February 24th, 2006

Apologies of a Bush Voter

I wrote most of this in November 2004:

Republicans may someday look on the re-election of George Bush as one of the biggest disasters that has ever befallen their Party

Yes, of course I voted for him.

I earnestly believe that his foreign policy approach is by far the nicest of all the options available to the United States. Assisting the cause of freedom around the world – and particularly in the Middle East – gives us the only chance we have of avoiding a larger and more catastrophic war.

Unstable, nuclear-armed Arab countries pose a real threat to the existence of the West. Letting this threat ferment and strengthen was not much of option: It was suicide. This, admittedly, is arguable, but I think the weight of reason tips the scale in favor of intervening now rather than letting the Middle East develop newer and better-armed forms of tyranny. This is going to be messy, but it must be done.

I enthusiastically voted for Bush mainly for this reason.

Going into the booth, I was well aware of his faults – his protectionism, his indifference to an overbearingly large government, his comfort with the evangelicals, and his love of big ticket programs – but I, like most other voters, ignored them in favor of something that is vastly more important: national security.

But it was more than that: I think the Democrats have lost credibility when they talk about most things. They criticize Bush and the Bible thumpers, but they are in bed with forces that are just as bad (and maybe worse): trial lawyers, unions and left wing academics who make careers of stoppering economic and political freedom. Their populist message can be reduced to “tax the rich to buy benefits for the middle class,” but its import is undercut by the basic unfairness of the tax code. Nearly all our federal revenue (96%) comes from the top 50% of taxpayers (the rich), but the super rich (like John Kerry and John Edwards) use clever manipulation of the code to avoid paying anywhere near their “fair share.”

The Democratic Party has become increasingly protectionist (am I the only one who sees it as odd that a party so full of anti-business sentiment is eager to pass out trade perks to businesses?) and no one would ever accuse the Democrats of being the party of financial responsibility.

Yes, Clinton did balance the budget – so I’ve been told by Democrat after Democrat – but in the ‘90’s, doing that was simple: the economy was growing rapidly. With this growth, tax revenues exploded. The economy was growing because Clinton ignored his liberal impulses and practiced laissez-faire capitalism (I’m sorry to remind the Democrats who had blissfully forgotten this inconvenient fact): he decided that he wasn’t going to nationalize the doctors or destroy the health insurance industry. He signed NAFTA, and left business to do as it pleased. I salute him for it. The Democratic Party, though, has forgotten Clintonian policy while embracing him personally (watch his hands).

But back to Bush. I think there are many reasons why Republicans may someday look on the re-election of George Bush as one of the biggest disasters that has ever befallen their Party. Another Nixon, at a time when the country can least afford it.

Unfortunately for the Democrats, they may not be in much of a position to take advantage of it.

The problem is the dollar. The American economy is an amazing beast. It has rushed onward and upward through wars, terrorist attacks, protectionism, tax hikes, tax cuts, currency crises and stock market crashes.

But this beast needs the food of a healthy, stable currency. And Washington seems intent to starve of it of the one thing it needs to keep going.

It is not all George Bush’s fault: the Bush people are eager to blame others – they say that sluggish growth in Europe and Japan is helping to create a current account deficit (a trade deficit) that threatens the dollar’s value, and there is some truth in this. Indeed, in real terms, both Japan and Europe are poorer relative to the US than they were a decade ago. That is their problem and they seem loathe to do the things necessary to correct that (freeing up their labor markets, reducing government spending and liberalizing trade).

But the Europeans are also right to point the finger back at the Americans: the real problem is the explosion of federal spending that has occurred under Bush’s watch. This spending has cheapened the value of the dollar, and many foreigners are beginning to question why they are holding so much of a depreciating currency.

Sometime in the future, a sell-off is going to happen.

Currency fluctuations tend to be self-correcting: when a currency goes down in value, that country’s exports are cheaper in foreign nations and more are purchased. Cheap currency often causes export-driven growth, which eventually drives up the value of the currency in the home nation.

Usually.

The problem is that the US is the world’s largest debtor nation, and the dollar underpins the word economy.

Is that about to change? If the dollar can no longer be relied upon to underpin the world economy, what can be? Gold? No one knows the answer to that question.

But if the dollar does tank at some point, the result for the US economy will be very painful. Bush –and the Republican Party – will be blamed.

What is to be done?

The good news – for fiscal conservatives - is that Bush (or someone) now MUST reduce federal spending.

The bad news – for everyone – is that he probably can’t.

The sad truth is that Washington’s spending is out of control. Literally. Only about one third of government spending is discretionary. The rest of that spending is Social Security, Medicare, debt payments and other assorted benefit programs that Bush could not cut even if he wanted to.

It is going to be difficult to cut the remaining third enough to make a big difference.

Not while fighting a necessary war. And beginning the important – and expensive - task of reforming Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.

To make matters worse, the new Medicare drug benefit – which the stupid chimp himself signed into law in 2003 – will start taking effect in 2006. It will mandate hundreds of billions of dollars of new spending in that year, and the price of that new program will only go up.

Who ever takes power in 2008 will have their hands tied even more tightly than Bush does, and it will only get worse. We are on course for a disastrous train wreck that every politician would rather ignore.

For fiscal conservatives, the Armageddon that we have been warning about is here. I will take no satisfaction in having predicted it.

Bush is in for a rough four years. And the country is in several very rough decades.

Now back to your regularly-scheduled, big media arguments over bullshit….

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Posted in Politics, Economics





64 Comment(s)

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  1. Jet Says :

    This post holds up well 15 months later, John. The only thing I think no longer holds water is the concept of a “necessary war”. I think history will not look favorably on the lead up, and the war itself as engineered by this administration, and will rest a significant portion of the financial woes of our country on its costs.

    I’m voting this to the main page.


  2. Steve O Says :

    Well Jet took the words right out of my mouth and damn her for being first!!!!!

    I to voted to send this to the top. Great post!!!! 


  3. liberal vet Says :

    John great points. I wish there was more dialogue between political factions of varying opinions. You sound like a very thoughtful and honest man. Though I agreed with the military action in Afghanistan I never believed in invading Iraq and remain opposed. LV


  4. Ann Says :

     John,

     

    You are - absolutely – entitled to vote for whomsoever you please, in a Democratic system like yours and ours (UK) you pays your money and you makes your choice, sometimes you win, sometimes you don’t.  Right? And, usually, everything’s fine with that system: whoever wins takes office, and gets on with the business of running the country, and after a momentary kafuffle about seeing their candidate win or lose, everyone else then gets on with whatever it is they usually get on with, and is grateful, or at least accepts, the will of the people, right?

     

    But not in this case.  This time something’s different. Something’s changed.  Something’s NOT right.  And it isn’t about the losing ‘team’ being sore losers. Or about any other petty jealousy you might care to mention.  I’m not on either team – as a Brit, when all this started I didn’t even know the difference between Republicans or Democrats, and I couldn’t have cared less that I didn’t.  But, now, although still in the dark about the Democrats (they could be all that you say and more for all I know, or, at present really care) I certainly know who the Republicans are, or at least those claiming to be Republican sitting so comfortably in the (not so) White House. 

    There is so much in your post which, to varying degrees, both enlightens and terrifies me as to the level of public ignorance/ arrogance in the US, that I don’t really know where to begin.  

    Considering our current circumstances, you have an utterly astonishing preoccupation with the budget, taxes, the Global economy, Clinton (why didn’t someone just give this dodo a BOX of bloody cigars and let him get on with it!) and his ‘laissez-faire capitalism’, the value of the dollar (who gives a shit??) the price of fish, whether or not Brad and Jen got back together, blah, blah, blah, and, an incredibly distorted view of the current situation we’re all in: (to paraphrase) “Letting unstable, nuclear-armed Arab countries ferment and strengthen to pose a real threat to the existence of the West????  (So that’s the whopper that got you, huh? No wonder you were so enthusiastic in the booths, I’d have voted for them with that one)

    Let me tell you something, John: This administrations foreign policy is not ‘nice’.  It’s not even OK.  And as for it ‘assisting the cause of freedom around the world – and particularly in the Middle East – [giving] us the only chance we have of avoiding a larger and more catastrophic war’: where the hell have you been, John, Uranus? Open your eyes my friend, ‘a larger more catastrophic war’ is on the horizon – lurching directly toward us with the ferocity and unpredictability of anything any of us could ever have imagined or have seen before.  And, it’s all thanks to the underhanded and unscrupulous activities of your Dearly Elected Leader and his puppeteers. 

    I, personally, couldn’t give two s***s about whether or not you or any of your fellow Republicans ever come to regret their choice of leader. All I care about is whether or not my children survive long enough to read about it in the history books. So if you or any of your fellow Republican voters have any doubts whatsoever about this bunch of hoo-ha’s (and calling Dear Leader a ‘stupid chimp’ kinda leads me to think you have), the time has come to put aside your differences with other parties, and to work together toward removing them from office, forthwith. For I beg to differ, John: it IS all George Bush and his administration’s fault. All of it.  They are to blame for waking me up from my idyllic life and, for making me take time out of looking after my children so I can at least be prepared for any possible retaliation to their latest scams. They are to blame for making me addicted to the web news (as their corporate media friends have eroded much of the faith I had in mainstream media), where a log of their most r, lets just call them ‘idiotic’, activities – from lying to spying, profiteering to torturing, kidnapping to killing – has kept me horrified at the level of tolerance/ignorance/arrogance/ or, whatever the hell it is which is making the American people keep this bunch where they are, for the past few years. (It’s all widely accessible, just look it up -  if you’re not boycotting them like those of us who are appalled at the idea of censorship, you might try Googling the word ‘idiot’ it’s bound to throw up a few leads). And they are to blame for this unnecessary war against people who had no WMD’s (it was another lie, didn’t’ you hear??), and therefore, who posed no threat to us. And they are to blame for the so much more, I can’t even begin to enlighten you.

