Bush's Achilles Heel: No Money For Home; Plenty For Pentagon Ineptitude
George W. Bush and the GOP’s day of reckoning is coming over the horizon, and the Democrats need to be in a position to exploit it. Put simply, you can count on the GOP to always overplay its hand and show its cards when it gets too full of itself, just as Gingrich did in 1995. Well, the next Congress is already making noise about the need to cut Medicaid, while we continue to blow money on things like Star Wars systems that have yet to work, and a spy satellite system that only works in good weather. The GOP of course thinks these multi-billion dollar boondoggles are worthy things to have, but providing health care to low income families and children is not worthy to the GOP. Even the GOP’s own pollsters say that it is political suicide for the White House and Congress to cut Medicaid and Medicare spending and push Social Security privatization while insisting upon making Bush’s top-end tax cuts permanent, yet they push ahead anyway, convinced they have a mandate to do so. But the true poison pill for the GOP may not only be these ill-fated political hari-kari moves, but the upcoming request for another $100 billion for Iraq and Afghanistan.
At a time when we are being told there is no money for our own people here at home, and that Medicaid, Medicare, and Social Security need to be overhauled to allegedly save money and preserve rich folks’ tax breaks, we are pouring hundreds of billions of dollars into a poorly planned war and occupation that has done nothing to make us safer, while Osama runs free because of our Pakistani “friends”. And it’s not just about money, or the lack of it. The gross incompetence of how this costly war of choice is being run is demonstrated daily with the deaths of eight more Americans over the weekend, fighting in an area that we were told was stabilized with the Fallujah offensive last month. It’s gotten so bad that Chuck Hagel came out today and gave a vote of no confidence in Rummy.
The issues of cost, choices, and competence will be the arrows that Democrats can use relentlessly between now and the 2006 midterms. Rather than rubber stamp these spending requests from the administration and the Pentagon, Democrats need to step out and ask why we must continue to spend money we don’t have on an ill-conceived and poorly executed war when we can’t also find the money for health care for seniors and low income families and children here at home. Sure, the Bush Administration will trot out the “they don’t support the troops” red herring, but the Democrats need to remind voters that the troops are not being served well by this Administration now, and that Mr. Bush has responsibilities to the rest of the country that he and the GOP are shirking in their lust to feed defense contractors and the rich.