I have Read the Anchoress for a while Since about the time She got added to the links of a Major Blog in common. I didn’t get her then and I don’t get her appeal now But let me respond to her Attack on the folks who disagree with the President. But I want to start by addressing a lesser point she made first
Did he ever question your patriotism, or tell you you were a bad person? No, actually, he didn’t. Go read his remarks in context, instead of looking at one sentence blared at you by the very media you distrust.
I am sure you are a smart enough Woman to know that Presidents aren’t just one man and ‘ad-lib’ by politicians is rarely so. We have Two Cabinet secretaries who made similar derogatory commentary about opponents of the bill and then the President makes an ‘ad-lib’ remark which goes out and out saying that we are Bigoted. The problem is of course this is the second of three major remarks of this like that has come out of the Bush Presidency (the first of which,about people who say Muslim democracy is impossible, I supported). He said you were Elitist and Anti-Woman if you were against Harriet Miers.
Now I can make the case that their is no solid intellectual case to say (as many in my educational discipline have argued) Muslims cannot embrace Democracy
But their are numerous reasons for good and thoughtful people to disagree with this bill.
But now I want to get into who I am so you Understand the second section of her argument I am going to challenge.
Mom was a “Independent” who was really a democrat who is now a Liberal Republican (so she could vote against Republicans she didn’t like) Dad was a Nixon era Midwestern Republican whose mom worked for Bob Michaels Law firm at one time. Me my formative two political experiences were not of this country but of the suffering of human freedom of the folks in Tienamin Square and of a young man who tried to escape from Russia in an airplane (who escapes me because I was real young)
I started out as a Young Ditto Head, Became a Randian, Became a Libertarian, went to work for the Perot Campaign, Registered as a Libertarian, became disgusted with the incompetency and foolishness of the Libertarian party, after the mess in the party post 9-11 I became a Republican voting as a registered Republican for the first time in 2002
I am in my electoral lifetime a serial Ticket splitter and I had as a constituent of Katherine Harris the foolish mistake of voting for her getting into the state senate for the less then pure motives of a teenage voter. A mistake I made up for by never voting for her
I have evolved into a Conservative political thinker by viewing the valuable role culture and society play in the governance of nations and I found a way to embrace conservatism that I was unable to do before as a Republican of Libertarian origin.
I am a non Christian, I left the Christian Church in spirit a while before I left it in flesh. I’d have done both had I the intellectual maturity and emotional maturity to realize I could have left much earlier. Never Baptized as a Christian, never taken Christian sacraments in church.
I dabbled in a lot of interfaith study drifting about and collecting religious ritualism and practice that reflected the Journey of my soul
I am a comic book, anime, and roleplaying geek
add into all of those things I voted for President Bush in 2004 (the first Major party candidate I have ever voted for) not because of his strength, but because of the Danger and Weakness of John Kerry
I voted for Jeb twice (Twice in elections he won)
I am trained in the field of International Studies and often have to defend the ideas of Bush’s policies, if not the absolute application
I believe this makes me the perfect person to deal with your list.
Did he protect us from the reach & province of the International Criminal Court? Yes.
You mean the document that Clinton could have put up but didn’t? Or the document that never would have reached the US senate?
I assume you mean the deals he has negotiated with other countries, which are of borderline questionable legality. And are in countries that I would be surprised if the worries against the ICC ever came to pass as a problem.
So giving him credit for not presenting something that was doomed to epically fail, and then parsing agreements that really accomplish nothing
Just because you can check it off a list, doesn’t mean it matters
Did he keep us from the Kyoto mess that is currently tying up Europe? Yes.
By your Logic Bill Clinton did the same exact thing by never presenting it to the Senate for Ratification.
So by the fact that, even today, Kyoto could probably never pass the Senate you want to credit that to Bush
its on a check list but on a scale of 1-100 with effort this (like the last one) rates a 1
Did he create a workable alternative to Kyoto that other countries have embraced? Yes. Bet you didn’t know that!
I did know that, however has Bush ever aggressively challenged the Global Warming Industry? no.. no he hasn’t. Has he ever went to the American people and said “Here is why they are wrong.” nope, and I doubt he could. By his failure to enunciate the realities of the global warming debate he did a lot more damage to his presidency, conservatism, and the republic then this laudable effort undoes.
From a President who likes to claim to be the guy who supports Freedom and Liberty he does not challenge those who attack Freedom and Liberty from Ivory towers as part of a new unaccountable and arrogant priesthood
Have US Carbon Emissions decreased on his watch, without Kyoto? Yes.
