Friday, February 24, 2006

Grading the GOP

In the last post (Democratic Marginalization) I explained that Democrats will splinter into centrists who are tough on defense and marginal leftists who want to join a socialist whole world government. The Dems have no chance at the presidency unless they kick out the lefties and embrace the America-first centrists. Write it down.

Some of my friends are worried about my prognostication.

Colonel Dave wrote "I hope and pray you are right, but after reading the article below (from today’s WSJ) and knowing that on Monday duke cunningham will be sentenced, I am not as confident as you. I’ve said it before: we are spending like drunken democrats and it sickens me. Don’t get me wrong: for national defense and similar worthwhile endeavors I’m all for spending everything we need to spend; it’s the pork that kills me."

How to Turn a Red State Blue, WSJ 2/23/06


If you think Republicans on Capitol Hill have troubles, take a look at Virginia, where GOP lawmakers are busy writing an instruction manual on how to become a minority party. Republicans in that ostensibly "red" Southern state got their clocks cleaned in November's elections after they refused to take a coherent stand on taxes, and Democrat Tim Kaine squeezed to their right on pocketbook issues. As GOP state senator Ken Cuccinelli explained, "We ran on a message of almost being for tax cuts, almost for smaller government, almost for protecting Second Amendment rights, and almost being pro-life. As a result, the voters almost came out and voted for us." Now the GOP is calling for tax increases despite a $2 billion biennial budget surplus spurred by the Bush investment tax cuts.

I agree with Dave and the WSJ. It is sad that Republicans are spending like Democrats. And we need to fight against it. But perspective is all important.

Let’s put spending aside for a moment and list the priorities for the Federal government. In order, my list is (1) the war; (2) national defense; (3) judicial appointments; (4) the economy; (5) taxes; (6) education; (7) entitlements; (8) spending. Federal spending makes my list but way down it. Allow me to explain my priorities and how I rate the Bush administration on each.

(1) The war is the highest priority for any Federal government. I give Bush an A grade for his vision, courage and persistence in the face of difficulty and Democratic opposition. The military gets an A+.

(2) National defense is right at the top with war fighting. Bush gets good grades for defense spending, modernizing the military, the Patriot Act, spying on the bad guys, but poor grades for the leaky borders and for allowing political correctness to prevent racial profiling at airports. Overall I think he gets a grade of B.

(3) Judicial appointments are critically important to the health of our society. Bush gets an A grade for Roberts, Alito and all of his court of appeals appointments. Let’s hope he has the chance to make one or two more Supreme Court appointments.

(4) Despite an economic downturn inherited from Clinton, the 9/11 attack, the cost of war and defense and the devastating hurricanes the economy is humming along, the envy of the world, with unemployment below 5%. Grade A.

(5) The Bush tax cuts are one of the primary causes of the roaring economy, and we all get to keep more of our money. Grade A.

(6) Generally I’d like the Federal government to keep out of education. However, public education in America is in such a mess that his effort to bring visibility and accountability to the system is to be lauded. The fact that most teachers hate “No Child Left Behind” tells me it is the right thing to do. Since the Feds spend too much money on colleges I’ll give a C grade.

(7) Unfunded entitlements are a huge problem for our children. Bush gets some credit for his brave attempt to reform Social Security in the face of Democratic opposition. He also promotes personal medical accounts. I’ll give Bush a C grade only in comparison to what the Democrats would do; remember Hillary-Care?

(8) Federal spending is a problem (see “Budget Blues” 2/10/06). I found $177 Billion that I’d cut in a flash. But, remember, it is a drop in the ocean compared to the entitlements. Also note that, as a percent of GDP, Federal spending in 2005 was 20%, in line with the average since the mid 1970s. Again, in comparison to the Drunken Democrats, I’ll give a C grade.

Overall I think Bush gets a B+, but on the things that matter most it is A-.

Gore, Kerry, Hillary,.. your favorite Democrat.....fugetaboutit.

7 Comments:

Blogger Ralph said...

We are pretty much in agreement about rating the Bush presidency. Where I see the problem is that the good is unappreciated (or ignored by MSM) and the bad exaggerated. With the message not getting out and the congress acting like stampeding sheep, I think we have some problems.

5:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bill said "The war is the highest priority for any Federal government. I give Bush an A grade for his vision, courage and persistence in the face of difficulty and Democratic opposition. The military gets an A+."
Wait, I don't get it. Are you rating Bush or the military? IN terms of no WMD's, predictions of easy victory, "last throes", no body armor, $1.7 billion vs $1 trillion, no connection to Al Qaeda, creating more terrorists,30000 dead Iraqis, 2000 dead Americans, 15000 devastatingly wounded, destablizing the middle east, increasing terrorism, I'd say the grade is hardly an A+!!! What planet are you living on? I know you like Bush and all, but at least acknowledge reality!!!!!! As for the military, I would say our men and women deserve an A+, but that our generals have let us down by not telling the GODDAMN TRUTH!!!!
Andy

8:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bill

Presumably the development of out-and-out civil war in Iraq would boost Bush's war rating to an A+. Yes?

Tex

8:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bill, I'm just astounded....

8:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Again, Bill, where do you get your facts? The largest budget deficit in American history converted to the largest surplus of over $200 billion . What's the deficit now?
Andy

8:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Now we're talking....

Vermont Towns Endorse Move to Impeach Bush

Five Vermont Communities Endorse Move to Impeach President Bush

By DAVID GRAM
The Associated Press

NEWFANE, Vt. - In five Vermont communities, a centuries-old tradition of residents gathering in town halls to conduct local business became a vehicle to send a message to Washington: Impeach the president.

An impeachment article, approved by a paper ballot 121-29 in Newfane Tuesday, calls on Vermont's lone member of the U.S. House, independent Rep. Bernie Sanders, to file articles of impeachment against President Bush, alleging he misled the nation into the Iraq war and engaged in illegal domestic spying.

"It absolutely affects us locally," said Newfane select board member Dan DeWalt, who drafted the impeachment article. "It's our sons and daughters, our mothers and fathers, who are dying" in the war in Iraq.

At least four other Vermont towns, spurred by publicity about Newfane's resolution, endorsed similar resolutions during Tuesday's meetings: Brookfield, Dummerston, Marlboro and Putney.

In Newfane, the impeachment item came at the end of a roughly four-hour meeting that was devoted mostly to the local affairs of the town of 1,600 located in southeastern Vermont. Among the other items discussed was whether the town should fix some of its 100-year-old sidewalks.

The impeachment discussion took up more than half an hour, reflecting the intense interest in the topic and something of a division over whether the town meeting was the appropriate place to debate it.

"As a teacher I can't say to my kids that what happens on the national level doesn't affect us at the local level," Ann Landenberger told the Newfane meeting. "Would that we could all be in a cocoon, but that is not the case."

Greg Record, a local justice of the peace, criticized the amount of time and attention such advisory votes get.

"We spend more time on these things than on a million dollar budget item," said Record, who said the town is made up of people from the "far left."

Lenore Salzbrun defended Bush, saying she had close friends who died in the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

"I am so grateful that our president didn't just put his head in the sand ... and did go out and fight," she said.

"How many attacks have we had on the U.S. since September 11?" asked another resident, Carlton Brown. "Maybe some of the terrorists around the world are sitting up and taking notice that we're not going to be patsies."

The Bush vote is not the first time Newfane has used its town meeting forum to take a state or national stand. Last year, for example, the town went on record against the Iraq war.

Sanders issued a statement after the Newfane vote saying that although the Bush administration "has been a disaster for our country, and a number of actions that he has taken may very well not have been legal," given the reality that the Republicans control the House and the Senate, "it would be impractical to talk about impeachment."

Jim Barnett, chairman of the Vermont Republican Party, said Sanders should reject the resolution: "We should not be impeaching presidents just because we disagree with them."

9:45 AM  
Blogger Eddie said...

Hello, Just wandering the blogosphere and happened on your blog. I like the way how you have put it all together. I'll be coming back again.

Regards,

B.S. in Electrical Engineering LPN Online Degree

8:13 AM  

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