T Nation

The Bush Republican


#1

Theory:
Once upon a time, there were Democrats and Republicans. In my memory, the Democrats were for big government and big regulations (social programs). In contrast, the Republicans were for small government and limited regulations (big business/money). Simplistic, I know.

Today, this view is turned upside down! Present President Bush is both the democrat and republican melded into one. He's certainly for big business (visit ENRON and Haliburton) AND he's living la vida loca regulating our daily lives (visit patriot act) - all under the guise of "protecting" the scared. So what our freedoms have been eroded; at least we're safe! Wow, he's manipluating fear for political gain. How is it that everyone is duped by this sham? This is the best democrat republican in office! A travesty! The government has never been bigger, and neither has the spending. This should be enough cause for drumming the man out of his "chosen" party.

Discussion, anyone?


#2

The Democrats have never been, nor will they ever be for a smaller government. They have a willing accomplice in GWB to do their dirty work for them, so they give lip service to reducing gov't to make it look as if they are opposing Bush.

The republicans are selling themselves up a river if they believe that those who sent them to Washington approve of their unabashed spending sprees.

IF there is anything that I cannot stand about Bush, it is his unwillingness to act fiscally responsible.


#3

Republicans are only for small government when they are not in charge.

Democrats are never for small government.


#4

Does that include dampening the role of the government wrt legislation and regulation (as they may be synonomous with spending)?


#5

I think so. Granted, we are in a unique time wrt terror, and the ability the terrorists have to do harm to this country. Bush has been friendlier to industry than the the dems have ever been, but those moves pale in comparison to the ungodly amount of pork that congress has added to our budget.


#6

Using rhetoric (party principles) as a yardstick, is President Bush an elephant or donkey?


#7

I, for one, am pretty dissatisfied with the GOP right now. I have had friends tell me to 'defect', but to where?

And, if the GOP simply practiced what it preached, I'd have no problem with it. If Republicans would govern like, well, Republicans, I'd be content.


#8

But they aren't, and expecting another republican to come behind this current administration and suddenly change the direction drastically is the definition of insanity. I would rather Ross Perot run again.


#9

There's always the Libertarian party: sound principles and wack-job candidates.

In case you miss the tone of this post, I am a libertarian in name, meaning I never actually joined the party but agree with their principles, they just can never field a decent candidate.


#10

So, Prof X, the republican party (Reagan/Gingrich) as it was is now dead? The democratic party won by republican self implosion?! Wow. I remember back to the Contract with America. A new era of compassionate conservatism. Dead in a decade.

I agree, I see no up and coming candidate that would turn the current tide. Is this the beginning of a one party system?


#11

As I see it, this is just politics as usual. It seems to me that a principled politician who actually believes what he says and attempts to implement those beliefs is becoming a rarity...especially if those beliefs entail less governmental power.

Somewhere along the line, the most important factor in political decision making became expediency (or maybe it has alway been that way); with the end being realection and increased poltical power. The Republicans know that as long as they preach small government conservatism it doesn't really matter which policies they implement. Of those who actually care about such issues, the Rupublicans may lose a few of them to the Libertarian Party 9such as myself) but not enough to warrant alarm. As Tocqueville said, "The last thing a political party gives up is its vocabulary."

The Dems, who I wholeheardetly disagree with, are at the very least principled in that they really believe their talking points, which can't be said of the Republican leadership. Gone are the days of Reagan and Goldwater when Republicans, and many Dems, were inspired by the Republican message and had some hope in its eventual implamentation. We are left with nothing but power mongers disguised in the garb of small government conservatism.


#12

I would vote Libertarian in a heartbeat if it weren't for their foreign policy. At a time like this, isolationism isn't just irresponsible, it's dangerous.


#13

Socialist Workers Party!! Yeah!!! :slight_smile:


#14

There is no reason for Republicans to act like Republicans (except that "principles" thing) until they lose something. Once they've lost the White House or control of Congress, they'll turn into an opposition party and find themselves for a time.


#15

Conservatives need to start over with their representitives in Washington. Vote dem in '06 to send a message, throw away two years under Dem control of one or both chambers-- which were already lost in a functional sense anyway-- and hopefully spark an internal renewal in time for '08. The party needs to be broken before it can be fixed.

Primaries aren't enough to fix the problem either. To the contrary, they serve more often to allow the establishment to knock off maverics.


#16

I've said this before, and I truly believe it:

Fiscal conservatism died when Gingrich got politically destroyed by Clinton, Time Magazine et al over the government shutdown back in the mid-90s -- the "Gingrich Who Stole Christmas."

He held the line for smaller spending increases -- not spending cuts mind you, but slowing the rate of growth on government spending. Clinton vetoed three budgets that would have funded the government, and somehow the press blamed Gingrich for what it claimed would be starving government workers who wouldn't get paid, and children who wouldn't get toys, because Clinton bit his lip (I think he did it hard, too, in order to build up a tear in his eye -- maybe he turned around quickly and plucked a nose-hair, I'm not sure) and said that mean ol' Newt made him veto the budgets.

The lesson the Republicans learned from that was two-fold: 1) If they held the line on spending, the press would portray them as "mean," and 2) If they looked mean, they were toast, politically. Thus, the new-outlook Republicans cling to "compassionate conservatism," which essentially means spending lots of money on things soccer moms like, and avoiding cutting any money from any program that would be "mean." Given the general outlook of the press, that basically implies no spending cuts.