wasn't complaining, merely making an observation.

John Edwards | February 11, 2005 12:31 PM

While "all options" ostensibly are on the table, the president has sketched out some of the basic elements he would like to see in a revamped retirement system. Obviously, one element is private accounts subject to the vagaries of the market. Another is the requirement that retirees use their private accounts to purchase annuities upon retirement. See Marshall's site, again, for more on the problems with this.

betsarms | February 11, 2005 01:24 PM

John you have such a way with vivid metaphors...

"running about like untrained dogs, pissing on the constitutional furniture"

As Wheezie says on Dragon Tales, "Luuuuv it!"

Mark A. York | February 11, 2005 04:03 PM

I'm still not confortable with Arnold although I can agree with him on some things. Like the ones that track Democratic. Below the surface he's just another borrow-and-spend conservative with money. And hopelessly unqualified to be Governor of this, our most populous and complicated state.

Hell, SAG president would have been a tough campaign were it not for this Republican coup and B-movie fans that voted for him.

Mark Ensley | February 12, 2005 04:43 AM

I worked for the guv'ment for a while and paid attention to the retirement accounts which the SS reforms will supposedly be based on.

During the internet boom they did great, but I saw many negative returns during the bust and afterwards they frequently did poorly if at all positively.

Nothing I saw impressed me as to the stability and reliability of the system or caused me to sign up.

To me it still seems like a way to both gut the SS system and funnel more money into stocks, which would artificially inflate the health of the economy for a short while and allow people to profit-take until the system destabilizes.

Another oddity is that many of the forecasts of the old system seem to be based upon having the program run idefinitely into the future while numbers for new systems seem to be time-limited.

Another social liberal and fiscal conservative here who is getting increasingly pissed that balancing the budget isn't for some odd reason considered "conservative" anymore... I'd vote for free lifetime blowjobs to any president who could manage another surplus while still being somewhat charitable to the poor!

Mitch Wagner | February 12, 2005 05:34 PM

Bush is making me a conservative, where Nixon, Ford, Carter, Regan, Bush I and Clinton never could. I can really get behind limited powers to small government if it means putting reigns on the Bush crowd.

I am not joking about this.

gerrymander | February 15, 2005 03:28 PM

John,

I'm curious as to which generally left- or right-leaning political writers you'd place in the "worthy of respect" column. Care to name a few?

Robbie | February 16, 2005 12:16 AM

I poke my head in here from time to time but have never been motivated to leave a comment until now. I don't think I've ever had someone express their political views and have it fall as close to my own. Very well said!! What's that saying? "Stupid is as stupid does," pretty much sums up the current administration, in my opinion.

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