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Sudsy Wants You to Join the Oregon Commentator

By Popular (Okay One) Demand (Read, Polite Request)

Mr. Chris Crawford of Jacksonville has requested in comments to this Bill post has requested a discussion with some reasonable Bush supporters. Well, I fancy myself such, and I’ll gladly discuss my reasons. I want to run this particular comment Tacitus style. Please be polite, no profanity (unless it’s funny and not ad hominem), et cetera, et cetera. Yeah, okay, that’s a hilliarous set of requests coming from yours truly, but I’ll do my best to be cordial. Perhaps we can get the same going from the Kerry supporters among us. Ruff (even if you are a non-voting felon)? Flog? Should I be looking at you guys? All right, my Bushpinions after the break.

Huzzah! Here we go, in handy list format:

1) Let me preface this by saying that I do not support all of Bush’s policies. He’s wrong on stem-cells, abortion, gay marriage, the damnable Medicare give away, the damnable Dept. Of Homeland Security [and it’s even got a really lame title], and John Ashcroft. I also think he’s grown the size of federal government too much, and done a piss-poor job vis a vis trade policy. I’m not exactly sure the man has a good grasp on Federalism, but that’s a discussion for another time. Those are the negatives, as I see them…there are others but mostly of the niggling detail variety.

2) I think Bush is right on the things that matter most to me, though. That is, taxes and terrorists. I think marginal tax rates in the US are too high on individuals across the board, and I think the Bush tax cut did a great job of reducing that burden. Steve Verdon, Steve Antler, Don Luskin, and a whole host of other people who are smarter than me have covered this in some detail and at great length. I’ll even give that rich people benefited the most from the reduction in rates, but then again rich people pay most of the taxes, so I don’t really see a problem with that. I’m not sure if I buy Grover Norquist’s “starve leviathan” hypothesis, but I don’t see how reducing the tax burden across the board is a bad thing. Bush’s tendency toward protectionism is sort of worrying, but I think there’s a big enough free-trade element of the Republican party left to counter balance a lot of it. And, besides, big labor always goes Dem anyway, so there’s no point in courting the AFL-CIO and their brand of neo-Mercantilism.

As far as terrorists are concerned, I’m definitely of the “find them and kill them” school of thought. I think it should’ve been happening since the 1970s, but Carter, Reagan, GHW Bush, and Clinton all dropped the ball very severely. It certainly should’ve started after the first WTC bombing, or the embassies, or the USS Cole, but didn’t. As far as I’m concerned each of those is a declaration of war against the US, and the instant you do that, your life if forfeit. Maybe that’s not the most PC opinion in the world, but if you think of the US as the Great White Satan, chances are our continued existence is mutually exclusive, and I’m okay with somebody else taking the fall. I also don’t buy that terrorism is our fault, at all. Terrorism is the fault of, well, terrorists and the horrible dictatorships that spread their lies and give them recruits. Hating the US distracts the masses from the fact that, hey, those Mullahs have it pretty good and our lives suck, what’s the deal? It’s a classic diversion from the real problem: theocratic, despots or oligarchs.

And that’s the reason I’m behind both the Iraq war and the Afghanistan war. If we can succeed in establishing functional democracies in those nations by working with the locals who aided our overthrow of two of the world’s worst regimes, we can give a decent alternative example to the rest of the Arab world. Iran is ripe for a change, and I wish the students there all the best. The Middle East was once the bastion of civilization, even as recently as the early 20th century, and it’s sad state can be undone. I’m optimistic about a sort of democratic domino theory, and hopeful that it succeeds. This is also Bush’s opinion, so he and I agree on that and, with the taxes thing, well, that secures my vote.

3) I’d vote for Kerry if I trusted him, at all, to do what I think is the right thing in Iraq. Over thirty years in the Senate, and Kerry has voted against every major defense package that’s come across his desk. He came back from Viet Nam and called his comrades in arms war criminals in front of the US Senate. I’m not attacking his record of military service, I’ll leave that up to his former boat mates, but he did testify to certain things when he was with Viet Nam Veterans Against The War and his testimony coupled with his voting record give me no confidence, what so ever, in his interest in maintaining a strong military. As a person who believes that the military is one of few duties of government, that’s important to me. During peace time I might settle for gridlock, that’s why I voted for Gore in 2000, but there’s a war on. Kerry is essentially running the Mondale platform (I’m going to raise your taxes and make the government bigger, dammit!) but it’d never get through a Republican controlled congress, but I think he’d do exactly the wrong thing with Iraq…if he managed to make his mind up about it at all.

So, for the above reasons, I’m going Bush in the fall. Which doesn’t really matter anyway, because I live in Texas now and it’s not like GWB isn’t going to win here. The electoral college may be pretty genius, as it makes small states actually matter in an election, but some places are certainly easily predictable. Anyway, that’s the pocket synopsis of my Bush vote, play nice kids. Play nice, self.

