Tuesday, September 07, 2004

Sullivan disavows Bush

After 9/11, Andrew Sullivan has been a big supporter of the current president. Despite the fact that Sullivan is gay and was one of the original supporters of gay marriage, he hung tight to the Republican party for both their fiscal and foreign policies. That has now changed. On Andrew's blog site, scroll down to his entry for last Friday. His take on Bush's speech at the RNC begins with praise:

"It was the second best speech I have ever heard George W. Bush give - intelligently packaged, deftly structured, strong and yet also revealing of the president's obviously big heart."

Then, in the second paragraph titled, The End of Conservatism, Sullivan writes, "
But conservatism as we have known it is now over. People like me who became conservatives because of the appeal of smaller government and more domestic freedom are now marginalized in a big-government party, bent on using the power of the state to direct people's lives, give them meaning and protect them from all dangers...And Bush's astonishing achievement is to make the case for all this new spending, at a time of chronic debt (created in large part by his profligate party), while pegging his opponent as the "tax-and-spend" candidate. The chutzpah is amazing. At this point, however, it isn't just chutzpah. It's deception. To propose all this knowing full well that we cannot even begin to afford it is irresponsible in the deepest degree. I've said it before and I'll say it again: the only difference between Republicans and Democrats now is that the Bush Republicans believe in Big Insolvent Government and the Kerry Democrats believe in Big Solvent Government. By any measure, that makes Kerry - especially as he has endorsed the critical pay-as-you-go rule on domestic spending - easily the choice for fiscal conservatives."

On the foreign policy portions of the speech: "
I agreed with almost everything in the foreign policy section of the speech, although the president's inability to face up to the obvious sobering lessons from Iraq is worrying. I get the feeling that empirical evidence does not count for him; that like all religious visionaries, he simply asserts that his own faith will vanquish reality. It won't."

And he ends on this sad note: "
And the president made it clear that discriminating against gay people, keeping them from full civic dignity and equality, is now a core value for him and his party. The opposite is a core value for me. Some things you can trade away. Some things you can compromise on. Some things you can give any politician a pass on. But there are other values - of basic human dignity and equality - that cannot be sacrificed without losing your integrity itself. That's why, despite my deep admiration for some of what this president has done to defeat terror, and my affection for him as a human being, I cannot support his candidacy. Not only would I be abandoning the small government conservatism I hold dear, and the hope of freedom at home as well as abroad, I would be betraying the people I love. And that I won't do."


Scott said...

Insurmountable national debt has been a GOP goal for generations. Around the time I turned 18 in 1975, my father who was then a conservative democrat, told me one of the primary goals of the republican party and the powerful and monied segment of their constituency was to drastically increase our national debt.

He told me the method was to make the nation so indebted to these very monied and powerful entities, that a point is reached where the population willingly turns it's back on social programs, and raids social security, arts funding, education funding, healthcare funding, and any other social programs with funds, to repay the manufactured debt to these very same entities.

I thought it was the stuff of conspiracy theories. I chuckled thinking of my rational, somewhat conservative father being a radical. Halliburton. Privatizing social security. BecTel(sp?).
And so on. Guess he isn't such a radical after all.

Anonymous said...

It's been apparent from the beginning that Bush is only a social conservative and not a fiscal one. His early protectionist tariffs on lumber and steel were about as anti free-market as you can get. They also contributed to the economic and unemployment problems that were currently having. Many fiscal conservatives are stepping away from thier association with Bush and there have been some rather damning articles in recent months in the Wall Street Journal and The Economist about his policies. The hypocrisy of him accusing anyone of "tax and spend" policies just irks me to no end. Of course his policies aren't "tax and spend" they're just "spend and spend".