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Monday, September 06, 2004

Reagan takes on Bush

Ron Reagan, son of the 40th president, makes the case against George W. Bush in a September story for Esquire.

In the article, Reagan discusses the right-wing effort to pigeonhole all of Bush's critics into the nutter box:

"Right-wing talking heads continue painting anyone who fails to genuflect deeply enough as a 'hater,' and therefore a nut job, probably a crypto-Islamist car bomber. But these protestations have taken on a hysterical, almost comically desperate tone. It's one thing to get trashed by Michael Moore. But when Nobel laureates, a vast majority of the scientific community, and a host of current and former diplomats, intelligence operatives, and military officials line up against you, it becomes increasingly difficult to characterize the opposition as fringe wackos."

Reagan also talks about the lies Bush has not been called to account for. Reagan says these lies began early in Bush's trek to Washington:

"While debating Al Gore, Bush tells two obvious—if not exactly earth-shattering—lies and is not challenged. First, he claims to have supported a patient's bill of rights while governor of Texas. This is untrue. He, in fact, vigorously resisted such a measure, only reluctantly bowing to political reality and allowing it to become law without his signature. Second, he announces that Gore has outspent him during the campaign. The opposite is true: Bush has outspent Gore. These misstatements are briefly acknowledged in major press outlets, which then quickly return to the more germane issues of Gore's pancake makeup and whether a certain feminist author has counseled him to be more of an 'alpha male.'

Having gotten away with such witless falsities, perhaps Mr. Bush and his team felt somehow above day-to-day truth. In any case, once ensconced in the White House, they picked up where they left off."

But Reagan saves his strongest criticism to denounce Bush's policies in Iraq and Bush's raised "stiff middle finger" to the world.

See full article.

In the same issue, Crossfire panelist Tucker Carlson expresses his own misgivings about the man (we can only presume) he will eventually vote for.

Carlson says, "[I]t is because he was weak that we invated Iraq. Bush may have been uncertain about how to fight terrorism after the fall of the Taliban but many of those around him were not. Years before, they had concluded that an Iraq without Saddam would lead to a more stable, less dangerous Middle East. Against compelling evidence to the contrary, Bush accepted their judgment. I believe this was a colossal error–made in good faith, but an error nonetheless."

Can we afford four more years of these type of mistakes?


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