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November 05, 2006

An Interesting Editorial

A snippet of an editorial someone sent me a link to:

...We think a vote that is seen—in America and the world at large—as a decisive “No” vote on the Bush presidency is the best outcome. We need not dwell on George W. Bush’s failed effort to jam a poorly disguised amnesty for illegal aliens through Congress or the assaults on the Constitution carried out under the pretext of fighting terrorism or his administration’s endorsement of torture. Faced on Sept. 11, 2001 with a great challenge, President Bush made little effort to understand who had attacked us and why—thus ignoring the prerequisite for crafting an effective response. He seemingly did not want to find out, and he had staffed his national-security team with people who either did not want to know or were committed to a prefabricated answer...
There may be little Americans can do to atone for this presidency, which will stain our country’s reputation for a long time. But the process of recovering our good name must begin somewhere, and the logical place is in the voting booth this Nov. 7. If we are fortunate, we can produce a result that is seen—in Washington, in Peoria, and in world capitals from Prague to Kuala Lumpur—as a repudiation of George W. Bush and the war of aggression he launched against Iraq.

The name of the liberal rag in which this editorial was published? The American Conservative, co-founded by Pat Buchanan. The whole editorial is here.

I think it goes without saying that Pat Buchanan and his pals are not necessarily smack-dab in the mainstream of current conservative thought. Even so, this is another sign of interesting times on the right side of the political spectrum. I don't know what would make it more interesting: If the GOP loses the House and/or Senate on Tuesday, or if they keep it.

Posted by john at November 5, 2006 04:30 PM

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Comments

Steve Buchheit | November 5, 2006 04:42 PM

Wolves have more scruples when they tire of their leader.

I guess what they really want to say is, "Wolfowitz had this white paper he wrote back in 92. It had this great business plan. Obviously Laura should have had George read this one summer because if he did everything would have been All Right(tm). I mean, it's agreat fool-proof business plan. What could have been wrong with it?"

Dean | November 5, 2006 05:05 PM

The whole Iraq debacle has been Vietnam sped up, from the Gulf of Tonkin on down. Only three years on, we're already into the final stages, where those responsible start turning on each other in a frenzy of finger-pointing while still publicly claiming that the whole sorry mess could still work.

I had hopes that the Iraq situation would be resolved, one way or another, with a minimum of bloodshed, but it's gone way beyond that. Now I'm hoping that the destabilization of other Middle East regimes can be avoided, but I'm not so sure.

Tom Nixon | November 5, 2006 05:22 PM

Now I'm hoping that the destabilization of other Middle East regimes can be avoided, but I'm not so sure.

And this could be the much larger problem. Iraq is lost. Period.

It is unclear whether we can pull this all back from the brink.

Tom Nixon | November 5, 2006 05:23 PM

My bust: should have been quote from Dean:

Now I'm hoping that the destabilization of other Middle East regimes can be avoided, but I'm not so sure.

Steve Buchheit | November 5, 2006 09:27 PM

Dean and Tom Nixon, we'll yep, that's a real issue with the Domino Theory, hardly ever works they way you want it, works wonderfully the way you don't want it to.

Jacob | November 5, 2006 09:50 PM

Steve–
Pat Buchanan has been a pretty consistent critic of the Iraq War and is no fan of Wolfowitz (for some good reasons and some more unsavory ones).

Chang who is mad as hell and not gonna take it anymore! | November 6, 2006 06:21 AM

Wow. Stunning. Scathing.

I like PAt Buchannan in a weird way. Now, listen, some of his policies are completely draconian and fascist. But sometimes he's just like your friends crazy grandad.

I know, bad thing for a liberal to say, but it's how I feel. And it's early yet.

Dean | November 6, 2006 08:05 AM

Chang, I've noticed that about Buchanan. Most of the time he sounds like a batshit crazy Bircher only slightly more rational that Pat Robertson. But then sometimes it's like he surfaces and sees the world clearly for a little while. He makes sense for a short period.

Chang who is in pants... mostly. | November 6, 2006 08:18 AM

Isn't it terrifying? Like whne he was on The Daily Show he made a little sense for a while then went off the deep end with all that "Build a fence to keep out the immigrants" crap.

Didn't building a fence work so well for East Germany that no one needs to do it again?

Jose | November 6, 2006 08:27 AM

I don't think this is a U-Turn for these guys. What I find even more interesting is the pro-war supporters positioning themselves for a U-Turn on the issue. The real purpose of the Iraq's Occupation at this point seems to be Who Gets the Blame.

CoolBlue | November 6, 2006 08:54 AM

It has been my position for a long time that what passes for Liberalism today is very similar to old time Conservatism. The same conservatism that prevented the US from getting involved in WWII until Pearl Harbor.

