Steven Laib stevenlaib at SBCGLOBAL.NET
Tue Feb 28 19:40:47 MST 2006

Bartlett makes a lot of excellent points.  The main issue appears to be  
whether or not the today's conservatives are willing to sit at home and  
let the Republican Party get taken down, or will they hold their nose  
while voting.

What appears to be at work here is the same old fact that resurfaces  
every year.  Always more money for government programs, and never a  
real cut.

What this means to me is that until we get career politicians out of  
the picture we will never have any changes.

Steve Laib

On Feb 28, 2006, at 7:44 PM, John wrote:

> Why I wrote the book
> By Bruce Bartlett
> Feb 28, 2006
> Last week, I published a new book, Impostor: How George W. Bush  
> Bankrupted America and Betrayed the Reagan Legacy. A lot of my friends  
> are not happy with me for writing it and I have been embraced by a  
> number of people on the left whom I would ordinarily consider my  
> political enemies. Both are mistaken about why I wrote the book and  
> what I hope to accomplish with it.
> Some of my former friends on the right have attacked me as an  
> opportunist who sold out his party and his president to get a  
> best-seller. They would not think so if they knew that I started this  
> project knowing that I would probably lose my job with a think tank  
> closely allied with the White House, which I did. My advance on the  
> book was less than the salary I was making, so if I am an opportunist,  
> I’m a pretty poor one.
> My new friends on the left are, of course, delighted to find someone  
> on the right who is articulating a critique of George W. Bush. But if  
> they read the book, they will find that my criticism bears nothing in  
> common with theirs. Just because I find fault with a president from my  
> party doesn’t mean I’ve switched sides. On the contrary, I wrote the  
> book in order to help my side win.
> My basic argument is that Mr. Bush has enacted policies contrary to  
> conservative principles on too many occasions. Some of those that  
> disturb me the most are these:
> - No Child Left Behind Act. Republicans used to campaign on the idea  
> of abolishing the Department of Education. Bush greatly increased its  
> budget, despite a paucity of evidence showing that educational  
> outcomes are correlated with educational spending. No wonder Sen. Ted  
> Kennedy, Democrat of Massachusetts and Congress’s leading liberal,  
> loved it. The “reforms” Bush got in return were far too modest to  
> justify his support for this legislation and it hasn’t even helped him  
> politically. All we ever hear from the education lobby are demands for  
> even more spending.
> - Campaign Finance Reform. I don’t know a single conservative who  
> doesn’t think that this legislation is a fundamental violation of the  
> First Amendment to the Constitution, the Supreme Court’s ruling to the  
> contrary notwithstanding. Personally, I consider that Bush violated  
> his oath to defend the Constitution by signing this monstrosity,  
> especially since he said he would veto such a bill during the 2000  
> campaign.
> - Medicare Drug Benefit. This was really the final straw for me. The  
> Medicare system was already $50 trillion in debt in 2003 and we should  
> have been looking for ways to cut its spending, not increase it. The  
> unfunded liability of just the drug benefit added another $18 trillion  
> to that debt, an increase of 40 percent. Sooner or later, this  
> legislation is going to cause a massive tax increase, in my opinion  
> and that of many budget experts.
> The book details many other areas where I feel that Bush’s policies  
> are totally contrary to Ronald Reagan’s. Readers can judge for  
> themselves whether my indictment holds water. The reaction I have  
> received thus far suggests that a lot of conservatives share my  
> concerns and believe that Bush has done deep damage to the  
> conservative movement and the Republican Party.
> The last time a Republican president—Richard Nixon—sold out his  
> party’s core beliefs, it led to huge losses for his party in 1974 and  
> 1976. I think Republicans are deluding themselves if they believe that  
> gerrymandering of the House of Representatives and millions of  
> lobbyist dollars will protect them from big losses this November. It’s  
> worth remembering that Republicans took control of Congress in 1994  
> not because more Republicans voted, but because fewer Democrats did.  
> They, like many Republicans today, were dispirited by a president of  
> their party who took their loyalty for granted.
> I think Republicans are also wrong to assume that Democrats will  
> always behave as stupidly as they have lately. One of these days, they  
> are going to get their act together and stop nominating lousy  
> candidates who run awful campaigns. Once Republicans lose the votes of  
> those who are only voting against the Democrats, not for them, they  
> will be in serious political trouble.
> I wrote my book so that Republicans and conservatives can start a  
> debate about the future of the party and the movement. If we wait  
> until 2008, it will be much too late. It is important for potential  
> Republican presidential nominees to start thinking about and  
> articulating a vision for the future now. And Republican voters need  
> to ask themselves whether they are satisfied with the direction George  
> W. Bush has led them or whether they would really prefer to get back  
> to the policies and philosophy of Ronald Reagan.
> Ed. Note: Impostor: How George W. Bush Bankrupted America and Betrayed  
> the Reagan Legacy is now on sale at the Townhall Book Service for 23%  
> off the cover price.
> Copyright © 2006 Creators Syndicate, Inc.
> Find this story at:  
> 188014.html
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