Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Time to Stop Bush Bashing

By Jim Simpson

President George W. Bush has been the recipient of the most concerted, hate-filled, propaganda campaign ever launched against a sitting President. Washington’s bureaucracy has aided and abetted this outrageous Democrat offensive by conducting a deliberate intelligence misinformation and sabotage war. The mantras have been repeated so many times, they have insinuated themselves into our daily jargon. “There were no WMD,” Bush’s “misadventure in Iraq,” or “The President’s failed Iraq policy.” Or as someone recently said to me: “I just think he’s so stupid.” Mention the name “Bush” and people bow and shake their heads. It is as though no one even wants to acknowledge we have a President by that name. Bumper stickers declare: “I Can’t Wait for 2008.” Many conservative pundits have participated in this pile on. That the Bush presidency is an unmitigated disaster is a given even among conservatives who should know better.

There is nothing new in the pattern, except for its nonstop intensity. All recent Republican Presidents have faced overt hostility from the press and popular culture. And as their time got short, the vitriol always intensified. Reagan capitulated early, handing up sacrificial lambs during Iran/Contra and offering little support for one of the most qualified Judicial Nominees in our nation’s history, Robert Bork, who was forced to face an unprecedented wave of personal attacks without the support of the President who nominated him. In recalling the Reagan years, this is often overlooked.

In typical fashion, the Republican establishment has once again capitulated and completely surrendered the argument to its enemies. Many Republican Washington insiders see this as an act of self preservation. The cacophony of negative press stories drowns out any voice that does not follow their script. One becomes self-conscious and intimidated. Why say anything if to do so risks the mass media turning their merciless invective on you?

Also, Washington insiders live in Washington. They are trying to live dual lives: supporting a Party that stands for American values in a city that doesn’t want them, while simultaneously attending cocktail parties, joining clubs and sending their children to school with these same people. But what do they expect? Republicans, whether they earn it or not, represent the Party of principle, and are thus a threat to Washington’s deeply embedded culture of corruption. They will never have an easy time of it.

Recall the experience of liberal Senator Bob Packwood (R-OR). He was hailed by feminists for supporting their causes – until he made the mistake of groping one or two of them. Then the harpy brigade descended. For all the invective one would have thought he murdered babies. But lecherous Teddy keeps on groping while Bill Clinton gets a pass on rape. Packwood’s real error: he became a vulnerable Republican, and Democrats will always use the opportunity to rid themselves even of Republicans who vote their way - much better to have an always reliable fellow Democrat. That is how Democrats reward “maverick” Republicans.

Every President has had his failings, and President Bush is no different, from his incomprehensible defense of illegal immigrants, the Medicare prescription drug program and his frustratingly suicidal habit of neither articulating nor defending his positions. But despite it all, I suggest to you that he deserves much more credit than he has been getting, even from his staunchest supporters.

For example, we take for granted the fact that he hasn’t’ backpedaled on taxes. But why should we? Reagan backpedaled. Bush’s father did in a big way – killing his chances for a second term and thus ushering in eight years of one of the most disastrous presidencies in history. We forget that George W. Bush was the first president with the guts to discard the insane Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) treaty, with which we were prevented from developing any effective missile defense for thirty years, while the Soviets blatantly cheated as they have on every other treaty we ever signed with them, and developed quite a sophisticated one.

We also discount the huge effect of his appointments to the federal bench. Supreme Court judges Samuel Alito and John Roberts will be with us for a while. A Newsmax article recently reported that, according to the Court’s Federal Judicial Center, Republican judicial appointments now outnumber Democrats’ 463 to 350. Bush has appointed 258 appellate judges, and unlike some Republican appointments in the past, most of his are solid conservatives. Seven of ten sitting judges on the crucial DC Circuit Court of Appeals, which recently overturned DC’s onerous handgun ban, are Republican appointments, three of those by G.W. Bush.

He regularly sidetracks harmful legislation, despite his supposed “lame duck” status. He vetoed the Democrats “SCHIP” bill, (State Children’s Health Insurance Program) which would have granted free health inusrance to “children” over 21 years of age and increased coverage for people earning three times the poverty level. It was correctly identified as “back-door socialized medicine.” He got the worst parts of an ill-conceived Democrat energy bill removed by threatening a veto. And he continues to thwart Congressional Democrats' idiotic proposals, despite little support from Republicans. He still makes principled decisions, a fact we either don’t notice or take for granted. Perhaps we will if a Democrat gains the presidency in 2008, but then it will be too late.

