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The Republican Kennedys
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The Perfect World >> Politics >> The Republican Kennedys

The Republican Kennedys

Pincher Martin -- Wednesday, June 23, 2010 -- 06:18:51 PM

The Bushes: Two presidencies, two governorships, one vice presidency, one senator's seat. All provided with minimal skill and flexible ideology. The GOP family that just won't go away, no matter how badly they mess things up for both party and country. A thread to discuss all things Bush, including whether Jeb will add to the family's resume.

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MsIt -- Friday, March 02, 2012 -- 02:22:41 PM -- 555 of 711

In what way did Bush ever not get precisely what he wanted for Iraq or Afghanistan from Congress?

In what way did Congress ever protest or even seriously consider not funding his or the military requests? This was a consensus war, bucko.

GregD -- Friday, March 02, 2012 -- 03:44:03 PM -- 556 of 711
After the power to choose a man wants the power to erase. --Stephen Dunn

It's not all his fault because they should have not allowed the Commander in Chief leeway to run the war as he and the Joint Chiefs saw fit?

MsIt -- Friday, March 02, 2012 -- 04:58:35 PM -- 557 of 711

Okay, I'm good with that as long as we can blame the fiasco of Afganistan on your guy. All of it, including the lack of willingness to protect and stand up for our men that has led to their murders.

If we're going to judge these two presidents by their foreign policy wars of Iraq and Afganistan, I'd say Bush comes out 10 lengths ahead on that race.

Pincher Martin -- Friday, March 02, 2012 -- 05:51:33 PM -- 558 of 711
"Whoever is winning at the moment will always seem to be invincible." -- George Orwell

Listen, you're the one who argues Bush was an abject failure. PM is your friend here. I don't agree with either of you. Bush may have not had a stellar presidency, but compared to Obama, he's a Lincoln.

You've got to be kidding me. I don't even think the Bush sycophants go this far. Really, MsIt? Really?

You and Greg deserve each other.

Nor do I think Bush is soley responsible for the Iraq campaign, there's plenty of blame to go around Congress there, including many democrats, who seem to have developed amnesia about their roles.

Yes, some Democrats voted for the war and they should be held accountable for their votes. (And as Kerry found out in 2004, when push comes to shove, they usually are.) But most of the Democrats who supported the war, like Kerry and Clinton, didn't promote the campaign to start the Iraq war, or interpret the intelligence that justified the war, or develop a strategy to win the war, or run the war. Bush did all that. It was his job as Commander-in-Chief.

So don't even try to foist some sort of rough equivalence on the two roles. The Democrats' role was passive and pretty much left to that of authorizing the war. Once that moment was past, all the Democrats had left in their arsenal was cutting off funding, which most people agree was not a serious option. Bush's role was day-to-day and as close to absolute as we get in our democratic society.

MsIt -- Friday, March 02, 2012 -- 06:25:31 PM -- 559 of 711

You've got to be kidding me. I don't even think the Bush sycophants go this far. Really, MsIt? Really?

Yes, really, compared to Obama, Bush looks very good. I know your position on this, I don't agree with it.

I don't support a Jeb Bush candidacy but that doesn't mean I think GW was the president from hell.

You and Greg deserve each other.

And you are whack on this topic.

like Kerry and Clinton, didn't promote the campaign to start the Iraq war, or interpret the intelligence that justified the war, or develop a strategy to win the war, or run the war. Bush did all that. It was his job as Commander-in-Chief.

It was, but he had solid congressional support, including from democrats.

Bush's role was day-to-day and as close to absolute as we get in our democratic society.

Yes, just like Obama's in Afganistan. By the way, whatever else you might think, Bush did leave his presidency with the Iraq war in better shape (with respect to American interests) than Obama will leave Afganistan.

Pincher Martin -- Friday, March 02, 2012 -- 06:49:39 PM -- 560 of 711
"Whoever is winning at the moment will always seem to be invincible." -- George Orwell

Yes, really, compared to Obama, Bush looks very good. I know your position on this, I don't agree with it.

I don't care that you disagree with my position. I love disagreement. I live for it. What bothers me is that, like Greg, you can't support your opinion. Your argument here -- to the extent you even have one -- is completely without merit. Someone could perhaps make a decent case for what you want to make (although I doubt it), but you can't.

