Friday, August 27, 2004

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Bush is losing Wall Street -- will he lose Main Street as well?

David Wighton and James Harding report in the Financial Times that George W. Bush has alienated former supporters among the financial folks:

Wall Street's enthusiasm for US President George W. Bush appears to have cooled as the presidential race tightens and concerns grow about foreign policy and fiscal deficits.

Some leading fundraisers of Mr Bush's re-election bid have stopped active campaigning and others privately voice reservations.

The New York financial community is expected to give the Republicans a lavish welcome when the president's party arrives for its national convention next week. Wall Street has been a big contributor to Mr Bush's record-breaking re-election fund. But one senior Wall Street figure, once talked of as a possible Bush cabinet member, said that he and other prominent Republicans had been raising money with increasing reluctance. “Many are doing so with a heavy heart and some not at all.” He cited foreign policy and the ballooning federal deficit as Wall Street Republicans' main concerns.

A Republican in the financial services industry concurs. “Many of them may be maxed out,” he said, referring to campaign contributions that have hit the legal ceiling, “but they are backing away from Bush.”

The deficit has been criticised by Peter Peterson, chairman and co-founder of Blackstone Group, the New York investment firm, and former commerce secretary under President Richard Nixon. In his new book, Running on Empty, he accuses both parties of recklessness but attacks the Republican leadership for a “new level of fiscal irresponsibility”.

One New York dinner in June 2003 raised more than $4m, partly thanks to the efforts of Stan O'Neal, chief executive of Merrill Lynch. Yet Mr O'Neal has done no fundraising for the campaign at all since then and friends say he is not supporting Mr Bush. “He is best described as independent,” said one. Another senior Wall Street figure, who has given money to the campaign, said he was among many Wall Street bosses who were impressed with Mr Bush's handling of the September 11 attacks. “But since then, I have lost faith over foreign policy and tax,” he said.

Even those who are campaigning for Mr Bush sound increasingly defensive. “Whether or not you like him, you can't change leaders during a war,” said the head of one Wall Street firm.

This jibes with the disaffection felt with the Bush economic team by Republican-leaning policy wonks. And from the other side of the Republican spectrum, David Kirkpatrick reports in the New York Times that traditional conservatives aren't pleased with the Republican party platform (link via Noam Scheiber).

The interesting question will be whether any of this will affect the election. In another post, Scheiber asks the key question:

I don't know many Democrats who think right-wingers are going to end up defecting to Kerry. (Except for maybe a handful of libertarians living in Dupont Circle--but I don't think they're going to swing the election.) So the fact that 90 percent or more of GOP voters support Bush over Kerry is neither here nor there. The key question for the Bush campaign is what percentage of conservatives will end up staying home on election day. And I think its entirely plausible that a smaller fraction of self-described conservatives would vote for Bush if the election were held today than did in 2000--partly because Iraq isn't especially popular among Sunbelt isolationist types, and partly because of a handful of smaller greivances, like the budget deficit and the Medicare bill, and the brief flirtation with immigration reform and a mission to Mars.

Of course, it's important not to confuse D.C.-based conservatives with the much more electorally significant group of self-described conservative voters. (The D.C. breed is probably far more upset about the budget deficit and the Medicare bill, maybe Bush's too-grudging support for an anti-gay marriage amendment, too.) Still, I think there's a large enough group of conservatives out there who think Bush hasn't quite panned out for the Bush campaign to be concerned.

posted by Dan on 08.27.04 at 12:31 AM


I seem to be first. I'll put my money on the following: D. Thomson, M. Croemer, et. al. respond with, "3000 dead, they don't understand that this is War, Islamofascists, Clinton recession, Bush leadership, WMD in Syria, Kerry in Cambodia, and Wall St. hates America," in roughly that order. And this will go on for over 100 comments. Anyone want the under?

posted by: SomeCallMeTim on 08.27.04 at 12:31 AM [permalink]

There is no reason to vote for Bush, NONE. NONE. NONE. NONE. Dan, you can only hedge for so long, if David Thompson throws his hat behind Kerry,b efore you do, it could be quite embarrassing.