    For me 2008 seems a hell of a long way off. Too long with this bunch at the wheel of what appears – to many outside the boarders of America - to be a runaway train. For, it’s not only Washington’s “spending” that’s out of control: the whole shebang is a seemingly unstoppably locomotive, with the potential to destroy everything in its path (except the driver?), and the only way to stop it, to reduce the injuries and fatalities, is to derail it. Immediately. For all our sakes.

    Or all of us may not have the luxury of looking back on the re-election of George W Bush as one of the biggest disasters in history.


  5. ApleAnnie Says :

    John wrote:

    “This, admittedly, is arguable, but I think the weight of reason tips the scale in favor of intervening now rather than letting the Middle East develop newer and better-armed forms of tyranny. This is going to be messy, but it must be done.

    I enthusiastically voted for Bush mainly for this reason.

     

    When we are all standing in line at the soup kitchen how many of those who voted for Bush will be chatting about Iraq, or stem cell research, or gay marriage?  Meddling in the affairs of the world is “messy”?????  How about we clean up our own garage before we worry about the mess in our neighbor’s garage?  You are worrying about “tyranny” in a little two bit country half way around the world?  You voted for the thieves in power because of this reason?

    We all know how we feel about those individuals at work who spend all of their time worrying about everyone else’s performance, never stopping to analyze their own performance.  I think we call them “busybodies”.  That’s America.  Busybodies R Us.  You are right about our future John.  We no longer have one, and our kids and grandkids are screwed. 

    AA

     

     


  6. david porter Says :

    Congress now literally takes money from those making $30,000 to $500,000 per year and funnels it in subtle ways to the super-rich — the top one-one hundredth of one percent of Americans.
    People making $60,000 paid a larger share of their 2001 income in federal income, Social Security and Medicare taxes than a family making $25 million, the latest IRS data show. And in income taxes alone, people making $400,000 paid a larger share of their incomes than the 7,000 households who made $10 million or more.
    The rest of us are subsidizing not only the super-rich, but also corporations. Fifty years ago, corporations paid 60 percent of all federal taxes. But by 2003, that was down to 16 percent. So individual taxpayers have to make up the difference, as corporate profits soar and wages fall.

    Congress was told that 78 percent of known tax cheats in investment partnerships (read Republicans)are not even asked to pay because there are not enough tax collectors to go after them. The IRS oversight board asked for money to go after these cheaters, but both Congress and Bush refused.

    Bush does not believe changing government policies can actually wreck people’s lives — he thinks it’s a game, and the Democrats are just the other team. But if you believe the shift in the tax burden in this country — and the consequent separation of a tiny, ever-richer minority from the rest of us — doesn’t have real effects, you’re blind.
    When you cut housing subsidies, you get more homeless people. When you cut food stamps, you get more hungry people. In 2002, at least 25.5 million people went to soup kitchens and food pantries. In 2003, 1.1 million more joined the lines. As unemployment and other government programs run out, even more will be standing on line. Last year, America got a pay cut. Wages for the average worker fell, after adjusting for inflation — the first such drop in 10 years. That means the standard of living for most Americans is in decline.

    We are headed for a two-class country. It will be messy, it won;t be pretty, and it will most certainly wreck the entire country. Every super-power that has ever existed has fallen. Why should we be any different?

    You may feel safe in your gated community right now, but wait till the masses have nothing left to lose, and everything of the wealthys to take back.


  7. scott Says :

    John Kerry & John Edwards labeled as “super rich” while no mention of your oil lovin’, Halliburton subsidiary administration?  Another Republican spin job from the most corrupt group on earth.  Please learn that just because it was on Fox “News” doesn’t mean it’s the truth.


  8. Bert Pace Says :

    Our health care system is a joke.  The 8th largest killer in America, more than AIDs, more even than breast cancer is avoidable medical mistakes.  And the GOP answer?  Get the trial lawyers.  THATS THE ANSWER!!!  With them out of the way, what, it will then be the 6th largest killer, or maybe 5th?  Take about a total avoidance of responsibility!!  Hey, what about the “midnight legislation” of Hastert and Frist?  Illegally inserting legislation into a Bill to remove liability from Big Pharma.  Hey man, it’s the American way!!  And the Bible Thumpers, I wonder if they ever read any of the teachings of Jesus?  How about the story of the Good Samaritan?  That seems to be a story all about health care.  And how much profit did the Good Samaritan make?  What was his profit margin?  And when the two jews were talking about how much they gave to the Temple, and then the old lady put a half shekel in the collection, Jesus said she had given more than both of them together, because she gave from her “want”, and they gave out of their surplus.  And the number one teaching of Jesus is “Do Unto Others”.  Would we want another Country meddling in our elections?  Terrorism is an EFFECT!!   But what is the cause?  This should be the discussion.  What is the cause?  Is it our Army in Saudi Arabia?  How large of an Arab Army would we tolerate being stationed here in America?  Would an Arab Army of 25,000 be to large? how about 10,000?  Would we like it?  What makes anyone think that the average Saudi likes it any better?  This administration has done more harm to our Republic that any in our entire history.  I only hope there will be enough time and dedication to try and undo the damage.


  9. Dave Says :

    Give me a break!  Bush made his living from insider trading, investment fraud, and influence peddling,until he discovered Karl Rove, Christian Fundamentalism, and Texas Politics.  Now this criminal has made it to the White House, through election fraud, and pandering to the super rich and the hatefull, ignorant, superstitutious, hillbillies, of the 700 club and their ilk.  He has sold off everything in this country, from our jobs, our health care, our small businesses, patent protection,public timber lands, port facilities, indeed even the lives of our children.  He has funnelled this money into his phoney war, being fought to keep oil from flowing from Iraq to raise the price, and has stolen it. The company that his grandfather started, Halliburton, lost 9 billion dollars and nothing will ever be done about it for Christs sake.  If I was as stupid a moron as you I sure wouldn’t admit it.  Bush, at least did it for the money even if he is criminally insane.


  10. LiberPaul Says :

    Great post and great comments…..  What else can be said!


  11. Fred Silk Says :

    One thing rambling John got right is that America  is sure one greedy, fat ass whale of a beast to keep.  You sure wanna be the gods of the world but you make one heck of a crappy idol.

    I can’t wait for the day to see the Average American eating out of a dumpster all the while still  praising Bush, your lord and saviour and thanking his ever richer friends for just being there when you needed them. Please , dear God take away what freedoms the American’s think they have left and see how they like it for a couple of decades. Maybe they’ll see the light at the end of their egos.


  12. The End Says :

    Only a naive, politically ignorant fool would have voted for Dubya in EITHER election.  And both of his presidential elections were FRAUDULENT, anyway–in 2000 his brother Jeb helped him out with ChoicePoint in Florida, and in 2004 his buddies at Diebold helped him out in Ohio and other places.  Spread democracy abroad??  We need some democracy right HERE, in the U.S.  This ain’t democracy.  This is hypocrisy and tyranny.  If this is what the U.S. stands for, then fuck the U.S.

    I’m so sick of fools who voted for Bush, of mainstream media that act puzzled things in Iraq aren’t going well.  Guess what, blogs and online news were on top of this shit WAY back before the U.S. even invaded Iraq.  Time and again it was the mainstream news that is WRONG (or just LYING), and it’s the independent, online bloggers who are RIGHT.  That is the reason the powers-that-be are so scared of the internet, and so eager to make corporate news look hip, fresh, appealing, youthful, etc.  What a joke.

    The mainstream media is obsolete.  The TV is nothing more than a god-damned IDIOT BOX designed to make you crave the latest consumer-junk, and to accept the latest LIES LIES LIES from this corrupt country as you turn off your critical thinking and become a passive, confused, uninformed ZOMBIE.  Our government, our law enforcement, our media, our medical industry—all CORRUPT, and all deserving of abolishment.

    If this is the best that the United States have to offer, then FUCK the United States, let it burn.


  13. The End Says :

    Only a naive, politically ignorant fool would have voted for Dubya in EITHER election.  And both of his presidential elections were FRAUDULENT, anyway–in 2000 his brother Jeb helped him out with ChoicePoint in Florida, and in 2004 his buddies at Diebold helped him out in Ohio and other places.  Spread democracy abroad??  We need some democracy right HERE, in the U.S.  This ain’t democracy.  This is hypocrisy and tyranny.  If this is what the U.S. stands for, then fuck the U.S.

    I’m so sick of fools who voted for Bush, of mainstream media that act puzzled things in Iraq aren’t going well.  Guess what, blogs and online news were on top of this shit WAY back before the U.S. even invaded Iraq.  Time and again it was the mainstream news that is WRONG (or just LYING), and it’s the independent, online bloggers who are RIGHT.  That is the reason the powers-that-be are so scared of the internet, and so eager to make corporate news look hip, fresh, appealing, youthful, etc.  What a joke.

    The mainstream media is obsolete.  The TV is nothing more than a god-damned IDIOT BOX designed to make you crave the latest consumer-junk, and to accept the latest LIES LIES LIES from this corrupt country as you turn off your critical thinking and become a passive, confused, uninformed ZOMBIE.  Our government, our law enforcement, our media, our medical industry—all CORRUPT, and all deserving of abolishment.

