The Adult Burgermeister Meisterburger
The Son of Ron Takes On the Son of George
In the September issue of Esquire, Ron Reagan, the son of the fortieth President of the United States takes a hard look at George W. Bush, the son of the forty-first, and does not like what he sees. The highlights:
"This is the critique of a person who thinks that lying at the top levels of his government is abhorrent. Call it the honest guy's critique of George W. Bush.An aside: Ron is not the only one! Within the last few days I have talked with two Americans who have voted Republican their entire lives.
I began to get calls from friends whose parents had always voted Republican, 'but not this time.'"
My boss' husband, who backed Goldwater in '64 and Buchanan in '96, said to me on Sunday, "This boy is just plain stupid. I had no idea how stupid! I voted for him last time but I'm gonna go Democrat in November. At least just this once. We need a new start."
One of my partner's co-workers is having second thoughts about her 2000 vote for Bush. "He's lost all credibility with me," she said. "Not to mention losing it with the whole damn globe."
More from Ron...
Word spread through the usual channels that old hands from the days of Bush the Elder were quietly (but not too quietly) appalled by his son's misadventure in Iraq.Then Reagan reams Bush over his domestic policies:
The realbut elusiveprime mover behind the 9/11 attacks, Osama bin Laden, was quickly relegated to a back burner (a staff member at Fox Newsthe cable-TV outlet of the Bush White Housetold me a year ago that mere mention of bin Laden's name was forbidden within the company, lest we be reminded that the actual bad guy remained at large) while Saddam's Iraq became International Enemy Number One...in Mr. Bush's words, "a threat of unique urgency" to the most powerful nation on earth...Even as of this writing, Dick Cheney clings to his mad assertion that Saddam was somehow at the nexus of a worldwide terror network.
Bush, who has always managed to fail upwards in his various careers, has never had a job the way you have a jobwhere not showing up one morning gets you fired, costing you your health benefits. He may find it difficult to relate personally to any of the nearly two million citizens who've lost their jobs under his administration, the first administration since Herbert Hoover's to post a net loss of jobs. This was not what the American electorate opted for when, in 2000, by a slim but decisive margin of more than half a million votes, they chose . . . the other guy. Bush has never had a mandate. Surveys indicate broad public dissatisfaction with his domestic priorities. How many people would have voted for Mr. Bush in the first place had they understood his eagerness to pass on crushing debt to our children?Amen! I don't know why this popular vote argument isn't made more often (God knows the Republicans would be making it had Al Gore assumed the presidency in the same fashion as Bush). As the loser of the 2000 national popular count by 540,000 votes, Mr. Bush should have scaled way back on his conservative agenda, staying on Clinton's course with the economy (no tax cuts) and setting aside his radical right social policies. Such moves would have indicated that he understood the election results. (Memo to Karl Rove: THIS is why presidents who won the White House while losing the popular vote have never won a second term.) Back to Reagan:
If ever there was a time for uniting and not dividing, this is it. Instead, Mr. Bush governs as if by divine right, seeming to actually believe that a wise God wants him in the White House and that by constantly evoking the horrible memory of September 11, 2001, he can keep public anxiety stirred up enough to carry him to another term. I write and speak as nothing more or less than an American citizen, one who is plenty angry about the direction our country is being dragged by the current administration. We have reached a critical juncture in our nation's history, one ripe with both danger and possibility. We need leadership with the wisdom to prudently confront those dangers and the imagination to boldly grasp the possibilities. Beyond issues of fiscal irresponsibility and ill-advised militarism, there is a question of trust. George W. Bush and his allies don't trust you and me. Why on earth, then, should we trust them?...I hear people like Ron Reagan or my boss' husband or my partner's co-worker and it leads me to feel as if there is an underlying current out there...something the polls aren't picking up on. Should Bush lose even a small percentage of his base - those voters who have voted Republican since they were old enough to walk into a voting booth - he is going to wake up on November 3rd facing a deep blue electoral map.
Fortunately, we still live in a democratic republic. The Bush team cannot expect a cabal of right-wing justices to once again deliver the White House. Come November 2, we will have a choice: We can embrace a lie, or we can restore a measure of integrity to our government. We can choose, as a bumper sticker I spotted in Seattle put it, SOMEONE ELSE FOR PRESIDENT.
Patriots in New England
I work for a medical technology company and we recently partnered up with a Boston company to conduct a clinical study. Wouldn't you know it...they choose this week to conduct an audit of our files. "We'd rather not be in Boston during the convention," they said. Well, thanks alot! This audit forces ten hour days, not to mention working from home during the evenings.
Still, I was able to catch key parts of the tremendous opening night of the Democratic National Convention and I went to bed impressed. Carter, Gore, Clinton, and Clinton showed the Republicans that the Democratic Party of 2004 is a force to be reckoned with.
The message (finally!): The Democrats' mature judgement and wisdom trump the complete incompetence of the current administration; the prudent leadership of John Kerry will restore the world's faith in its only superpower as we fight this war against terror.
I am swamped at work as a result of this visit from our Boston partner so I will defer readers to some excellent analysis from:
Andrew Sullivan, Mathew Gross, Steve Soto, and don't miss Josh Marshall's encounter with Michael Moore! (And speaking of Michael Moore, Bill O'Reilly is a whiney little bitch!)