I think Mr. Bush faces a singular problem best defined, I think, as the absence of effective conservative ideology — with the result that he ended up being very extravagant in domestic spending, extremely tolerant of excesses by Congress.
Well, if Wm. F. Buckley says it, it must be true.
However, except for former Speaker of the House Newton Gingrich, who did it during the relentlessly rising dotcom economic tide/tsunami of the later 1990s, no Republican politician in WFB's lifetime ever significantly slowed increases in domestic spending.
Not even Ronald Reagan. Because even after all this time, Americans like The New Deal.
Lyndon Johnson's Great Society? Americans learned to not be so crazy about it, mostly because it introduced a dependency on the government and replaced the individual's self-sufficiency. But I've poked through the charts, and it did immediately lower the national poverty rate by a lasting 10%. (Attempts to expand its reach fell flat from 1970 on.) But a permanent 10% dent in the US poverty rate was a pretty dang good accomplishment.
And so on to Iraq, the elephant in everybody's living room.
It's been no state secret that WFB has been sour on Iraq for quite some time now. I meself at the podiatrist's office today (dang, my feet sure hurt) pulled out the good doctor's most recent waiting room magazine, a March 2006 issue of Time, a kinda MSM souvenir issue, sentimentally commemorating 3 American years in Iraq.
WFB was quoted first in answer to "Was it worth it?"
No. Emphatically no. Were we wrong to undertake what we did? The objectives were sound, but our reach proved insufficient to realize them.
OK, I hear that. Looks even worse since March. WFB is hereby anointed as an unimpeachable member of the reality-based community. Down by three in the 7th and you tell us we're losing. Thanks for the update, mate.
The situation in Iraq sucks. We may have overestimated the power of human decency after tyranny is eradicated.
From WFB's most recent interview with the mousy yet beguilingly foxy Thalia Assuras, on whom I developed a severe crush some years back on her Ellerbee/Olbermanish snarkfest at 4AM on ABCWorldNewsWhatever when they thought nobody was watching:
>>>>>>>>>>¡Alto! Point of order here---
Thalia. Mouse. Fox. Journalistic Überprofessional. Goddess.
And she wore glasses back in her ABC days. Be still my lustful heart. Down, boy.<<<<<<<<<<<
OK, back to our regular program.
WFB also quoth:
There will be no legacy for Mr. Bush. I don't believe his successor would re-enunciate the words he used in his second inaugural address because they were too ambitious. So therefore I think his legacy is indecipherable...
Indecipherable. I had a little sneaky fun with our commenters with this quote awhile back:
"Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, in order to assure the survival and the success of liberty.
This much we pledge---and more."
Pretty laughable in the face of the reality of the 21st century. I playfully attributed it to Dubya, but it's actually from John Kennedy's first (and only) inaugural address. You could look it up. But let's face it, Dubya could have said it, and nobody (not just here) blinked twice when I attributed it to him.
But not even JFK believed that idealistic crap. The last one who did was Woodrow Wilson. Maybe Abraham Lincoln before him. That's about it.
Oh, yeah, and Harry Truman, who started but didn't finish the Korean War. History seldom reveals its alternatives, but the difference between North and South Korea is one of the few object lessons that history has ever yielded us.
There's a disconnect here between me and WFB. Reagan voted for Truman, and FDR, too. But WFB & me both voted for Reagan. I think I might be too liberal and idealistic. Perhaps Ronald Reagan was too.
So be it.