    If this is the best that the United States has to offer, then FUCK the United States, let it burn.


  14. Rob Says :

    I’m a progressive Independent. I have never read this blog before. I thought your first six paragraphs were really succinct and some of the most earnest reasoning I have seen someone offer for why they voted George W. into ffice. I can actually understand your logic and your vote. These last 6 years I found it near impossible to find the civil discourse to uncover the Truths such as this. I appreciate it.

    Where you lost me was on the highly partisan slant you took in the next few paragraphs. I agree that Democrats are lost in the wilderness with no clear message and no strong leadership, but you go on to state:

    “Their populist message can be reduced to “tax the rich to buy benefits for the middle class…”

    Well, the is an abundance of evidence that Bush and Congressional Republicans have shifted the tax burden from “wealth” to “earnings”, therefore impacting working Americans harder. The tax cuts for the wealthiest has resulted in the most recent $50M cut in social programs including Medicare, Medicaid, Education, College Loans, Environmental Protection and on and on it goes. The government does have a responsibility to its citizens and the failure to meet those responsibilities was glaring with the aftermath of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita as well as the fsilure to adequately armor and equip the troops who are fighhting the fight you so passionately wrote about.  The wealth of the rich has grown exponentially, while the tax burden they carry has diminished. I find it rather hypocritical when you state:

    “…but the super rich (like John Kerry and John Edwards) use clever manipulation of the code to avoid paying anywhere near their “fair share.”…

    I’m no Democratic apologist, but the fortunes of John Kerry and John Edwards do not match the wealth of the Bush Family or Dick Cheney. Either way, the singling out of Democrats as the only oneswho might use “clever manipulation” undermines all your reasoning to anyone whi is reading this and absorbing it as well. You shot yourself in the foot on that one.

    I don;t think the Democratic Party has become protectionist. I think Americans in general are becoming protectionist. And that protectionism runs along the lines of creating tax incentives to keep existing job in America and stopping the manipulation of the tax code that lets American companies take their earnings and profits offshore to avoid paying taxes. You state:

    “Yes, Clinton did balance the budget…”

    Then you go on to attack him. Clinton had a surplus and he didn’t go out and spend it to the point of deficit by creating a bloated welfare state and excessive entitlements. It was a surplus because there was a reduction in the size of government, a reduction in the number of people falling below the poverty level and fiscal restraint. Republicans are supposed to be fiscal conservatives. George Bush has run up the largest deficit in history and sadly the only defense Republicans and Conservatives can serve up is “Bill Clinton”. We have a Republican Executive Branch, a Republican Majority in both houses of Congress - this defict is outrageous and it has nothing to do with Democrats or Bill Clinton. You further state:

    “The economy was growing because Clinton ignored his liberal impulses…”

    Clinton is a DLC Democrat - he has no liberal impulses and I am not sure how you substantiate what impulses one might have. I can state you ignored your craven impulse to screw my cocker spaniel, but, you see, there is nothing to substantiate that - it is just a pot shot. It diminishes your strong start here.  

    I think this piece could have been extremely strong and appealed to a very wide audience (if you were seeking one). But, like some many other Republicans spiraling out of control, you can’t talk about the mess created by the Republican Congress of the last eight years and the Republican President and Administration of the last 5 years, without trying to intertwine Bill Clinton into the mess.

    He has been out of office for 5 years now. FIVE YEARS! Bush has not vetoed one single bill.

    And, don’t even get started on the voting irregularities that have been documented across the country stemming from the Help Americans Vote Act, championed by the disgraced Rep. Bob Ney (R-OH). Let’s not forget Bush and his cronies’  AMERICA FOR SALE policies. And, let’s not forget that Osama bin Laden, friend of the United Arab Emirates, who want to buy control of 22 American ports, is still at large. There were no weapons of mass destruction and not ties between Saddam Hussein and Al-Qaida. In fact there are more connections between the Bush Family and the Bin Laden’s than Saddam and Al-Qaida. 

    The saddest part for an AVERAGE American looking for the country we knew as children is that there are no viable candidates for 2008 that don;t carry some sort of baggage. Hillary? C’mon. McCain? Well, Rove and Bush gave ust he dirt on McCain and told us why he is unfit for the presidency. Condi Rice? We might as well elect the CEO of Exxon.  Bush has established what he set out to do: Gut the American government. Raid the Treasury. Destriy our armed forces. Sell off our assets. Inflame religious tensions. And make the Bush family, with their Nazi past, wealthier than anyone could ever imagine.

      

     


  15. Davidbodhi Says :

    Bush will not just go down in history as the worst thing for the Republican party. He will go down as the worst president EVER. His adminstration will formally mark the point where the American hegemony broke, where world respect for the US plummeted, never to recover, where the dollar STOPPED being the underpinnings of the world economy and the point where our vaunted democracy was revealed to be nothing more than vicious, thuggish, militant capitalism. The invasion of Iraq was one of the stupidest, least-planned, most poorly thought out actions ever taken by this country. And the state of the economy now, of health care in particular was ANTICIPATED by Clinton who TRIED TO DO SOMETHING WORKABLE ABOUT IT before disaster fell. He was thwarted, of course, by the Republican controlled congress, which has jumped into bed even more completely with the insurance and health maintenance groups dedicated to PROFIT rather than health and PUT US IN THIS POSITION where the hated non-discretionary spending skyrockets because it’s still PROFIT BASED.

    Repubs and other fiscal conservatives continue to FAIL TO NOTICE that the free market is NOT free and that above a certain size (which we are WAY past) pursuit of profit HARMS PEOPLE. Capitalism is great on the street, in groups of a size that humans can grasp what’s happening but above a certain size capitalism is BAD. And claiming that taking control of the flow of economy is against conservative philosophy utterly ignores all the big-business giveaways that have come from the conservative side for decades. You guys continue to assert that pursuit of profit is going to SOLVE our problems if allowed to go unchecked. That is so ludicrous it’s hard to stop laughing long enough to point out to you why.

    And the mixing up of evangelical attitudes with politics is SO WAY INTENSELY MORE LIKELY TO LEAD TO A WORLD WAR than a bunch of Arabs having the bomb I can’t even express it. They ALL want it as a deterrent. ALL OF THEM. Everyone knows that if Iran or someone of that size launches a nuke their country will be turned into NUCLEAR GLASS by the nukes of the rest of the world. Collectively assured destruction. NO QUESTION! So all this rhetoric about how those countries are such a threat and can’t be allowed? What a load of CRAP.

    Bush and his administration is the worst thing that’s happened to freedom, to true democracy and, perversely, to capitalism, EVER. I repeat, EVER.


  16. GBates Says :

    The comment “the lead up, and the war itself as engineered by this administration” by “Jet” misses one tiny but extremely important detail.

    The Ministry of Truth will just rewrite history and tell the people over and over ad nausium that there was no engineering. They’ll find a patsy like LHO and execute them. And the blind, braindead minions will all believe it because, after all, the execution will be televized on FAUX NOOZ.

    Dem dar peeple always tells us thu trOOth.


  17. Will Morrison Says :

    I started reading this hoping to see an actual realization of one’s mistakes, and instead I got a whole article full of whiny, “blame the democrats” crap. When will you repubs wake up to the FACT that this is YOUR DOING? You can’t keep blaming a man who hasn’t been in office for 5 YEARS, now, and think that it makes you look like anything but a whiner! 

    The truth of the matter is that your guy is a liar. He has proved it on NUMEROUS occassions, and you refuse to open your eyes to it no matter how may times it’s shown to you. What more does it take?

     Stand up like a man, damnit, and THINK FOR YOURSELF! Quit swallowing that white house line of bull and look at what they DO! It’s easy to tell people what they want to hear, it’s then easy to turn around and do whatever the hell you want afterwards, especially if you’ve got the press so cowed that they won’t mention a thing about it for a year or two.

    If you call yourself a conservative, then I have to ask, “what are these guys doing that is conservative in ANY way”? They are rewriting the constitution to suit their own power, and  there is NOTHING conservative about that. They are writing off 75 years of established law, and there is NOTHING conservative about that. They are spying on YOU and there is NOTHING conservative about that.  Tax cuts for the wealthy during a time of WAR? HOW IS THAT CONSERVATIVE? These people are selling your country out from under your very feet, and you stand there blaming people who haven’t had the power to stop any of this for 5 years!

    There is NOTHING apologetic in yor column, and there is no real thought behind your position. You are just sounding like a whiner with ‘NO IDEAS”,. just a willingness to be a slave to the right. How pathetic for an American. You should be madder than hell at a president who is trying to make himself a king, for the love of the country! He and Cheney (the most powerful vice president in the history of the country, thanks to these guys) are destroying your country, WHY don’t you see that? Stop swallowing the right wing kool aid, for Pete’s sake, and wake up! This is NOT clinton’s fault, it’s YOURS!!!

    You SHOULD apologize! You should be on your knees begging forgiveness from your fellow citizens for putting us through this. You should be apologizing to your children for assisting in the removal of their futures. You should apologize to them for providing them with a country that no longer gives a damn about anything but the welfare of the top 20%. You SHOULD apologize to the rest of the world for the destruction of this country as the beacon of light in this world. Yes, you should be apologizing, but I don’t hear it. All I hear is more of the same old “Blame Clinton” crap. STOP IT!


