Five Years, What a Surprise

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That's how long the U.S. president has gone without exercising his veto power. "It's a streak unmatched in modern American history," sez the Christian Science Monitor. According to a nifty chart at the end of the article, 43's predecessor used it 37 times, and FDR just said a whopping 635 no's, "nearly a quarter of all the vetoes every made by US presidents." (Link via Sploid.)

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  1. Well, what do you expect from a sychophantic congress that’s not willing to look beyond the petty tribalism of partisanship and gives the dope whatever he wants.

  2. They are not just giving the dope whatever he wants. They are giving the dope what they want.

  3. Could this actually be a bit of principle by Bush – a show of deference from the executive branch towards the legislative? An effort to redefine the office of POTUS away from its role as super-legislator?

    Stop looking at me like that. Stop it. OK, smart guy, what’s YOUR theory?

  4. It should be no surprise that a Republican president has little(nothing) to veto from a Republican congress. Especially one who values loyalty the this one does.

  5. It’s Bush’s lack of principle, the principles of limited government.

  6. My theory is that G.W. isn’t a cowboy at all, but rather the current mascot of a united republican party that will do whatever is necessary to win elections. The party has given up trying to convince the public that fiscal responsibility and small government is good for the country, and instead, has utilized renewed vigor from the religious right to transform their platform.

  7. Anger is a gift.

  8. My brain hurts like a warehouse
    it had no room to spare
    I had to cram so many laws
    to store everything in there.

  9. Reminds me of the comment about Harding, “he would sign a leaf if it landed on his desk”

  10. Stop looking at me like that. Stop it. OK, smart guy, what’s YOUR theory?

    My theory is that when he goes to his Freemason/fillinsecretsocietyhere meetings he wears a “kick me” sign and has to pull his pants down and everybody in the room takes turns kicking him in the tush and calling him pansy-boy while they laugh and guffaw and puff on expensive cigars. That’s his debt for them rigging two elections to get his no-talent ass where it is. As part of his whuppin-boy status, he’s not allowed to say NO to anything fellow members ask for. He accepts the deal willingly, knowing as he does that without their help, and left to his own talents to get by, he’d be the night clerk at the Motel 6* in McAllen, Texas.

    * by this comment i in no way mean any disrespect to America’s hard working Motel 6 night clerks, who we all know are much more talented than the Shrub.

  11. I guess this is a good thread to reassert my objective “Presidential Greatness Test”

    Bills vetoed / Bills passed by Congress (i.e. percentage of bills vetoed rather than simply the total number of vetoes).

    The numerator is readily available but I don’t have figures for the denominator. Does anyone know where that could be found? I am thinking Roosevelt would slide a little due to the sheer volume of bills passed during the New Deal and WWII. However, as a very rough first approximation I guess we could accept days in office as proportional to bills passed (not great, I know, but still better than a simple total). Clearly under the days in office standard Cleveland is the runaway winner with 584 in his combined eight years as President.

    At any rate, at least we know where GW stands on either scale…

  12. Brian Courts-

    I’m not sure what numbers to put in the denominator either, but I’m certain that among one-term presidents*, Calvin Coolidge would be tops. He was easily the most fiscally conservative president of the 20th century, having vetoed nearly every major spending increase that came across his desk. One of those was concerned with payments to veterans; his veto would come back to haunt Herbert Hoover, his Secretary of Commerce, who was elected prez after Coolidge flatly proclaimed he wouldn’t seek another term.

    *I say “one-term” without counting the year or so he spent filling in for Warren Harding after he died. The differences between these two men are so enormous that is still astounds me that they were able to run on the same ticket.

  13. Comparing the veto ratios of different presidents seems like a totally pointless exercise. What matters is which laws should/should not be in place. When was the last time you supported or opposed a canditate based on the promise “If elected, I shall veto 15% of bills!” rather than his specific stance on issues?

  14. Dave-

    Obviously, if Bush actually vetoed something we’d have to examine the bill on its merits or lack thereof. But given the number of bad ideas that have been passed by Congress (massive expansion of federal involvement in education, massive expansion of Medicare, steel tarriff, farm bill, pork out the wazoo, etc.), it’s pretty clear that Bush is incapable of saying “no” to even the worst ideas.

