No Longer Giving Bush the Benefit of the Doubt
I have to admit that after nearly 5 years of being a Bush supporter, I’m having trouble recently continuing to support him.
Until 9/11, I though Bush was mostly ineffectual, stymied by the Democrats whenever he tried to accomplish anything. Bush was still a far better choice than Al “Mr. Internet” Gore, though.
9/11 changed the political landscape, and with the war in Afghanistan, I rallied behind Bush to give my full support to Bush. Afghanistan was handled very well, I thought.
And then onto Iraq. While I had some questions – I believed (in fact, I still do believe) that Iraq had WMD’s, I didn’t believe Iraq was an imminent threat to the US. Still, Saddam Hussein was a problem that had to be taken care of eventually. He was working on nukes, killing hundreds of thousands of his own people, and supporting terrorism with a whole lot of oil money. After the President gained the approval of Congress, I threw my support behind Bush again. I held nothing but disdain for those Democrats in Congress that voted for the war and then criticized the President about it.
I’m still a supporter of Bush on the war in Iraq. As bad as the suicide bombers are, they haven’t killed a fraction of the people Saddam killed, and a working Muslim democracy can only be good for the region and the US. And so in 2004 I voted happily for Bush over John “What’s My Position Today” Kerry.
But along the way, Bush took advantage of my support. I agreed with the tax cuts to stimulate the economy, and even reluctantly supported some spending increases in war time to keep the economy moving. But the prescription drug benefit went way overboard, adding a new entitlement on the way to a socialized healthcare system (and if you like the way the government handled the Katrina aftermath, you’ll love national healthcare). Before that, I was disappointed he didn’t veto McCain-Feingold that I thought was an unconstitutional restriction on free speech. Bush apparently wanted to rely on the Supreme Court to strike it down, which to my surprise upheld it.
But I was still a supporter, and though John Roberts for Supreme Court was an excellent choice. But while he was gaining my approval there, he lost it in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. What are we up to, $200 billion promised in relief? That’s $400,000 per family. We’d be better off just giving each family $400,000 and leaving New Orleans underwater. And this on the heels of a massive transportation bill with a new record for pork projects.
And now Harriet Miers for Supreme Court – what was Bush thinking? Better yet, what is Miers thinking? Conservatives have been focused for decades trying to return the Supreme Court to a strict constructionist court, and finally with two openings on the court, our time had arrived. When it comes to Miers’ views though, nobody seems to know a thing about her, and Bush just tells us to trust him.
After Bush has spent federal money like a drunken sailor, I don’t trust him to do what’s best. Does Harriet Miers even have a basic grasp of Constitutional Law 101? We don’t know.
Bush has counted on right wing conservatives for two long, and disappointed us too many times in the last year for us to trust him on this important point. I urge Senate Republicans to vote down Meirs and insist Bush nominate a true, proven conservative for the position.
This will, of course, prompt a fight with liberals, but that’s not a bad thing. Can conservatives hold their own in an ideological battle against liberals? I think recent elections show that the vast majority of the country supports conservative ideals and will turn out and vote for conservative candidates. Better to defend ourselves against liberals than capitulate and alienate the conservative base.