The Straightaway

Politics Without Pundits

Posts Tagged ‘george w. bush

The Cost of Victory

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While reading The Wall Street Journal Online Edition today, I was struck by the end of an opinion piece about Obama and his potential Iraq War policy:

Mr. Obama has inherited a victory in Iraq that he can’t afford to squander.

For many, calling the Iraq War a “victory” is ludicrous. After all, such an expensive project (in both lives and resources) that has produced only a mediocre suppression of violence can be nothing but a failure. Right?

Perhaps not. Cost aside, the war in Iraq has produced a resource-rich new democracy that has the potential to become the Unites States’ most valuable Middle Eastern Arab ally. If the upcoming regional elections go well, the continuing normalization of affairs in the country could allow Iraq to blossom into some more than it could have ever under Sadaam Hussein.

Understandably, the possibility of real success in Iraq is hard to swallow for the majority of Americans, who have come to hate the war and the man most associated to it – the outgoing President George W. Bush. They are angry about the sacrifices Americans have had to make to carry out Bush’s War, and they resent the damage the war has done to America’s international credibility. The American public seems to desire a hasty withdrawal out of Iraq.

This anger should not push the Obama administration to spoil what can still be done in Iraq. With a tempered withdrawal, U.S. forces can withdraw safely from Iraq within the next few years. A hasty withdrawal will do nothing but make certain that billions of dollars and thousands of American lives were spent in vain.

Anger cannot blind America this time. The ills of the past 6 years of the war should not be taken into account when considering the course of action that should be taken. The politicians of the Democratic majority will attempt to make good on their campaign promises and withdraw from Iraq with haste and without thought – they must be stopped. This important foreign policy decision should be made by level heads without considering their re-election bids in 2010 and 2012.

The strongest rebuke of the Slow Withdrawal argument is the high price of the war (estimated at $8-$12 billion per month, or roughly $120 billion per year). To refute that argument, one merely has to point a finger at the sloppily-executed $700 billion bailout passed before the end of President Bush’s term and the $300+ billion stimulus package that looks to pass through the Congress and Senate, both of which are still enthralled by the inspiring new President. Instead of giving the government $700 billion more to allocate poorly, why not just cut taxes to alleviate the burden on the average American and continue to spend for the next couple of years on Iraq? This alternative will save the United States money while boosting both its domestic and foreign profile.

Let the soldiers finish their job without an arbitrary deadline hanging over their head. The U.S. does not plan to (and does not want to) stay in Iraq for 100 years, as oft quoted; the Slow Withdrawal plan should be completed by the next presidential election (how convenient). The wrongs America has done to the Iraqi people will be multiplied if after all this struggle, Iraq remains a chaotic autocracy. America owes Iraq peace. American needs to finish its job first, then exit with grace and leave Iraq for its citizens to build into whatever it is destined to become.

Written by acs2008

January 27, 2009 at 3:02 pm

Conservative Christmas Comes

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Within hours, possibly minutes, of CNN’s projection that Barack Obama had captured the presidency of the United States of America, the “alternative” (a.k.a. conservative) media began their offensive on the new President-elect. On Rush Limbaugh’s website at this very moment are the following headlines: “‘Creepy’ Obama Leaks His Thug Version of the Meeting With Bush,” “Drive-Bys Create Obamamania,” “The Obama Recession: Capitalism to be Removed from Auto Industry,” etc. Less outspoken conservative media people have followed suit, perhaps in a more subdued manner, such as Sean Hannity.

Although it might espouse that the world is coming to an end, the truth is that alternative media outlets can be nothing but overjoyed at the election of the liberal, Democratic President-elect Obama. These outlets barely scrape by when the Republicans are in power, because there is simply less for them to criticize. But conservative media bodies come alive during Democratic administrations – if you will recall, the venerable conservative channel, FOX News, was launched in 1996, during the administration of Democratic President Bill Clinton.