  15. “The more corrupt the republic, the more numerous the laws.” – Tacitus

  16. “Comparing the veto ratios of different presidents seems like a totally pointless exercise.”

    I see your point thoreau, but I see Dave’s side of it too.

    …Why count the vetoes that weren’t when you can count all the pork bills this pig actually got behind?

  17. I find it pretty amazing that FDR, father of the New Deal (which was chock-full of laws that libertarians today decry as unconstitutional and big-government nannyism), winds up being the big Vetoer. I certainly doubt that the sheer number of his vetos would somehow make the New Deal any better, though, so I reject any measurement of presidents that figures in vetos.

  18. When was the last time you supported or opposed a canditate based on the promise “If elected, I shall veto 15% of bills!” rather than his specific stance on issues?

    He’d have to go a lot higher than 15 percent to get my vote, but I think this is as good or better a measure than his purported stance on the issue. Dittos to Tacitus.

  19. Don’t laugh at me along with joe, but Bush’s distorted vision of compassionate conservatism results in a politics where Dems are getting a good deal that they want. They may hate No Child Left Behind, but they don’t mind the massive increases in spending. They hate the final shape of the prescription drug benefit, but not enough to really kill it. The compromises being hammered out in committee give everyone enough government cash that they can live with the sausage they are making.

    Bush’s approach to consensus is to make sure the pork flows in as many directions as possible – then cut taxes to distinguish himself on the domestic front from the Dems.

  20. “Bush’s distorted vision of compassionate conservatism results in a politics where Dems are getting a good deal that they want.”

    Hence my description of Bush Administration wonks as neo-Liberals.

    “President Bush has presided over the largest overall increase in inflation-adjusted federal spending since Lyndon B. Johnson. Even after excluding spending on defense and homeland security, Bush is still the biggest-spending president in 30 years. His 2006 budget doesn’t cut enough spending to change his place in history, either.”

    —-The Grand Old Spending Party: How Republicans Became Big Spenders, Stephen Slivinski

  21. People are getting a little too literal on the importance of vetoes. Obviously vetoes alone aren’t a measure of libertarian greatness (otherwise FDR would be our hero). But vetoes should be one of several measures used to evaluate a President: A guy who never vetoes anything clearly has no ability or inclination to identify bullshit.

  22. Jason Ligon would be onto something, if:

    bills emerging from the all-Republican conference committees bore some resemblance to those passed by the houses,

    the Democrats considered the sort of corporate giveaways that made up the Prescription Drug Bill to be desireable spending

    the House leadership hadn’t adopted a policy of deliberately crafting bills to drive away Democratic support. (Tom Delay has spoken openly about this).

    Dennis Hastert hadn’t adopted a “majority of my majority” policy for bringing bills to the floor

    There’s some mighty sloppy thinking that goes into the formulation “it costs a lot, so Democrats must love it,” and some downright ignorance about the functioning of this Congress that leads one to make believe that the committee system and traditional aisle crossing that defined past Congresses are still in place.

  23. And yet nobody here in the Land Of Supposedly Non-Partisan Libertarians is ready to just come out and say it:

    Clinton was a hell of a lot better for this country than is W.

    Cue Brian Courts.

  24. Presently, there doesn’t seem to be much of a debate between Democrats and Republicans regarding whether the government should be big or small. They’re just arguing about what they want to do with their great big government.

    …if I try real hard, I can appreciated the nuance.

    Jason was correct to suggest that liberals can find a lot of babies in all that extra bath water.

  25. And yet nobody here in the Land Of Supposedly Non-Partisan Libertarians is ready to just come out and say it:

    Clinton was a hell of a lot better for this country than is W.

    Clinton + Republican Congress is indeed better than W + Republican Congress. Is that close enough M1EK?

  26. Cleveland had a reputation for using the veto as both Mayor of Buffalo and Governor of NY.

    A lot of his vetos as President were of private pension bills for union soldiers. Cleveland took his responsibilites very seriously and would personally investigate many of these pension bills before deciding whether to sign or veto them.