Let's look at this weeks economic news in whole. Tax Cuts shift burden onto middle class. Perfect thing to do during a recession. Especially when those tax cuts were a "stimulus package" (*cough*). I know, the CBO is full of America-haters. Apparently, their also in bed with the communists at Census, who claim for 3 years straight the # of americans living in poverty has increased. More good news! The economyh is strong and getting stronger. WE've turned the corner! The marxists at the economist are saying Bush is anti-free trade, amongst other kind words (see Delong). I gotta cut out my left-wing trash-rag habit.

And I know, we are suppose to spare Dan the outrage, over toturing children and raping innocent prisoners, but apparently we find out this week Rummy is culpable for Abu Ghraib.
The best secretary of defense this country has ever had! NEvermind the quagmaire he led us into or the torture he allowed to happen. You know Bush isn't going to fire him -- YOU'RE voting a guy who gave us Abu Ghraib in for another FOUR years.

ITs clear the left is completely mobilized against Bush. The problem is, the inteligensia ont he right and other asorted leaders, although disgusted with Bush, are keeping their mouths shut. Hence the rest of the right aint movin at all. If Bush gets elected again and the country continues on its road to hell in a handbasket, -- I think these right-wing nuts who kept their mouths shut, but knew better, are prepared to take FULL RESPONSIBLITY for their inaction.

posted by: Jor on 08.27.04 at 12:31 AM [permalink]

We should be aware of a deliberate scam operation by the hard leftists. Ben Cohen of Ben & Jerry ice cream fame recently wrote a book “50 Ways You Can Show George the Door in 2004” where he literally advocates lying to achieve this goal. I am not making this up. Please find a copy and read it yourself. Cohen explicitly and unabashedly encourages deceitful phone calls to radio talk shows and postings on blogs like this one. These sleazy individuals are told to pretend that they are Republicans who are outraged by George W. Bush’s economic policies and now are compelled to vote for John Kerry. The singer Moby has also told his fellow left wingers to behave in a similar manner.

Daniel Drezner may be relying on outdated information. President Bush is going up in the polls. Are a number of Republicans like myself upset with Bush on key economic issues? Of course we are. You merely need to google my very own comments on! But we also realize that the current occupant of the White House is the lesser of evils. The flip flopping, lying John Kerry would be far worse. The morally challenged Massachusetts senator shouldn’t be elected dog catcher.

posted by: David Thomson on 08.27.04 at 12:31 AM [permalink]

DT never fails to rise to a challange and surpass expectations. Even I gotta admit, the left lying about Bush's record takes things to another level. I mean, Bush's record is so outrageous -- even if you tried to lie about it, it would be impossible to make it any worse. You could literally only improve his record. It really is that bad.

And we all know republicans are true political saints, who would never resort to dirty tricks to win an election. We know George W Bush, would never accuse someone who adopted a foreign orphan of having an out-of-wedlock black baby. Certainly not! We also know, good ole George has never lied about policy, a 130 billion dollar difference medicare-prescription drug bill, isn't alie -- its a fib. I won't even bother with the current fiasco.OF coure Georege Bush's political tricks are far less important than the tricks that Moby will use.

I was wondering why all these commi-rags like the WSJ and the Economist were poo-poo-ing G.W, thanks for the explanation DT. I mean, its not cause they are upset with W like DT is, its cause they've tricked by Ben & Jerry's Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ice Cream. I always knew Ice Cream hated America. Taking wing-nut lunacy to the next level.

posted by: Jor on 08.27.04 at 12:31 AM [permalink]

Idiological snivelers and true believers who stoped listening or thinging about the time George Wallace started swinging axe handles.

You trash a good blog with your self-satisfied sniveling.

posted by: Steve Harrington on 08.27.04 at 12:31 AM [permalink]

Afghanistan & Iraqi freedom in faster progress are reasons for Bush. Opposition to PC press censorship is another.

Dems know that their own "moral superiority" is based on PC Leftism. And that Kerry's Lies are part of the foundation of PC.

It's not a "culture war" -- it's a war over moral superiority.
The 3 big issues the Kerry Lie brings up:

1) Kerry’s Lies means Kerry is unfit to be commander in chief; he will be sunk by the Swifties.