I don't support a Jeb Bush candidacy but that doesn't mean I think GW was the president from hell.

I don't care about Jeb Bush right now. I want to know how any idiot who was sentient over the last decade still thinks George W. Bush's presidency could look like Lincoln's presidency in any comparison.

It was, but he had solid congressional support, including from democrats.

Yes, on day one, Bush had all the official support (including from some Democrats) he needed to go to war. No one really disputes that.

But the war lasted the rest of Bush's presidency, and the Democrats didn't have a say in how it was run. Even skeptical Republicans in Congress didn't have a say in how it was run. That the war was authorized by Congress doesn't absolve the president of his responsibility in running it nor does it mean he shares equal billing with those who voted for it. When judging the leadership qualities of a president, especially in war, you don't just look at day one. You look at how well a president was able to set goals and meet them, especially when you consider how little interference he has from others to do what he believes needs to be done.

Yes, just like Obama's in Afganistan. By the way, whatever else you might think, Bush did leave his presidency with the Iraq war in better shape (with respect to American interests) than Obama will leave Afghanistan.

No, he did not. And the fact you think so just shows how ignorant you are of the entire War on Terror. You're still lost in the headlines somewhere. I think you're seeing "Surge" and leaving it at that. Bush was in Iraq for six years -- a period nearly twice as long as the period we spent fighting Imperial Japan and Nazi Germany. Everything positive he got done there was taken care of in the first six to twelve months. Everything else was a waste -- a waste of good men, a waste of money, and a waste of time.

Are you really this fucking stupid that you still don't know that?

MsIt -- Friday, March 02, 2012 -- 07:29:31 PM -- 561 of 711

Are you really this fucking stupid that you still don't know that?

Yes, this must be it.

Pincher Martin -- Friday, March 02, 2012 -- 07:32:16 PM -- 562 of 711
"Whoever is winning at the moment will always seem to be invincible." -- George Orwell

Well, then make an intelligent case. Comparing Bush to Lincoln, and equating the roles Bush had in running the war to some Democrats' roles in authorizing the war, is stupid mindless hackery.

CalGal -- Monday, March 05, 2012 -- 03:42:49 AM -- 563 of 711
I remember a time, back in the late 90s, when I thought nonsense like this mattered somewhat more than I do now. Now I see well-educated people yammering about the birth control choices of their daughters, or gay marriage, and I think they are morons.

I agree with the Ms. I don't think she was saying that Bush was Lincoln; merely that Bush is that much better than Obama.

I'm no fan of Bush at all. And I disagreed with his vision for America. But I'd take his over Obama's.

Phillip Sheridan -- Monday, March 05, 2012 -- 03:48:12 AM -- 564 of 711

I also read Ms as saying Bush was Lincoln compared to Obama, not Lincoln compared to all presidents.

Pincher Martin -- Tuesday, March 06, 2012 -- 04:30:48 AM -- 565 of 711
"Whoever is winning at the moment will always seem to be invincible." -- George Orwell

I wasn't going to say anything more about this, but I don't want an inaccurate description of my back-and-forth with MsIt to stand. I read what she wrote, and I think I responded appropriately:

MsIt: " Bush may have not had a stellar presidency, but compared to Obama, he's a Lincoln."
Pincher: "I want to know how any idiot who was sentient over the last decade still thinks George W. Bush's presidency could look like Lincoln's presidency in any comparison."

It doesn't matter how you compare him, Bush is still no Lincoln. Pick any president you like: Buchanan, Hoover, Nixon, Carter, etc. Bush might look a little better than some, or even all, of those presidents, but he still doesn't look like Lincoln.

What makes MsIt's description the stupidest partisan hackery, though, is that she primarily bases her claim on foreign policy (response to 9/11, the Iraq War), which is one area where Obama has closely tracked Bush's record. The extravagant claims of the neocons aside, the two presidents look very similar, and where they aren't similar, Bush has no advantage.

Obama is not doing anything about Iran? True, but then neither did Bush in his final two years.

Obama got bin Laden. Bush did not.

Obama got Gaddafi in a war I did not support. Bush normalized relations with Gaddafi in a move I did not support. From the conservative position, though, which of the two is worse?

