Friday, August 12, 2005

So there are intelligent conservatives after all

The Cunning Realist is a self-described conservative, but I doubt he gets Christmas cards from the White House. dKos linked to an excellent post hammering the right for their approach to Cindy Sheehan. He also has a nice take on the GWOT/GSAVE stupidity:

Yes, "global struggle against violent extremism" is slightly convoluted and has a distinctly bureaucratic whiff about it. But guess what? It's a helluva better description of what we're actually fighting than "global war on terror." And once you define the problem correctly, the solution suddenly becomes a bit more clear. When you postulate that the threat we face is violent extremism, presumably you can begin to address its root causes. Then you can ask what it is about allies of ours like Egypt, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia that creates violent extremism. And maybe that leads to some other uncomfortable questions---such as if violent extremism is the problem, why have we lost almost two thousand troops in an invasion and occupation of what was the most secular Muslim nation in the Middle East that produced exactly none of the attackers for 9/11 or any subsequent al-Qaeda operation outside of Iraq?

Maybe President Bush deep-sixed GSAVE because he instinctively realized this. Or maybe someone realized it for him. And the "struggle president" doesn't have quite the same ring to it as the "war president", does it? But the reluctance to move toward an accurate, enlightened definition of the battle we're fighting is true to his form. Undoubtedly, he defines the backward, reflexive path in his own mind as "staying the course." It's arguable that the worst thing to happen to Bush's presidency was Ronald Reagan; he seems to take the reasons for Reagan's success---unwavering principle, keeping it simple, staying on message---and apply them to his own presidency in ways that create limiting, shallow, or flat-out bad policy. Where Reagan was principled, Bush is rigid. If Bush is "conservative" he embodies the least flattering connotations of that term. In him, conservatism manifests itself as intransigence, obstinacy and ultimately ineffectiveness.

He can have his rose-tinted view of Ronnie Rayguns if he'll help depose the dumb-ass dauphin.


Blogger Melissa McEwan said...

He can have his rose-tinted view of Ronnie Rayguns if he'll help depose the dumb-ass dauphin.


12:19 PM  

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