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Why Don't Republicans Understand?
June 19, 2003
By Joe Hardaway

Democrats, liberals and progressives argue that George W. Bush is a terrible President. Republicans and conservatives disagree. Why don't republicans get it? Im not talking about Republicans with a capital R. They are the party-line voters who don't care what anyone else says. If the party says W is good, then he's good, by golly. No, I'm talking about republicans with a small r. They're the rank and file. The common, working man and woman. Why dont they get it?

If you look at the polls President Bush is still very popular with around a 60% approval rating. While well down from his wartime high, that's still impressive. But I just don't understand why. What has this President done for those of us who must work for a living?

For most Americans, times are difficult financially. Even if they have not lost their jobs, many are worried that might still happen. And those who aren't worried have fewer options because of the glut of available workers. President Bush's economic policies have helped the country lose almost 3 million jobs since he took office. That's not 3 million people who are out of work that number is more than 6 million but the number of fewer jobs to be had. Unemployment is at a level not seen since the '80s under another "trickle-down economy" president.

"But what about the tax cuts?" they say. "Aren't you happy to get those tax cuts?" Sure, who wouldn't be happy to keep more of their own money? But I'd rather pay a bit more in taxes than see the budget gutted and the Federal Deficit skyrocket at the same time. Bush has called for many initiatives in his two and a half years in office, but those most popular No Child Left Behind, Homeland Security, etc. remain woefully underfinanced. In fact, despite blaming congressional Republicans for under-funding Homeland Security, Bush submitted a 2003-4 budget that actually cut spending in that area.

Which brings us to the security of our country. This was the primary reason for our invasion of Iraq. And yet, while funding for Bush's own invention - the Department of Homeland Security - gets cut, we show the world that we're great at kicking butt, but lousy at the taking of names that follows. Just like Afghanistan, Iraq is in shambles. Most of Baghdad is without power and clean water, over ten thousand Iraqis are dead, and our soldiers keep getting killed because we have not been able to restore any semblance of security. The Iraqi people are already starting to revolt against their new oppressors, and some are even calling for the return of Hussein.

It has been said that our invasion of Iraq will not only do nothing to reduce the abilities of al Qaeda to attack America, but hundreds of new bin Ladens will be created. And while Bush plays the role of a pilot from which he went AWOL during the Viet Nam war, al Qaeda continues its attacks and we do nothing to the country that both births and harbors them, Saudi Arabia.

I could continue this with diatribes about how Bush is ruining our environment by allowing energy and chemical giants to set their own pollution controls and timber companies to prevent forest fires by cutting down the forest. I could continue with how Bush has kept his policymaking secret so as to avoid having to answer for allowing his campaign contributors to dictate terms. I could also continue with how Bush's Attorney General, John Ashcroft, continues to push for more and more restrictions on our civil liberties, despite the clear unconstitutionality of his proposed regulations.

But I won't do that. There should be no need. It should be clear to anyone who's paying even a modicum of attention, left or right, Democrat or Republican, liberal or conservative, that this President is a disaster.

Joe Hardaway is a citizen of the United States of America. As such, he feels it is his duty to point out to an unseeing public how they are being used and deceived by a government of corporations, by corporations and for corporations.

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