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Thread: Son Knows Worst

  1. #1
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    Son Knows Worst

    the has-been Son Knows Worst
    The self-defeating rebellions of the Rebel-in-Chief.
    By Bruce Reed Posted Friday,
    Dec. 22, 2006, at 12:18 PM ET

    Friday, Dec. 22, 2006

    George Has Two Fathers: Like Bill Murray in "Groundhog Day," George W. Bush seems doomed to wake up every morning in the same Maureen Dowd column about a father's shadow he can darken but not escape. Bush 43 owes much to Bush 41 ? his name, his VP and half his Cabinet, his fateful obsessions with Iraq, taxes, and the Republican base. And for his father's troubles, the current president has been singularly ungrateful. The elder Bush handed his son the keys to the car, and the Daddy Party has been paying for it ever since.

    Bush the younger watched his father lose the presidency over a brief moment of responsibility, and vowed to avenge the family name by never governing responsibly again. Bush 43 seems to view Bush 41's administration as a zero-sum game: He is willing to add one old Bush hand (like Robert Gates), so long as he can dismiss another (like James Baker). He has dealt with the Iraq Study Group report the way stubborn sons usually deal with parental advice ? once they hear something is supposed to be good for them, they'll never do it.

    Less has been made of Bush the younger's rebellion against another father figure, his silver-haired predecessor, Bill Clinton. Although the same age as Bush 43, Clinton has a temperament more like his new friend and fellow elder statesman, Bush 41.

    While the younger Bush would never admit it, he owes much to Clinton 42 as well. As governor, Bush stole his campaign slogan ? "Opportunity and Responsibility" ? from Clinton's campaign speeches. In 2000, Bush ran for president as a different kind of Republican, stealing a page from Clinton's '92 New Democrat playbook. No father in history has left behind a bigger inheritance than Clinton: a $5 trillion surplus with no strings attached.

    Of course, Bush rebelled against Clinton in just as self-defeating a fashion as against his own father. Within a year of taking office, he squandered the entire surplus. In every possible way, he styled his presidency to be the opposite of Clinton's, even when it meant failing where Clinton had done well.

    As Mark Halperin and John Harris point out in their book, The Way to Win, Bush's whole approach to politics is the opposite of Clinton's. Clintonism stresses common ground, evidence, and results. By contrast, Bushism eschews common ground in favor of sharp partisan and ideological differences. This year, Bush proved that when winning elections becomes the only result you value, it's bound to elude you as well.

    Bush is a famously stubborn man, and never more so than in his insistence on throwing over the conservative achievements of his predecessors. Clinton kept the elder Bush's pay-as-you-go rules to ensure that government didn't try to do what it couldn't pay for; Bush ditched pay-go so he could spend and give away money with abandon. Clinton renewed confidence in government that had been waning since the '60s. Bush shattered confidence in government by reviving the double-barreled spending of the '60s.

    In perhaps the most telling rejection of Clintonism, Bush dismantled the COPS program, which had helped communities put more police on the beat and helped cut violent crime by a third nationwide. Not having enough troops turned out to be a losing strategy here at home, too. This week, the FBI announced the sharpest increase in violent crime since 1991.

    Under Clinton, the nation's police forces produced the longest sustained drop in crime on record. Now many cities are becoming murder capitals again. In 2006, robbery went up 9.7% -- the fastest rise in at least the past quarter century.

    A Justice Department spokesman said the administration will wait for an ongoing study to determine why crime is going up. But the International Association of Chiefs of Police and other leading crime experts pointed out the obvious: Just as more cops on the beat led to less crime, fewer cops on the beat is leading to more crime.

    In fact, the current crime wave represents a convergence of Bush failures. The Post notes that an influx of residents displaced by Hurricane Katrina helped produce a 28% surge in the crime rate in Houston. With many police officers serving extended tours with the National Guard and Reserves in Iraq, the war has further depleted the thin blue line here at home.

    The more the son rebels, the more prodigal he becomes. Bush 41 and Clinton 42 look better than ever, while Bush 43 never looked worse. Bush is not the sort to learn from his mistakes. But by now, he ought to realize that resisting his elders is yet another rebellion he's not winning. ...

  2. #2
    TC
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    Re: Son Knows Worst

    The more the son rebels, the more prodigal he becomes. Bush 41 and Clinton 42 look better than ever, while Bush 43 never looked worse. Bush is not the sort to learn from his mistakes. But by now, he ought to realize that resisting his elders is yet another rebellion he's not winning. ...

    he won't though, because he is too arrogant, stubborn and thinks we are all stupid.
    Hallo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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    Re: Son Knows Worst

    >>he won't though, because he is too arrogant, stubborn and thinks we are all stupid.
    Hallo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!<<

    The only benefit of him being President is that he is no longer the Governor of Texas---

  4. #4
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Re: Son Knows Worst

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Rose
    >>he won't though, because he is too arrogant, stubborn and thinks we are all stupid.
    Hallo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!<<

    The only benefit of him being President is that he is no longer the Governor of Texas---
    You'll be getting The Chimp back just 24 months from now....!

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    Re: Son Knows Worst

    >>You'll be getting The Chimp back just 24 months from now....! <<

    As a resident-- His library opening has been slowed down because the 2 coloring books are full!

  6. #6
    mrblanche
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    Re: Son Knows Worst

    Gee, I dunno...

    Clinton has been in Arkansas only once since the 1992 election, so far as I know.

  7. #7
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    Re: Son Knows Worst

    >>Clinton has been in Arkansas only once since the 1992 election, so far as I know.<<

    We ain't gonna be that lucky---- He'll ba at that ranch----

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