Monday, January 26, 2004

Reader Responds: My comments section is still down, but reader Mark S. sent this e-mail a few days ago:

I just read your post on the SOTU speech, and you are dead on right.

What I don't get is why you haven't noticed the bigger picture.

Bush is about two things. On foreign policy the only goal is fixing daddies mess, and 9/11 gave him an excuse. Domestically, it's tax cuts. All else is pandering to get re-elected.

What part of that deserves another vote?
Thanks. Except I disagree that Bush's decision to wage war against Iraq had anything to do with his father (or oil, or evil corporations, etc). Bush is taking the fight to the terrorists, and that's how we can expect to win. Fighting the war on terrorism by only focussing on 9/11 culprits or Osama Bin Laden is called tunnel vision. They are only a small symptom of this war. We need to change the culture of the Middle East by deposing terrorist-supporting tyrants and by bringing democracy and prosperity to the region. That, my friend, is called looking at the big picture.

And I believe tax cuts helped the economy rebound. The small, manageable deficits that come as a result are okay because the economic growth will add more money to government coffers than raising taxes. Unfortunately, Bush and Congress are spending money like there's no tomorrow, causing massive deficits. And that can bring long-term problems. But that doesn't mean a policy of tax cuts is bad, per se.

As for political pandering, well, show me one politician who doesn't do that.

Next One: Before I got around to responding to his first e-mail, Mark sent me a second one commenting on my post about Bush's promise to now start limiting government spending:

And being a good Republican (or leaning Republican) -- you're willing to buy this latest garbage merely because they bothered to say it?

I suggest and old adage: Don't listen to what they say -- watch what they do!

I've seen absolutely nothing to tell me this isn't another "I'm a uniter, not a divider" game to sucker voters.
Ouch! Let's get one thing straight. I like the way Bush is running the war on terrorism, and I plan to vote to give him a second term. But I am not a Republican (or even leaning). As much as I despise the party of conservative homophobes and the right-wing Christian Coalition, it unfortunately is a better alternative to a party that wishes to turn over our national-security concerns to the United Nations. And, frankly, I don't trust any international organization that's filled with so many tyrants and anti-Semites.

As for the rest of Mark's message, well, he's absolutely right. I have little faith that federal spending will be held to 1 percent growth. But now that Bush has said it, we have something else with which to criticize him when the spending keeps skyrocketing.


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