2) The press has been enabling Kerry for years, covering up his lies. The PC press beliefs and their censorship of discussion, and cover up of the facts, has been and continues trying to enable Kerry’s Lie.

3) Kerry’s Lie helped create Political Correctness; “ending the Vietnam war, now” as the morally superior position. PC is built on Kerry Lie sand, and it is now developing cracks.

What is worth fighting for, what is worth fighting against? The evil commies deserved to be fought against; Saddam deserved to be fought against. Kerry’s Lie is a loser in the Moral Superiority War.

posted by: Tom Grey - Liberty Dad on 08.27.04 at 12:31 AM [permalink]

Are we still going to the moon, or what?

posted by: brent on 08.27.04 at 12:31 AM [permalink]

Bush has made decisions to deal with catastrophe and has done what he believed best. I've agreed with most of his actions but there are things that piss me off about his obtuseness at times and yet situations that worried me suddenly seem to work out. A lot of international good has come of it. Not the worthless "liking" of lesser nations but the actual freeing of millions. This is just one of those rare times when Americans can worry about something other than their own immediate satisfaction and enjoyment. A time to struggle and fear and remember what is worth fighting for. I fear for my job and I fear for my country's future but I beieve change has been due and George is the one to make that happen. He has less invested in the old order and less invested in being the most popular. The world has been changing well before 9/11 but it took the 3000 dead Americans that Tim apparently doesn't care about except for snide satire to truly awaken a spoiled nation. The Left can hate Bush but their world will never come back. We know too much to make that mistake again.

posted by: Ptolemy on 08.27.04 at 12:31 AM [permalink]

It's the Robert Novak, George Schultz wing of the Republican party that doesn't like President Bush. They are pro-Arab, anti-Israel, anti-conservative social values, and are fiscally conservative.

They are the ones that kept the Republican party in the wilderness for 20 years (or was it 40?).

Robert Novak hates George Bush and Ariel Sharon.
He would rather associate with his lefty buddies on CNN than with religious conservatives. Since his lefty buddies also hate Goorge Bush and Ariel Sharon, they get along swimmingly.


Jim Bender

posted by: Jim Bender on 08.27.04 at 12:31 AM [permalink]

"There is no reason to vote for Bush, NONE. NONE. NONE. NONE"

Do you actually stick your fingers in your ears and close your eyes when you chant this?

Anyway, Bush Senior was the 'Country Club Republican' poster boy, and look what that got him. These are business people, and they better than anyone understand the bottom line. What, are they going to vote for Kerry so he can raise their taxes, the equivalent of throwing the emergency break on the economy?

posted by: Mark Buehner on 08.27.04 at 12:31 AM [permalink]

David Thomson has convinced me: no way am I going to vote for Ben Cohen.

Message to the right wing from the center: we didn't just wake up from a 20-year nap in 2001. We lived through the Clinton years. And there is no way y'all can convince us that, had Bill Clinton done EXACTLY what Bush has done, you wouldn't be calling for his head ten times more loudly than we're calling for Bush's.

The right's greatest loss from the Clinton years was that it not only forgot how to be credible, it forgot how to care about credibility. No one in his right mind---

let me emphasize that---


would admire the chiefs of a military establishment that allowed every gov't office in Baghdad (save the Oil Ministry) to be plundered while its army was supposedly "occupying" the place.

Have you forgotten Rumsfeld's joshing that the Iraqis just needed to blow off some steam?

If that had been CLINTON's SecDef, would that have been just a forgivable mistake to the David Thomsons of the world? Permit me to doubt.

posted by: Anderson on 08.27.04 at 12:31 AM [permalink]

Wouldn't be more likely that republicans on Wall Street unhappy with public policy put their efforts into lobbying pressure rather than sitting out an election? He is your guy in the hot seat and isn't that better than someone else's guy?

posted by: Sean Price on 08.27.04 at 12:31 AM [permalink]

well, this proves that even Dan can say stupid things at times...

