Bandow Bashes Bush

|

Cato's Doug Bandow writes in Salon why conservatives should vote for Kerry:

Serious conservatives should deny their votes to Bush. "When it comes to choosing a president, results matter," the president says. So true. A Kerry victory would likely be bad for the cause of individual liberty and limited government. But based on the results of his presidency, a Bush victory would be catastrophic. Conservatives should choose principle over power.

Whole thing here (sitting through 20 second ad required for free day pass).

Advertisement

NEXT: Posts Pan Pot Prohibition

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Bush has cut taxes several times. That has not stopped him from starting a costly war in Iraq(dishonestly sold) and a prescription drug benefit(ditto)

    Aside from the “dishonestly sold” rhetoric (arguably true for the latter, but in re: Iraq, get off it, you feel lied to and you want to blame Bush), what’s the problem here? We have the money to spend. Don’t be afraid of deficit spending. Millions of Americans do it every day.

  2. “but in re: Iraq, get off it, you feel lied to and you want to blame Bush”

    Again, I must preface this with a reminder that I won’t vote for Kerry and don’t like the fella. But…

    How many untruths must a person tell before they can legitimately be considered “dishonest”?

    Bush said, “The International Atomic Energy Agency confirmed in the 1990s that Saddam Hussein had an advanced nuclear weapons development program, had a design for a nuclear weapon and was . . . enriching uranium for a bomb,” and that an International Atomic Energy Agency report stated that Iraq was ?six months away from developing a [nuclear] weapon.?

    The first referred to a report from BEFORE the first Gulf War and the second referred to a report that doesn’t exist.

    Bush said, “Iraq possesses ballistic missiles with a likely range of hundreds of miles ? far enough to strike Saudi Arabia, Israel, Turkey and other nations,” which was known to be false at the time (the missiles in question had reanges of 200 miles, not enough to reach any of the targets he mentioned).

    Bush claimed that ?It was [Saddam?s] choice to make, and he did not let [the inspectors] in.?

    Bush sent a letter to Congress on 3/19/03 saying that the Iraq war was permitted specifically under legislation that authorized force against ?nations, organizations, or persons who planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001.?

  3. Rounding up all illegals ‘not realistic’.

    If you vote for Bush, guys like this are going to still be in charge. He’ll continue making strawman arguments*, spouting AILA talking points, and refusing to do the job the American people want done.

    Even if Kerry appointed someone worse – if that can be imagined – the effects would be blocked by the Republicans.

    * Few people are suggesting “rounding up all illegals.” What most people are suggesting is simply enforcing the laws, such as fining those who employ illegals. That will encourage hundreds of thousands of illegals to deport themselves.

  4. After considering both major party candidates I have concluded that I will vote for myself.

    Matthew Cromer,

    On the Economy Bush is mostly doing the right things … moving to privatize social security…

    When he actually makes this a central plank of his campaign, as opposed to red meat for some in his party, he will be “moving” towards this. Right now its window-dressing.

    …generally reducing the cost of regulation to the economy.

    We’ve seen this claimed in the past, but as I recall it turned out to be an artefact.

  5. Don’t be afraid of deficit spending. Millions of Americans do it every day

    Yeah, but the major difference is if I find I’ve overspent and have to declare bankruptcy, I hurt mostly myself. Sure, my creditors suffer a bit, but they wouldn’t have lent me the money if they couldn’t handle it. But if the US government overspends and defaults on the national deficit, we are all screwed. Our bonds lose their value, which causes inflation to explode which crushes the economy worldwide. The national economy may one day recover, but it would be like the collapse of the Roman Empire in it’s severity.

  6. ?* Few people are suggesting “rounding up all illegals.” What most people are suggesting is simply enforcing the laws, such as fining those who employ illegals. That will encourage hundreds of thousands of illegals to deport themselves.?

    Why wouldn’t it surprise me if you were one of the few people suggesting that we start “rounding up all illegals”?

