Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Conservative Anger at Bush

Joel Kotkin in Politico has a devastating takedown of the Bush Administration. Free marketers and strong defence conservatives realize they were dealt a knock out punch by his bumbling. (Read)

The shoes thrown in Iraq and celebrated around the world epitomize not only ill manners but also the fact that even our supposed friends there don’t like us very much. If history is any guide, Iraq will end up as an authoritarian state with strong anti-American (as well as anti-Israel) leanings. The farther our sons and daughters get away from those ever-scowling people, the better most Americans will feel.

One unintended part of the Bush legacy will likely be a weaker, highly stressed military. The influential Democratic Netroots will be able to hound the military establishment — whatever President-elect Barack Obama’s intentions. Congress may be reluctant to commit troops to almost anything short of a Chinese invasion of San Francisco, which many Americans — and perhaps some progressive natives — might consider a blessing anyway. Support for new weapons systems, needed or not, will dissipate.

Bush’s legacy for the cause of free market capitalism may be even worse. Our first MBA-holding president has turned out to be the worst economic manager since Herbert Hoover. The bailouts of Detroit and — much worse — the vile Wall Street profiteers now open the door to an unprecedented expansion of invasive welfarism throughout the economy. It’s hard to call proposals that build tennis courts in yuppie towns or subsidize performance artists in Flint, Mich., wasteful after the billions Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson has lavished on his compadres in Richistan.

In the coming years, the only legitimate opposition to the bipartisan pro-Wall Street policy will come from the scruffy populists of both parties, many based in the heartland regions of the country. Bush may even make quasi-Marxism respectable again. Hearing about $20 billion in new bonuses for government-subsidized Wall Streeters this year should be enough to bring out the hidden Bolshevik in even rational people.

Ironically, the only people who should be thanking Bush — the environmentalists, the urban gentry, the welfare staters — are the very ones who have despised him the most. Now that he has helped put them in power, perhaps they could host a celebrity fundraiser for the new Bush library in Dallas. Serenaded by Barbra, scolded by St. Al, with a short film by Michael Moore, the program — hosted by Whoopi Goldberg — could help consecrate a lavish new sarcophagus that Bush has prepared for the conservative movement.

Ouch! I look forward to reading more Joel Kotkin in the future.


  1. You know its bad, when even the guys on your own team, think you are the worst thing since the bubonic plague. Bush once had the highest approval rating ever recorded. Talk about a downfall!

  2. Yeah, it's an awful thing for conservatism. It'll be the left-wingers equivalent of Jimmy Carter, to right-wingers. I remeber arguing in 2004 that Kerry was a just another Jimmy Carter. Now lefties can argue the next guy will be another Dubya. (Which was their #1 argument against MCain during the election.)

  3. Bush is the best thing that ever happened to Carter. Jimmy Carter is no longer the worst Pres. in living memory. Jimmy probably put Bush on his Christmas card mailing list.