Obama has continued the mindless process of radicalizing the Middle East so we can kick out leaders we don't like and replace them with leaders who are potentially even worse. How is Egypt looking? Does anyone still really think Libya is going to look better? Or Syria, if we knock off Assad? Everyone's favorite Republican says Iraq is "unraveling.". He blames Obama. I blame men like him and Bush for their pie-in-the-sky, no-sacrifice-is-too-great (unless it's higher taxes) game of Risk they decided to play in the Middle East. Bush started that game, and Obama has faithfully continued it to a large degree. But where he hasn't, he has almost always improved on Bush's record.

Obama is trying to get our troops out of the Middle East. Every right-thinking American ought to pray he succeeds. Read this Mark Steyn column and ask yourself what the fuck are we still doing in Afghanistan? Why would anyone criticize Obama for trying to get our troops out of there?

Contrary to MsIt's bold assertion, Bush didn't respond well to 9/11. He was not a good war leader. He took the good will of most Americans that he was given on that day, and he wasted it by formulating a failed strategy for the War on Terror and running it into the ground. I don't blame Bush for not having the foresight that his strategy would fail, but I do blame him for not adapting once it became clear it was the wrong approach.

GregD -- Tuesday, March 06, 2012 -- 04:06:09 PM -- 566 of 711
After the power to choose a man wants the power to erase. --Stephen Dunn

Obama is not doing anything about Iran? True, but then neither did Bush in his final two years.

The current sanctions have a hell of a lot more teeth in them than anything from the Bush era, and are seriously hurting their economy. Power's shifted from the nutjob Ahmadinejad to the religious leaders, who're now calling nuclear weapons "unislamic". Still a danger certainly, but short of a first-strike what do you suggest?

The "not doing anything" is a bunch of loose talk from McCainalikes & Liebermen who think we ought to just attack Iran. Them and people like them see a pre-emptive strike as the hammer for every nail in that part of the world. Iran, Syria, whatever, let's start another war where we're the clear aggressor based on our fears about what they might have or do a couple years from now. Worked so well before. A thought process that's both disturbing and destabilizing, and I'm glad they don't have the tiller. I don't want to attack another country in the middle east unless/until we actually have to in order to block a specific threat. That time may come with Iran, but in the meantime I'd be overjoyed to find a diplomatic resolution or even buy them off somehow on the nuclear issue.

Far as the Arab Spring events, this may surprise you but we don't control Arab uprisings. And the dictators we'd supported haven't really done very well at making us safer, but have certainly contributed to the popular unrest and sense of powerlessness that leads people toward terrorism.

I want the people in those countries to gain more democratic representation, even if it opposes us, in order to break the logjam in that part of the country. Democracy and having their voices heard has an inherent calming effect, longer term, and will help stabilize the region. Also, a representative government that opposes us can be dealt with on a nation-to-nation basis. It can be fought diplomatically via the international community. It can be bought off. It can be befriended. It can be attacked. All of the above helps get us away from playing anti-terrorist whackamole.

Iraq, Afghanistan, and all these other countries were never going to fulfill neocon hopes & dreams of a democratized middle east. I think the best outcome we can get is a reshuffling of the deck, some representation rooted in popular support (even if it opposes our interests), and continuing internal strife within the muslim world.

Pincher Martin -- Tuesday, March 06, 2012 -- 06:19:06 PM -- 567 of 711
"Whoever is winning at the moment will always seem to be invincible." -- George Orwell

Greg,

The current sanctions have a hell of a lot more teeth in them than anything from the Bush era, and are seriously hurting their economy. Power's shifted from the nutjob Ahmadinejad to the religious leaders, who're now calling nuclear weapons "unislamic". Still a danger certainly, but short of a first-strike what do you suggest?

You're just babbling. You want to say something positive about Obama and something negative about Bush on their Iran policies, but you don't know how to go about it. So you puff out your chest and try to bluff you way through.

Obama's current tough sanctions on Iran did not come until he was more than two years into his presidency. They were an admission that his previous two years of diplomacy towards Iran had failed. These sanctions will not stop Iran's nuclear program. So the choices are: allow Iran to have nukes or initiate some sort of military action. Thus sanctions are either a prelude to military action or they are worthless posturing.

Obama's current position is that if the sanctions don't work, he will order military action. That's a very Bush-like position (pre-2006) for the president to lay out there. But I think Obama is talking tough to forestall Israeli military action until after the presidential election when he won't need the Jewish vote and the high price of oil isn't so politically dangerous to his campaign.