So because Businesses have finally gotten new technology online during his watch he gets credit. When technology solutions to deal with these pressures had a host of subsidies for years which only NOW bares fruit is not a credit for Bush.
Bush does not get credit for luck or inaction here
Did he submit a comprehensive energy plan that got killed by a weak congress? Yes.
Which like this Immigration bill was written in secret, wreaked of cronyism, was a tower of babel to even intelligent people, and poorly presented politically by the President to (arguably) a weak Congress.
So The President did a slipshod job trying to fix the nations energy issues, and he should be given good credit for failing to make a good bill, and failing to make a major effort to sell his bad bill. Ummmmmm No
thats not laudable
that (unlike some of your other examples) isn’t credit worthy and sounds like an excuse.
Has he lowered the deficit ahead of schedule in time of war? Yes. Even the NYTimes admits it!
Ahead of the NEW schedule, which came only after 2-3 years of the economy righting itself. so no… The President does not get credit for fixing a problem, he largely made, by working to spend his way into political support, expanding the size of government, and allowing unaccountable cronies the key to the checkbook.
He is ahead of scheduale for fixing a problem he made worse. Thats not a credit
Did he cut taxes? Twice? Yes. And yes.
First point I am with you on 1000%
BUT by that Logic we should give Bill Clinton Conservative points. (less because he also raised taxes)
Did he try to get the cuts made permanent? Yes. Congress dropped that ball
Part of the President’s job is passing an Agenda. Part of the Political Party in Congresses Job is passing the most important parts of the President’s agenda. The President didn’t lean on congress as much as he is now over this immigration bill on his Tax cut bill. Or his Social Security Bill…. in short when the President has to sell congress on his agenda he has two strategies “support projects” (which is a classic solution that has nothing wrong with it) or getting Ted Kennedy to wrangle democrats for him.
Thats his A game, thats his B game. Other Presidents could go to the American people and get them to pressure congress. Other Presidents could use the veto pen to make congress play ball. In short a whole host of soft and hard power solutions at his feet and George Bush couldn’t get his part of the Job done to make the Tax cuts Permanent.
Had he put this much pressure on the Tax Cuts, congressional republicans would have fallen into line
Did he stop government funding of EMBRYONIC stem cell research? Yes.
Actually NO. You get this one 100% wrong. George Bush established the first Federally Funded Stem Cell Research. Strictly regulated research but funded Research none the less. This overturned a ban that had prior to this point existed. So Conservatives here get one where Bush not through incompetence but through choice went against them.
Has he kept the promises he made as he held a dead cop’s shield before the Joint Houses? Yes.
let me put the Vow up so I can point out how Bush has voided his oath
I will not forget this wound to our country or those who inflicted it. I will not yield; I will not rest; I will not relent in waging this struggle for freedom and security for the American people.
And yet George Bush Negotiates with people who have and continue to send men to kill American Soldiers. He asked them to negotiate with the thugs they sold guns to, and trained, to kill American soldiers and commit genocide on the Iraqi Sunni’s. George Bush has allowed the Taliban to form a sovereign enclave inside Pakistan -a vital ally, and a nuclear power-
I don’t think George would see this as shirking his duties, but this is a shrug that he has allowed. George Allowed the Russians, French, Chinese, and Germans to run rhetorical rings around him in Diplomatic circles making our war effort in Iraq that much harder by his hiring of a light weight to be his secretary of state.
George Bush has failed to defend our country because he has failed to execute a foreign policy, full of ideas in which you and I would find much agreement, with any degree of competence. and at this point their is no other shoe to drop to redeem him…
Did he go after the Taliban and AlQaeda in Afghanistan barely a month after 9/11? Yes.
His highest rating in this “record” you cite of his. it would have been Lower but I did not believe until 2004,2006, and 2008 a politician would turn a blind eye to 9-11 no matter what their party
so his highest conservative rating on your checklist comes because of the intellectual weakness and cowardice of those who oppose him
Has he been unflagging in his efforts to subdue terrorism, worldwide? Yes.
Flag #1) Negotiating with Iran
Flag #2) His “road map” process which failed to address the realities of the numerous breeches of prior agreements by the Palestinian Authority (many of which remain in Breach to this day) and still demands that Israel put forward most of the trust building efforts
Flag #3) Not pressuring Pakistan against allowing the Taliban a Free Enclave with which they can kill American Soldiers with impunity
those are three right there.
Has be been the consistent voice for human liberty around the globe? Yes.
