Bruce Bartlett's Broadside at Bush
James Wolcott quotes some of Bruce Bartlett's new book which finds Bush II a horrible president for the economy and reflects on how good Clinton was as a president in comparison. For those who don't remember, Bruce Bartlett, was part of Reagan's administration and has written for the Wall Street Journal editorial page, the Washington Times and numerous other conservative publications. Therefore he cannot be simply dismissed as a flaming liberal casting aspersions on Bush for partisan reasons. Here's one little snippet:
"I think it is telling that Bush’s Democratic predecessor, Bill Clinton, was far better on the budget than he has been. Clinton vetoed bills because they spent too much. Bush never does. Clinton not only reduced the deficit, but he actually cut spending. Bush has increased both. Clinton abolished an entitlement program. Bush created an extremely expensive new one. One can still argue about whether Clinton was a better president or a better man than Bush, but on the budget there is no ambiguity. Clinton was much better."
But Bartlett continues to believe that Bush isn't a reflection of today's Republican Party.
"I think [Republicans] will eventually think of Bush the way earlier Republicans thought of Nixon—as someone who severely undermined the party and its principles just to get reelected. Not only did Nixon come close to exterminating the Republican Party with Watergate, he put in place policies that continue to burden the economy to this day—all to win one lousy election in 1972. I think Bush and his congressional enablers basically did the same thing in 2004. Bush’s motives may have been higher than Nixon’s—Bush believes he is fighting a holy war against terrorism, whereas Nixon was simply selfish—but the results may be the same."
Why stop at Bush? Exactly who was it that created the Prescription Drug boondoggle? The monster of this bill was created by the collusion of the Corporations, K-Street and the top players in the Republican Party. Today's Republican Party has been created by people like Tom DeLay, Newt Gingrich who was Grover Norquist's sponsor, and those lovely, lovely boys: Jack Abramoff, Karl Rove and Ralph Reed when they were first dreaming of creating the one party government that would make their fortunes and smash the Democrats and liberals whom they had hated since high school days.
Today's Republican Party was also created by those so-called patriots like "Duke" Cunningham who thought nothing about selling America's national security preparedness for a buck. For decades the Republican platform and policies have been shovelling money into their honey pit, the military industrial complex. But for all the money that has been thrown on the altar of defense, we are sadly less capable of defending ourselves than we were when we fought WWII. As NOW reported last night in interviews with Eugene Jareki, director for the award winning film, Why We Fight, and with Chuck Spinney, one of the key people interviewed in the film, the military is on the verge of breakdown because the money has been so badly misspent. How many of those patriotic Congressmen and ex-hill staffers lobbying for defense dollars have gotten rich off the hollowing out of our military? What has the money been spent on? We have a cancer that is eating away at our country, and the most metastasized organs are the ones the Republicans own lock, stock and barrel.
When will the Conservatives like Bartlett start writing about the overwhelming betrayal of our country by today's Republican Party?