We may soon find out because it appears the Israelis don't trust Obama and aren't willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. Netanyahu gave an extremely powerful speech at AIPAC last night, and while it was superficially polite to the president, he made clear he doesn't trust the man to do what's right for Israel.

The "not doing anything" is a bunch of loose talk from McCainalikes & Liebermen who think we ought to just attack Iran. Them and people like them see a pre-emptive strike as the hammer for every nail in that part of the world. Iran, Syria, whatever, let's start another war where we're the clear aggressor based on our fears about what they might have or do a couple years from now. Worked so well before.

There's no contradiction in saying that McCain and Obama can both be wrong. McCain can be a jingoist and Obama a dupe (or worse). But that's not my argument. I'm saying that as far as Middle East policy is concerned, Obama is essentially Bush. He shows the same aggressive idealism towards the region. Bush talked tough about Iran ("axis of evil"), but didn't do much about it because he was bogged down babysitting Iraq.

Yes, Obama has modified some of Bush's policies, but the War on Terror is still being vigorously prosecuted under his regime in the name of the same ideals. In fact, I've been amazed at how bloodthirsty Obama has come across in some his speeches. He very well may have it in him to bomb Iran.

Far as the Arab Spring events, this may surprise you but we don't control Arab uprisings. And the dictators we'd supported haven't really done very well at making us safer, but have certainly contributed to the popular unrest and sense of powerlessness that leads people toward terrorism.

Surprise me? You're the idiot who was overjoyed by the Arab Spring, as if it augured some positive development for the United States. You're the one who wanted us knew-deep in encouraging these uprisings. I now see we are on the same side of the Syria uprising as al Qaeda.

I want the people in those countries to gain more democratic representation, even if it opposes us, in order to break the logjam in that part of the country. Democracy and having their voices heard has an inherent calming effect, longer term, and will help stabilize the region.

You do a wonderful impersonation of Bush. He couldn't have said it better himself. Do you, too, have us on the fifty-year plan? I would think you'd have to, Our earliest democratic experiments in the Middle East, which began nearly a decade ago, have still not yielded any fruit in calming and stabilizing the region. Weaver's doing much better with his gold investment than you are with this investment in peace and stability.

jenrenton -- Tuesday, March 06, 2012 -- 09:29:24 PM -- 568 of 711
Snowflake mother

I want the people in those countries to gain more democratic representation, even if it opposes us, in order to break the logjam in that part of the country. Democracy and having their voices heard has an inherent calming effect, longer term, and will help stabilize the region.

Seriously? You are serious about this claim?

This is like claiming that the world is too interconnected by trade links to ever go to war. That turned out not to be the case in 1914, 1939, and, oh, every other time it has been claimed.

The Arab countries have enormous, bulging population pyramids; they are teeming with young, single men. Adding political sparks to this population of dry timber is not a plan for stabilization.

Pincher Martin -- Saturday, March 24, 2012 -- 08:31:56 PM -- 569 of 711
"Whoever is winning at the moment will always seem to be invincible." -- George Orwell

Jeb Bush says Romney needs to 'change the tone' with Latinos

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, who just two days ago endorsed Romney, told reporters in San Antonio Thursday that Romney needs to “change the tone” with Latinos away from immigration issues and more towards areas such as education, small business development, and social issues, noting that the GOP frontrunner can do “quite well” if he does.
“He’s embraced education reform, which to me is the most important, aspirational set of policies. If you advocate reform, you’re going to get more people a chance to be successful. He has a pro-family perspective that I think is important and has been embraced by Latino families across the country. He has an agenda to embrace small businesses and I think emphasizing that in terms of regulatory reform, tax reform, will help with Latino voters. His own life experience is one that I think can be helpful. But, he’s got to change the tone a bit, that’s all – and I think a lot of the things, the emphasis,” Bush said.

If I were forced to name a single reason why Republicans were a strong party in 1988 and a weak party in 2012, I would have to answer with the Bush family. They give the worst political advice when out of office and implement the worst policies when in office, and yet the GOP can't seem to shake their hold on the party.

Pincher Martin -- Tuesday, April 03, 2012 -- 03:42:06 AM -- 570 of 711
"Whoever is winning at the moment will always seem to be invincible." -- George Orwell

Where's Dubya?