  18. Jax Says :

    EXCUSE ME, but you said,

    “The sad truth is that Washington’s spending is out of control. Literally. Only about one third of government spending is discretionary. The rest of that spending is Social Security, Medicare, debt payments and other assorted benefit programs that Bush could not cut even if he wanted to.”

    First off, Social Security is NOT discretionary spending. Americans have faithfully paid into this program for heir benefits - it is NOT goverment funded. The problem there goes back to Reagan when they started to raid the Social Security Trust.  As far as contributions go, there was plenty of money to cover the costs of this program until it was inserted in the budget as a budget line item - which it isn’t.

    Two thirds of the national budget is dedicated to Military Spending and Weapons Programs - and that DOES NOT INCLUDE current war costs, which are post budget appropriations.

    It is willful deception and / or ignorance to continue to talk about “out-of-control” budgets and “runaway costs” without putting that REVENUE line under the microscope. That would be the line where tax cuts for the wealthy have diminished the countries income by billions. That would be the section where the “tax incentives” for the oil companies who showed a $10Billion Profit  would have an impact. Interesting how billion dollar corporations reporting $10 BILLION in profits need incentives, tax cuts and government subsidies for increased refinery capacity and renewable energy development 

    Your statements are well written, but pure nonsense. When Republicans and Conservative alike acknowledge that the Bush administration and the corporate infiltration of our government has gutted this country, then a united America can get to work on its problems.

    We need to elect GOOD, HONEST Republicans AND Democrats and throw these corporate mouthpieces out of office. We also need to BAN corporate contributions, 527s, and implement REAL lobbying reform

    This country id dying. From a Libertarian point of view - we are F*cked. From a Conservative point of view, we are F*cked. From a Democrat point of view, we are F*cked. From a Republican point of view we are F*cked.

    When we all unite around the realization that under this president we all got F*cked equally and particularly hard, then we can heal and move foward to fix the seemingly unfixable.

     

     

     

     


  19. Steve O Says :

    Will,

    I strated reading your response until I got up to the,

    “blame the democrats” crap. When will you repubs wake up to the FACT that this is YOUR DOING?

    That’s some shit isn’t it. We don’t have a perfect plan either, do we? But fuck all if we don’t talk this out all is lost and we will look like Iraq in a couple of years.

    This man that posted this is a true conservative, his is not a Bush big business Republican, it is very obvious in his post that he is a fiscal conservative, that is not a bad thing, we all are fiscal conservatives because we care about how things effect our check book.

    The problems lie in the fact that people need to stop voting on party lines and vote for what is in their heart and what they feel.

    Fuck, I almost voted for Bush because I was just coming out of the towers on 9/11 and wanted what he was preaching. But something else made me see the light. Actually it was on of his last speeches before the election that made me see the light of a very stupid man.

    So, wake up dude, we are all fiscally conservative.

    Thanks John for a very inspiring post!!!!!!!! 


  20. Libby Buck Says :

    I think the Democrats are starting to realize that they are in the same sorry ass boat as our Republican friends.  I did love Bill Clinton - mainly because he talked to us with respect and well, sorry, but he’s really cute (not a strong political argument I know…)

    But - let’s get to this - George Bush is a pathological liar and a cheat and just an all around evil dude, Bill Clinton may have had his downfalls but still a better man.

    It’s becoming abundanty clear that the Democrats cannot seem to get it together.  The most exciting thing I’ve seen in years was the Jack Murtha debate - on the floor - actual arguments.  I loved every minute of it. 

    Is impeachment enough? With the alien (illegal not space) invasion, the bloody economy draining wars (god forbid we actually DO go into Iran) the alliance between Russia and China who apparantly favor Iran, and the clamp down on journalists, scientists, and good-old-fashioned protestors it’s abundantly clear that Democrats and Republicans ALIKE are selling us down the river (Tigres to be exact)

    Palestine and Israel will never get along.

    The American people will keep sitting on the couch eating everything in site.

    China and India will continue to be our manufacturers.

    The Bush Administration will continue to try to take over the world.

    Dissenters will probably be thrown in prison and maybe even tortured.

    This is not about terror in the traditional sense, this is the Bush Administration saying, “Be afraid, because we’re after you, and your money - all of it.”

    The voting systems are destroyed and until we get that fixed there is no hope - my idea is that we stop giving into this 2 party system - it’s a sham….  Did you know that the second highest registration is “unaffiliated?”  I think that we should organize - IN FORCE - slogan: “Well play the game but we’re not picking sides”

    This is an emergency.  Everyone feels the pending doom (it’s already here if you live in the Golf Coast region.) New York is still in mourning, and the rest of us are terrified that we’re next.  GOOD GOD - ARNOLD SWARTZENNEGER is the GOVERNOR OF CALIFORNIA - can you imagine what a five-year old kid must think when he’s watching the Terminator then sees the SAME guy as their “leader?” What will that kid think when he’s 18 and considering the military?  I think they are all screwed.  (side note)  Arnold is a nazi - just like Bush - whadda ya think of that?  Perhaps we’re reliving history? The brownshirts are now black - same story different decade.  Don’t be foolish - it’s HAPPENING - open your eyes!

    Everything this administration does is self-serving.  They do not care if we live or die.  They do not care if they drain our economy.  They do not care if every major city is totally destroyed.  They do not care if our culture (if we have one) is totally irradicated.  They are working for the cause of total global domination and control of the entire world populace.  I will not apologize for sounding like a consipiracty theorist, because it’s not some made up idea that I have because I’m paranoid - it’s a documented fact - check it out - it’s so freakin’ obvious - The Project for a New Century America says it all.  Homeland Security!? Give me a break - Chertoff is half Israeli for christ sake (pun intended) Let’s stop pissing in the wind about every detail and look at the whole picture.  Time to take a walk outside with about 50 million friends… AND NOW!

    Until we, the people become a united force and do something fantastic to save our country and our souls, all will be lost. 

    Let’s do it!!!,

    Libby


  21. Tangy Verdell Says :

    What Rob said.


  22. Mike Says :

    Well John, I guess I’ll be the one to let you know one of the big pieces you’re missing - http://www.energybulletin.net/12125.html Iran is no closer to a bomb than at least a decade. We’ll most likely be attacking them next month however, due to the Oil Bourse (market) they’re about to open. Everyone in the free world outside the US gets this. We are on media blackout. We aren’t allowed to know.

    Norway is discussing opening their own Oil Bourse in Euros too. Are they next? Saddam was a hair’s breadth from accepting Euros for oil when we bombed them back to the stone age and gave Halliburton the keys to that ancient kingdom.

    Oh, and the cheapening of the dollar? You have no idea. Nobody does. The Fed, as of next month, no longer publishes the M3 index - the monetary supply. Rest assured the presses are working overtime and we’ll all soon be hauling our dollars around in wheelbarrows. Don’t worry, Wal-Mart will probably have a seamless transition to the Yuan.

    Keep watching Fox so that you don’t have to see the discomfort reality has hit the rest of your country with. Ask your doctor about the purple pill when it’s all too obvious that Bushism is a cult of personality (as old-line Republicans are now saying http://glenngreenwald.blogspot.com/2006/02/do-bush-followers-have-political.html)  Ignore the words of former Reagan insiders ( http://www.counterpunch.org/roberts02062006.html ). Blind yourself to the blossoming of fascism around you ( http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2006/1/5/85158/32663 ).

    Fully disregard that Powell’s top aide says of the WMD’s: “I participated in a hoax on the American people, the international community and the United Nations Security Council. How do you think that makes me feel? Thirty-one years in the United States Army and I more or less end my career with that kind of a blot on my record? That’s not a very comforting thing.” http://www.pbs.org/now/politics/wilkerson.html

    And just tell yourself this is politics as usual.

     On the other hand, if you want to wake up, be engaged, do something about it, it’s time to put childish things away, to recognize the corruptions of our parties, press, corporations and institutions, and hold every foot to the fire that has supported this fraud of a train wreck, George Bush.

     


  23. Rob Kelley Says :

    Frankly, you are a moron.  I will afford you your ascertion that you wrote the majority of this article in 2004.  However the inept response to the hurricanes, the sale of US ports (including 2 military terminals) to U.A.E., the ongoing quagmire in Iraq and the resulting inability to deal with a genuine nuclear threat in Iran show just how unfounded your belief that this administration is somehow stronger on national security is.  Also, your comparision of the Clinton and Bush economic policies and your discussion of the current economic catastophe, national debt, trade deficits and currency weakness shows is sophmoric at best.  The suggestion that you make attributing a balanced budget and increased federal revenues to Clinton acking like a Republican is totally rediculous.  Also, The fact that you would write “Nearly all our federal revenue (96%) comes from the top 50% of taxpayers (the rich)…” shows how out of touch you are.  The top 50% of taxpayers are “rich”?  I will say no more.  Please do not attempt to venture westward across the political spectrum again, as you are not welcome in the middle, where most Americans reside.

