October 4, 2005
My rebuttal to Hawkins...
John Hawkins asks:
Knowing what we know today, why should conservatives trust George Bush after the terrible judgement he has shown on so many issues?
Why? How about because of the great job he has done on many issues. I'll list some after I deal with Hawkins' specifics...
It goes without saying that Bush is worse than Lyndon Johnson in the big spending department. In his entire time in the White House, he has never even vetoed a single pork laden bill. Then there's the enormous Medicare prescription drug benefit which will create a massive expansion of government and add a trillion dollars to the debt next 15 years.
The drug benefit was probably going to happen no matter what--the political pressure was too strong. But with it we got HSA's, which liberals have been blocking for decades. They will be an important component of the Ownership Society. And we got private-sector competition built in to the drug benefit, which is already causing projected costs to fall.
We also can't forget the anti-First Amendment, McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform bill which Bush signed into law or Bush's position on illegal immigration which has alienated a large chunk of the party.
I don't like either one. (But without Bush we might have the AUTHOR of McCain-Feingold in the WH!)
Since his election in 2004, Bush has spent months senselessly flogging Social Security when almost everyone acknowledges it isn't going anywhere.
Bush's SS reforms are probably the boldest conservative initiative in modern times. Reagan could only dream of making such a proposal. Just to have it seriously debated is a miracle, and for Hawkins to stand aside and sneer is stupid. And I bet it isn't really dead.
Even on the war in Iraq, an area where many conservatives agree wholeheartedly with his policies, it has been frustrating to watch Bush twiddling his thumbs instead of making a real effort to buck up public support for the war.
Bush is fighting and WINNING the war! For that alone he deserves our trust and support. And the winning, as it becomes apparent, is what is going to bring public support. Not more speeches that the media will ignore anyway.
Now, to top it all off, Bush has picked a minimally qualified crony without solid conservative credentials for the Supreme Court because...why exactly? He knows her, she has been nice to him, and that makes her the best person to fill one of the most crucial jobs in the country?
Rubbish. She's only "unqualified" in the "distinguished legal scholar" sense. But we don't need one of those; the Constitution isn't an inscrutable document. She's smart, she's an originalist and a pro-life Christian, and she's been very successful at a variety of jobs. She will do us proud.
You can try to put a good face on this decision if you like, but the very fact that so many conservatives are ripping into Bush over the Miers nomination -- in and of itself -- means she was a terrible selection even if Miers is really to the right of Clarence Thomas.
Phooey. Popular doesn't mean right.
Let me list a few of the ways Bush has shown splendid judgement and got results...
- Restored dignity to White House. No more scandals, pardon-selling, or frat-boy antics.
- 3 major tax cuts--result, economic recovery. All economic indicators trending strongly upward. The rich are paying a higher percentage of taxes than when Bush elected.
- Faith-based initiatives. Decisively attacked the notion that "separation of church and state" should mean atheist government.
- NCLB, which is now starting to have real positive effects as public schools are forced to meet standards. Putting Federal weight behind teaching of Phonics. Vouchers for DC, and for Katrina victims.
- Suspended Davis-Bacon in Katrina area (which is the size of Grt Britain.)
- forced "merit" hiring and promotion onto a big chunk of the Fed bureaucracy. Made it much easier for private firms to bid for work now done by Civil Service.
- Many free trade agreements, which get almost no notice, though everyone screamed about the (now ended) Steel Tariffs.
- Stopped Fed funding for new lines of embryonic stem cells; a strong symbolic victory for the Culture of Life. INCREASED funding for stem cell research.
- HSA's are now a reality, after being blocked for decades by Dems.
- Work begun on Missile Defense. Outdated Cold-War Missile Defense treaty ended.
- Ended the hypocrisy of "supporting" the Kyoto Treaty, which was rejected by the Senate 95-0 during Clinton's time.
- Rejected ICC.
- Two of the worst tyrannies in the world overthrown...50 million liberated. No domestic terror attacks since 9/11. Many successful attacks on Al Qaeda and other terror groups, and their funding. Iraq Campaign has utterly transformed WOT, as Islamist groups are forced to react to OUR move, forced to fight us where we have our best forces. Also, Iran now has US forces on both sides.
- Bush doctrine. Revising the outdated "Treaty of Westphalia" and establishing the principle that national sovereignty is dependent on democratic legitimacy.
- Willing to FIGHT. Able to stick with the decision when all the weak sisters are whimpering and caving.
- PSI & Caspian Guard. Libya out of the WMD game. Syria out of Lebanon. Democratic stirrings all across the Islamic world.
- Supporting tort reform
- Refused to deal with Arafat.
- Openly said we will defend Taiwan
- First president ever to have a VP doing real work in the administration--in fact the Cheney's are a whole amazing family of conservatives working for us.
- Defeated two ghastly Democrat candidates. Saved us from at least one ghastly First Lady. Saved us from having John McCain as Republican candidate in 2000!! [Thank you, God!]
- Gave us a smart bookish First Lady we can be proud of.
- Campaigns not only to get himself re-elected but also to help other Republican candidates.
- Nominated many excellent appellate judges. (How soon we forget)