"Why Conservatives Must Not Vote for Bush"

Discussion in 'Politics' started by nakedemperor, Oct 13, 2004.

  1. nakedemperor
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    nakedemperor Senior Member

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    Great, great article for Salon written by a Reagan conservative--

    About the writer:
    Doug Bandow is a senior fellow at the Cato Institute.* He served as a special assistant to President Reagan and was a visiting fellow at the Heritage Foundation.

    Here are some snipits:

    George W. Bush presents conservatives with a fundamental challenge: Do they believe in anything other than power? Are they serious about their rhetoric on limited, constitutionally restrained government.

    Quite simply, the president, despite his well-choreographed posturing, does not represent traditional conservatism -- a commitment to individual liberty, limited government, constitutional restraint and fiscal responsibility. Rather, Bush routinely puts power before principle. As Chris Vance, chairman of Washington state's Republican Party, told the Economist: "George Bush's record is not that conservative ... There's something there for everyone."

    Jonah Goldberg, a regular contributor to NRO, one of Bush's strongest bastions, complains that the president has "asked for a major new commitment by the federal government to insert itself into everything from religious charities to marriage counseling." Indeed, Bush seems to aspire to be America's moralizer in chief. He would use the federal government to micromanage education, combat the scourge of steroid use, push drug testing of high school kids, encourage character education, promote marriage, hire mentors for children of prisoners and provide coaches for ex-cons.

    The final conservative redoubt is Bush's admirable personal life. Alas, other characteristics of his seem less well suited to the presidency. By his own admission he doesn't do nuance and doesn't read. He doesn't appear to reflect on his actions and seems unable to concede even the slightest mistake. Nor is he willing to hold anyone else responsible for anything. It is a damning combination. John Kerry may flip-flop, but at least he realizes that circumstances change and sometimes require changed policies. He doesn't cowardly flee at the first mention of accountability.

    Those who still believe in Bush have tried to play up comparisons with Ronald Reagan, but I knew Reagan and he was no George W. Bush. It's not just that Reagan read widely, thought deeply about issues and wrote prolifically. He really believed in the primacy of individual liberty and of limited, constitutional government.

    "Government should never try to control or dominate the lives of our citizens," Bush says. But you wouldn't know that from his policies. He has expanded government power, increased federal spending, initiated an unnecessary war, engaged in global social engineering and undercut executive accountability. This is a bill of particulars that could be laid on Lyndon Johnson's grave. No wonder "Republicans aren't very enthusiastic about" Bush, says right-wing syndicated columnist Robert Novak.

    Serious conservatives should deny their votes to Bush. "When it comes to choosing a president, results matter," the president says. So true. A Kerry victory would likely be bad for the cause of individual liberty and limited government. But based on the results of his presidency, a Bush victory would be catastrophic. Conservatives should choose principle over power.

    http://www.salon.com/opinion/feature/2004/09/10/conservatives/index/index_np1.html
     
  2. Mr. P
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    Mr. P Senior Member

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    Blah, blah, blah...

    He's (Bush) who will attempt to keep the Country safe..That's the bottom line right now. Kerry will give it up to the UN. We all know what a great job they do.

    So, despite that Bush is giving away the social farm, so to speak. He's got my vote for just maintaining the USA
    sovereignty. And standing up to the bad guys.

    Pretty simple. There is no other logical choice here.
     
  3. nakedemperor
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    nakedemperor Senior Member

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    More snipets to address this:

    Particularly shocking is the administration's ineptitude with regard to Iraq. Fareed Zakaria writes in Newsweek, "On almost every issue involving postwar Iraq -- troop strength, international support, the credibility of exiles, de-Baathification, handling Ayatollah Ali Sistani -- Washington's assumptions and policies have been wrong. By now most have been reversed, often too late to have much effect. This strange combination of arrogance and incompetence has not only destroyed the hopes for a new Iraq. It has had the much broader effect of turning the United States into an international outlaw in the eyes of much of the world."

    Sadly, the Iraq debacle has undercut the fight against terrorism. The International Institute for Strategic Studies in its most recent study warns that the Iraq occupation has spurred recruiting by smaller terrorist groups around the world. And acting CIA Director John McLaughlin worries that terrorists are plotting "something big" against the United States. For a time the Pentagon considered closing its child care center, lest it become the target of an attack. NRO columnist Goldberg observes that the president's contention that the war in Iraq has made America safer "is absurd." Goldberg backs the war for other reasons, but says it was probably "the risky thing in the short run."

    Bush -- not even sure himself whether the war on terrorism is winnable -- has been unable to demonstrate how Iraq has reduced the threat of terrorism against America. Instead, he says: "I need four more years to complete the work. There's more work to do to make America a safer place. There's more work to do to make the world a more peaceful place." Alas, there's more work, far more work, to do because of Bush's misguided policies.

    A few conservatives are distressed at what Bush has wrought in Iraq. "Crossfire" host Tucker Carlson said recently: "I think it's a total nightmare and disaster, and I'm ashamed that I went against my own instincts in supporting it."
     
  4. theim
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    theim Senior Member

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    I don't get it. So true conservatives should vote for kerry, the most liberal member of the US Senate? :cuckoo:
     
  5. rtwngAvngr
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    rtwngAvngr Guest

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    RE: Bush saying the war was unwinnable.

    Let's put this in context, shall we kiddies?

    He was saying that there is no government, no head of state, that we can sign a treaty with which will effectively end the war. There is no official diplomatic relationship with "The Terrorists", because they are not solely controlled by a single state, but are funded by many sources, including but not limited to, governments of arab nations.
     
  6. tim_duncan2000
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    tim_duncan2000 Active Member

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    I don't understand what they want conservatives to do then. I agree that he goes against some conservative principles (spending, most notably, and immigration). However, I'm not sure how Kerry is a better choice. He goes against just about every conservative principle and tries to take both sides of almost every issue.
     
  7. William Joyce
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    William Joyce Chemotherapy for PC

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    It's a tough situation for conservatives. There is the thought that when Democrats are in the White House, Republicans in Congress actually act like Republicans (some of this went on during the Clinton administration).

    I fully understand and sympathize with the lesser of two evils idea. But Bush is such a disgrace, such an embarassment, such an idiot, that I cannot bring myself to vote for him again. The Iraq war is Exhibit A. This has been the most disastrous failure of a presidency ever, perhaps.

    It's asked, wouldn't Kerry be worse? Maybe, but HOW MUCH WORSE? The important issues to me are things like immigration, and Bush and Kerry are both for open borders.
     
  8. insein
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    insein Senior Member

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    I dont know where you have been, emperor but Conservatives have been the most critical of Bush on the spending issue. However, his stance on Defense trumps that at the moment. Also considering the alternative Kerry, Bush looks like Barry Goldwater in contrast.

    Im fully aware of Bush's drawbacks as a classic conservative but he is far and away the logical choice here.
     
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  9. Merlin1047
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    Merlin1047 Senior Member

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    Bush is insufficiently conservative, so conservatives should vote for kerry, who is the most liberal leftist ever.

    Liberal logic - oh wait, that's an oxymoron.
     
  10. nakedemperor
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    nakedemperor Senior Member

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    Its unhelpful to merely call him "the most liberal senator ever". In terms of fiscal policy and government expansion, Bush is more dangerous to responsbility and accountability than Kerry, is the point that the author was trying to make, if I interpreted correctly.
     

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