     


  24. Mike Says :

    oh yeah, the ports.. FWIW, this just in: not 6 ports, but possibly 21 - http://www.upi.com/SecurityTerrorism/view.php?StoryID=20060223-051657-4981r


  25. Steve Says :

    Agree with you on the out of control spending and the effect it will have in the future…

    One factual error: The top 50% of tax payers may very well constitute 96% of federal revenus, however, to say that the 50% are “rich” is totally misleading: The top 2% of earners represent people/families earning over $200,000 a year. By simple logic alone one cannot claim that the remainging 48% are all “rich” given that a large portion will earn $50,000 a year and below…. $50,000 a year is not rich by a long shot…


  26. Concerned Says :

    Wow, there are some glaring factual errors in this ‘opinion’ and glaring opinions masquarding as facts, (ie Unstable, nuclear-armed Arab countries pose a real threat to the existence of the West, does anyone remeber mutually assured destruction?  Why is this true? Why does Isreal or the US or China or Russia not pose a threat? They are nuclearly armed. Having the bomb just asssures governments that they will not be invaded, espcially when they have a scarce resource that everyone wants)  If Iran or whomever gets the bomb they won’t use it anymore than France or the US will use theirs. To think otherwise is quite racist. To think that crazy towel-headed-sand-n*****ers are want to die anymore than white folks is very racist.  But arab racism is accepted I guess, they are after all terrorist.

     


  27. Alex Roberts Says :

    Are you smoking crack or what? 

    “… and no one would ever accuse the Democrats of being the party of financial responsibility.”

    Last time I checked, the Democrats balanced the budget and had a BUDGET SURPLUS prior to the Republicans stealing the election for their corporate cronies and have driven this nation the deepest it’s has ever gone into debt.

    Wake up man!  You are choking on the lies your party has spoon fed you and you’re wrong on multiple points;

    a) National Security is hogwash.  Taking my shoes off at the airport will not find Bin Laden.  Ever notice he’s still missing after all these years? The current issue of outsourcing of our ports to the UAE should be a glaring example of a lack of concern for Homeland Security, as should assigning our National Guard to tasks outside our borders.

    b) Invading the sovereign nation of Iraq, who did nothing against us other than have oil we want, was equivalent to throwing gasoline on the fire of Arab hate for Americans. Not a new thing, the oil corporations have been screwing them for decades.

    c) keeping our country addicted to oil because our politicians are bought & paid for by corporate dollars is the real crime.  want to make our country secure?  throw the same amount of money at developing a solar & wind powered, ie; clean, renewable, independent energy infrastructure for the U.S. and we can tell the middle east to pound sand.

    Try taking a sober look at the situation from all angles because right now you’re just lapping up the poison kool-aid you’re being offered.  And dragging the rest of us down by your ignorant support of the most rapacious administration in the history of this country.

     

     


  28. me Says :

    How could you be so BLIND??

    It was obvious from Day One - what kind of a dickhead George Bush is. 

    What is it with repubs, anyway?


  29. Kurt Says :

    I got to this site via Raw Story.  Interesting to get a little insight into GOP thinking.  It just confirms for me that republicans are a one or two note song.  Taxes and now security.  Blinders firmly affixed, a beatific smile and utter cluelessness.  Read a book or two.  Wake up.  junior is the worst president in our history.  We are on the brink of ruin and it is not the fault of foreigners.  We made our bed and now we must lie in it.  That’s called responsibility, and that is truly foriegn to the GOP.


  30. Sigh Says :

    You are quick to denounce the Democrats as ignoring what they don’t want to see - as you do the same thing. I am not a Democrat - nor a Republican. I guess I would be an Independent as I join the growing list of voters disillusioned with both parties and the “money buys office” brand of elections (assuming they aren’t rigged and Bush was never elected at all - a fair statement, if you’re willing to look at it. Which you won’t.).

    With that said you conveniently forget only Israel has nuclear weapons in the Middle East and they are alledgedly our ally. So why are we attacking Iraq and Iran (which don’t have weapons) but letting Israel take a pass. Peace and de-arming the Middle East as an argument just fell flat. Giving Israel superior fire power gained some ground. No American soldier took an Oath to protect another country. Just ours. And our greatest wolves are not locating in the Middle East.

    Later you make a snide remark referring to when Clinton lied over his personal life but gloss right over the fact that Bush willingly lied on a great many issues many of which led to American citizens being killed or seriously harmed. What’s the harm in a lie? 2500 bodies and counting at the moment. Why is Clintons personal lie a greater affront then cooking up phony war-evidence, lying to Congress, lying about eavesdropping etc.? There is no argument for that.

    Bush has trampled the Constitution evading it whenever it doesn’t suit his need and calling it a “damned piece of paper”. Given that his Oath of Office dictates that he must uphold the Constitution that was an act of Treason right there. (If Clinton had done the same a billion dollar investigation would be in play right now.) But again, so long as it’s your boy, you’re willing to let it slide. Problem is the concept of “precedence” - the next President may not be a guy you like - but he’ll keep the powers Bush gave him. What if the next President decides to wiretap all registered Republicans to keep one step ahead of the party for ever? Still don’t mind warrentless, secret eavesdropping?

    Any power that Bush seizes now (that you are unconcerned about) is prepared to bite you the next term around. How large a government do you want another party to inherit? Absolute power corrupts and the corruption oozing out of Washington is enough to make all patriots weep.

    There are more gloss overs, half truths, and easy answers in your (not really) mea culpa but the last piece I’ll leave you with was the economy. First off the economy is in horrible shape. I don’t know how things are at your country club, but most of the Middle Class are being pushed into poverty with alarming rates. People with PhDs and Masters degrees waiting tables and you claim “they have jobs” so everything must be okay.

    Any economic policy that relies on other countries behaving favorably towards us to make our end work is not good policy. Lest you think that Bush blaming Europe and Japan means he was doing a good job, it was Japan that didn’t mind our till well enough.

    When Clinton left office we had issues but we had freedom, a surplus, and civil liberties. We have none of that now. “Thank God Bush was in office” you exclaimed during 9/11.

    Really? From where I’m sitting there isn’t much Bush hasn’t broken. And if Gore was in office 9/11 may have never happened, perhaps he might have paid attention to the warnings - or at least let the Air Force stop the planes. God help us that Bush was in office.

    Look into this some. If you can’t then your greatest act of patriotism would be to stop voting. This isn’t Homecoming Court. It’s not suppose to be the guy you like the most. It’s suppose to be the geek no one likes but can do a great job. We have Government by Prom Committee right now.


  31. Steve Says :

    Ann from the UK nailed it:  you are so wrong with your assessment of Bush and his policies, it’s difficult to know where to begin educating you.  In short, you were an idiot to vote for Bush the first time and unbelievably stupid to do it again four years later!  His entire tenure has been about grabbing power and making money, and yes it IS easy to lump it together like that.  He has yet to do anything positive or productive with the country he is supposed to be leading, choosing instead to butter the rest of the world with his insane incompetence.  Anyone who cannot see through Bush by now is so frighteningly ignorant it’s scary.  Your essay was weak, shallow, and out of touch.  I wish more people from outside the U.S. would speak freely about how gullible and simple so many Americans are today.  If you voted for Bush, you deserve the disgusting mess he’s made of this world, AND you should be forced into military service….you know, to show your support for such a heroic war president (gag).


  32. Mr Populist Says :

    It’s not just that this White House won’t stop spending it’s also a problem that they award contracts to friends and family instead of awarding contracts the right way. Bush’s younger brother got a nice piece of the pie when NCLB went into effect, Cheney’s stock options went through the roof because of all of the Haliburton contracts. It would have been much smarter to hire Iraqi companies to do their own rebuilding, it would have cost us less and we would have shown some goodwill to their country. I also want to mention that Edwards got his money from defending mostly children wronged by insurance companies. To me his profession is much more honorable then anyone working in the oil business. Also, Edwards PAC is paying for a week of housing and feeding thousands of people joining him and New Orleans Habitat for Humanity to rebuild homes in New Orleans this March. He’s also started a program in Greenville where he is enabling kids to have a free year of state college tuition if they do ten hours of community service a week. He is also going after the IRS for targeting the poor for unpaid taxes while letting the rich and corporations get away with not paying 200 billion a year in taxes. What has Bush done for anybody lately except cut funding for the poor and create a deficit for our grandchildren?


  33. Paul Watson, Cranky Brit Says :

    Uhm, at the risk of getting nuked, and while disagreeing with most of what the OP said, could we perhaps be civil? Calling the guy a moron is harsh without factual evidence. He’s a Republican who is trying to explain why he thinks he shouldn’t have voted for Bush. He spent most of the time not doing that, but I think the flaming nukes raining on his head is probably not the best way to get him to change his mind.

    If he had been a complete arse about it and gone on flaming every Democrat in sight (which I didn’t see. I admit a lot of the post was an attack on the Democrats, but it’s not like he called them child-molesting terrorists) I could understand. But the post was reasonably polite. Perhaps responding in kind would be appropriate? Or are you trying to outdo the Religious Right in the tolerance and humility stakes?

    *Ducks back into my bomb shelter*

     


  34. Aaabanana Says :

    The 2000 election results were contested and for the first itme in US history there was a presidential  election fraud. Bush_it won with disonesty He went on to swear under oath to serve and protect USA

    911 was masterminded and excuted by Bush_it and Cheney…..Next day Sept 12 2001 Bush blamed Bin Laden without any evidence whatsoever to these days

    18 Sept 2001 what Bin Laden said is so significant that the whoremedia completely ignored as well as the entire US pulic google seach bin Laden sept 18th 2001 and you will see the prophecy of a man who is devouted to the rules of law………

    Bush went to war with a pack of lies and the US public voted him in again…….