    And then there is the story of the veto of the Texas Seed Bill. From fee.org

    It should have surprised no one, therefore, when Cleveland vetoed the Texas Seed Bill early in 1887. This legislation appropriated $10,000, a trifling sum even in those days, to allow the Commissioner of Agriculture to purchase seed grain for distribution to farmers in certain counties of Texas that had suffered from drought. The president’s veto message read in part as follows:

    “I can find no warrant for such an appropriation in the Constitution; and I do not believe that the power and duty of the General Government ought to be extended to the relief of individual suffering which is in no manner properly related to the public service or benefit. A prevalent tendency to disregard the limited mission of this power and duty should, I think, be steadily resisted, to the end that the lesson should be constantly enforced that, though the people support the Government, the Government should not support the people.”

    Lord knows Cleveland wasn’t perfect, but we certainly could use a man like him the White House today.

  27. “Clinton was a hell of a lot better for this country than is W.”

    [cue RC Dean/joe debate.]

    I suggested that George W. Bush is the worst President since Lyndon Johnson. …on spending amongst other things.

    Bush may even be worse than Johnson. After all, he had the benefit of Johnson’s mistakes.

    P.S. I remember when Compassionate Conservativism was more about deferring to private charities and less about expanding the Great Society.

  28. “Presently, there doesn’t seem to be much of a debate between Democrats and Republicans regarding whether the government should be big or small. They’re just arguing about what they want to do with their great big government.”

    No, no, a thousand times no.

    The Republicans have given you a government which is just as big on the domestic side as the worst of the Democrats want, AND as big on the military side as the best of the Democrats fear. That’s unquestionably bigger than the one we’d have if Kerry (or better, Gore) had been wielding the veto pen.

    And as for supposed liberal glee at this big-spending Republicanism, you’re friggin’ crazy. I can’t stand it, and y’all probably think I’m pretty damn liberal.

  29. The compromises being hammered out in committee give everyone enough government cash that they can live with the sausage they are making.

    That’s no sausage. It’s a turd.

  30. I’ll risk my libertarian credentials by backing M1EK to the extent that every genuine liberal I know is absolutely aghast at the way GWB is handling the nation’s economy, particularly since his profligate spending is being met with tax cut after tax cut. You can’t have both, goddamit, especially when you keep lying about the real cost of the Iraq War by keeping so much of it off-budget and funded through emergency appropriations bills.

  31. The Laffer Curve only bends so far, eh?

  32. “The more corrupt the republic, the more numerous the laws.” – Tacitus

    absolutely, mr le mur.

    i can’t believe that there is still a debate among intelligent people about the independence of the congress. do any of you read what falls from the mouths of the republican representatives? there are footsoldiers in a presidential army and nothing more.

    republican money is now controlled by the president to a greater degree than at any point in the history of this society. there is simply nowhere else to go for patronage — by design, thanks mr rove. they have constructed a conservative money monopoly. so republican small fry line up to hawk whatever bush is selling.

    and this has the direct effect of controlling what congress does. bush doesn’t use the veto because HE DOESN’T HAVE TO. he commands their agenda from the white house. there’s never been a clearer sign of the total breakdown of the separation of powers under our two-party political system than the five-year absence of the veto.

  33. M1EK:

    The Republicans have given you a government which is just as big on the domestic side as the worst of the Democrats want, AND as big on the military side as the best of the Democrats fear.

    As big as government is on the domestic side, and as much as it’s grown under Bush; most of the Democrats, let alone the worst of them, have voted for far bigger government.
    Who are these “best of the Democrats”? Among the small number of them that are truly frugal on military matters, I don’t know of any who are also frugal on domestic matters. Can you name some?

    Check here to see which congress people and senators win the NTU’s Taxpayers’ Friend Award for fiscal frugality in the House and Senate. I think that all the winners of the Taxpayers’ Friend Award are Republicans. Among these folks are some that are frugal on military matters as well.

