In response to Josh's November 04, 2004 Post
Bush is not a fiscal conservative, nor has anyone ever called him one. But, I do support spending a substantial amount of our budget on the military, which Bush supports. Give me rockets, bombs, and bears, I will figure out my retirement on my own, thank you very much.
Then again, the Republican Party has a lot of trouble getting any budget passed, be it balanced or otherwise, because the Democrats don't want them to get credit, only the blame. And, I understand why that is: the Republicans did the same thing for decades; congressional politics is more about posturing than actual progress, it is the nature of the beast.
I disagree with your assertion that the Republican Party wishes to intrude on state rights. First of all, only a minority of the Republican congressman supported a constitutional amendment, and they did so only because the fear (a valid one) of the judiciary deciding the issue for the states. This vocal minority wished to circumvent the courts, who in turn are trying to circumvent the state legislatures. The President took it as a personal cause because he believes that the definition of marriage is non-negotiable and should not be decided by the courts—it also served to motivate millions of Christians to vote for GW, which Karl Rove was counting on. President Bush never seriously thought the amendment would garner any significant momentum; he supported it because he felt it was the only sure way to insure the definition of marriage and hoped that his stand would serve to unite millions of concerned Christians. It turned out to be a pretty smart gambit.
Tangent 1Personally, I don’t have a problem with Gay Marriage but a super-majority of the population does, and I do know that who we get to marry is not a constitutional right; it is an issue that should be decided by the states. The definition isn’t going to change anytime soon, if ever, through the legislative process. The people have spoken and very loudly so, however; these same people, by in large, support civil unions. Democrats, as well as Republicans, would be wise to push for civil unions in state legislatures. It would be a much easier battle, and one supported by both parties constituency. If this doesn’t happen, and it becomes Gay Marriage or nothing then there will be a huge fight within and between the parties. It will become the new affirmative action, where millions of people openly despise it, while giving tens of millions a reason to bolster their closeted bigotry. I know that Gay Marriage will one day win out, how it gets there is the question and, ultimately, the crux of the problem.
Back on TopicTangential thoughts aside, I want to point out that Reagan changed the view of Republicans on international affairs. Before, it was largely a party of isolationists, we did not needlessly meddle. That was the job of Democrats, who pushed us into Vietnam, Korea and even the first two World Wars. I think the old Democratic Party was right; the Republican Party was wrong, or at least not strong enough in their international zeal. Today the opposite is true: Republicans are proactive when it comes to international threats, the Democrats are reactive, with many not wanting to do anything at all, save for talk. Ronald Reagan is the reason for this ideological switch within the GOP. And, why we have steadily grown in power over last 2 ½ decades. JFK would be conservative by your standards; he actively sought to prevent the spread of communism. He was not reactive by any means; he instigated the beginning of Vietnam. The United States was not provoked, not any meaningful way, but he understood that it was a key nation in the spread of communism. LBJ took this as a mandate for limited, politically motivated war and made a fool of our nation.
Tangent 2I find it laughable that people say George W. Bush was the first President to ever invade a country without provocation (which is a lie, we were provoked plenty) when Kennedy and Johnson did the same thing, even going further than Bush by invading a country that had virtually no dealing with this nation whatsoever. We had no interest there other than to stop communism. I know it was the right idea, it was just woefully executed.
See, I went off on another tangent, alas--I need to learn to stay on subject, my 7th grade English teacher would be disappointed, among other reasons.
You are correct in believing the Republican Party has changed. It has been for the good of both the nation and the party. Bush doesn’t perfectly represent all Republicans, in fact he is considered too moderate by many, too conservative by some, and not nearly strong enough in fiscal matters. Nonetheless, his positions are well known within the party and without. He is a strong leader, who often has to lead by example and not through consensus. I like that in a President and a party, so should you.
Go to Hell