Wall Street is against a Kerry victory and several analysts are arguing that WS is discounting it. The investor class will have their taxes raised, will have increased burdens on business opportunity, more regulations, etc.

If they're lowering their profile as a hedge against Kerry victory, don't you think it's a bit silly to say that they don't want Bush to win?

posted by: Ursus on 08.27.04 at 12:31 AM [permalink]

Independent plundering by a bitter populace versus the bombing of a Chinese embassy and apirin factory. Which do you dread more Anderson? Understand I voted for Clinton both times and hate the religious right. I knew what was wrong with Repubs in the 90s and I am damn scared of all that is wrong with Dems this decade. The fact that you bring up looting out of all that has happened in Iraq this past year is amazing. You have terrorists killing Iraqis and destroying their infrastructure at this very moment as they try to rebuild and get us out ( we know they want us out also). But that doesn't warrant a post from you. No, the looting is the problem. The car bombs and the pipeline bombs are irrelevant I guess. No sin too great to destroy Bush. The Kerry 04 platform.

posted by: Ptolemy on 08.27.04 at 12:31 AM [permalink]

Can we get an update on the p-value?

BTW, David Thomson: you are one insane dude.

posted by: praktike on 08.27.04 at 12:31 AM [permalink]

I think Ursus makes a good point. A factor in the lack of overt support lately from "Wall Street" might be that they see the writing on the wall in the form of Electoral College projections. They don't want to be needlessly antagonistic toward a possible new administration they will have to deal with for the next four years.

posted by: Krybo Amgine on 08.27.04 at 12:31 AM [permalink]

The article from the Financial Times came across as fairly typical lazy journalism: Find a few sources who'll back up the article you've already half written. The headline grabs a person's attention, but the article itself was underwhelming.

posted by: Barry D on 08.27.04 at 12:31 AM [permalink]

How's that AIDS money for Africa coming? Check or cash?

And don't forget the moon. Are we still going to the moon?

posted by: brent on 08.27.04 at 12:31 AM [permalink]

Let me let you in on a little secret in downtown Manhattan, Dan - Wall Street is a lot more Democratic than you might think. Democrats don't like to talk about it, because it undermines their image of being for the little guys. And Republicans don't like to talk about it because it makes them look like they are losing their support in the business community.

But you just need to look at the figures like Robert Rubin and Jon Corzine to know that there are a lot of Democrats in high places on Wall Street. And if you look at giving from downtwon ZIP codes, you'll see it just about split 50/50 to Dems and Reps.

posted by: Al on 08.27.04 at 12:31 AM [permalink]

It's not a "culture war" -- it's a war over moral superiority.

I fail to see the difference, given that morality is culturally driven.

As to the rest...There is no reason whatever to put Kerry in the White House. None. And particularly none from a business perspective. None. Indeed, from that business perspective, there s every reason to rmove him from the office he currently holds.

And DT is correct, and so is Al. Comon, Dan, wake up, snort a little coffee, walk around, OK?

We're dealing with New York City here... this isn't exactly a bastion of right-wing thinking, here. What kind of response did you expect from such a place, Dan? And the press in such a place would be demonstrably biased in this regard as well. Did you think that the rather pronounced list to port we've all seen at the Times is limited to there? No... the Financial community has it's examples as well, and you appear to ahve found one, and not identified it as such.

posted by: Bithead on 08.27.04 at 12:31 AM [permalink]

Why should Wall Street be for a Republican president? Democratic presidents have consistently been better for the economy AND the stock market:

posted by: gw on 08.27.04 at 12:31 AM [permalink]

I think there is probably a pretty large contingent of upset bush/republican supporters. I take my Dad as my only data so this is not a representitative study. However, he is in DT territory in terms of rigidity of belief - you know, hates liberals, thinks the free market is the solution to almost literally every problem. If he is feeling betrayed by the lack of fiscial responsibility of the repubs, I think there must be others.

posted by: mickslam on 08.27.04 at 12:31 AM [permalink]

gw -

You are delusional - I suppose you are going to argue that tax increases actually help the economy?

How the economy performs while a particular President is in office does not necessarily reflect either well or poorly of that particular President's policies. The economy is far too complex to be driven by such a simple factor as who happens to occupy the Presidency.