    Your comments would be so much more interesting if you would post a statement saying that Adolf Hitler should be universally despised, specifically, for having murdered more than five million Jews. If you can’t bring yourself to do that, are you at least willing to disavow yourself of any personal affinity for the separation of the races?

  7. Clark, you misunderstood the thrust of my remarks.

    I said that the dollars you personally save from tax cuts are dollars that are not pissed down a rathole in DC. That isn’t nonesense it’s fact.

    Nowhere did I say cutting taxes would cut spending, although it is possible that it might do just that. Nowhere did I say GWB’s tax cuts translated into smaller government or less spending, which it has not.

    Again, what I did say is that it is far better to keep the money for yourself and spend it on your kids than give it to DC in the myopic hope that somehow by throwing more dollars at the spending problem today you would delay or soften some as yet unknown day of reckoning that your kids or your grandkids will have to face.

    Aside from that, like many (but not anywhere near the majority it once was) libertarians I believe it’s your money to begin with and that the government has zero claim to it, regardless of the idiotic spending priorities of your government.

    Should you care to contribute extra taxes from your own meager take home pay, by all means, feel free to send them a check. Just don’t ask me to do so as well.

  8. I’m not touching this issue with a forty-foot pole. It’s lose-lose all the way.

    Nevertheless, to brighten everyone’s day: I’d like to suggest that any damage done to the GOP in terms of small-gov philosophy being eroded, entitlements adopted more enthusiastically, is irreversible. When they get addicted to spending, they ain’t gonna get unaddicted. It’s probably too late.

    Our best hope, it seems, is the Psuedo Administration, scheduled to begin in 2024.

  9. Back in the ’56 election, the people at National Review were making arguments very much like those the Nader people used in 2000. The only way the Republican party would move toward the right principles, they said, is if it spent a few years in exile as a result of having the wrong ones. I believe they actually suggested staying home and hoping for a Stevenson victory.

  10. Um…yeah that’s crazy. Bush is bad on the limited government/individual liberty front, but don’t think for a second Kerry’s not itching to sign Patriot II, turn CAPPS back on, and have your ass-pimples logged for biometrics. Kerry doesn’t have a conservative base to protect in the first place, and a guy who wants to make a “department of wellness” to make sure we don’t smoke or eat carbs is not even a harbinger of conservative values, let alone their champion.

    I’m curious as to whether that government-spending-per-household figure is adjusted for inflation. Or if it includes the fact that the government has spent additional billions between 9/11, Afghanistan and Iraq. If Slate is saying that fueling a tank counts in the “spending per household”…that’s fucking retarded and/or misleading.

    At any rate, deficit spending sounds scary, but if you made it past high school algebra you probably know it’s not a big deal. Ancillary benefit of greenback currency.

  11. The current New Republic features (on the page following a full-page ad for Reason) a good article on Cato Institute dissatisfaction with the Bush administration. Included are many biting quotes from folks like Bandow, Boaz, and Niskanen.

    To me, this all seems to revolve around the idea that divided government in either or any direction is better, for fiscal responsibility and liberty, than untrammelled political commonality among the branches of government. I’m still not sure I buy that argument, but the past three and a half years, contrasted against the last three quarters of the Clinton admin, seem a reasonable point in its favor.

  12. He makes a good point on taxes. A vote for Bush is a vote for higher taxes–higher taxes at some point in the future when a less dishonest president is in office.

  13. They fundamentally hate Bush because of the war in Iraq, not economics.

    On the Economy Bush is mostly doing the right things — cutting tax rates to boost growth, moving to privatize social security (THE most critical issue to the real deficit, bar none!), generally reducing the cost of regulation to the economy. The deficits are mostly due to the recession, not the bloated new spending that Bush signed.

    Sure a libertarian would be far preferable on domestic issues — but would also be apologizing to the terrorists in the middle east.

  14. The best argument that Bush has going for him is that no matter how much he spends, Kerry will try to spend more.

    The best argument Kerry has going for him is that Congress won’t let him get away with it.

    Pretty sad when the best things they have going for them are (1) My opponent is even worse and (2) I’ll be completely ineffectual.