    House:

    http://www.ntu.org/main/page.php?PageID=75

    Senate:

    http://www.ntu.org/main/page.php?PageID=76

  34. People are getting a little too literal on the importance of vetoes. Obviously vetoes alone aren’t a measure of libertarian greatness (otherwise FDR would be our hero). But vetoes should be one of several measures used to evaluate a President: A guy who never vetoes anything clearly has no ability or inclination to identify bullshit.

    i disagree, mr thoreau. the frequent use of the veto indicates an impassioned political debate between the legislative and the executive — which is what fdr sparked with the populist new deal against the optimates of the old senate (and supreme court). it indicates meaningful deliberation.

    that we have none should be very frightening to anyone who values government by dissent and resolution. there simply is no meaningful dissent against the president’s political, fiscal and military agenda.

  35. and that, taken in conjunction with the fact that much of his agenda is so revolutionist, so destructive by design, is a clear sign that something is very, very wrong in washington — indeed, that we aren’t living under a government of separated powers at all.

  36. “The Republicans have given you a government which is just as big on the domestic side as the worst of the Democrats want, AND as big on the military side as the best of the Democrats fear. That’s unquestionably bigger than the one we’d have if Kerry (or better, Gore) had been wielding the veto pen.”

    If you’re arguing that we would probably have had less total spending with a Democrat in the White House, I–like the Cato piece I linked above–agree.

    …But it didn’t have to be that way. It depended on the character of the President. The president failed miserably. He’s incompetent.

  37. For more fiscally conservative Democrats, there is a small group in the House that are pretty good that go by the name, “Blue Dogs”. The NTU site that I linked to has covered them.

  38. And yet nobody here in the Land Of Supposedly Non-Partisan Libertarians is ready to just come out and say it:

    Clinton was a hell of a lot better for this country than is W.

    Cue Brian Courts.

    Why thank you. At least this time you didn’t call anyone a liar (yet), but once again you’re simply wrong. Many (I daresay most) of the posters on this board probably feel that on balance Clinton was better than GW. In fact we’ve had that discussion on here before. I know I’d be inclined to agree even though I was no fan of Clinton. Only someone with some serious leftwing blinders on could read this board as largely pro-Bush or pro-GOP. But I will say that demonstrating such a consistently poor understanding of the ideas and views presented by the commenters here ought to be a warning against taking any of your own views too seriously.

  39. there’s an excellent article in the washington monthly on how the bush administration has taken control of the money in congress and put an effective end to legislative independence and therefore the veto.

  40. Clinton was a hell of a lot better for this country than is W

    On domestic issues, I would have to say that W’s administration is not looking so hot, even compared to Clinton.

    every genuine liberal I know is absolutely aghast at the way GWB is handling the nation’s economy, particularly since his profligate spending is being met with tax cut after tax cut.

    Well, the economy is actually doing pretty well, tax receipts are way up, and Bush is ahead of schedule on reducing the deficit. I would say every “genuine” (whatever that means) liberal is dead wrong on at least half the equation.

    The tax cuts are an unalloyed good. The bad news is the spending increases. Period.

  41. “Only someone with some serious leftwing blinders on could read this board as largely pro-Bush or pro-GOP”

    The continued insistence on claiming both parties are equally bad, when, lately, one party is in fact much worse than the other on the specific issues being discussed, is in and of itself evidence of bias towards the worse party.

    If your son gets caught speeding and mine engages in armed robbery, it’s bias towards my own son if I claim that both of our boys are equally bad.

    Oh, and FU.

  42. “most of the Democrats, let alone the worst of them, have voted for far bigger government. ”

    How can you make this claim? In what way have those Democrats ever voted for far bigger govenment than what Bush has given us?

  43. “The Republicans have given you a government which is just as big on the domestic side as the worst of the Democrats want,”

    No. I seem to recall from the debates that the precription drug benefit not only benefitted the drug companies, but was miserly. Education spending increases were inadequate. Domestic security needed to be beefed up. Kerry specifically suggested that every container entering the US needed to be inspected to promote security. He aruged for the replacement of military spending with domestic security spending. More gear for police and firefighters. National expenditures on vaccines in case of bio attacks. Kerry wanted to spend more on unemployment benefits. Now, about medical care …

    “And as for supposed liberal glee at this big-spending Republicanism, you’re friggin’ crazy. I can’t stand it, and y’all probably think I’m pretty damn liberal.”