That said, you cannot plausibly argue that raising taxes (which Dems are for) helps the economy. It is obviously true that the economic growth is hindered when government leeches money out of the economy.

posted by: Ben on 08.27.04 at 12:31 AM [permalink]

Jor -

I suppose you consider yourself a moderate?

posted by: Ben on 08.27.04 at 12:31 AM [permalink]

Ptolemy, you want I should list EVERYTHING the admin's done wrong in Iraq? Drezner's blog would overheat and explode.

The thing about the looting was that it was the first unmistakeable sign that, quite apart from the utterly unjustified nature of this war---

---it wasn't even being *fought* sensibly. George Packer's famous N'Yawker article cited the looting as a clear sign to the non-looting Iraqis that we were not interested in providing stable government to them.

As for the terror going on now, it's the clear result of bad Bush policies: going in with too few troops; disbanding the Iraqi military; settling in as an "occupying power"; behaving so as to enrage otherwise peaceable Iraqis into taking up arms against us.

I frankly have no idea how Kerry can fix this mess, and I doubt he does either. But I know I'm going to vote against the fool who got us into this in the first place. And at least a few suits on Wall St. probably have the same idea. They don't actually amputate your brain in business school; you have excellent odds of retaining it, if you went in with one.

posted by: Anderson on 08.27.04 at 12:31 AM [permalink]

"Wall Street's been turning Democratic for years"?! "Evil commies"?

Do you people listen to yourselves? Ever?

I particularly liked Ptolemy's "[This is] A time to struggle and fear and remember what is worth fighting for. I fear for my job and I fear for my country's future but I beieve change has been due and George is the one to make that happen."

George sure has made change happen,baby.

1.3 million more people have dropped below the poverty line -- JUST SINCE LAST YEAR, mind you. No one has the heart to calculate the cumulative effects of 3-odd years of Bushonomics. 44 million people are without health insurance - a 4 million person increase over the last 3 years. In the Midwest, people who've never needed public assistance in their lives are flooding the food banks.

Every quarter, jobs and personal income reports are lower-than-expected, and previous quarters' tallies have to be revised DOWNWARD.

Moral crusades? Moral superiority? How in the name of God can you hold up as morally superior an Administration that winks at torture, imprisons hundreds of people in violation of Western civilization's most basic and most *minimal* civil rights, and wages an unprovoked war for reasons that keep shifting as each one is revealed as baseless? What the hell are your standards for defining moral superiority? Saddam Hussein's?

The utter and unmitigated disaster that is the Bush Administration is truly beyond belief. His Administration is the very exemplar of woodenheaded corruption. He has smeared and distorted and violated everything America stands for, every ideal we hold dear.

It is not possible to have any intellectual or moral integrity and still support George Bush. Period.

posted by: Ciel on 08.27.04 at 12:31 AM [permalink]

When will the education president close the skyrocketing funding shortfall of Pell grants? Maybe this year?

When is Africa getting its AIDS money?

How's that moon launch coming along?

posted by: brent on 08.27.04 at 12:31 AM [permalink]

Ben's response to my link to statistics proving that Democratic presidents have consistently been better for the economy (higher GDP growth; lower unemployment rate; lower inflation; lower growth in federal spending; lower deficits AND on top of all that: higher stock market returns):

You are delusional - I suppose you are going to argue that tax increases actually help the economy?

This is indeed a telling response to hard numbers. Let's just ignore the numbers and come back with fright-talk about tax increases.

You know what? Clinton raised taxes, and the economy did great in the years to follow. The budget was balanced and the economy grew! Who among the Republicans would have thought it possible?

Just to prove that this wasn't an accident, George W. Bush entered the White House, cut taxes and busted the budget. And what has he got to show for it? Fewer jobs and record deficits at the same time!

Alas, we won't actually look at any of that in too much detail, will we? All that matters is that we stick to the script that Kerry will raise taxes when in fact all he said he wants to do is undo the tax cuts for the top 1 or 2 %.