George W. Bush and the current crop of Congressional Republicans have been branded as “big spenders.” While they sadly have earned this label, don’t pin any hopes on Democrats for reversing the trend. For a good laugh, read my earlier article on Democrats much-ballyhooed and completely disingenuous restoration of PAYGO (Pay-As-You-Go) spending restrictions. Moreover, while Democrats’ disingenuously harp on Bush deficits, by historical standards the deficit is small and declining. At $219 billion (CBO Data), the projected 2008 deficit will absorb a mere 1.5 percent of GDP, significantly lower than the historical average. But even at its 2004 high water mark, the deficit absorbed only 3.6 percent of GDP – less than the highest deficit of the Clinton presidency, 1993, which consumed 3.9 percent of GDP.

This is because, thanks in large part to his tax cuts, we have had a robust economy for most of G.W. Bush’s two terms, despite the enormously recessionary impacts of the 9-11 attacks and the Dot-Com-driven stock market bust. You wouldn’t know this to listen to the gloom and doom economic reporting by the mass media, however.

But Bush’s greatest failure, according to the partisan naysayers and a few hapless Republican fools, is his record on Iraq. I submit to you that his leadership as Commander in Chief, while imperfect, has been head and shoulders over any other President in recent history. Think back.

Lyndon Johnson’s disgracefully timid and incompetent micromanaging of the Vietnam War needlessly cost tens of thousands of young American lives. Rather than admit it and change, Johnson took his marbles and went home, resigning in disgrace. It was much more than he deserved. Following the 1983 Marine barracks bombing in Lebanon, Reagan impotently withdrew all U.S. forces, rather than face off the terrorist supporting states responsible: Syria and Iran. George H.W. Bush’s unwillingness to finish the job in Iraq further encouraged the world’s thugs to believe that they had nothing to fear from the United States.

Clinton’s ignoble blundering in Somalia and impotent gestures toward Iraq further cemented the reputation of American political leaders as feckless cowards. It was discovered in after action analysis that Clinton’s much ballyhooed air campaign against Yugoslavia, where a 30,000 ft. altitude insured pilot safety, destroyed only about 5 or 6 tanks, not the hundreds initially reported. (The rest were decoys.) Was Clinton really concerned about pilot safety, or did he just want to spare his communist friends any serious damage? Given his publicized contempt for the military and his many communist connections, I suspect the latter. In either case, his much vaunted air campaign was in fact an abject failure. And now with the recent attacks on the U.S. embassy in Belgrade, it appears the policies he put in place aren’t exactly getting a warm welcome.

While George W. Bush has clearly made mistakes in his prosecution of the War in Iraq, he has, unlike other leaders, had the courage to admit and correct many of those mistakes. Halting the attack on Fallujah in the spring of 2004 was a mistake – corrected. Allowing the Madhi Army free rein was a mistake – corrected. The pre-Petraeus conventional approach, a mistake – corrected. Few political leaders in recent times have been willing to do this in any circumstance, let alone during a shooting war. And Bush’s unflinching determination to prosecute this war in the face of a relentless, overwhelmingly hostile, even seditious Western media campaign to discredit the entire effort, and treacherous, underhanded political and bureaucratic sabotage, may yet see this conflict to a successful conclusion.

We must stop and recognize that this tidal wave of negativity is manufactured relentlessly by our almost uniformly leftist, anti-Bush, anti-Republican, anti-American mass media (with a few notable exceptions), in collusion with the leftist Washington political establishment. Nothing any Republican does will ever satisfy them. Like the Iranians or North Koreans, they welcome attempts at conciliation as a ripe opportunity to take further advantage. They will never like or agree with Republicans. They want to destroy them. And they may well succeed in the upcoming election cycle if we don’t come to our senses.

Either Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama would be unmitigated disasters for this country if elected. As a diehard, committed Bolshevik however, Hillary is the more dangerous of the two, and also the more electable. Yes that’s right. I have said since the beginning, as far as her electability is concerned, she is not even thinking about getting a majority of voters. Like her husband before her, she is counting on the entrance of a third party candidate to split the republican vote. I predicted early on, this could be New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg. he has the resources and despite earlier denials, Bloomberg continues to make rumblings that he will, in fact, run. But given that Bob Barr has now announced his candidacy on the Libertarian ticket, it may not be necessary. Remember, this will be a close election under any circumstances, and Barr may become to McCain what Ralph Nader was to Al Gore in 2000.

Get it through your head and get over it! The next election cycle is critical to the survival of our Constitutional Republic. Whatever failings you see in our government and leaders, Republicans must come together and reassert the values they stand for: a strong America, lower taxes, limited government, individual rights, individual responsibility and a healthy, mature, decent culture – American values. With all its failings the Republican Party is yet America’s last hope. We American citizens may not be able to rescue America from the un-Americans, but we should at least stop assisting them in our own defeat. We can start by acknowledging and defending the record of this American President and reaffirm our support for the Republican Party – no matter who the candidate is.