Tuesday, October 05, 2004

From the Republicans against Bush file...

Andrew Sullivan links today to a sharp piece by Marshall Wittmann, former aide to John McCain and self-described "bull moose".
***Just as an aside, can I take a moment to mention just how much I hate it when people wrap themselves in the mantle of long-gone political movements, like the Bull Moose party? I hate it a lot, thanks.***
Silly nomenclature aside, the article is a razor-sharp critique of the Bush administration from the right. Here is a particularly stinging section:
Everything could have changed in the aftermath of 9/11. For a while it appeared that it had. Bush displayed moral clarity and leadership worthy of national greatness. However, it was short-lived. It turned out that Bush would be more of a Tom DeLay than a Winston Churchill. On the domestic political front, there was a brief interregnum of national unity. Bush rhetorically sought to bring together the nation in the fight against the terrorist enemy. However, it was soon clear that no political imagination would be employed to forge a new politics. Rather than challenging Americans to enlist in national service, the administration told them to "go shopping." Rather than asking more of those who have more, the administration refused to explore a progressive way to finance the war against terror. In fact, before long, the president returned to his mantra of permanent elimination of the "death tax." Yes, Virginia, there is a war going on, but the donors must be reimbursed! (Emphasis added)

Mr Wittmann, clearly a fan of historical allusions, makes an important point: This administration has never acted like they were fiscally serious about the military task at hand. They have neither made nor asked for any of the sacrifices necessary in a vital war effort. If you agree with the efforts in Afghanistan and/or Iraq, it's damn near impossible to justify the exploding domestic spending and massive tax cuts undertaken by this administration while these missions are underway. I can almost understand someone who disagreed with the decision to invade Iraq, as I did, saying "screw it-spend the money at home". But I can't understand those who engineered the invasion doing nothing to save the money necessary to do it right. It doesn't make any sense even within their own rationale.
I'm not saying they should have instituted pantyhose and gasoline rations, but maybe forgoing another round of tax cuts to better finance "the inescapable calling of our generation" would have been a good idea.
9/11 may have been a Pearl Harbor for our time-it's a shame Bush is no FDR.

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