The People in Russia would disagree. The Pro-American Anti-Regime “Peaceful” elements in Iranian Society would disagree. The Anti-Chavez people would disagree. Bush has allowed Human Liberty to flicker very softly in quite a few areas of the world. Some like Russia through Neglect which many previous presidents (including his father) participated in. And in areas like Iran and Venezuela its through a sheer ineptitude of foreign and intelligence policy application
Bush talks a good game, but as I have challenged in your list he rarely gets there.
After some serious missteps, is the surge working? Yes.
Working in what regard. The Next President will pull us out of Iraq. 2009 will be the start of the new Hanoi because the political process has decayed so much here that you only have 4 effective advocates for the war running for the GOP nomination. Political pressure is such that the weather vanes in the party that is most supportive of the war are already twirling
so if the surge gives us better security it doesn’t matter because it will be declared a failure in September no matter what happens.
Has he been a staunch friend to Israel, the only stable democracy in a frantic region? Yes.
No (see my Roadmap for Peace comments)
best he can say is he was slightly better then Bill Clinton
who can only say to his credit “At least I’m not carter”
So Bush is the Third Worst President on Israel in my lifetime (tied with his father) which makes him tied for Second only because in my life time we’ve only had one Pro-Israel President and his initials are RWR
Did he end the farce of world-wide Arafat admiration? Yes
Really? did you watch all the pity coverage he got on CNN when Bush allowed him to be frozen in one building? the pity coverage he got when he died. Absolutely not. The best bush can say is he didn’t give into it and (probably) hastened Arafat’s trip to a lake of fire
Did he remove Saddam Hussein, whose state supported terrorists, from power? Yes
Second point I am in total agreement with you on
Did he invade Iraq at a time when the whole world believed Saddam had and “would use” WMD? Yes.
Let me challenge your point into two parts. Everyone thought Saddam had WMD… absolutely
Would he use them, well it depended on the situation. Against his own dissidents that he knew some one would help? Absolutely. Against an International Pariah like Iran? yes. Against the US … NO
Dick Cheney before he was our He-Man VP was the head of the DoD when asked in an interview by a snooty reporter what we would do if Saddam used his Biological or Chemical Weapons in his arsenal against our troops he said we would use any appropriate response in our arsenal. The reporter followed up asking if we would use Tactical Nuclear Weapons. Cheney left his answer vauge
What happened? Saddam didn’t use his gas and germs.
Saddam knew he would get hit by nukes and actually have to suffer he would never use or hand the stuff off to be used.
I was saying this at the time and BTW I supported the war
Did he bring a much-maligned coalition with him? Yes. Some are still there.
That was filled by soldiers from many countries that were a train wreck, and created a command structure that would make victory difficult in the Post-War period.
Did he liberate 50,000 people in keeping with the ideals of the 1998 Iraqi Liberation Act? Yes
I am assuming you meant 50 Million here :-p and here we find our third point of convergence
Has he inspired the Iraqi people to finally believe enough in freedom to fight AlQaeda with us? YES!
he also inspired the Bad guys to join in the Iraqi Army and Police and to use their position to get US Money, Supplies, and a free reign to ethnically cleanse their neighbors.
So I’ll give that one maybe a 5. subtracting from the nobility of the good guys in the Iraqi Police and Military the villains who snuck in the door. and subtracting for the soldiers who are working the land with their blood, sweat, and tears who are the real inspiration to the Iraqi people.
Has he figured out that a free and engaged Middle East makes America safer? Yes.
So he finds the fact the US government doesn’t have to dump soldiers, weapons, and intelligence operations in the sand box makes us safer. The fact that we would have a place where an ideology of revolutionary self destruction closes down would make this country better
so being Captain Obvious is a conservative trait?
Has he kept you safe since 9/11? So safe that you’ve almost forgotten to fear? Yes
I hate to be Arlen Spectator but
We can say our police and national security peeps have stopped some Terrorist incidents from happening, but how many more have been stopped vs those that existed before. How many more do we know about that we don’t know about before
compare the percentages
I bet we know about more and I bet we stop about the same number of them from attempting to be actionable
(~ Incidentally, all we know about right now is we’ve stopped some dry runs and planning stage operations with only one (that we caught in Canada) close to being operational~)
But I don’t have a good top secret source so… I’ll say “Not Proven”
Did he remove “the wall” between the CIA and the FBI? Yes.
After the 9-11 Commission trainwreck happened.
so no good credit for that
Did he go to the UN before invading Iraq? Yes
And why should that be a reason for Conservatives to be happy?