    Bush have no principles to stand on he is a pathological liar and he can’t even answer simple journalistic question

    During question and answers with his opponent he was clearly wearing a transmitter on his back and the Democraps knew it ……which means they are accomplice against the US public and the world at large

    Who would really believe Atta conducted a spectacular operation when he was supposed to be dead on impact his father spoke to him on the 12th sept 2001

    No one believed the American version of 911 except the dumbest people on the planet. and there are 60 milion of them in USA.

     


  35. Nathan Says :

    OK,  I have to say that some people really got this screwed up here.  First and foremost, it isn’t just the Republican’s fault, nor is it the Democrats fault.  Both of these parties have worked togther on this mess that’s being created, and they all know where it is heading… WWIII.  To blame it solely on Bush and the Repubs ignores the fact that the Dems have been just as fiscally irresponsible in their lifetimes.  Clinton balanced the budget because he raided Social Security.  If you want some other fun, go online and look at the well documented business ties between Clinton and Bush.  The same trust has been running this country into the ground since 1988. 

    I was one of the naive idiots that voted for W in 2000.  I didn’t vote for him in 2004, and voted 3rd party instaed. Anyone who thinks that Kerry would have changed anything is just as naive as I was in 2000.   The system has been corrupted beyond recognition, and the people in charge have set it up in such a way to ensure they remain in power… and unbelievably rich.  World War III is coming, and I just hope it’s over before my son and daughter are asked to fight.


  36. PhiloTBG Says :

    Re Paul Watson’s #33 & Steve O’s # 19 — I’m glad to see that the regular readers of John on this site are standing up for him. I can understand how people who have never read him before might take him as your run of the mill Republican/GWB personality cult member, but I can say unequivocally that he’s not. 

    For those new to Bring It On (the sites received a ton of traffic from Raw Story & What Really Happened today), you should know that though this is a heavily liberal site, there are a few regular conservative diarists of varying stripes. John Rogers is one of them and he’s a fantastic contributor who adds to the debate here. More importantly, he DOES DEBATE. He doesn’t throw slurs around, call us liberals names or rebate Rovian talking points.

    Incidentally, my post on the Cambone/Rumsfeld memo which shows clearly that the Bush administration planned the afternoon of 9/11/01 to link Iraq to Saddam, knowing there was no connection has received a bunch of comments from WRH readers. There comments have definitely been more of the tin-foil hat variety than BIO usually gets.

    Likewise, the comments in response to John here have been of a tone that we generally don’t use when debating each other.

    John, I hope you don’t let the rancor of many of these comments get you down. I (and I believe the BIO community on whole) greatly appreciates this post and your entry into debate with us. Thank you.


  37. the stuffed tiger Says :

    Ok, so Bush got reelected and a handful of people are reconsidering whether they should have voted for him, but where does that leave us today?

    John, great post, but may I ask how you plan to vote in November? Can you entrust your vote to a different Republican now, or is your regret Bush-based? I know you doubt the Democrats, but would you vote for one? What would get you to vote for one?


  38. prozacula Says :

    “I voted for Bush”

     

    fukin dumbass.

     

    “I support unilateral wars based on lies, especially if I like the idea of spreading freedom from the end of a (depleted uranium) gun barrel”

     

    double fukin dumbass

     

    all the evil and vapid stupidity were on display the ENTIRE 4 years, and you STILL voted for him.

     

    Fuck you.  Thanks alot, asshole.

     

    WAY TOO LITTLE, WAY TOO LATE.


  39. prozacula Says :

    I would like to add that yes, my comment above is harsh, and doesn’t really lead to debate in any form.

     

    this is because I consider the loss of our liberty and all the freedoms we had to be a TERRIBLE thing.  One that keeps me up at night, that made my blood boil with anger for over 5 years.

     

    Anyone who didn’t see all the lies and incompentence before were BLIND.  Anyone that supported these Nixonian throwback mass murderers are COMPLICIT.

     

    Once again, THANKS FOR NOTHING.  Now that we live in a fascist state ruled by the dumbest asshole in the world, your realization has come FAR TOO LATE, at FAR TOO COSTLY A PRICE.


  40. Paul Watson, Cranky Brit Says :

    Philio,

    Actually, I’ve only been coming here a week, I’m just an old-fashioned Englishman who thinks people should be polite when they’re trying to rip the other guy’s argument to pieces. If you’ve got to attack the messenger, you’ve pretty much lost the argument in my view.


  41. Jeffrey L Says :

    Fearless leader W isn’t crazy. He’s an imbicilic moron. He’s bankrupt the wealthiest country on the planet. His ineptness, coupled with the fanatical Cheney, have brought this country to a level lower than the deepest nuke bunker. Yep, you gotta hand it to good ol’ W. And guess what, every one of you foolish American idiots who blindly voted for him gets exactly what you deserve, so stop whining. You allowed yourselves to believe all the lies, twisted truths, and bullshit that the Republican spin machine could manufacture, and spoon fed you with. You deserve to choke on it. It’s so obvious Saddam had nothing to do with Al-Qeida, even Bin Laden hates him. The British Downing street memos have been authenticated, and prove Bush and his ilk were fixing the war around the facts. Poor old Colin Powell, Bush’s whipping boy. Disgraced himself to the world by feeding more of Bush’s lies and innuendo about non-existant WMD’s to the U.N. Now we have thousands of our troops killed or maimed, and for what? The pentagon won’t let anyone even take photos of the coffins coming home. Sure, keep throwing 20-year old kids at the problem. Did you know that if a soldier is wounded on the ground in Iraq, but dies later outside the country, in a hospital, he’s not counted as an Iraq War casualty? that’s how thety keep the death figures so low. Weve actually lost over 7,000 War dead, and way over 10,000 wounded. Was Saddam an evil dictator. No doubts about that. Did he torture and murder and gas his own people? Yep. Did he try to have Bush 41 assainated? Yep. Hold it right there. You don’t suppose ol’W held it against Saddam, and wanted revenge, do you? We had Saddam right where we wanted him, boxed in and sterile. Hell, he had no army, he sytematically tore down the infrastructure of his own country for years. The mouseketeers could have marched in and taken over. Now we have civil war and guerilla warfare, killing thousands. Yep, leave to ol’ W. Hell, he didn’t even know about selling the port operations. But he knows how to lie, manipulate and twist the truth. He flat out said, and I’ve seen the tape, that any eavesdropping went thru a court-order. Not to worry. More lying bullshit. And, hell, he never met Jack Abramoff, either. Uh-huh.Sure. He now wants to give 7 Billion in subsides to big oil, cause they haven’t been given there due, for finding new sources of oil and gas exploration. I guess gouging us enough to earn over 36 Billion in profits isn’t enough. He’s squandered our futures, wreaked havoc over the ridiculous medicare drug policy that nobody can understand. Good ol W has passed the no child left behind, but forget to pay for it. States that are already cash strapped can’t pay for it. He’s left our borders open to criminaliens (criminal aliens). He said “we’re gonna add 3,000 new border patrol agents”, but refused to pay for it, funding only 36. Yes, that’s right. 36. You know, I could go on forever about this jerk. And I’m no Democrat, either. I’ve been a registered independent my entire life. I’m for whoever can solve problems and get the job done. Our high morals standards and respect in the world is now non-existant. We are seen as Imperialist, Arrogant, We-know-it-all. What a shame we are all in such terrible shit. I fear this one will take a long time to fix, if we even have enough time. We’re royally f**ked, and we have no one to blame but ourselves.

     

     


  42. PhiloTBG Says :

    Well Paul, I know you’re new, but you’ve been commenting regularly and have embraced our debates here. I count you among the people in this thread who have a familiarity with BIO and the level of discourse we (cough generally) engage in. 

     prozacula - I feel your anger and frustration. As I said in my post this morning on Rumsfeld plotting to tie Iraq to 9/11, I am made physically ill by the deceit this administration has perpetrated and the fact that our democracy is getting turned back to a monarchy with a boy king and no respect for civil liberties. But I don’t want to turn my partisanship into sectarian hatred. I’ll reserve my hatred for this administration and it’s shills like coulter, O’reilly, and Limbaugh. Being a Republican doesn’t necessitate being the target of my venom.

    I agree, I think John’s apology is far too late to make a practical difference. I’ll still take it as it is heartfelt. I agree with TST’s question as to if JR will trust other Republicans in the 2006 election and I’d like to see his answer. I’m just no fan of ad hominem attacks when a sound logical undressing will do…


  43. prozacula Says :

    polite is what the british are good at.  that and being complicit in the mass murder of hundreds of thousands of iraqis.

    I can’t really make myself be polite, since my country is falling apart, and MY taxes are paying to blow up children and their mothers for no reason other than a neocon wet dream.

    it’s hard to be polite to deathmongers (and their voting suporters) who can strip you of your citizenship, export you to any country they wish, put you on a brig or a secret prison, waterboard you, rape your children in front of you, murder you for being near a suspected ‘terrorist’, spy on your private conversations, read your email and find out your library habits, arrest you for airing your grievances (also known as protesting), put you in a naked pyramid with glosticks up your ass, blow up journalists they don’t like, give no bid contracts to companies they are still receiving stock kickbacks from, start wars based on lies, not react to the largest natural disaster in our history, steal elections, etc, etc, etc, etc, etc, etc

     

    sorry if you aren’t angered by all that, but your country is just as much to blame as ours.  your fancy british civility will be back en vogue when all this crap is finally over.  wait - they said this Woe on Terror will last forever.  nevermind then - your civility will never be back in vogue.

    thanks for trying, tho!