  1. WWB says:

    Who is this? I don’t respond to anonymous rants. And perhaps you’d like to prioritize your complaints. I’m not even supposed to be on the blogs right now.

  2. Anonymous says:

    What quotes? Who? When? I’m sure some eager young google fiend could produce quotes to the contrary. And though I basically agree with you, you have to concede that perception is reality to some extent. We’re not going to win any more support on Iraq, but what about future military endeavors? What about intelligence networks? The growing unrest in France’s Muslim population etc… Europe is going to be pulled into this thing whether they like it or not. If you define “support” as simply more boots in Baghdad, maybe you’re right. But on the larger scale, I don’t know.
    And here’s an argument I didn’t even get into above… what about the conservative notion of accountability in government? Have we seen that in the last 12 months? Abu Ghraib? Sorry IF you were offended. George Tenet? Health reasons, had to go. Never mind the WMD stuff. Other countries believed it as well you know. Rumsfeld? Still in office. Have you read Plan of Attack? Good book, but the title says it all. Rummy did a wonderful job cutting a 500,000 soldier contingency plan into a streamlined 120,000 soldier invasion. But you clearly need more than that for an occupation. Hindsight? 20/20. But shouldn’t someone concede that we took Baghdad way too soon. That we never fortified our flanks. Something. What’s the worst mistake you’ve made in office. Long pause. Long pause. Can’t think of one yet. Fuck. I’m not saying I want GW to be TB, apologizing left and right, but throw us a bone here at least.
    This notion you’ve expressed that we’ve learned from our mistakes… don’t you have to admit to having made a mistake before you can learn from it? That may seem simplistic, but I’m not the only one troubled by this no-looking-back approach. That’s why I’m waiting for the debates. I want to vote for Bush. I really do. But I shouldn’t have to go to NRO, or Armed Prophet, to get reassurance. Hopefully our President can present a strong reason to vote for him that doesnt include tabloid accusations from disgruntled Nam vets.

  3. WWB says:

    Tension be damned, indeed. The “normalcy” theme has been floating around a lot recently, first mentioned (but not supported) by Peggy Noonan, then Sullivan, Kaus, etc. I understand the impulse all right, but I’m with James Taranto on what this should mean to us — the only path to normalcy is victory.

    I’ve seen on-background quotes, from the “foreign leaders” supposedly in Kerry’s corner in various newspapers, suggesting a President Kerry shouldn’t count on any more international help for Iraq — NATO, UN, forget it. Bush or Kerry, Iraq is still Iraq and Europe still has a fundamentally different worldview than we do in the United States. Despite the suggestions and promises, Kerry cannot change that.

  4. Blog says:

    Zombie or monkey? Zombie or monkey? Hmmm…gotta go with zombie.

    What, you want thoughtful political anaylsis? I’m the guy that posts links to elaborate Star Wars weddings on his site.

  5. Timothy says:

    I do hate it when nobody comes, there’s not even an underage kid with chips this time. And no damn pool table either.

  6. Pete says:

    Dont you hate it when you throw a party and nobody comes?

    I dont know who Im voting for yet, and Im skeptical of people whove already put money on a horse. Lets wait for the debates eh? If Kerry presents a strong plan for Iraq, its his race to lose. But if we hear more delusional plans about reducing the number of occupying troops within six months… Mondale!

    Kerry strongest point is that he isnt Bush. I know thats not original analysis, but thats the nut graph for this whole paragraph, so brace yourselves. Can the country sustain the politician tension produced by four years of Bush? Four more years of Michael Moore? Four more years of Sean Hannity? Books and books and books with authors in front of flags calling us traitors or fascists? OReilly, The French, Gideon Fucking Yago embedded in Iraq… I just cant imagine it. To even the most loyal Republican–Stars and Stripes bumper sticker, Toby Keith on the radio, Passion of the Christ ticket stub hanging on the fridge (midnight showing!)–there must be an urge to open a release valve. The tea pot has been steaming for over a year, surely it will blow at some point.

    But then, the monkey on the dinner table. If the war on terror is as important as we all once felt it was, then tension be damned. Butter or steel. Why should we give in to the Molly Ivins of the world. Now, more than ever, we must show resolve.

    Pacifists be damned, this is survival.

    But couldnt Kerry give us the credibility we need to sustain Iraq. Isnt he the candidate Osama least wants in office? A unifying Democrat who could repair bridges and gather world support. You kn ow… the Sullivan argument?

    Or would electing Bush AGAIN finally show our resolve. Nevermind the protesters, the singer-songwriters and the overweight, overexposed movie directors, the silent majority remain behind the President, Europe be damned. Thats a hell of message to send the enemy.

    In conclusion, its the occupation stupid. Fuck tax breaks, children left behind, foot prints in the Martian dust, Adam and Steve doing it in the parking lot, we all know what really counts.

    This is my inner monologue when running my Stihl through old growth. Et tu?

    (Scissor Sisters Rule!)

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