Did he tell the UN that the US would never ask permission to defend herself? Yes.
So he told the UN that the US would do what the UN charter says
and…. I should give him credit for this why?
Did he inspire Libya to surrender it’s WMD without firing a shot? Yes.
PARTIAL agreement. I think the sanctions and lawsuits helped
Did he appoint excellent SCOTUS and Federal Judges to the bench? Yes.
Save the Miers Nomination I can agree
Did he implement the NSA terrorist eavesdropping program? Yes.
he just merely allowed Foreign Phone calls which connected to some one in the US to be monitored by already existing technology (which is less then stuff done by Carter and Clinton with much of the same infrastructure)
So he gets points for doing something honorably that clinton and carter did dishonorably.. and then getting in trouble and exposing it and making it unusable by future presidents
soooo this gets credit why?
Did he immediately move to freeze assets and make terror funding more difficult? Yes.
Third point of Full agreement, 4th of collective agreement. But this I think even our current Craven and Cowardly Democrats would have done
Did he reform Medicare? Yes.
Reform by creating new entitlements that will make the program likely to fail sooner
then yes he reformed Medicare
but not as a conservative, and Oh BTW we were willing to give this one to Bush
Did he reform Social Security to give you more power over your money? He tried. See Congress.
Really? did Bush get out a charm offensive of Senior Party Statesmen like he did for the Iraq Surrender Group? Did he get some one like Fred Thompson to be his cheerleader (like he did for John Roberts). Did he accuse his opponents of hating young people.
He has done less then he has for Immigration and less then he did to get Harriet Miers onto the Supreme court.
Did he manage an economy thru recession, terror attack & war w/ consistent gains for over ten quarters? Yes.
So a President Gets credit for his economy being good even though he doesn’t control it, does that mean its bush’s fault that it went bad before?
Or is the economy something thats bigger then the power of Presidents
Has he kept unemployment between 5.5% and 4.4% for an impressive period? Yes.
Does he say what he means and mean what he says? Yes.
The source you cited said he was pro-federalized schools yet he pushed for NCLB so then if he campaigned as a federalizer of schools as your sources quote says… then he doesn’t say what he means and mean what he says
Did he try to address immigration last year, when the houses in his party? Yes.
So a bill that was slightly less bad then the current bill…. and slightly less hated
how is that a credit for conservatives?
Does he support the second amendment? Yes.
at a point when even the Democrats won’t put forward gun control legislation its kinda moot
he also appointed folks to the Transportation department who tried to keep pilots from having guns, and keep them from actually using them to defend people.
Does he support school vouchers and school choice? Yes.
and how has he supported those ideas? by passing a massive invasion of local schools which sets up a huge bureaucratic way to get to free schools
Did he sign the ban on Partial Birth Abortion? Yes. It went to court, but he signed it.
Did he reverse Clinton’s intent to kill Reagan’s pro-life Mexico policy? Yes.
I’ll give you these two
Did he support the Defense of Marriage Act? Yes. That used to be vitally important to you.
So he supports a bill that couldn’t really be tested until the tail end of his first term (and hasn’t YET been tested)
So he supports something that will likely be killed in court. When he could have say using the soft power of the republican establishment put pressure on Mitt and the Mass Republicans to actually fight the ruiling
Did he expand the roles of faith-based organizations in social programs? Yes.
And make them liable to more federal lawsuits and intrusion
Did he prosecute the white-collar criminals like Ken Lay who ran riot through the ‘90’s? Yes.
So he gets credit for something the US attorneys would have done anyway
no no that doesn’t work
Has he handled himself with enormous courage, dignity and grace in the face of world/media/hate?
And this should matter to Conservatives why?
Is he a man with a creed before he’s anything else? Yes.
Not proven, history will ultimately judge that
Did he establish Health Savings accounts? Yes.
Which are not very effective to real health care system problems.
so woooo he passed something which really does nothing for most people
Did he have the Border Patrol installing monitoring devices along the borders? Yes.
So he gets credit for the Border Patrol doing their JOB
no I don’t think so
Has he made mistakes? Yes. Some undeniable beauts.
Has he been an imperfect president? Yes.
Has he spent too much? Probably.
Absolute Agreement here
Has he given you most of what you’ve wanted? Actually, looking at the list…yes!
Looking at my response… not so much
unless you give him credit for things he didn’t actually DO. Things that were done by a democratic president…. and things we can’t know about so we assume he’s done it
far to many assumptions for me