August 2003 Archives

August 18, 2003

Lynne Kiesling on Deregulation

Given the enormity of the Blackout last week it would be impossible to imagine election 2004 without energy policy on the table. The left has already adopted a mantra of accusation; "Deregulation!!!," they cry pointing their righteous fingers at Bush's "cronies". Yet, the reasoned analysis (as opposed to pre-scripted rhetoric) tells us that, not only are we not living in an energy climate devoid of regulation as the left wants you to believe, but that sometimes those regulation cause as many problems as the fix. Here's what economist Lynne Kiesling has to say about it:

» Continue reading "Lynne Kiesling on Deregulation"

August 14, 2003

It's Barnett's world now...

If one were a strategist determined to pinpoint the greatest potential threats to American security, what might one’s framework for viewing the world look like? It very possibly might look like Thomas Barnett’s.

What does a framework such as Barnett's say about the conflict in Iraq?

Forget the debate surrounding how we came to be in Iraq. The direction in which the world is moving, globalization, makes such conflicts inevitable if the U.S. and other republican nations are serious about their national security.

» Continue reading "It's Barnett's world now..."

Posted by akaGoethe at 2:18 PM

August 13, 2003

Lieberman's Trade Confusion

Lieberman is apparently a free trader now. In a remarkably conservative declaration on Fox News Sunday the presidential hopeful attempted to stake a bold centrist position on Free Trade:

"If we're for middle-class tax increases, if we send a message of weakness and ambivalence on defense, if we go back to big government spending, if we're against trade [and] for protectionism -- which never created a job -- we don't deserve to run the country."

Interestingly enough, this statement of support directly contradicts his own proposal to rebuild the American manufacturing industry through various subsidy programs.

August 5, 2003

Armchair Analyst: Republicans Could be Better Off Voting Democrat

DISCLAIMER: This is merely an exercise of thought, not necessarily a practical suggestion!!!

Bush is getting more and more flack from conservatives over his embrace of social welfare and excessive government spending. A Cato report last week commented:

The administration should be supporting conservatives in Congress who actually want to get federal spending under control. Yet Bush wants to show that he is "compassionate" with his conservatism. But big-time social spending sure isn't compassionate to federal taxpayers.

With deficit spending on the rise, several conservative congressmen have noted, rightly, that if they were the minority, they would never let the Democrats get away with the kind of irresponsible spending that the GOP is now tolerating. Furthermore, if we look at Bush’s record of accomplishment, it appears instantly un-conservative: Farm subsidies, steel tariffs, record level pork, campaign finance reform, a voucher-less education bill….etc.

» Continue reading "Armchair Analyst: Republicans Could be Better Off Voting Democrat"

August 3, 2003

A Nation Divided

It's something pundits on the left and the right tend to forget: politically, the country is divided almost exactly in half. According to Liz Marlantes, writing in a feature article in tomorrow's Christian Science Monitor, such an even divide can result in extreme political tactics that cause a detrimental effect on the civility of the political debate. (Marlantes points to the California recall and the Texas exile senators as examples of extreme tactics.)

But [the use of extreme tactics are] also the result of an ongoing, and stubbornly even, political divide. Although Republicans currently control the White House and both chambers of Congress, their margins remain perilously slim, while the overall number of state legislators is almost perfectly split between the parties. With so little room to maneuver, analysts say it's not surprising parties are increasingly resorting to extreme tactics as a way to assert dominance or gain an additional edge.

While I don't doubt this to be the case, I think such decisions are foolish and shortsighted. With the country so evenly divided, the battle should be for the middle. By using extreme tactics, the major parties risk being viewed as, well, extreme.

It's too early to tell what will happen within the context of the 2004 presidential election. But so far, neither party seems prepared to win the battle for the hearts and minds of the moderates. For the Democrats, this might be attributed to typical primary election posturing. Each of the candidates is eager to appeal to the party's leftist base, and none want to run the risk of being upstaged by Howard Dean or Dennis Kucinich. Only the DLC appears to understand the mistake being made by their party. Others within the party, blinded by anger and willing to sacrifice popular support for any and all opportunities to vent that anger, are marginalizing the DLC rather than heeding the warnings.

For the Republicans, no excuse readily presents itself. At worst, it appears to be arrogance that is keeping the Republicans from securing their place in the middle. With the primary uncontested and no sign so far of any challenge from a right-wing separatist, the Republicans should seize the opportunity to grab the center.

If Bush really wants to be reelected, he should realize that the general election begins now, and start doing all he can to appeal to moderates.

Posted by Greg at 10:44 PM

It’s a Dems’ Game, but Bush has to Play It.

Nothing foments conservative blood quite like the concept of universal health care. According to the left this is because of the cold reptilian nature of their vital fluids, the same reason they oppose all the left’s programs of “social-consciousness.” Yet, the real motive is that conservatives and libertarians alone understand the ineptitude of government paternalism, and to have it threaten an industry as important as medicine scares the bejeezus out of them. And they know the stakes are high, while it’s easy to offer the people government services, it’s virtually impossible to take them away. Thus, there is no second chance on health care reform.

The 2004 democratic primaries are starting to impress upon the public consciousness and the one thing that is certain about the coming race is that Health Care is on the agenda in a big way. In 2000 we were subjected to empty and ignorant promises about prescription drug benefits (remember Gore, his mother and his dog). Neither candidate discussed WHY drugs cost so much, i.e. the draconian requirements of the FDA, but merely pledged to pay for them in one way or another. Quite predictably that ‘throw money at it’ approach looks to dominate again in 2004.

» Continue reading "It’s a Dems’ Game, but Bush has to Play It."

A Classic Bush

Here's is an excerpt from a Press Conference last week:

And there was an interesting challenge.

One reporter asked, "Mr. President, with no opponent, how can you spend $170 million dollars or more on your primary campaign?"

Bush responded, "Just watch."

From CNN/All Politics