  15. Bandow’s remarks are disappointing and I’d like him to explain exactly what prinicple is on the table when a conservative votes for JFK.

    What he really means is let’s teach Bush a lesson and that has nothing to do with principles but much to do with revenge and politics.

    If Bandow was touting a principled vote he would be talking about voting for that nutcase Boris Badnarak (sp) who represents something reasonably close to the philosophy that Cato and Bandow espouse on a regular basis.

    But the reality is that it isn’t about principles at all and shame on Doug Bandow for trying to bullshit us into thinking a vote for Kerry is a vote for principles.

  16. Clark, I have to remind you that every dollar of taxes that you save today because of tax cuts is a dollar that isn’t pissed down a rat hole in DC.

    It is futile to give them any more money than you have to, because the spending is never going to stop and your children are screwed regardless.

    Aside from that the GWB tax cuts have been a significant benefit to all working stiffs, particularly those with kids.

  17. “every dollar of taxes that you save today because of tax cuts is a dollar that isn’t pissed down a rat hole in DC.”

    Nonsense. Bush has cut taxes several times. That has not stopped him from starting a costly war in Iraq(dishonestly sold) and a prescription drug benefit(ditto). He is still pissing.

  18. It’s pretty sad when our choices in 2004 are between President “Bad” and Senator “Worse”.

  19. Hello readers!

    Please see my last comment at this post, which ends with the following:

    …I believe the reader will see that Ken [Shultz] – at the least – has no credibility. I’ll leave it to the reader to decide whether he’s in fact sane or not.

    The part of the comment before that includes examples illustrating my point.

  20. My granddaddy was a minister. One week, a rather lengthy burst of coughing interrupted his sermon just as he was getting to the big point. Once the coughing subsided, he cleared his voice, looked at the congregation and said, “Either the Devil didn’t want me to say it or the Lord wanted me to repeat it.”

    What does that have to do with anything?

    Well, it looks like whatever they did while the site was down blasted my response to Lone Wacko; so, in the spirit of my long dead grandfather, God rest his soul, I’ll post my point again below.

    If my original comment is restored and unexpectedly reappears as a double post, by all means, Lone Wolf, please feel free to answer my question twice.

  21. You should listen to Lone Wacko, “readers”, because I may, in fact, be insane, which, of course, would mean that I don’t have any credibility. As evidence of my insanity, please note that credibility, relatively speaking, isn’t all that important to me; I’m much more interested in facts and errors. That is to say, I’m not as concerned with whether or not the information I get is from a source I can trust as much as I’m concerned with whether or not the information I get is true or false. Most of my sources have a technique they use, and I tend to get really caught up in it; the technique is called questions and answers…

    …and speaking of questions and answers, I couldn’t help but notice that Lone Wolf still hasn’t answered some pretty big questions. There were three easy ways for Lone Wolf to make a fool of me. First, he could have written a statement to the effect that Adolf Hitler should be universally despised, specifically, for having murdered more than five million Jews. Secondly, he could have written a statement to the effect that he has no personal affinity, whatsoever, for the separation of different races. Thirdly, he could have denied being one of the few people who want all of the “illegals” rounded up…

    …but, apparently, Lone Wacko just couldn’t bring himself to do any of that.

    There’s an even simpler question I’ve asked Lone Wolf in the past; like the others, he’s chosen to leave it unanswered. I don’t know why. Can a lack of credibility affect the validity of a question? I don’t think that’s possible; but even if it is, I’m going to ask that simple question once again…

    Lone Wacko, are you a neo-Nazi?

  22. Hello Readers! Here’s the reply I posted before (the link above doesn’t seem to be working). The bits in italics are from Ken Shultz. Please observe the first excerpt. If that had even remotely approached what I originally wrote, it certainly would be something. However, Mr. Shultz appears to suffering from some kind of disorder: he’s unable to read, or he’s unable to follow links, or he’s simply playing a game in which he grossly distorts what I say as an attempt at a cheap smear, or, perhaps most likely of all, he’s not replying to what I wrote so much as the voices in his head.

