Friends Like These, Who Needs Democrats?
By Brad Friedman
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Conservatives, clearly an important pillar of Bush support
if he is to still have a chance of winning in November, seem
to be going rather wobbly on the old boy.
I'm talking about real conservatives here, not the Hannitys,
Limbaughs and other ersatz armchair faux "conservatives" who
wouldn't know real conservatism if it came up and bit them
on their Goldwaters. Yes, there are still a few of them left
in America. And yes, they will have to grease up their walkers
and get to the polling place if Bush hopes to have a chance
of winning the Presidency for the first time again this year.
article from The Weekly Standard (hardly a card-carrying
member of the "Liberal Media"), nicely enumerates many - if
not all - of the issues on which Bush is failing to make the
grade by true conservative standards.
Irwin M. Stelzer's Standard piece aptly entitled
"All Hat and No Cattle," spends the bulk of its ink outlining
where Bush has gone entirely off the conservative reservation.
And then, as if prodded by a Standard editor, somehow
shoehorns all of those arguments to make them fit the article's
paradoxical sub-title, "Why, despite everything, Bush should
win." Go figure.
Anyway, in case any of those ersatz armchair faux "conservatives"
are wondering what real conservatives think of Dubya, here's
a short list of just a few of their, or at least Stelzer's,
Much disappointment in the "breakdown of civilian
control over the military" and "chain of command that is in
disarray" as seen via the US retreat from Fallujah and promotion
of two anti-Shiite generals from Saddam's former army left
behind to keep "peace" in the city, while "Saddam sits comfortably
in prison... awaiting an eventual return to power, which is
just what happened the last time he was thrown into prison
by a legitimate Iraqi government." Toss into the mix what
is seen as broken pledges "not to allow a few thugs and remnants
of the old regime to recapture Falluja" and the failure to
kill or capture Moktada al-Sadr. All of that just the latest
in a series of similar examples where Bush has failed to deliver
On the budget front, they are none to happy with
Bush "presiding over the largest expansion of the welfare
state since the glory days of Lyndon Johnson." From exploding
"non-military non-homeland-security expenditures" such as
the prescription drug program "likely to end up claiming 2
percent of GDP" to the stalled energy bill which "to anyone
who knows anything about energy markets says will do nothing
to reduce our reliance on oil imported from the Bush family
friends in Saudi Arabia."
Then there's the fiscal situation. Stelzer's happy
that Bush's tax cuts have seen us out of "the recession he
inherited from Clinton," but "that was then and this is now"
and the deficit is out of control even while Bush "continues
to increase spending and press for still more tax cuts...
the time is long past when anyone believed that the tax cuts
would be self-financing... his talk about cutting the deficit
in half is nothing more than that - the talk of a man with
a large hat and a very small herd."
Which brings it all back to Iraq. The Generals calling
for more troops were right, and Rumsfeld/Wolfowitz were wrong
about what would be needed in both numbers and dollars. Furthermore,
Bush has drained resources and manpower from other places
around the world to fight this battle, leaving us "vulnerable
to the lunatics who run North Korea, and to any other regime
that, sensing our lack of resolve in Iraq, decides that now
is the time to strike against American interests." Add to
that a bureaucratic mess on the ground which has led to a
"reconstruction program [that] languishes." And the final
blow: Bush's plan to "hand off power to some version of a
sovereign Iraqi government cobbled together by the U.N.'s
Israel-hating Lakhdar Brahimi."
Wow... and I thought that Kerry's core supporters
were pretty tepid. He'll really have to work to screw this
one up! Or... he could choose Dick Gephardt as his running
Brad Friedman is a freelance writer and software designer.
He is also a proud "Liberal Hollywood Elitist" sharing all
of the great esteem and many rewards that come with it. His
blog can be read at http://www.BradFriedman.com/BradBlog.