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George Bush: The President Who Never Met A Bill He Didnt Like
George W. Bush is a conservative in the same way Britney Spears is a virgin: only when it suits his marketing, writes Quin Hillyer, a columnist for Alabamas Mobile Register. Bush has yet to veto a single bill. Ever. He has all the hallmarks of being anything but a conservative. For example:

Within just the past few weeks, Bushproposed a new policy on immigration that, whatever other bells and whistles it contains, amounts to yet another amnesty program that would reward those who already have broken the law to enter the United States. Even conservatives (myself included) who welcome some expansion of legal immigration are blanching at the thought of coddling illegal immigants.

As with almost every other domestic initiative of this president, this proposal is aimed at buying off another constituent group -- in this case, Hispanics. For the steelworkers, there were protective tariffs against steel imports. For the farmers, a new boondoggle of subsidies and pork that killed the last vestiges of free-market reform of agriculture policy. For supply-siders, to the president's credit, there were tax cuts. For social issue folks, he nominated (but won't fight for) good would-be judges. For big businesses, all sorts of new corporate incentives time after time after time. For corn farmers (again), ethanol subsidies in a horrendously bloated energy bill (now tied up by filibuster) -- but unfortunately, without Arctic drilling.

Last month's second snub of conservative sensibilities is the Bush call for a return to the moon, and then a mission to Mars. Actually, putting a man on Mars is a wonderful idea and a worthy long-term project. But not if it can't be paid for while we're fighting terrorists on Planet Earth. Is there anything at all, pray tell, to which this president will say no? This second President Bush might be far better, on foreign policy and on taxes, than his father was. He's certainly better than any of the Democratic alternatives. But when it comes to other domestic concerns, he's positively Johnsonian and Nixonian: Politics first, and all fiscal concerns blithely ignored in a quest for re-election. As Richard Nixon once told his Cabinet, so too does George W. Bush choose to operate: Whenever in doubt, "Go spend some money."

Posted by aalkon at October 27, 2004 11:04 AM


The whole "get to Mars from the launching pad on the moon" thing strikes me as insane, but allows me to share a favorite Kurt Vonnegut passage:

Mankind, ignorant of the truths that lie within every human being, looked outward - pushed ever outward. What mankind hoped to learn in its outward push was who was actually in charge of all creation, and what all creation was all about.

Mankind flung its advance agents ever outward, ever outward. Eventually it flung them out into space, into the colorless, tasteless, weightless sea of outwardness without end.

It flung them like stones.

These unhappy agents found what had already been found in abundance on Earth - a nightmare of meaninglessness without end. The bounties of space, of infinite outwardness, were three: empty heroics, low comedy, and pointless death.

Posted by: eric at October 27, 2004 11:31 AM

Not even Clinton?

Posted by: Jim Treacher at October 27, 2004 12:52 PM

"the colorless, tasteless, weightless sea of outwardness without end."

Kinda sounds like New Mexico.

Posted by: Lena in love (and on acid) at October 27, 2004 6:57 PM

Heh heh...very good point, Treach. But Clinton was very likeable, actually. Kind of good ole southern boy. You'd think Shrub would go for that sorta thing. Word has it he had an affair or two in his time.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at October 28, 2004 1:26 AM

Yeah, but he beat Shrub's daddy. Shrub don't like the bad man beat Shrub's daddy!

Posted by: Jim Treacher at October 28, 2004 8:28 AM