Right to Bush: You suck
Conservatives to Bush: Not one of us
KERRY'S THE ONE
By Scott McConnell
Bush has behaved like a caricature of what a right-wing president is supposed to be, and his continuation in office will discredit any sort of conservatism for generations. The launching of an invasion against a country that posed no threat to the U.S., the doling out of war profits and concessions to politically favored corporations, the financing of the war by ballooning the deficit to be passed on to the nation's children, the ceaseless drive to cut taxes for those outside the middle class and working poor: it is as if Bush sought to resurrect every false 1960s-era left-wing cliche about predatory imperialism and turn it into administration policy. Add to this his nation-breaking immigration proposal---Bush has laid out a mad scheme to import immigrants to fill any job where the wage is so low that an American can't be found to do it---and you have a presidency that combines imperialist Right and open-borders Left in a uniquely noxious cocktail.
During the campaign, few have paid attention to how much the Bush presidency has degraded the image of the United States in the world............The poll numbers are shocking. In countries like Norway, Germany, France, and Spain, Bush is liked by about seven percent of the populace. In Egypt, recipient of huge piles of American aid in the past two decades, some 98 percent have an unfavorable view of the United States. It's the same throughout the Middle East.
Bush has accomplished this by giving the U.S. a novel foreign-policy doctrine under which it arrogates to itself the right to invade any country it wants if it feels threatened. It is an American version of the Brezhnev Doctrine, but the latter was at least confined to Eastern Europe. If the analogy seems extreme, what is an appropriate comparison when a country manufactures falsehoods about a foreign government, disseminates them widely, and invades the country on the basis of those falsehoods? It is not an action that any American president has ever taken before. It is not something that "good" countries do. It is the main reason that people all over the world who used to consider the United States a reliable and necessary bulwark of world stability now see us as a menace to their own peace and security.
These sentiments mean that as long as Bush is president, we have no real allies in the world, no friends to help us dig out from the Iraq quagmire. More tragically, they mean that if terrorists succeed in striking at the United States in another 9/11-type attack, many in the world will not only think of the American victims but also of the thousands and thousands of Iraqi civilians killed and maimed by American armed forces. The hatred Bush has generated has helped immeasurably those trying to recruit anti-American terrorists---indeed his policies are the gift to terrorism that keeps on giving, as the sons and brothers of slain Iraqis think how they may eventually take their own revenge. Only the seriously deluded could fail to see that a policy so central to America's survival as a free country as getting hold of loose nuclear materials and controlling nuclear proliferation requires the willingness of foreign countries to provide full, 100 percent co-operation. Making yourself into the world's most hated country is not an obvious way to secure that help.
The record, from published administration memoirs and in-depth reporting, is one of an administration with a very small group of six or eight real decision-makers, who were set on war from the beginning and who took great pains to shut out arguments from professionals in the CIA and State Department and the U.S. armed forces that contradicted their rosy scenarios about easy victory. Much has been written about the neoconservative hand guiding the Bush presidency---and it is peculiar that one who was fired from the National Security Council in the Reagan administration for suspicion of passing classified material to the Israeli embassy and another who has written position papers for an Israeli Likud Party leader have become key players in the making of American foreign policy.
But neoconservatism now encompasses much more than Israel-obsessed intellectuals and policy insiders. The Bush foreign policy also surfs on deep currents within the Christian Right, some of which see unqualified support of Israel as part of a godly plan to bring about Armageddon and the future kingdom of Christ. These two strands of Jewish and Christian extremism build on one another in the Bush presidency and President Bush has given not the slightest indication he would restrain either in a second term. With Colin Powell's departure from the State Department looming, Bush is more than ever the "neoconian candidate." The only way Americans will have a presidency in which neoconservatives and the Christian Armageddon set are not holding the reins of power is if Kerry is elected.
George W. Bush has come to embody a politics that is antithetical to almost any kind of thoughtful conservatism. His international policies have been based on the hopelessly naive belief that foreign peoples are eager to be liberated by American armies---a notion more grounded in Leon Trotsky's concept of global revolution than any sort of conservative statecraft. His immigration policies---temporarily put on hold while he runs for re-election---are just as extreme. A re-elected President Bush would be committed to bringing in millions of low-wage immigrants to do jobs Americans "won't do." This election is all about George W. Bush, and those issues are enough to render him unworthy of any conservative support.
This is a incredible piece because while this comes from Pat Buchanan's conservative magazine, it outlines the establishment's case against Bush. The overt appeal to theocrats, the isolation from our allies, not just France and Germany, but Egypt, who's economy we float.
The author makes a comparison that I have made. Bush and the neocons are a lot more like Trotsky than democrats of any sort They are ideologues first and foremost. Any idea that doesn't fit their ideology isn't going to be considered an idea. Just noise.
What McConnell doesn't say is that Bush's immigration plan is a sop to cheap labor conservatives, who want that untapped pool of labor to drive down their costs. You do Bush's plan his way, Wal-Mart will pay so little, most of their employees will speak English as a second language. Bush's plans place the needs of his friends and allies over the needs of the nation.
I think much of this problem is that Republicans genuflect before their leaders and treat the capable as heretics. Not just John McCain, but Bill Weld, Warren Rudman and a bunch of moderates who are either isolated or ineffective. The whole Republican party became defined by a Bush loyalty test, one which brooked no question or thought not approved by Karl Rove.
The Republicans have been here before, with Gerald Ford. Dick Cheney and Don Rumsfeld forced Rockefeller from the ticket, inserted Bob Dole and went down to blazing defeat. But they don't see it. They have subordinated the party to Bush in a way Reagan never expected or asked for. Loyalty to Reagan was earned and rewarded. With Bush, it is assumed and expected.
When all is said and done, and we're doing the autopsy on this campaign, Bush's ineptitude will shine through. He could still win. but when the hard right turns on you and call you a trotskyite, things could be ugly on election day,
posted by Steve @ 12:00:00 AM