  44. Steve Says :

    I think it’s too late for nice chatty little debates with Republicans, after what their chosen leaders have done not only to this country but to this world, and to my grandchildrens’ world.  The time for nice polite chit-chat was before the 2000 election - by the time 2004 rolled around, the entire world knew better, and morons voted this incompetent in for four more years of the same.  What’s to debate, especially politely?

    Many of us were politely debating these issues during the first Bush circus, and it got us nowhere except four more years of corruption.  It is far too late to chit-chat nicely with literate Republican friends.  Defending them only makes you sound naive.  They deserve to be strung up right alongside Bush and every other Republican who feeds this mindless monster in DC.  This nice polite Republican gave Bush carte blanche to screw your world, my world, and my grandchildrens’ world!  I don’t like Democrats any more than Republicans, but since the author is Republican and is getting your sympathy, I’ll aim for that group with this post.

    You (and your sympathy) are about four years too late - chatting nicely over coffee in 2006 is absurd.


  45. Dan Dille Says :

    These are the concerns of a Republican—how will the wealthy be affected? What will happen to those who are already comfortable? What will happen on Wall Street? How will the upper classes lives be changed? And, as is usually the case with someone like the writer, there is not one word written about what BushCo has done to those in this country of lesser means. The poor, the disabled, the elderly, have all been raped and raped again by this administration, but it doesn’t seem to concern anyone. The economy, foreign affairs, politics—all venues for those of means. What about the human beings? What about the human life you Republicans are all about saving when you holler about rejecting abortion? What about the people already living, and suffering from heartless Republican fund-cutting during Bush’s time in office? For these issues, there is only silence.


  46. PhiloTBG Says :

    Steve - again this is where not being a regular reader of this blog comes in. I agree, there are many many many sniveling, scared members of the Bush personality cult who wet their bed at the thought of a few shabby bearded guys living in caves have access to a box cutter and a shoe bomb. There’s no hope for those folks. But that’s not who the author of this diary is; he’s thoughtful and open to many progressive ideas.

    I’m not prepared to execute 51% of voting Americans for their idiocy in 2004 (the 29% still supporting Dick Cheney, we can talk). But the only way progress will come is when people like John Rogers wake up to the mistakes they’ve made and see the light — that we are living in a near fascist state and bush has wiped his ass with the constitution.

    Feel free to be angry at any person so blind as to vote for Bush in 2004 (let alone 2000). I’m with you. But I’m not going to refuse to enter into a debate with someone just because they made a mistake AND ARE NOW ADMITTING TO IT! If you want to rip someone a new a-hole as so many people have done to john in this thread, I’d say you’re better served going Redstate or emailing powerline…Why cut off discourse with someone who has shown themselves open to change for the better? 


  47. Doug Says :

    The problem is not just one party or the other, the problem is BOTH parties. We need to purge all republicans, all democrats and all zionists from our society. Only then can we establish a government that abides to not only the letter of the law, but to the spirit of the Constitution and Bill of Rights.


  48. Steve Says :

    Defending any Republican who regrets the error of his ways would make sense if this were 2001, 2002, somewhere in that area.  But in 2006?  I disagree.  The only way I would even consider listening to this drivel in 2006 is if the author spoke forcefully against Bush and his actions, spoke of how he is working tirelessly to awaken his former Republican allies, and sounded pretty damned militant about it.  A repentent Republican in 2006 would have to go to extremes to convince me that he actually gets it enough to turn on his former party.

    Your interest in educating people like this author was needed four or five years ago, along with more repentent Republicans. He doesn’t sound especially enlightened, just apologetic.  Essays like this one would have meant a great deal four or five years ago, when everyone was riding the Bush bandwagon and waving flags, acting as if that made them patriotic.  Now that more people are waking up, this sounds like much too little and certainly much too late, and more like an attempt to climb aboard the Now-I-Get-It bandwagon.

    Yes, it’s good to see a Republican finally pull his head out of his ass, but it’s easy to do today, when House and Senate Republicans are doing so more and more frequently.  It’s the popular thing to do.  It’s an election year.  Being a regular reader here isn’t required, if this essay is an example of this author’s mindset.  I’m more than certain that I agree with your own political opinion, but I disagree on the value of a repentent Republican in 2006, when it’s not very shocking.  This guy sees the writing on the wall, and doesn’t want to be lumped in with the group that will eventually become the scourge of tomorrow’s history books.

    I’m not a Democrat, and I’m not a liberal - I’m a registered Independent interested only in fixing the problem, not toeing the party line.  I think the entire political system in this country has run its course and is beyond repair.  It needs replacing, by whatever means necessary, and nothing will change until that day comes.  Otherwise, I’m a pretty nice guy with a great sense of humor.


  49. mike bailey Says :

    First let me say there are some great comments on this post!

     All of this talk about Republicans and Democrats is crazy, they are the same! They are both robbing our country blind and need each other to give the illusion of choice. Everyone can now see what the media will not talk about. Our economy is about to collapse, our young people are dying for economics and Isreal, and our freedoms are dwindling every day. America is becoming a very scary place.

     

    There is no longer a “left” or a “right” - only those who support the system and those who oppose it.


  50. carol Says :

    I do feel some sympathy for this writer, but I also agree: TOO LITTLE TOO LATE!!! If he really wants to do something to change things, then he needs to get out there and “wake up” MANY others like himself, and start a grassroots movement NOW!!

    Bush IS NOT in his right mind. Come to think of it, I don’t think he ever DID have a right mind, it’s just now showing up in all its ugly glory. Do a Google search, and you will find out that he’s also selling out US national forests too. Mark Twain National Forest, for example.

    Tell me, Bush cheerleaders, do you still blindly support your commander in thief? Don’t it just make ya prouderthansh*t to be an Amerikun?


  51. Syzygy Says :

    The writer of this essay simply doesn’t understand the Bush strategy. Bush is doing exactly what this man seems to want: destroying the “welfare state”, which is really the idea that government’s business is to help businness (especiallyt big business) and let everyone else fend for themselves.

    Bush is doing this by bankrupting the country. Then, the Republicans will say, there is no more money for Social Security, Medicaid, and so forth

    Clearly, the writer believes that government’s job is exactly as Bush also believes it to be. He just dopesn’t understand Bush’s strategy in getting us to the end he, as a Republican, really desires. Without wishing to make a personal attack, the writer doesn’t strike me as being very bright. Not only doesn’t he see the strategy at work here, but he also regurgitates every bit of Fox News propaganda I can think of, as was pointed out in a number of other comments on our tax system, Arabs and Israelis, and his obsession with Clinton. This is not a man with open eyes. I find him to be very confused and ill-informed indeed.

    People like Warren Buffet and Bill Gates have already dumped the dollar. When the dollar falls, they will “buy back” with increased power from having held in Euroes. The “super-rich” that the author believes is so burdened will do jusy fine.

    Go ahead and flame this man. He still cares only about the rich, and that isn’t going to change. He still wants to see government by and for corporations, and that won’t change. He praises NAFTA and other job-losing intiatives, and wonders why our economy is tanking.

    Debate politely if you want to, but this man isn’t going to change. Excellent commentators have already pointed out his thorough confusions ad naseum.


  52. ajb Says :

    In the old “Underdog” cartoons there were two villians. The main villian was the diabolical little weasle named Simon Bar Sinister who cooked up all the evil plans. The other villian was Cad, his idiotic but powerful goon who did all the dirty work. In the real world, we also have two very similar characters. America is Cad, and if you don’t know who Simon Bar Sinister is by now, just ask anyone in the Arab world. I’m sure they’ll clue you in!


  53. DM Says :

    How does the expression go?…

    “If you’re looking for sympathy, you can find it betwen shit and syphillis in the dictionary.”

    Boo-hoo for you. You voted for him, now you want to come off as contrite? Nice handjob, but no money shot. Now it’s game time,and we get to see who’s gonna man up or punk out. Hard times are coming, and there’s work to be done. Either we cut the bullshit, and realize that we need to solve the problem, or piss and moan and wonder who’s going to save us.

    The answer is; do it your goddamn self, because no one else will… 


  54. tofubo Says :

    this november will be the point of no return, if the republicans stay in power this country is toast, i’ve put the following  as my signature on a few boards, it’s general in terms but i believe straight to the point as what is so wrong w/corporate crony capitalism married to our own brand of american talibanism:

    help stop this country from becoming a fundamentalist theocracy aiding and abetting a kleptocratic war profiteering police state that continues to remove civil liberties from americans on the premise of fighting a never ending war on a transitive adverb

    we need to make sure that we elect people who vow to do two things: 1, open, verifiable, recountable voting practices and procedures and 2, people that will impeach and call for open, transparent investigations into the entirety of the bush crime family and when everything is said and done, we put those found guilty from the UU. administration into our own spandau prison that halliburton has so conveniently built for us in gitmo


  55. Vince Says :

    We solve nothing by attacking those who voted for Bush.  We solve the problems by educating/debating with people and getting them to NOT vote for the same in the future.  There are two types of Bush voters.  Those that voted for him and regret it, and those who voted for him and still support him.  His regret is too late on many counts, but he is thinking.  Realize, this gentleman is being fed by the MSM (almost 100% support for Bush), he may be religious (almost all pro-Bush), and he may come from a very republican family.  It is hard to overcome what we are fed from so many facets of our lives.  I know a lot of past Bush voters.  I have woken some up by educating them with little-viewed news links (those little blurps of truth that make it to the MSM but are quickly overtaken by fluff that is meaningless), with long discussions, with open debate.  There are also some that will never change.  I have a coworker who thinks what we did to the Japanese in WWII (Internment camps) was Ok, and said he would have no problem with the same for Muslims in America today (and I wish I had asked him if he thinks jailing dissenters would be ok too).  That kind of person will never budge because they have been overcome with fear and with propoganda.  The gentleman who wrote this has at the very least an open mind.  Please give him a chance.    