    Shultz: I’m not the one who suggested, completely out of context, that Semitic peoples are infiltrating the international banking system.

    Hi everybody else! It appears to me that Ken has gone off the deep end, so I’m going to address the rest of you instead. In the above quote, Ken seems to be responding to the voices in his head, as that’s not what I wrote nor is it what the article I linked above (to the Telegraph UK) says.

    I’ve noted this problem Ken has before. I’ll say something, and then Ken will respond as if I said something entirely different in what appears to be a rather pathetic attempt to make me look bad. For example, as we see here, Ken described an offshoring project. In order to make a point, I asked him what technologies were involved. For one reason or another, he not only refused to answer the question, he seems to have, well, responded in what I would consider a crazy manner.

    Shultz: Nor am I the one who, on the 27th, wrote that the government of Mexico is conspiring to help Mexican nationals sue us over the use of paint balls. (https://www.reason.com/hitandrun/006570.shtml)

    Dear Ken’s minders: The San Diego Union-Tribune ran a report entitled Mexico may sue U.S. over pepper-ball projectiles which starts with the following: Mexican Foreign Relations Secretary Luis Ernesto Derbez said Tuesday his government will consider helping migrants sue U.S. officials for improper use of so-called “pepper ball” non-lethal projectiles…

    Shultz: Nor am I the one who, on the 24th, suggested that the decedents of Southerners should have been held responsible for supporting the decedents of the slaves they imported as a deterrent to importing slaves. (https://www.reason.com/hitandrun/006537.shtml)

    I realize, unfortunately, that a few of Reason’s readers aren’t exactly Mensa candidates. However, as I suggested at that link, if you read my comment through a few times it might help you understand it. As I said, this was a “Swiftian thing” intended to make the point that people in power frequently make choices that affect large groups of people negatively and are able to isolate themselves from those negative affects. If people in power knew they would be held responsible for their choices, they would no doubt make better choices. Does anyone else see a problem with an argument of this nature? That is, making such an argument in and of itself?

    I believe the reader will see that Ken – at the least – has no credibility. I’ll leave it to the reader to decide whether he’s in fact sane or not.

  23. “Mr. Shultz appears to suffering from some kind of disorder: he’s unable to read, or he’s unable to follow links, or he’s simply playing a game in which he grossly distorts what I say as an attempt at a cheap smear, or, perhaps most likely of all, he’s not replying to what I wrote so much as the voices in his head.

    First Voice: “Don’t you get it? He’s not going to answer, so don’t bother asking again, he’s just gonna ignore the question and change the subject.”

    Second Voice: “If you ask him point blank, he’ll answer. I mean, why wouldn’t someone answer a question like that?”

    Third Voice: “Listen, if you ask him again; this time, he’ll probably question whether or not granddaddy was really a minister.”

    First Voice: “Ten bucks says he questions whether or not you really worked at a software company that bought a farm in India again.”

    Second Voice: “…But whether or not Granddaddy really was a preacher and whether or not I really worked at a software company has nothing to do with whether or not Lone Wolf is a neo-Nazi!”

    “I’m gonna ask again…what have I got to lose?”

    First Voice: “I’ll give you two to one odds…”

  24. Lone Wacko, are you a Neo-nazi?

  25. What’s Ken Shultz’ problem?

    On 8/30/04 12:42pm I posted this (on a Reason post that has since disappeared):

    You might want to check out (WARNING: link to Telegraph UK ahead) Islam is not an exotic addition to the English country garden. That describes Shariah-friendly banking in the UK, and how Wahhabis are involved with HSBC.

    On 8/31/04 1:05AM on the same thread, Ken Shultz says this about my comment:

    I’m not the one who suggested, completely out of context, that Semitic peoples are infiltrating the international banking system.

    Huh? Anyone who reads my comment or the link can see that Ken Shultz’ reply is crazy talk. Clearly, something is quite wrong with Ken Shultz. What exactly could that be?

    Please speculate below.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.