"Liberalism" today is protectionist and isolationist just like Conservatives of Old: just like Pat, and the so-called paleo-conservative movement.

There are significant differences, but these are significant similarities.

This why I call myself a Liberal. Because I would vote for JFK today; however I'm not convinced that JFK would get the Democratic nomination today

John H | November 6, 2006 08:58 AM

At first I thought perhaps this was little more than tying the anchor to Bush in order to save the GOPs collective hide, but it's not. They seem to (finally) be disgusted enough with Bush and his appeasers in Congress to have written the whole bunch off.

It's about damn time...

John H | November 6, 2006 09:09 AM

CoolBlue: Inasmuch as the left is still pro-labor, I think calling liberals protectionist is probably more true than not. But I don't know that I would buy into the argument that they are isolationist - I don't see Democrats or liberals in general calling for the US to disengage from the world. It's fairer to say that Democrats would choose multilateralism over George Bush's unilateral initiatives.

John Scalzi | November 6, 2006 09:12 AM

CoolBlue:

"This why I call myself a Liberal. Because I would vote for JFK today; however I'm not convinced that JFK would get the Democratic nomination today."

Interesting. I think it's absolutely true that both major parties have morphed over time from where they were, say, in 1960, and of course from before then as well. I under how much of that morphing is top-down -- from the parties themselves -- and how much is bottom up from the constituencies they pursue for votes.

Steve Buchheit | November 6, 2006 09:21 AM

CoolBlue, JFK not getting the Democrat nomination is okay because Nixon most certainly wouldn't be a conservative by today's standards, he would be classified as a liberal.

John Scalzi | November 6, 2006 09:35 AM

It's madness! Madness, I tell you!

CoolBlue | November 6, 2006 09:48 AM

Steve Buchheit

CoolBlue, JFK not getting the Democrat nomination is okay because Nixon most certainly wouldn't be a conservative by today's standards, he would be classified as a liberal.

This is quite true. Few people realize that it was Nixon who started the EPA.

And it is quite true that you can not call Bush a conservative by the standard measure. Is an ownership society a conservative or liberal position? Liberal by a classical definition, though it probably isn't and "anti-conservative" position. The Perscription Drug plan however is not a conservative position, nor was No Child Left Behind: Conservatives had hoped he would eliminate the Department of Education, not make it bigger.

Also, if you look at who most people today view as the front-runner for the Republican nomination: Giuliani. He is most definitly not a "conservative".

My observation is that that liberalism has come to be dominant within the Republican party. Starting with the "Ford Republicans" of the 70s. Reagan was a Democrat who switched parties. Neo-Cons are in fact people who fled the Democratic Party in the 80s and 90s. As it stands today, religious, social conservatives are a powerful, but much smaller constituency within the Republican party. Pat Buchanan is a spokesman for these self-described "paleo-conservatives". And the Republican Party still relies on them for their GOTV efforts, but they do not wield the power they once did.

Steve Buchheit | November 6, 2006 10:01 AM

CoolBlue "nor was No Child Left Behind: Conservatives had hoped he would eliminate the Department of Education, not make it bigger."

Conservatives shouldn't give up hope, NCLB might still be the end of public education. It most certainly was the end as we knew it, and not for the betterment of education.

CoolBlue | November 6, 2006 10:21 AM

Steve Buchheit

Conservatives shouldn't give up hope, NCLB might still be the end of public education. It most certainly was the end as we knew it, and not for the betterment of education.

It was a bill written by Ted Kennedy and supported by Bush in the early part of his Presidentcy because of that whole idea had about being bi-partisan.

Lis Carey | November 6, 2006 10:27 AM

CoolBlue, The prescription drug plan is a giveaway to Bush's corporate buddies: Medicare can't negotiate prices with the drug companies, the plans can change their coverage every month but the subscribers (patients, that's your parents and mine) can only change plans once a year, the "donut hole" is leaving thousands stuck with no actual coverage for several months while they still have to pay premiums, etc. That's certainly not "conservative" in any meaningful sense, but it sure as heck isn't "liberal" either. It's corporate greed written into law.

What Bush is, is a white collar crook.

Steve Buchheit | November 6, 2006 10:36 AM

CoolBlue, NCLB written by Kennedy, substantially rewritten in committee, underfunded by the current Administration, implimented with new rules, and now under attack by Kennedy who no longer trusts the administration when they talk "bi-partisan."

CoolBlue | November 6, 2006 10:49 AM

Lis Carey

That's certainly not "conservative" in any meaningful sense, but it sure as heck isn't "liberal" either.

Actually, no big government social program that increases the National Debt (which they all do) is a liberal program. Also Liberalism attempts to increase the empowerment of the individual over the government, and Federal Social programs do not, in general, serve that goal.