For those not bound by loyalty oaths or ideological blinders, here is the link to the actual numbers again, see for yourself:

posted by: gw on 08.27.04 at 12:31 AM [permalink]

Wow, 3 million jobs lost, 4 million uninsured and 1.3 million more poor people all because the tax brackets were changed from;


to (2001)

10 (income up to 6k)

then to (2002)

10 (income up to 6k)

then to (2003)

10 (income up to 7k)

with a sunset provision for most (if not all) of these changes by 2010.

WRT to the "looting" of government agencies not named the Oil minostry, I'm reminded of the museum looting that was overstated.

posted by: h0mi on 08.27.04 at 12:31 AM [permalink]

Unfortunately, must state that voting is a choice between the lesser of the evils.

The liberals scare me. But, W. just hasn't been up to the job. He is an ex-frat guy and a right winger (unlike his father), who lacked study and training or had any kind of tested mettle to have that position. It was handed to him by his dad's friends and via slick untruthful advertising/marketing.

posted by: Alex on 08.27.04 at 12:31 AM [permalink]

Let's see: "looting", as opposed to looting, implies that h0mi doesn't believe there was any looting. Oh, another invention of the liberal media.

Leave aside the museum; my recollection is that the "it's overstated" turned out to be overstated, but a rifled museum did not directly hinder a peaceful Iraq.

George Packer, "The War After the War":

"An infantry captain in Baghdad gave me his war log for the months of March, April, and May. The days leading up to the city’s fall are crowded with incidents. But immediately after April 9th, when the statue of Saddam Hussein was pulled down, the entries turn brief: 'Nothing significant to report, stayed at airport all day doing maintenance and recovery operations.' Meanwhile, the city’s leading institutions were being plundered.

"It remains a mystery why American forces did so little to stop the looting. Martial law was not declared; it was days before a curfew was imposed throughout the city. It was as if the fall of Baghdad were the military’s only objective. At a Pentagon news conference, Rumsfeld regarded the chaos with equanimity. 'Freedom’s untidy,' he said. 'Free people are free to make mistakes and commit crimes and do bad things.' [Wasn't the freakin' PENTAGON being looted, was it? Where would his equanimity have gone? --A.]

"The economic cost of the looting was estimated at twelve billion dollars. The ruined buildings, the lost equipment, the destroyed records, and the damaged infrastructure continue to hamper the reconstruction. But on a more profound level the looting meant that Iraqis’ first experience of freedom was disorder and violence. The arrival of the Americans therefore unleashed new fears, even as it brought an end to political terror. The Administration had naïvely concluded that an imprisoned and brutalized population would respond to its release by gratefully setting up a democratic society. There was no contingency for psychological demolition. What had been left out of the planning was the Iraqis themselves.
* * *
"'We were incompetent, as far as they were concerned,' Feldman said. 'The key to it all was the looting. That was when it was clear that there was no order. There’s an Arab proverb: Better forty years of oppression than one day of anarchy.' He added, 'That also told them they could fight against us—that we were not a serious force.'"

Here's the link to Packer, which with the James Fallows article "Blind into Baghdad" is one of the 3 must-reads of this war (Hersh's Abu Ghraib expose being # 3):

posted by: Anderson on 08.27.04 at 12:31 AM [permalink]

The guys on the ground weren't able to protect things competently because the fools in Commmand never planned for any eventuality EXCEPT being greeted by flower-tossing happy campers singing hosannahs.

Why? Hard to say. The choices are 1) Wilfull ignorance and stupidity; or, 2) Indifference to Iraqi culture and cultural assets because Iraqi cultural assets are neither Western nor Christian.

My money's on 2.

posted by: Ciel on 08.27.04 at 12:31 AM [permalink]

These sleazy individuals are told to pretend that they are Republicans who are outraged by George W. Bush’s economic policies and now are compelled to vote for John Kerry.

Yeah, I've seen a few posts like that at FreeRepublic. Of course, the poster is immediately found out and gets zotted (as they say).

However, there are also conservatives who are really upset with Bush's incredibly bad policies and are looking for an alternative. You can't blame that on ice cream. Instead, you need to blame that on Bush himself.

smaller greivances, like the budget deficit and the Medicare bill, and the brief flirtation with immigration reform and a mission to Mars.