  56. Lisa Simons Says :

    “The moment you become the President or the Prime Minister of any country you quickly find out that some else makes the decisions for you. You can get away with being a virtual President, a virtual Prime Minister, a virtual anything.”   September 1998.

    Suck on that for a while Vince.


  57. Willy J. Says :

    I’ve read the original post a couple times now and I think I can sum it up pretty accurately, but if anyone sees an error, please feel free to point it out. . .

     

    John Rogers is sorry that he voted for Bush.  He claims to feel Bush will someday be seen as an historical disaster to the Republican Party.

     To show why, he praises Bush’s foreign policy activities; mentions  some mild Bush short comings he was aware of before voting for him, then immediately goes into detail on how the Democrats are far worse in each area anyway; seemingly gives Clinton a back-handed compliment on how he handled the economy but mainly uses the point to take cheap shots at any Democrat who dared point out the exact same information in a less demeaning manner. . .

     

    His bashing of Dems seemingly satiated, he then appears ready to actually start discussing the reasons he’s sorry for voting for Bush. . but no, he can’t quite get there withour taking another shot at Democrats, but that out of the way he dives into the reasons for his mea culpa . .

     

    And we get?  Two sentences on the possible collapse of the dollar, and then a paragraph on how it’s not really Bush’s fault; butpoor George will get blamed anyway.  And he then says Bush will have to cut spending, but can’t because it’s beyond his control.

     

    He then dishes out the only criticism of Bush in the whole piece that’s not a set-up to point out how terrible Dems are, saying  the Medicare Drug Benefit will make all the other problems Bush isn’t responsible for, worse.

     

    Like I said, maybe I missed something, but as far as I can tell aside from the title, John is not at all sorry he voted for Bush and aside from the Medicare deal, Bush is just a victim of circumstances and besides, any Dem would have been way worse.

     

    Now I understand the calls for civility and will respect them, but Mr.  Rogers post is no apology, and represents no enlightment or soul-searching, and it appears to me some are defending it based on the title rather then the content.

     
    And while I won’t add to them, I feel he’s earned every critical and dismissive remark he’s recieved here.

     

    JMO
     


  58. John Smart Says :

    you voted for Bush after you knew exactly what he was up to. the destruction of the Republic is on your hands. I voted for Gore and Kerry i take no responsiblity for what was obvious from the gate: Bush is a dangerous moron.


  59. Jay Vincent Says :

    Mr. Watson, “Cranky Brit” you’ve suggested  responding in kind to John’s polite post.

     Here’s your nuke :)  

    I won’t bother going into details as to why one may feel and repsond with  great animosity towards anyone who (TWICE) willingly assisted the “stupid chimp” and his administration to obtain power.  Indeed the thievery, lies, failures, incompetence, fascism and greed of the current administration is witnessed daily , well documented and has been debated ad infinitum.

    Frankly, at this point, any (sort of, kind of, hidden-in-there- somehwere) apology, no matter how vague and politley phrased is too little, too late. 

    Your suggestion is kind of like asking someone to be polite  to a person who’s raped and buggered your daughter simply because he was thoughtful enough to use a condom.

    As for me,  I agree with “Prozacula” completely.  He was dumbass for voting for him the first time and a double dumbass for voting for him again.

    ‘Nuff said.


  60. John Tate Says :

    Hey,

    I found your article mostly interesting even if it is mostly about economics :p. Actually economics are very important in the world at the moment. One thing has happened since Bush went mad: The Australian Economy over here is soaring… for now. However it won’t for long if the US Dollar tanks.

    Unfortunatly for Australia, our government is beginning to follow in the same footsteps of yours and we are beginning to make a huge amount spending, including removing the national debt (mainly to America, and hey not a bad idea our dollar here is worth more than its ever been!)

    However none of this is going to last long, there is going to be a serious shortage of oil within the next 15 years. This is because OPEC in Saudi Arabia (and an ex-OPEC offical was interviewed by an independant journalist and published in the New York Times mid last year, admitting these claims are very true) have lied about the amount of oil they have left to mine for a very long time to doctor prices. According to this offical Saudi Arabia is running dry. However it is not just a little bit of a conspiracy, more and more very highly populated nations such as China and India are developing more now than ever and thus putting massive demands on oil unforseen in the past. Any numbers twenty years ago about how long this resource was going to last has been at least been reduced by a third.

    To stop the impact of oil prices, a lot more is needed than alternatives to fuel for combustion engines and heaters, but an alternative to petrolium products which are used to manafacture the majority of the worlds plastics, and a large number of other chemicals used in Industries all over the world. A major oil price hike will slowly launch the prices of many every day items skyrocketing, bringing down the value of currency down world wide.

    There is a lot of talk about new plastics and petrochemical alternatives, however there is little being done, being in the chemical engineering field, the developments that have been made are extremely expensive by several orders of a magnatude to existing products. We are heading towards not just an energy crises, but a worldwide production supply crises for a lot of our favorite things. This will, slowly for now, but surely bring on something like the great depression but far more severe.

    Everything from Silicone to Fiber Optics, depend on petrochemicals in the communications/computing technology area. One crises could lead to another, and unlike the great depression, living has changed a lot, and communication has become a major part of our infrastructure. If this infrastructure is to become to expensive to expand, it will collapse. Personally, and some would agree, it is the trade and economics brought by the globalised communication/data infrastructure that has managed to maintain peace, because without that other services fail and so forth in the event of a major war. I think you see what I am saying here. However if those services are out of the picture, the concept of global hostility becomes extremely realistic.

    I worry myself mainly that, if the US economy doesn’t pick up soon enough, little will be done to prevent what could be thought of as impending disaster. Or at least a lot of ‘damage’ could be prevented to the current state of the world. However, depressions are inevitable, and sometimes do lead to a lot of economic and technological evolution in the end. All in all it has all just become a part of life.

     

    John.


  61. John Rogers Says :

    Thank you for all the comments, even the mean ones!

    I must say, I’m a little overwhelmed. I’ve read everyone’s points, but I can’t reply to each one. If you really have a point to make, feel free to drop an e-mail!


  62. Mike Lehman Says :

    Interesting comments to this post: some thoughtful, some angry, some completely off their rocker.

    My wife and I have had one discussion off and on since Sept 11th. Sept 11th hit her very hard. I am not sure if it was because she lived in NYC for a while, or if it simply that she is more empathetic than I (or if she is still feeling post-traumatic stress from being forced to watch “The Day After” by her mother 20 years ago), but she was scared and depressed for a long time afterwards. Nowadays, when some new atrocity is committed, or some new threat emerges, we have a conversation that goes like this:

    Her- “Don’t you think the world is more dangerous (scary, unstable, more likely to end) now?”

    Me- “No, not really, when you consider that 100 years ago, the average american lifespan was 41 years.” (logic always saves me from despair) “I think the world has always been a dangerous place, we just know about it more, thanks to cable TV.”

    We go back and forth like this, my sunny optimism and cold logic gradually easing her worry.

    The one thing we never discuss is the possible ecomonic apocalypse John discusses above. I am very glad this is so, because it scares me more than dirty bombs, terrorists, global warming, avian influenza and HIV put together.

    My reason is this. If someone really wants to kill me (or anyone else, for that matter) they will. There are some safeguards, some walls, some protection that can mitigate the risk, but they cannot completely eliminate it. I will protect my family as best I can and not worry. If either I or my family is going to get sick, we will get sick. We will take appropriate safeguards (eat healthy, exercise, get vaccinations) and get on with our lives.

    Economically, I thought I had this covered, but if the above economic craziness doesn’t stop, it won’t matter how much I work, how much I earn, how much I save. The main thing is that this kind of government stupidity is PREVENTABLE. It doesn’t depend on an interpretation of religion. It doesn’t depend on the availability or quality of ones health care. All it requires is the understanding of one simple principle: DON’T SPEND MORE THAN YOU MAKE!!!

    I guess my reasoning is this. This world has had plagues that wiped out significant percentages of the population. They have had wars that have spanned the globe. There have been madmen running countries who have murdered millions based on religion (Hitler) or simply because they were paranoid crazypants (Stalin), among other reasons. Through all this, business, trade, economies have kept chugging. If that goes into the tank, the world will be truly in deep kimchi.

    The sentiments expressed in the comments are diverse, some on topic, some not remotely logical. One expressed confusion as to John’s focusing on the economy. Other’s focused solely on partisan issues. Some went far afield (bringing up medical errors, which shows how compltely stupid the person is, as medical errors occur, as they do in any other job. They just cause more pain and more visibility because people seem to think that medicine is supposed to be painless cheap and mistake-free. Nobody’s perfect, not even doctors), betraying either a lack of thought or serious class or economic envy. Some stayed on topic and actually tried, it seems, to understand where the author was coming from. Some simply rejected the post as a lukewarm apology. and that we deserve what we got.

    I don’t apologize for voting for Bush, twice. I feel a grave disappointment in his economic policy. I also feel seriously cheated by the choice of candidates from which I had to choose, both times.

     


  63. John Rogers Says :

    Mike,

    I couldn’t have said that better myself.


  64. Steve Says :

    You didn’t.



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