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John Wayne's Holster: Is G.W. the New Jimmy Carter?
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Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Is G.W. the New Jimmy Carter?

I recently came across this article in the New Yorker about the current state of the Republican Party. I found it pretty eye-opening. What particularly caught my attention was the following paragraph about statements made by former Speaker of the House and possible 2008 Presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich (R-GA).

Here is the paragraph:

Newt Gingrich is one of those who fear that Republicans have been branded with the label of incompetence. He says that the Bush Administration has become a Republican version of the Jimmy Carter Presidency, when nothing seemed to go right. “It’s just gotten steadily worse,” he said. “There was some point during the Iranian hostage crisis, the gasoline rationing, the malaise speech, the sweater, the rabbit”—Gingrich was referring to Carter’s suggestion that Americans wear sweaters rather than turn up their thermostats, and to the “attack” on Carter by what cartoonists quickly portrayed as a “killer rabbit” during a fishing trip—“that there was a morning where the average American went, ‘You know, this really worries me.’ ” He added, “You hire Presidents, at a minimum, to run the country well enough that you don’t have to think about it, and, at a maximum, to draw the country together to meet great challenges you can’t avoid thinking about.” Gingrich continued, “When you have the collapse of the Republican Party, you have an immediate turn toward the Democrats, not because the Democrats are offering anything better, but on a ‘not them’ basis. And if you end up in a 2008 campaign between ‘them’ and ‘not them,’ ‘not them’ is going to win.”

Reluctantly, I have to agree with Newt. I think Bush has really mismanaged the country in his second term. The war in Iraq had no exit strategy – probably because Bush never intended to leave. The fact that we are currently building and/or maintaining 14 military bases in the region is a pretty good indication of that. Incidently, the bases are almost all along oil pipelines. And I thought Bush said the war was not about oil. Hmm?. Don't get me wrong, I have no problem with the war even if oil were a motivating factor. I just think Bush should have been up front and planned the war accordingly. That way, we would have been better prepared.

Then there is spending. Bush’s spending habits would make LBJ blush. Bush is spending like a drunken sailor. Actually, he’s worse. At least the sailor is spending his own money. Bush is spending ours. And the money we don’t have he is borrowing. As a result, we are currently $8.8 trillion in debt. And the debt is rising. Japan and China are currently financing most of our debt – about $900 billion. If they decide to sell off their Treasury holdings, our economy could go belly-up. Then there are the issues of our trade imbalance with China and Bush’s failed Medicare Prescription Drug Bill.

Let us not forget about the border. Illegal aliens and potential terrorists are flowing across both our northern and southern borders like shit through a goose. And Bush is doing nothing to stop it. In addition to threats against our national security, the illegals are costing US tax payers aproximately $15 billion per year due to their unfettered access to welfare and other forms of assistance. But because US businesses want cheap labor to do the jobs that Americans supposedly don’t want to do, Bush has turned a blind-eye to the issue.

Gas prices are another issue. Yes I have heard all the spin about gas prices rising slower that the price of milk, and the arguments about gas prices not really being that high when you adjust for inflation, etc. But I don’t buy it. The fact is that gas companies are driving up prices by controlling production. They also claim that their refining costs are high and their capabilities are low due to the fact that a refinery has not been built in this country since the late 70’s. While I am a free market person, and believe that oil companies deserve to make a profit, I don’t think the current business practices of the oil companies is legal or ethical. They are essentially operating in collusion to keep prices (and profits) high. In other words, they comprise a cartel. And these guys have Bush in their pockets, so don’t expect changes any time soon.

I could go on, but I think you get the point. The bottom line is this, the GOP is straying from their conservative principles and betraying their political base. As a result, they are putting themselves at risk of losing the White House in 2008, just like they lost control of the House and Senate in 2006.


Well. It’s like Newt says. It’s not because the Dems are offering anything better. It is just that the GOP doesn’t have much to offer. As a result, the conservative vote is going to get split a number of ways which will probably usher Hillary or some other Democrat into the White House.


At 5:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Unless something drastic happens it definitely looks like we are stuck with some damn democrat in 2008. Bush really has set back all the gains made by conservatives in the past 13 years.

I'm not that mad that Bush didn't have a good exit strategy because personally I think it is in the world's longterm interest to have some sort of security in the Middle East. Unfortunately we are the only country capable of providing that security. What pisses me off is that Bush did not have an effective security policy. He completely mismanaged the fall of Saddam. He would have been wise to listen to Colin Powell. Who in my opinion is the only person that could run as a republican and win.

And the spending, ooooh the spending. A drunken sailor with his reenlistment money. The spending has soured me to the point where I'm pretty sure I'll voter Libertarian in the election. While they are much to isolationist for my taste, I cannot in good faith vote for a big government Republican. I definitely cannot bring myself to vote for a democrat.

I'm not to pissed about the price of gas. I think that gas will need to rise higher to give incentive for us to really explore alternatives.

Nice post!


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