Those aren't smaller grievances. And, there was no brief flirtation with immigration (so-called) reform. The great majority of Americans support tighter immigration control, including trying to prevent illegal immigration. George Bush is going in the opposite direction not just to his party's members, but to the country as a whole.

Bush has completely failed to do anything about illegal immigration. His "reform" would make a situation he's responsible for even worse. In addition to encouraging millions of illegal aliens to come to the U.S., he in effect wants to put American jobs on eBay (per his assistant, matching "willing workers with willing employers" will apply to all manner of jobs, not just serf labor).

See my Immigration category if you want to find out how little is being done and how bad the situation is. Or, for the short answer, see Splintered Plank: The White House spins and misses on immigration.

posted by: The Lonewacko Blog on 08.27.04 at 12:31 AM [permalink]

Most administrations, both Republican and Democratic, have had to endure criticism by prominent members of their own party, if not generally then on specific issues.

That seemed to end somewhere between the Republican takeover of Congress in 1994 and the run-up to impeachment in 1998, when nearly all Republicans fought everything Clinton said he was for and even Democrats who resented him reacted strongly to any criticism. With a Republican in the White House the colors were reversed.

Bloggers and columnists are one thing, but among Republican political leaders there are very few who have challenged President Bush publicly on any major issue since he took office. Even John McCain has been much more critical of his fellow Senators' spending proclivities than he has been of the biggest spending administration in history. I can well believe some GOP voters have cause to be turned off over one issue or another, but if they are they have no one in the Republican Party to follow. This raises some interesting questions about what would happen in the GOP if Bush loses this November.

posted by: Zathras on 08.27.04 at 12:31 AM [permalink]

I eagerly await for Dan to make the case for Bush, because the case for him is pretty indiciting. This election is a referendum on the incumbent. Anyone willing to look at the economic, domestic, and foreign policy record of this president, has no choice but to vote NO MORE YEARS. To pretend that the discontent with Shrub is false, has to be a cognitivie disonance coping mechanism.

posted by: Jor on 08.27.04 at 12:31 AM [permalink]

Anyone who sincerely believes Kerry (who will spend his reversal of "part" of Bush's tax cuts on health care) will reduce the deficit lacks the intellectual capacity to vote. Please stay home and enjoy the programs detailing how we never really landed on the Moon. In the meantime, note that the economic numbers today (unemployment, inflation, consumer sentiment, et al) are, on the whole, virtually identical to those at the same point in 1996, when the media couldn't praise the economy enough. BTW, is Iraq a reason to vote for Kerry? Kerry voted for the war, not against it. If you want an anti-war candidate, Nader's your boy. Since we have no way of knowing how Kerry would've handled Iraq differently had he gone to war, other than trying to involve allies who wanted no part of removing Saddam, faith in Kerry's greater managerial skills as pertains to Iraq is of the blind variety.

posted by: John Salmon on 08.27.04 at 12:31 AM [permalink]

What the hell? Here's somebody claiming that the economic numbers today are virtually identical to 1996?

What is this, do you think the readers here all crawled out from under cabbage leaves yesterday?

Why tell lies that no one would believe?

posted by: J Thomas on 08.27.04 at 12:31 AM [permalink]


"Not the worthless "liking" of lesser nations "

There's a lot to dislike in this comment. First off, worthless? Does our popularity abroad have no impact on things like, I don't know, the degree to which other countries cooperate with us?

Then there's the "lesser nations." Lesser in power - yes for now, but if you make that your standard, should China dismiss us down the road? Lesser in moral worth is an absurd blanket putdown.

Your comment looks like an ugly bit of narcissistic nativism. I hope I misread it.


posted by: Tom on 08.27.04 at 12:31 AM [permalink]

I see why some people have been considering moving away form open comments. If there is anything interesting or valid in there, I don't have the patients to read through that much crap to find it.

posted by: aaron on 08.27.04 at 12:31 AM [permalink]

Mars, bitches! /chappelle

posted by: Al on 08.27.04 at 12:31 AM [permalink]

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