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June 29, 2004


Annoying italicizing fixed. :)


But you know the sad thing? On some days -- increasingly rare days, yes -- I still think that Bush is better for the job than Kerry.

Based on what?

Based on what?

His smile?

No, I have some concern that Kerry is going to increase entitlements at an even faster rate than Bush, and that Kerry is less likely than Bush to be a fair broker w/r/t social security.

I still think that Bush is probably better for the job than Kerry.

To paraphrase your own post: "What are you smoking?"

Other than a pro-life stance, where does Bush satisfy any of your other concerns? His "pro defense" position boils down to his not hesitating to use the military (planning optional), certainly not any money-where-his-mouth-is support of the men and women who serve. His Scalia leaning on the Constitution seems to hold only so long as it doesn't interfere with his executive poweres. Small government????

ahhh...what's the point...I'm off to get another Frappucino...

Hmm. We just had an election here in Canadaland, and the national coverage last night was punctuated by amusing op-ed pieces by prominent Canadian comedians (soon to be American comedians if the current trend holds).

One commented on the deplorable fact that some Canadians don't vote because they don't like voting for the lesser of two evils. It was pointed out that if you don't vote for the lesser of two evils, then the greater of two evils is elected, and so not voting supports pure evil.

The other noted that Canadians never vote for the party they want to win, they vote for the party that will punish the party they hate the most. Also an interesting strategy. Don't know if that works in a two-party system.

Having said all that, who's this Kerry fellow, and when are you people getting rid of Bush?

Ah now, double-plus-unggod, don't forget Rick Mercer's classic - we wanted a minority government for the same reason we might want to see a rhinoceros: we don't see rhinos very often.

There's one reason to vote Kerry in, maybe.

Rick was really in good form last night. I wonder how many times he had to stride around that neighbourhood yakking at the camera before they had one continuous take without errors?

Mercer's suggestion that the leaders be forced to share 24 Sussex was hilarious -- though I could've done without the mental image of Jack Layton in a Speedo.

Heh. That line about installing bunkbeds and the party leaders staying up late, giggling and making smores was priceless. Thank God Mercer hasn't moved to the States yet.

Attention. Attention, please. Your comment thread has been hijacked by Canadians, who will now proceed to ignore the original post about American politics, and will now discuss at length the Canadian election, throwing in many obscure in-jokes and Canadiana references as possible to demonstrate our great cultural differences.

Expect many spellings of word contain extra "u"s, no matter how laboured the reference.

So it's "Canadiana" instead of "Canadia"? Or is it "Canauda"?

I should be naturally sympathetic: ... lean Scalia on Constitutional issues, ... fan of smallish government, etc. ... But you know the sad thing? On some days -- increasingly rare days, yes -- I still think that Bush is better for the job than Kerry.

But in what sense is the Bush Administration an advocate of small government? It's been obvious from the beginning that they're *big* government conservatives, which is a very different animal.

To take one example: Advocates of limited government would never have gone to the Supreme Court to argue that the government can lock you up and throw away the key, just because they said so. Scalia (and everyone else on the court, except Thomas) rightly rejected that view, as a repudiation of the basic concept of a free society.

I hope I don't sound hostile. I just don't understand why so many small government conservatives think Bush was ever on their side.

"I just don't understand why so many small government conservatives think Bush was ever on their side."

Downticket ripples and court appointments. Same reason I'll vote for Kerry. It's basically a vote for party platform, not individuals. So the real question is whether enough of the leadership of the Republican party actually represents those principles to justify the party vote.

I'm willing to flirt with the Republican party in those places where it stays sensible and rejects its spiteful side, but when I look at the current leadership, I won't even consider it. The overarching principle seems to be power, and whatever tactics are required to maintain it. And while Democratic politicians have more than their share of flaws, I'm confident that a good number of them, including the leadership, are in it with an actual interest in improving the state of the country, while the Republican leadership, even in this era when it has the reins of power in every branch of government, is still fundamentally reactionary.

And given the party dynamics, it's much more likely that the Democrats can be fixed from the inside than the Republican party, wherein loyalty is one of the highest virtues, precluding the kind of conflict that leads to improvement.

I'm sure von will do the right thing ;)

Well, it depends on what you mean by small government. There's a philosophically consistent libertarian position that holds that the government should only engage in national defense and in preventing force and fraud in economic transactions, so the free market can do its thing. If you have that kind of view, you might think that civil liberties weren't a part of small government--locking up Hamdi would be part of national defense, or prevention of force.

I should mention that I'm not sympathetic to this view AT ALL; I think it's wrong from top to bottom. Also, the Bush Administration doesn't score well even on this scale; he hasn't done anything to reduce the size of non-defense/law enforcement government. And this kind of libertarian still ought to believe in the rule of law in a way that goes against the Bush Admin claims that you specify. But it does provide a framework in which you might call yourself a small-government guy and still approve of Bush's headbusting tendencies.

I hope I don't sound hostile. I just don't understand why so many small government conservatives think Bush was ever on their side.

You certainly don't (sound hostile). I made more than a few assumptions about Bush that turned out to be wrong -- that'd he was a moderate like his father (who I was quite fond of); that he would modify his tax plans as reality re-jiggered; that he would begin deal with the impending crisis that is social security; that he was capable of realpolitik, if the situation demanded it; that he would never be so foolish as to back an anti-Gay marriage amendment; etc.

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