Bush Had His Chance
by James Ostrowski by James Ostrowski
I’m Jim Ostrowski and I approved this message:
Though I voted for Harry Browne in 2000, I was happy to see George Bush knock the Clintonistas out of power and I wrote several articles supportive of Bush during his post-election fight with Al Gore.
However, in four years, George Bush has almost made me nostalgic for the days of Bill Clinton, whose library I lampoon in my new book and who I therein describe as a "fifth-rate president." It’s clear to me now that the vast right-wing conspiracy to get Clinton was inspired, not by dislike of big government, but by a personal hatred based on Clinton’s opposition to Vietnam, his refusal to get sucked into that pointless meat grinder, and his long-haired, marijuana-smoking past. If that’s the cultural divide, I’m on Clinton’s side!
While these right-wing perverts were pinning Clinton down on the sordid details of his sex life, and distracting Clinton with an absurd attempt at impeachment, bin Laden and crew must have been having a good laugh. Alas, it is true: "When Clinton lied, nobody died."
On Bush, first let me wax mathematical. Your pre-Bush dollar is now worth 95 cents. Since the printing presses have been red hot under Bush, this figure probably understates the impact of federal counterfeiting. The official federal debt has increased by about $1.7 trillion under Bush. The unofficial debt is $53 trillion according to some sources.
Under Bush, our fastest growing industry is the production and liquidation of debt, much of which is financed by foreign economies that accumulate dollars and T-bills and such. They so invest not because of the strength of the American economy but because of the strength of the American military that "encourages" oil-producing countries to accept dollars and "encourages" the American taxpayer to pay the taxes that pay the interest on the T-bills. A truly muscular economy!
Also up under Bush — Americans killed in wars, Americans killed in terrorist attacks, global deaths and injuries from terrorism, Israelis killed by terrorists, federal spending, and the price of crude oil.
Under Bush, the American military tortured prisoners of war. Hey guys, when I wrote this passage in my review of The Black Book of Communism in December, 2000, I didn’t know I was writing a policy manual for the Bush Administration:
A certain type of conservative would have approved of the communist legal system. There were no lawyers to speak of, except in graveyards; no criminal lawyers "getting people off"; no "ambulance chasers"; and no namby-pamby civil rights lawyers filing suits over prison conditions. Habeas was a corpse. Communist prison reform consisted of cleaning out the raw sewage from tiny prison cells at least once a month.
Bush has made government bigger. He increased federal government control over states and persons. He increased federal control over the airline industry, banks, the drug industry and schools. Bush has left no federal education bureaucrat behind. You can always rely on Democrats to try to make government bigger and you can always rely on Republicans to lie about making government smaller while making their own bank accounts larger.
On Bush’s watch, we suffered the worst attack ever. He was asleep at the switch before and on that day as was his government. FDR, who could charm the pants off a corpse at a wake, got away with this kind of incompetence (or worse); Bush won’t.
His response to the attacks has been both ineffective and counterproductive. Osama bin Laden has not been caught and even if he was, there are many ready to take his place. Many innocents were killed and an ungovernable country was colonized. An unnecessary and destructive war in Iraq was started. Yet another ungovernable Islamic country was colonized. Bush’s attempt to impose top-down order on these lands will fail.
While Bush has our best troops bogged down in Iraq, Texas of all places has been left vulnerable to a wide array of new federally-minted enemies from Latin America.
On a more subjective level, America and Americans are more unpopular around the world. Personally, I am not anxious to take that proverbial trip around the world. Back to Montana?
That’s the actual Bush record, minus the spin and the grin.
The most persuasive argument I have heard for re-electing Bush came from Mary Matalin who, violating the privacy of Dick Cheney’s daughter, accused John Kerry of violating the privacy of Dick Cheney’s daughter, which privacy had previously been violated by Dick Cheney, Dick Cheney’s daughter, and, according to one source, Mary Matalin.
Those worried that Kerry will make government bigger are mistaken. Under Kerry, the Republican Congress will suddenly rediscover that they dislike big government and will block any major Kerry initiatives.
For those inclined to vote for Bush even though he has been a friend of bigger federal government and a disaster for America, let me run this by you. A Bush win means turning the keys to the White House back over to The Billary in 2009 — and for two terms too! A Kerry win will vaccinate us against Hillaryitus.
George Bush once said, "Big government is not the answer." If his administration had been guided by this principle, he would have won a second term on November 2nd, instead of losing to Kerry. I see Kerry winning the Electoral College, 279 to 259.
The Divided States of America
This election will be decided in Ohio (probably in the suburbs of Cleveland) which will be mindful of the old saying, "Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me."
James Ostrowski is an attorney in Buffalo, New York and author of Political Class Dismissed: Essays Against Politics, Including "What’s Wrong With Buffalo." See his website at http://jimostrowski.com.