    Yes. You are pretty damn liberal. You serve to remind me that joe is fairly moderate. The part of the big-spending Republicanism you don’t like is the tax cuts inherent in the ‘Republicanism’ part of that construct. I don’t hear Democrats griping that current levels of spending are bad, only that such spending is not offset by tax hikes on the wealthy.

  44. “He aruged for the replacement of military spending with domestic security spending.”

    I need to qualify this with … and he had no way to reduce military spending.

  45. “The part of the big-spending Republicanism you don’t like is the tax cuts inherent in the ‘Republicanism’ part of that construct.”

    No, I didn’t like all that spending either, you jackass. Get your words out of my mouth. I’m the guy who spends most of his fiscal talk whining about the subsidies to suburbia that are about to put us over a barrel.

    When I DO talk about their tax cuts, it’s to point out how immoral it is to spend the next generation’s money in ways which don’t actually generate any economic activity which is likely to make them better off. In other words, we just mortgaged their house for a trip to Vegas.

  46. Oh, and Jason, Kerry wasn’t my guy. I would have liked Gore, and I doubt Gore would have gotten us into Iraq. Arguing fiscal merits based on the fact that Kerry was stuck in Iraq thanks to W is kind of stacking the deck.

  47. “I seem to recall from the debates that the precription drug benefit not only benefitted the drug companies, but was miserly.”

    That’s a little misleading, Jason. The program is “miserly” towards its beneficiaries. It is downright magnanimous towards the drug companies. The “miserly” critique had nothing to do with the overall cost of the program, but of the paltry fraction of the money that made its way to the people it was supposed to help.

    A Democratic alternative would have been more generous towards old druggies AND cost less.

  48. “A Democratic alternative would have been more generous towards old druggies AND cost less.”

    I never saw this laid out. I’d be interested in the particulars of the math. This is the supposed impact of allowing medicare to ‘negotiate’ prices of an increased benefit? If so, there is a lot to dispute there.

    “Arguing fiscal merits based on the fact that Kerry was stuck in Iraq thanks to W is kind of stacking the deck.”

    I don’t think it is. Does your guy believe in reduced spending or not? Knowing that he has spending he can’t reduce on defence should affect his proposed spending. I saw the debates … it didn’t.

    Gore was your guy? This is to say that Gore would better make your case that Democrats oppose spending per se and not just spending absent tax hikes? We should be able to go back to the Bush v Gore debates and see what everyone was saying about their platforms back then. I’m gathering from your statement of support that we will not find Gore proposing spending package after spending package as I remember him doing. Please let me know if you can think of any such speech.

    “I’m the guy who spends most of his fiscal talk whining about the subsidies to suburbia that are about to put us over a barrel.”

    And you are comfortable with an absolute reduction in spending commensurate with what you perceive to be the subsidies to suburbia? You aren’t replacing those expenditures with ones you prefer? Say, development of high density public transportation lines?

  49. Jason,

    Point is that Gore was smart enough not to get us into Iraq in the first place.

    To say Kerry was as bad as Bush since he didn’t say we should immediately pull out is quite unfair, since Kerry also wouldn’t have gone into Iraq on the flimsy rationale that Bush did, but once we WERE in, it was irresponsible to just jump right out (and I agree with that as well).

    The fact that nobody else seems to care to argue with you is pretty much proof that this is a board full of GOP guys who like to smoke pot and not go to church.

    “And you are comfortable with an absolute reduction in spending commensurate with what you perceive to be the subsidies to suburbia? You aren’t replacing those expenditures with ones you prefer? Say, development of high density public transportation lines?”

    Yes. Eliminate suburban subsidization and the market will provide mass transit as it used to do before those subsidies, although it’ll still be rubber-tire transit (only the government can realistically acquire right-of-way, so the increase in mass transit would likely just be private buses on existing roads).

  50. By the way M1EK:

    I apologize for assuming a DNC talking point position for you on spending.

    That said, if you get offended by people generalizing your positions in these discussions, perhaps you should consider commenting in some mode other than Reasonites Fellate Bush. You’ve called me ‘Rush’ at least twice, for instance. You bring a level of hostile jackassery to your posts that makes people want to respond in kind. No excuse, but it is a thought.

