What If This Were Bush?

cross-posted from The Beacon

It goes without saying that if Bush had presided over a phony end to the Iraq war, expanded the Afghanistan war, extended its reach into Pakistan, solidified the state secrets doctrine and claimed in no uncertain terms the right to assassinate American citizens without due process, the left would be up in arms. The partisan hypocrisy concerning war-related issues is clear.

But what about economic and domestic policy? What if the Bush administration had sunk the country another trillion dollars into debt with the explicit promise that his plan was all that could prevent a 9% unemployment rate – only to then stumble for a year with an unemployment rate closer to 10%? What if the Bush administration had imposed a mandate forcing Americans to patronize the health insurance industry? What if the Bush administration had been in place for these two years since the financial collapse, overseeing an obviously sheepish economy whose only signs of recovery are transparently superficial and temporary bumps in consumption and the employment for census workers? And speaking of “transparency,” what if Bush had vowed to have his deliberations with the medical industry out in the open, to put every major bill on the web before it was voted on, and to have the health care debate on C-Span for all the world to see, only to renege totally on these assurances and every other promise of transparency? What if the Bush administration had simultaneously designated carbon to be a “pollutant” while proposing to create a market in the right to pollute, with credits given to big firms to be bought and sold on Wall Street? What if the Bush administration had overseen the BP oil spill, with regulatory agents asleep at the wheel and had decided, unilaterally, to cap the company’s liability? What if the Bush administration had won an election on one major domestic promise – to take the corruption and chaos out of the financial markets and steady the economy back on track – only to preside over an expansion of the power of the very same agencies that led the markets astray, all the while those markets showed little sign of improving? What if the Bush administration had established such a flurry of ad hoc interventions as to frighten investors away from wanting to invest in the private economy?

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The GOP’s Pledge to America

The House Republicans’ release of its “Pledge to America” has been met with criticism from across the ideological spectrum. While excoriation from the left was inevitable, those who were hoping that the GOP would set out a detailed agenda for limiting government were also not satisfied.

The 48-page document contains more pictures of Republican members of Congress than it does evidence that the GOP is seriously prepared to cut spending. While the introductory commentary is designed to appeal to the tea party movement, the actual “plan” to return budgetary sanity to Washington is both timid and incomplete.

The following are some thoughts on the pledge’s “plan to stop out of control spending and reduce the size of government”:

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Do we want representatives pulled into line?

According to Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA) those members of his faction , the Democratic Party, most likely to be defeated in 2010 are the very members difficult to pull into party line. As reported in a recent article in The Hill Waxman was very clear on why he believes many will lose their seat in Congress this coming election actually referring to weeding out difficult Democrats. This line of thinking is critical to understanding the root problem we face under a governing standard based on the rule of law resting with the people.

Quoting the Berman and Hooper article, “I think a lot of the House seats we’re going to lose are those who have been the toughest for the Democrats to pull into line — the Democrats that have been the most difficult,” Waxman said. When we understand the job of the Majority or Minority Whip as the person responsible for whipping faction members into line with the rest of the party it is not surprising someone with as long a career as Waxman has had feels these Democrats are difficult. He is not alone as a believer in party members serving in Congress for the benefit of the party rather than the people.

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At Odds with Both Sides of the Political Spectrum

My conservative friends think I’m too liberal; my liberal friends think I’m too conservative…clearly I’m on the right track! It seems so simple to me, we are a constitutional republic, not a democracy. Therefore, our government should be limited to the powers granted to it by the Constitution. This doesn’t mean that we are always going to be comfortable with the results but it does mean we will always be free.

Sometimes freedom will make liberals angry (re: 2nd amendment) and sometimes freedom will make conservatives angry (re: gambling et al.). Why even have a Constitution if we aren’t going to follow it? The Constitution says that gold and silver shall be used as legal tender. Why do we use Federal Reserve notes as legal tender? The Constitution says that we only go to war with a decleration of war by Congress. Why did we go to war in Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan, and Iraq again without Congress delcaring war?

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If we can not Beat them, Infiltrate them!

In the early days of the USA, One of the worst insults the Founding Fathers could give someone was to refer to them as a PARTY MAN. To be a PARTY MAN meant you put the welfare of your political party above the interests of the country.

Let’s examine the possibility and or fact that the TEA Party movement is causing some disturbances and concern within the ranks of the career politicians/PARTY people.  One of the possible methods to address this issue would be to recognize them, welcome them and infiltrate their ranks.  Something like “If you can’t beat them, join them”

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