Saturday, May 27, 2006

So what if Tucker Carlson is discouraged?

Tucker Carlson's autopsy for the Republican Party in Cato's Letter - evidently not online - has provable errors in it. As concerned as we are for the Republican Party, Tucker Carlson can't make his case when he starts from false understanding. First, Tucker bases his argument on a foolish assertion:
"How did this administration ... get to be, in fact, an administration that is in almost every single way as liberal as Bill Clinton's administration?"
Oh, he said "almost" to weasel out of his false statement. What "facts" show President Bush to be as liberal as Clinton? Appointing Supreme Court Justices who do not come from the ACLU? Wrong, Tucker. Tax cuts on capital formation that have spurred the economy to sustained growth? Wrong. Allowing faith-based organizations to provide social services? That's Bush, not Clinton. The list is long. Al Qaeda attacked the United States multiple time on Clinton's watch - 1993 World Trade Center, two African embassies bombed simultaneously, the Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia, the USS Cole in Yemen. Bill Clinton did not respond, except to bomb an aspirin factory when his affair with Monica Lewinsky was getting too much press. President Bush responded. No, he is not like Clinton "in almost every single way." Second, Tucker is smarter than we are. He knows that the Republicans don't believe in what they are doing. His superior sensitivity is not worth exploring. But he finds that Democratic staffers.... never mind. Third, he didn't know that the 1994 Contract with American was serious. Once again he is smarter than us: "... most smart people dismissed it out of hand as a marketing ploy aimed at dumb people, which is not far off." He was so skeptical that he couldn't see what was happening. In the Contract with American Newt Gingrich and the 1994 candidates for Congress promised what the Republicans would do. And they kept their promises. It helped them get elected. But it also did another important thing - to set their agenda. Once elected they didn't spend a year stumbling around. They had their program clearly defined and they did it. I am impressed by politicians who tell you what they are going to do, then do it. I am generally impressed by Cato Institute's publications other than this. This one is rescued by a profile of Andrew Coulson who left Microsoft to help get action on public K-12 education.

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