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Adventures in Engineering
The wanderings of a modern ronin.

Ben Cantrick
  Date: 2006-03-28 08:05
  Subject:   Excellent, scathing article on the Bush II admn in American Conservative.
Politics and strange bedfellows indeed. If there's one thing loony liberals like me and staunch Reagan conservatives can agree on, it's that Dubya totally sucks:

Impostor: How George W. Bush Bankrupted America and Betrayed the Reagan Legacy, Bruce Bartlett, Doubleday, 320 pages

President George W. Bush took office to the sustained applause of America’s conservative movement. [...] Five years later, the traditional conservative agenda lies in ruins. Government is bigger, spending is higher, and Washington is more powerful. The national government has intruded further into state and local concerns. Federal officials have sacrificed civil liberties and constitutional rights while airily demanding that the public trust them not to abuse their power.

The U.S. has engaged in aggressive war to promote democracy and undertaken an expensive foreign-aid program. The administration and its supporters routinely denounce critics as partisans and even traitors. Indeed, the White House defenestrates anyone who acknowledges that reality sometimes conflicts with official fantasies.

In short, it is precisely the sort of government that conservatives once feared would result from liberal control in Washington.


Reagan, in sharp contrast to Bush, read books, magazines, and newspapers. (On the campaign plane in 1980 he handed articles to me to review.) He believed in limited government even if he fell short of achieving that goal. And he understood that he was sacrificing his basic principles when he forged one or another political compromise. George W. Bush has no principles to sacrifice. Rather, complains Bartlett, Bush "is simply a partisan Republican, anxious to improve the fortunes of his party, to be sure. But he is perfectly willing to jettison conservative principles at a moment’s notice to achieve that goal."

The Bush White House [...] views obsessive secrecy as a virtue and demands lockstep obedience. Bartlett reviews the experience of several officials who fell out with the administration, as well as the downgrading of policy agencies and the "total subordination of analysis to short-term politics."

The biggest problem is Bush himself, who—though a decent person who might make a good neighbor—suffers from unbridled hubris. His absolute certainty appears to be matched only by his extraordinary ignorance.

Bartlett also criticizes Bush on trade, on which he views him as potentially the worst president since Herbert Hoover. "Since then, all presidents except George W. Bush have made free trade a cornerstone of their international economic policy. While his rhetoric on the subject is little different than theirs, Bush’s actions have been far more protectionist." [...] However, it is on spending that the Bush administration has most obviously and most dramatically failed. Bartlett entitles one chapter "On the Budget, Clinton was Better."

Well, fucking duh...

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Willow: Stars
  User: willow_red
  Date: 2006-03-28 15:33 (UTC)
  Subject:   (no subject)
I find it interesting that back in 2000, many who were against Bush were concerned about him being another Reagan. Now, in 2006, those who were for Bush six years ago and have turned against him are upset because he's *not* another Reagan.

This book sounds familiar...was this the guy who was on the Daily Show a week or two ago?
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Ben Cantrick
  User: mackys
  Date: 2006-03-28 18:50 (UTC)
  Subject:   (no subject)
Not sure; no cable and I haven't had time to bittorrent lately.

Only thing I know is that Dubya is an absolute master at pissing everyone off. I'm still trying to figure out why it hasn't caught up with him yet. Something to do with completely spineless "Democrats" in Congress, I think.
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osmium_ocelot: Aya
  User: osmium_ocelot
  Date: 2006-03-29 01:40 (UTC)
  Subject:   (no subject)
yeah, the guy was on the Daily Show a while back.
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Alex Belits
  User: abelits
  Date: 2006-03-28 18:30 (UTC)
  Subject:   (no subject)
It doesn't impress or surprise me, but only because I have seen the same thing on a much larger scale from another political party that I dislike.
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May 2015