S/SW blog philosophy -

I credit favorite writers and public opinion makers.

A lifelong Democrat, my comments on Congress, the judiciary and the presidency are regular features.

My observations and commentary are on people and events in politics that affect the USA or the rest of the world, and stand for the interests of peace, security and justice.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Moderates on the Bush administration

Middle-of-the-roaders - By nature I am a moderate person. People who read this blog on a regular basis may question that, however, because of a number of posts that come across as very liberal. Sometimes I just cannot resist as I "get a belly full" of the day's news items about our current president (OCP).
Thus I am aware that I should check myself against others periodically. To do that, over time, I have been drawn to reading bloggers who identify themselves as "moderate." Today I wanted to check out some of my favorites to see what they are saying about the current Bush administration. And it was not a surprise that I found a number of writers who decidedly reinforced my own prejudices. And don't we all like that!
Here is a sample from my blogger "regulars" (emphasis mine):
Bush A Net Negative - My prejudice is that OCP has not been a very competent president. I will give it to his fans that he did a rather good job right after 9/11 in rallying the nation towards unity and strength. But his decision to invade Iraq changed it from then on for me. We have been far worse off as a country ever since. Stickings rightly argues for reasoned discourse amongst us. From * The Reaction (3-16-06) by Michael J.W. Stickings, I quote:
As many of you know, I do not pull my punches here at The Reaction. And nor do my co-bloggers. Like our opponents on the right -- indeed, like our opponents all across the political spectrum -- we have our deeply-held opinions and we are not afraid to let them be known.I agree with The Count on this key point: American Democracy is strong. Yet I worry about what the Bush Administration has done, is doing, and likely will continue to do. American democracy is strong, but it is weaker for George W. Bush. We can argue over whether there is a slope and, if so, how slippery it is, what lies at the bottom of it, and whether America is currently sliding down it, but, ultimately, I remain a cynic. Or, rather, I remain a realist: Bush has not been good for America, nor for the wider world beyond. As far as I'm concerned, there is a slope, it's quite slippery, and America is sliding down it. At the bottom may not lie fascism, at least not as we understand it after the last century, but that doesn't mean that we should take comfort in its absence. A degraded, debased state of American democracy, a farce of a democracy, isn't exactly where we want to end up. So let's have that debate. Let's argue civilly. Let's engage our opponents, not define them all as enemies with whom we have absolutely nothing in common and with whom we have nothing but venom. But let's not just think of this as some rhetorical game (don't misunderstand me, I do not accuse The Count of suggesting that it is). Believe it or not, I do listen to alternative views and I do respect many on the right. I even agree with some of them from time to time. I
even -- dare I say it? -- admire some of them.
Bush Staff Worn Out - My prejudice is that the current administration has been a failure due to incompetence and corruption. OCP has not attracted the best and brightest to his administration. And among their greatest failures have been those ways that they all "went along to get along." He has not, for the most part, had wisdom or candor as contributions from his advisors. Could new blood help? It will not if OCP keeps hiring the same brand of synchophants. Dibble argues that is time for a change. From *Charging RINO (3-16-06) by Jeremy Dibble, I quote:
You know what, Mr. President? Transition time might be about the most affordable option right now. Your staff is worn out. They're not making good decisions, and you're letting their bad decisions be policy for the country. It is, indeed, time for a shakeup. I agree with Senator Baker that Fred Thompson would be the optimal choice - get some new faces, fall back and regroup. It may be too late to salvage your approval ratings, but let's stop the mistakes. This isn't "parlor games," as Scott McClellan put it - this is serious stuff. Get serious, Mr. President, and realize that loyalty stops meaning much when burnout overrides it.
Orweillian Foreign Policy - My prejudice is a certain unbelievability to the "next big thing," a series of convoluted untruths that have been perpetrated time after time, so that another bad decision by OCP will be accepted by the public. The pattern will make cynics of us all. Schneider argues that we need to examine the rhetoric. From *Centerfield by (3-15-06) M.W. Schneider, I quote:
Bush conveniently conflates opposition to his own policies--the war, the Dubai ports deal, and the Indian nuclear deal-with isolationism. You can certainly argue the merits of any of those issues, but it's absurd to say that opposing them means that the country is becoming isolationist. It just doesn't like Bush' s policies. But, of course, now that he is in trouble it suits Bush's interests to emphasize internationalism and globalization. But Bush has done more to discredit activist foreign policy than any president I can remember. It is just another example of the Orwellianism of this administration. They say whatever they need to to justify their policies and then, if that doesn't work, they reverse course and say the opposite. So, now an administration that was proudly unilateralist and willing to shun the world (and scornfully talked about "Old Europe") now presents itself as the face of internationalism. Winston Smith would be proud.
Widespread Disapproval - My prejudice is that the public is now beginning to become aware of what I intuited all along. That is that this adinistration was going to be a disaster. Clemons argues that we all need to push for policy change. From *The Washington Note (3-10-06) by Steve Clemons, I quote:
Bush Support at 37%
We have two years and nine months left with our current President, and his administration is again wobbly. Thus far, he seems to be falling in the polls because of his own actions and their consequences -- not because of points the opposition has scored. . . Bush is again off balance -- and it's important that advocates for a different policy course begin pushing hard now, constantly.

Consensus at the Yellow Line - These bloggers have said better than I could that the current administration is in big trouble. And when moderates say why, and say it in so many different ways, it could actually be true. Is this is what happens when prejudice gets reinforced?
My "creative post" today at Southwest Blogger is about Mars exploration.

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