The next four years will be like a perpetual field day for these outlets. Obama has marketed himself so far as being fairly liberal, which means FOX News and the like will have more to debate and criticize in the coming years of the Obama administration. Conservatives and liberals alike will flock to these bodies – the conservatives because they will love what is being said, the liberals because they can’t wait to hate what they will say next (the Howard Stern/Bill O’Reilly Syndrome). Media, after all, is a business, and for the next few years it is likely that conservative media will boom.

I can almost imagine Roger Ailes and Rupert Murdock in a backroom, secretly toasting President Barack Obama – with new, solid-gold goblets.

The Palins and the Alaskan Independence Party

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Since it is Obama’s guilty-by-association headlines (former Weather Underground member William Ayers) that have been dominating the media, it is only fair to present Sarah Palin’s: her husband, Todd Palin.

Todd Palin was a member of the Alaskan Independence Party from 1995-2002. The AIP is a libertarian political party that advocates strong states rights, including the repatriation of all federal lands in Alaska to the state.

It has been claimed that the AIP is a secessionist party. Although there may be members of the party that wish to secede from the Union, it is not part of the party platform, as posted on the AIP website. However, the ultimate goal of the AIP, also posted on the website, states:

The Alaskan Independence Party’s goal is the vote we were entitled to in 1958, one choice from among the following four alternatives:

1) Remain a Territory.
2) Become a separate and Independent Nation.
3) Accept Commonwealth status.
4) Become a State.

Basically, the AIP wants the citizens of Alaska to be presented with the option of secession, if it so chooses. Secession would be a possibility if this ultimate goal were achieved, but it cannot be construed as a direct aim of the party by this wording. (The AIP must have commissioned a top-notch lawyer to write this, because it is perfectly worded, masking unconstitutional secession as a primary goal).

Sarah Palin has never been a member of the party. However, she did address the party’s convention via video earlier this year. Much the same way that George W. Bush addressed the Republican National Convention, via video screen.

Here’s Palin addressing the 2008 AIP Convention:

Is A Vote for Obama a Vote for Bush?

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Posted on CNN.com is this very thought-provoking article by Deputy Editor of the Washington Times (and former senior adviser to the Republican National Committee) Tara Wall comparing twenty of Obama’s positions on the issues vs. those of George W. Bush.

Wall’s most interesting revelations come when comparing Obama and Bush’s social viewpoints. Obama comes out looking decidedly socially-conservative, based on his opposition to gay marriage (although he believes in civil unions for same-sex couples) and his deep Christian faith.

Liberal Obama supporters might be disturbed to see their candidate sharing so many viewpoints with Bush. It turns out that Bush isn’t a completely bad guy after all; in fact, The Messiah (Obama) and Bush share a common interest in noble pursuits such as education reform and fighting the global AIDS epidemic.

Although there may be a surprising amount of similarities between the two, it should be noted that on important issues such as the Iraq War and upper-class tax cutes, they stand very far apart. For Bush, this argument works a lot like Oliver Stone’s new movie, “W.” (which has received good-but-not-great reviews so far) – it shows that he is completely awful man, despite what his detractors might say. For Obama, this argument implies that he is not the “most liberal senator,” as he was dubbed by the National Journal. This show of moderation, even downright conservatism, might surprise and perhaps sway some moderate-conservatives who find themselves in the Independent corner this election season.

Written by acs2008

October 14, 2008 at 4:10 am

Republican National Convention: George W. Bush

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George W. Bush endorses John McCain for the 2008 Republican presidential nomination.

George W. Bush endorses John McCain for the 2008 Republican presidential nomination.

President George W. Bush gave a speech tonight via satellite at the Republican National Convention backing the Republican ticket. It wasn’t a very exciting speech, but President Bush said what he needed to say. Bush said that he was confident the American people would pick McCain/Palin after looking at the “judgment, experience, and policy stances” of the ticket. Bush spent little time attacking the Democrats, only referencing the “angry left wing” once.

Overall, it was a pretty tame speech that did not quite electrify that crowd.

Written by acs2008

September 3, 2008 at 2:32 am