Having said that, I like the market utilization of this program and it seems to be working pretty good. A local (to me) pharmacist explains

thousands of Vermonters are experiencing substantial savings on their medications through Medicare Part D plans. Many Vermonters with Medicare had never had any kind of prescription drug coverage before.
A national poll released recently by the Medicare Rx Education Network indicates that 82 percent of people enrolled in Medicare Part D are satisfied with their coverage. Equally important, especially to a pharmacist, is that 32 percent of those polled said that they no longer need to skip or reduce prescribed dosages now that they are enrolled in Medicare Part D.
Average monthly premiums for Medicare Part D plans are projected to be even less in 2007, an estimated $24 a month. Medicare Part D may not be perfect and there are clearly issues that need to be addressed from a pharmacist's perspective, but it certainly has benefited many Vermonters with Medicare.

What's more, my mother likes it!

CoolBlue | November 6, 2006 10:57 AM

Steve Buchheit

substantially rewritten in committee

..but Kennedy voted for it

underfunded by the current Administration

Funding for the program has increased every year since it was enacted.

However, Congress funds programs, not the President. Name one Democrat who proposed increasing the spending for this program

now under attack by Kennedy who no longer trusts the administration when they talk "bi-partisan."

No doubt the feeling is mutual...

Of course, this is immaterial to my argument.

Steve Buchheit | November 6, 2006 11:14 AM

CoolBlue, since you asked "Name one Democrat who proposed increasing the spending for this program"
Here's the first one I found, Tim Johnson from 2003. I probably could give you a whole list, but I really have to get back to work to keep the "Bush Economic Miracle" going.

Dan Cordell | November 6, 2006 11:40 AM

On the other hand, Orson Scott Card wrote up a long, detailed article calling for quite the opposite...

http://www.ornery.org/essays/warwatch/2006-10-29-1.html

It's an interesting read, and worth reading through.

CoolBlue | November 6, 2006 11:42 AM

Steve Buchheit

Spending bills originate in the House, not the Whitehouse Budget Office. It's in the Constitution.

But again, spending increased every year.

And more germaine, it's not a conservative program in the traditional sense. you can argue about it's effectiveness, you can argue about its implementation, but while you are doing that, you are not arguing against my position is that the Republicans have turned 1940s (50s and early 60s) Liberal and the Democrats have gone Conservative (and Leftist).

John Scalzi | November 6, 2006 11:42 AM

Yes, I've seen the piece. Not entirely sure I agree with him. Love his books, though.

David Thayer | November 6, 2006 11:56 AM

Hey, it's okay to like Pat Buchanan, but as Molly Ivins pointed out his speechs are better in the original German.

Steve Buchheit | November 6, 2006 12:20 PM

CoolBlue, shall we get into the actual mechanics of how spending bills are generated with the President submitting his budget? Yes the legislation is written in the House per the Constitution, but that isn't the full process, you and I know that.

"But again, spending increased every year." And it's still under funded, except for testing, which in my state helps parents move their kids to private and charter schools (which it's been shown do a best and equal job of education).

And I'm awfully sorry I keep bouncing your supporting evidence to attack your point, especially when you dare me to do so. If you would stay on topic and stop making non-germaine statements to your point it would make it harder for me to do that.

And that must be one twisty job us Democrats do to be all Conservative and Leftist. That must be why my bowls haven't wanted to work right since last Thursday.

Jon Marcus | November 6, 2006 12:43 PM

Dan Cordell

Sorry, I was trying to read that. But I kinda lost the thread around the time I hit "the only possible conclusion is that this is the best-run war in history, with the fewest mistakes"

That must be why things are going so swimmingly then...

Dan Cordell | November 6, 2006 12:54 PM

Jon Marcus

The important part isn't the top third of the article (about US politics). The important part is Card's analysis of what's going on in the Middle East and why he is advocating what he is in the top third. Actually pretty interesting stuff, and not worth missing just because the top of the article turns you off. ;)

Walter Davis | November 7, 2006 10:19 AM

Actually, I don't know if Buchanan is crazy or not. However, he is most definitely not stupid. He seems to be capable of recognizing oncoming problems and proposing rational (from his point of view) solutions. He is certianly not inclined to moderate his position to appear PC, which makes him unelectable. I really think that like Speaker Newt, Buchanan serves the nation better as a loudmouth genius trumpeting unpleasant ideas which might actually work rather than in a position of actual power.

Barry | November 8, 2006 04:30 PM

"Spending bills originate in the House, not the Whitehouse Budget Office. It's in the Constitution."

That's like thinking that a hostile judge makes no difference in a trial, since the jury determines guilt.

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