Stupid NRO piece
John Samples has a silly article in today’s NRO, recounting an apocryphal conversation with a kids who sounds much like me. He does a terrible job coaxing him out of a Kerry vote.
“YoungMan,” I begin,
Mistake #1. Being called “young man” sends a warning through my nervous system warning me that the speaker is a dick and not worth listening to.
“George Bush is the Republican candidate. The Republicans are the party of limited government and individual liberty.”
“Says who?” YoungMan quickly replies. “The GOP has had control of the presidency and Congress since 2000. Discretionary domestic spending (that is, non-defense spending) began to rise early in Bush’s term. It started with education and ended up with a $16.6 trillion Medicare drug benefit. The Bush administration also seems to have abandoned Social Security reform. When was the last time you heard anything about that? Even the people who would be inclined to blame Congress for all the spending know that the president has never raised a finger to object to any spending at any time.”
I begin to wonder if YoungMan Intern owns a Prius with a “Re-Defeat Bush” bumper sticker on it. Probably not. He doesn’t live in Bethesda.
What? If the guy was a “Impeach Bushitler” type, why would he beef about Bush’s immense spending on New Deal programs?
“War is a big problem for me. It leads to killing people abroad and coercion at home. Like most things governments do, it is usually unjustified from the start or leads to perverse consequences. That said, every libertarian I know supported the war in Afghanistan after 9/11. Some of my friends supported the war in Iraq. Not me. The president didn’t make much of a case that Saddam Hussein represented a real threat to the life, liberty, or property of Americans. Then Bush started talking about democracy and endless wars of liberation. He’s a combination of Lyndon Johnson and Woodrow Wilson.”
“I don’t think he’s anything like LBJ. He doesn’t make Cheney come into the bathroom when he’s using it.” Once again my learned historical reference falls on deaf ears.
Insulting and irrelevant. This is familiar to anyone who read the third volume of Caro’s book. I would blow off this quip, too.
“To vote for Kerry you have to assume the Republicans will control Congress and be willing to limit his desire to expand government. That means you are voting for a president you don’t agree with at all,
But he DOES agree with him! If he opposes Bush’s foreign policy, odds are he likes Kerry’s lightfooted, pragmatic approach.
but you hope someone else will stop him from doing the things you disagree with but have nonetheless empowered him to do. Who’s supposed to stop him? The Republicans in Congress. The same people that have been spending money like drunken sailors.
Because they knew their Republican president would okay it. They did not behave so profiligately in the 1990s.
And that assumes they hold on to Congress. The House Democrats are way further left now then they were in 1994. If they win a majority in the House….”
An outcome almost unrelated to the election or re-election of Bush. If there are enough people like “YoungIntern” and me, voting GOP tickets with Kerry at the top, we’ll cede maybe 5-6 house seats to the Democrats and leave Kerry a cohabitated Hill, much like Clinton had. If Bush goes down, split-ticket voters are the author’s only hope.
“So you’re going to vote for Bush?” YoungMan interrupted.
I looked up at the bar’s TV. Europeans were running around in shorts playing kickball. The world seemed strange.
The world’s fine. You’re just shallow.