Romney rarely talks about Bush on the campaign trail, save for the day he received Florida Gov. Jeb Bush’s backing. That day, Romney gave a full-throated defense of the Troubled Asset Relief Program, the widely-unpopular bank bailout that was approved in the waning months of the Bush White House. Rick Santorum has repeatedly apologized for voting for Bush’s signature education plank, “No Child Left Behind.” The prescription drug benefit that Bush spearheaded in 2003, an entitlement program that has added to the national debt, was another vote that Santorum has disavowed.
McKinnon said his own surprise at the way Republicans generally have responded to Bush is “tempered by recognition that politicians who make difficult decisions and lead through times of conflicts are rarely popular in their own time. But history often takes a different view.”
A number of former Bush aides argued that congressional Republicans have contributed to the tarring of Bush, and that time will vindicate him.
“That’s been the case since they lost the House in 2006,” said one former Bush aide, adding, “Besides, where were they when he wanted to tackle what they now say is critical to dealing with our long term debt, entitlement spending? They were so far behind President Bush when he pushed Social Security reform you could barely make them out in the distance. But when Social Security is finally reformed, it will most likely resemble the proposal President Bush first laid out.”

It's just incredible the level of self-delusion some people operate under.

Pincher Martin -- Saturday, April 21, 2012 -- 05:33:26 AM -- 571 of 711
"Whoever is winning at the moment will always seem to be invincible." -- George Orwell

Jeb Bush's campaign advice to Romney

Bush said American voters have had their fill of nasty campaigns after a blistering GOP primary process.
"After the end of this four or five months of really negative campaigning I think people are going to be motivated by a more positive message," Bush said, adding that he believed personal attacks should stay out of the campaign.
"I don't think we need to demonize the president," Bush said. "I know a lot of people when my brother was president spent a lot of energy trying to demonize a good honorable man."

The Bush family really does think it's all about them.

Pincher Martin -- Wednesday, May 16, 2012 -- 07:06:07 AM -- 572 of 711
"Whoever is winning at the moment will always seem to be invincible." -- George Orwell

George W. Bush comes out of hiding to refute another argument no one is making. Dan Larison is on the case.

George W. Bush is still courageously tackling strawmen:
"The idea that Arab people are somehow content with oppression has been discredited forever."
This wouldn’t be quite so risible if there were evidence that anyone in the West in the last several decades had claimed that Arabs or any other people on earth were “content with oppression.” There is a huge difference between this and arguing that a nation with weak institutions and no tradition of representative government will face enormous difficulties in creating a stable, pluralistic democracy. Critics of Bush-era democracy promotion did argue that democratization will be destabilizing to the countries and regions where it occurs. That idea certainly hasn’t been discredited by events of the last decade. Another argument against promoting simple majoritarian democracy is that it is likely to empower illiberal majority governments and populist authoritarians, and it may lead to the persecution or expulsion of minority groups. That seems to be borne out by events. Other skeptics pointed out that newly democratic governments were likely to be more antagonistic to the U.S. and its policies than their predecessors, and that has so far proven true as well....
So why does Bush think it noteworthy than an idea that no one in the West today accepts and is absurd on its face has been discredited? This is typical of Bush’s speeches. He sets himself up in opposition to a view that no one holds, pretends that he is being some sort of a visionary for challenging these non-existent political forces, and all the while insults the intelligence of his audience.
GregD -- Thursday, May 17, 2012 -- 01:34:44 PM -- 573 of 711
After the power to choose a man wants the power to erase. --Stephen Dunn

George W. Bush is writing a treatise on economic growth.

Rimshot.

Pincher Martin -- Wednesday, May 30, 2012 -- 01:29:23 AM -- 574 of 711
"Whoever is winning at the moment will always seem to be invincible." -- George Orwell

Jeb Bush on veep speculation: ‘I would consider the proposal very carefully’

Jeb Bush would consider an offer to become Mitt Romney's vice presidential running mate "very carefully," the former Florida governor told Italian news outlet Linkiesta in an interview on Tuesday.
"If Romney were to offer me the job of vice president, I would consider the proposal very carefully," Bush told the online news outlet, according to a Yahoo News translation. "But I don't think he'll pick me."
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The Perfect World >> Politics >> The Republican Kennedys