I don’t often mention politics in this forum because:
- I’m not passionate about the subject, and
- Nobody is likely to agree with my political positions, anyhow.
(Dana says that I’m a small-l libertarian. I say I’m a small-i independent. I’m really a social liberal and a fiscal conservative.)
National politics, in particular, don’t excite me. I’m more passionate about local issues — the new megamart built on good farm land to the north of town, the Canby city budget, local land annexation ballot measures, etc. — than I am about national affairs.
Presidential politics leave me cold.
Reagan? He was okay, I guess. Bush the First? Okay, too, but a bit daft. Clinton? Smart fellow, but lacking personal discretion. Seemed to do a good job.
Ask me about our current President, though, and I’ll tell you that I think he’s as dumb as a post. Jeremy‘s brother-in-law is a native Texan who assures me that Bush the Second is a Good Guy. He may be a Good Guy, but this doesn’t make him a Good President.
Before the attacks on 11 September 2001, Bush had essentially done nothing. The economy had begun to collapse, but that’s about it. After the attacks, the President found his footing, went into war-monger mode, and his job approval rating shot through the roof.
It’s a year later, and Bush’s job approval rating has fallen substantially (it’s down to 58%) because he’s squandered his “mandate” in a series of clumsy missteps. The economy is in tatters, the country is on the brink of war (on multiple fronts), and the White House has mounted a campaign against personal liberties that is, to my mind, truly frightening.
Bush blames the Clinton administration for many of the problems he faces now. For example, the Bush administration maintains that the Clinton years produced the escalating North Korea crisis, yet the Clintion staff admonished that good relations with North Korea needed to be maintained. Doesn’t it seem possible, even probable, that North Korea is riled because our current President labeled the country “evil”, signaling an end to the movement toward reconciliation? Bush doesn’t seem to know how to play nice; he’s most comofortable when engaging in confrontational diplomacy.
The administration’s belief that the best way to fight terrorism is to promote democracy is evidence that they just grasp the global socio-political climate. It is this relentless advocacy of our way of life that fosters global Anti-Americanism. Promoting democracy isn’t likely to quell terrorism; it’s likely to promote it.
I’m not one to espouse conspiracy theories, but I do find the White House’s penchant for secrecy disturbing. The Bush Administration has decided that the Freedom of Information Act doesn’t suit its purposes and, so, has chosen to ignore it. I guess we don’t need a government that is accountable to its constituents — accountability just clouds the process of governement, right? The White House has even started killing reports it doesn’t like.
Orwell is more relevant every day.
The 06 January White House press briefing was interesting:
- “Why does the President want to drop bombs on innocent Iraqis?”
- UN Arms inspectors in Iraq
- US Troops in South Korea
- “How many convicted criminals are on the White House staff?”
- Bush’s support from global terrorists
Bush is using his political capital to renew the abortion debate (more detail) and to promote a top-heavy economic-stimulus package (a package, incidentally, to which I am not actually opposed). I only hope that his support dwindles soon enough that he cannot do more damage than he already has.