Friday, September 05, 2008

The GOP Bubble Universe

While I was watching the GOP Convention this week – and I watched all of it – I kept thinking that they are living in a bubble universe. Listening to the rhetoric, totally divorced from all reality, one would think that we had been living under almost 8 years of President Dennis Kucinich, with Senate Majority Leader Ted Kennedy and Speaker of the House Michael Moore.

Facts, though, are tricky things and you can’t run against a straw administration that doesn’t exist. And the truth is that for the past eight years (longer in Congress) we have had the most conservative administration since Ronald Reagan’s and unlike Reagan, the Bush administration has been able to practice supply side economics, pursue tax cuts for the rich, and roll back regulation on everything from banking to the FDA. And Bush has been able to pursue a reckless foreign policy that embroiled us in an endless occupation in Iraq, a country that had nothing to do with the 9/11 attack no matter how much Republicans want that to be true.

Most economists, including those in the Bush administration, admit that lack of proper oversight of the banking industry led to the mortgage meltdown and housing crisis. Likewise, lack of proper regulation has flooded our markets with tainted lettuce and peppers, unsafe toys, lead in toothpaste, and a host of products that have sickened and killed us, our children and even our pets. Also an administration that thinks government is of no use was not there to perform the duties a government should perform during Hurricane Katrina – though, at least, this time they learned their lesson, mostly out of political expediency.

The truth is the country has not been run by anything approaching liberalism in over 30 years. But in the last nearly 8 years it has been run on the pure ideology of the hard right and if you listen carefully to their speeches for the past three nights, all they promise is more of the same.

Maybe it’s time to actually see what the liberals have to offer. When Clinton was in office, he had a conservative Congress that did nothing but try to obstruct his policies and impeach him. Perhaps it’s time to actually give progressive Democrats a real chance to see what they can do. People in the tradition of Harry Truman, Franklin D Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson and Bill Clinton. After all, it couldn’t be worse than it already is.


Cargosquid said...

Oh where to start...
Fact is that Bush has run things very liberally, as shown by the massive domestic spending. Supply side economics works if the govt doesn't spend like drunken sailors.
That "endless" occupation seems to be ending now that the surge has quieted things down. And no Republican thinks we invaded Iraq because they attacked us. Iraq is a campaign in the GWOT.
There was a lack of proper oversight of the banking industry. That would be covered by the committees in Congress. A lot of the foreclosures are happening because Congress forced the banking industry into changing their rules about lending to bad risks. They called it redlining and called it racist.
The lack of regulation for foreign trade started under Clinton. He's the one that expanded trade with China over the conservative objections.
The administration that you state "that thinks govt is of no use" is not this one. Bush has expanded government. Conservatives think govt should be smaller and stay in its proper roll. It was the La governor that hindered Bush's call out of the Guard. It was the La state office of Homeland Security that hindered Fema. Fema was on the ground in 3 days. In a region the size of England. And Nagin was incompetent.
If this country had been run conservatively, domestic spending would have been cut. Free market solutions would have been implemented.
We've seen the disasters of LBJ. We are still paying for his programs. Kennedy would not be a democrat today. Truman would laugh at what the Dems have become. Clinton....well, if it hadn't been for the GOP congress, welfare, socialized medicine, and an even weaker military would have been our ruination.
If Obama becomes President, you will see our taxes rise, our economy decline, our enemies laugh, our country become dangeously PC, and our country become more progressive. And I mean that in the original, fascist meaning found when President Wilson was in office.

AnonymousIsAWoman said...

Nope, you can't get away with blaming the Clinton administration or the Democrats. Clinton has been out of office for almost 8 years. And the Democrats were out of power in Congress for longer than that, since 1995.

Republicans want to pretend that Bush did not govern as a conservative but he was the most conservative president since Ronald Reagan. This failure belongs to Bush, DeLay and Frist. The conservative Republicans had it all in terms of power for 6 years.

The busted economy is a direct product of the failure of conservative ideas, starting with supply side economics. How do I know?

Because in 1992, our economy was in the exact same shambles complete with a recession, inflation, high rate of unemployment. This is deja vu all over again. Clinton's governance produced a budget surplus of $230 billion by the time he left office. Right now, it is estimated that Bush will leave the next president with a budget deficit of $490 billion. Furthermore, domestic spending under the Bush budget has been flat. That's right, it hasn't increased, adjusted for inflation. The spending has gone to paying for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. It was John McCain, when he was a still genuine maverick, who warned that you can't cut taxes while you are at war.

It's also a patent lie that Obama will increase the taxes of ordinary working Americans. If you earn less than $250,000 a year, you will most likely get a tax cut not raised taxes. Of course since John McCain now thinks that those making $500,000 are middle class, I can easily see your confusion. But the truth is the middle and working classes will do far better under an Obama administration.

But so will the wealthy because even though they may pay more in taxes, they will also enjoy a better business climate; the growth of a new industry, the energy technology sector; lower inflation, which means even their dollars would go further; and a more stable and prosperous country. Everybody benefits from that.

And with all due respect, if you think that Obama or any American politician, including John McCain, is a fascist or a socialist, you're just plain mistaken. Neither of them are that.

And here I'll be happy to invoke Godwin's law and end this.