Passionate conservatism bad for America

Dimitrije Kostic

During the last 100 days, Bush has been the complacent patsy of the corporations and the dogmatic religious groups who procured his dubious mandate. He has shamelessly whitewashed wanton fiscal irresponsibility and swift decays in public interest laws with feel-good rhetoric.There was nothing bipartisan about his appointment of industry lobbyists (Gale Norton, Condoleezza Rice, Colin Powell, Spencer Abraham, etc.) and right-wing bully boys (John Ashcroft, Theodore Olson, Karl Rove, etc.) to offices of utmost civic responsibility. Do you think these people (http://www.opensecrets.org/bush/cabinet.asp#2) represent you?

Then there’s Bush’s misguided spending policies. According to Citizens for Tax Justice, the $1.6 trillion in tax cuts that Bush is advocating will actually cost the nation around $2.4 trillion (http://www.ctj.org/html/gwbcrev.htm). Bush’s family would receive $100,000 a year under this plan (http://www.ctj.org/html/bushcut.htm) but the typical taxpayer would get $249-$408 a year (http://www.ctj.org/html/bush0201.htm). Despite the end of the Cold War, defense budgets have been growing across the board (http://www.defenselink.mil/pubs/almanac/almanac/money/breakout.html), a trend Bush intends to continue. This superfluous buildup is being criticized by many defense analysts, including retired vice-admiral Jack Shannahan and even a member of Reagan’s defense department (http://www.inthesetimes.com/web2509/korb2509.html). Furthermore, $60 billion is a conservative estimate on the price of Bush’s unworkable missile defense system (http://www.cdi.org/hotspots/issuebrief/ch5/index.html), which even our allies are protesting. Tack on roughly another $50 billion per year to wage our failed drug war, and we see that Bush is wasting taxpayer money wholesale.

Bush’s rollback of various environmental, labor, reproductive rights, and consumer laws further indicate that his blathering about “bipartisanship” was only a smokescreen to foist a right-wing agenda onto the unsuspecting public. Congress, split evenly between complacent moderate Democrats and hard-line conservative Republicans, has fought partisan battles over cabinet appointments, the budget, McCain-Feingold, and phony domestic violence legislation (i.e. Unborn Victims of Violence Act). Even after all that, we still have Bush’s unendingly troublesome (and hilarious) difficulties with

the English language and his daughter continuing a family tradition (http://www.cnn.com/2001/US/04/27/bush.daughter/index.html) to prove that he’s the most oafish president the Supreme Court ever elected.

—Dimitrije Kostic

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