  51. Stick talking points in somebody else’s mouth and you will get a “Thanks, Rush”. It’s simple shorthand for “now that I see what your argumentative style is, there’s no point responding substantively, since you’re in fact arguing against the strawman you just stuffed yourself”.

  52. “I don’t think it is. Does your guy believe in reduced spending or not? Knowing that he has spending he can’t reduce on defence should affect his proposed spending. I saw the debates … it didn’t.”

    Actually, no, Jason. Kerry was the first candidate in the history of the presidential campaign to lay out his proposals, and then say he would trim them back if the funding failed to materialize, via other spending cuts or tax increases, in Congress. It got quite a bit of press at the time. OK, it didn’t really, but I was paying attention.

  53. “The program is “miserly” towards its beneficiaries. It is downright magnanimous towards the drug companies.”

    I would add that the program is incredibly generous from the perspective of this taxpayer. …and, yesterday I–a self-employed, self-insured, entrepreneurial engine of economic growth–had to shell out $900–in cash–for a month of medication.

    Sons of bitches in the ER the other day shoved a plastic tube up my nose, rammed it down my esophagus and pumped my stomach full of saline, only to turn around and pump it back up again. What does that have to do with anything? Nothin’, I should have saved it for some torture apology thread.

    …I can use it again.

  54. When I argued above that we would probably have less total spending with a Democrat in the White House, I meant it to mean that some opposition on the budget should act as a damper on spending.

    …According to the Cato piece I linked above, the Republicans routinely overfund Bush’s requests for non-defense, non-homeland security budget items.

    I wasn’t suggesting that there’s anything about Democrat policy that makes them in some way less susceptible to being pork pigs. …Just for clarity.

    I saw the comment above suggesting that there are Democrats concerned with budget pork, but is anyone taking them seriously? That is, are there any Democrats out there seriously running on budget cuts? Where?

    P.S. Just saw another commercial tellin’ me that I should oppose Arnold’s plan to cut the budget in California because Arnold hates government employees and “people like me.”

  55. Point is that Gore was smart enough not to get us into Iraq in the first place.

    Oh yeah, he just went on tour with Mad Allbright in 98 to keep her company. HawHaw.

    Wouldna made a bit of diff who stole the lection. Oh except maybe Enron would still be in biz if Gore had been there to bail them out.

  56. “Oh yeah, he just went on tour with Mad Allbright in 98 to keep her company. HawHaw.”

    There’s a big difference between continuing to bomb the crap out of Saddam whenever he stuck his head above the sand and sending 150,000 troops over there for 10 years.

  57. And that’s the real reason Kennyboy Lay should go to fucking jail. Fucking Asshole was too fucking stupid to know which party to payoff.

  58. “I saw the comment above suggesting that there are Democrats concerned with budget pork, but is anyone taking them seriously? That is, are there any Democrats out there seriously running on budget cuts? Where?”

    Clinton at least ran on the platform of fiscal responsibility. So did Gore. Arguably, so did Kerry.

    Since this thread was originally about the veto, I’m feeling free to answer your question with Presidents instead of Congressmen.

  59. I wrote:

    “Most of the Democrats, let alone the worst of them, have voted for far bigger government.”

    M1EK:

    How can you make this claim? In what way have those Democrats ever voted for far bigger govenment than what Bush has given us?

    Bush did propose even higher spending than the irresponsible amounts that passed, but in vote after vote, the Dems voted to spend far more than the GOP members. Just compare their respective NTU ratings which are a record of fiscal frugality, or the lack thereof. Compare the average ratings between Dems and GOP members. It’s not even close:

    http://www.ntu.org/misc_items/rating/VS_2004.pdf

    I remember a number of proposals and votes where the liberal Dems repressing Denver and Boulder was cheering on the Bush proposals while the GOP members from Colorado were saying “WTF?”.

  60. The part of the big-spending Republicanism you don’t like is the tax cuts inherent in the ‘Republicanism’ part of that construct.

    to be fair, mr ligon, its hard to overstate the degree of irresponsibility that republican fiscal “management” — borrow and spend, as opposed to tax and spend. twenty-four interrupted years of republican fiscal policy may well have strung a sword of damocles over the united states so heavy and sharp that, when it falls, it will destroy american hegemony as a vehicle of globalization as thoroghly as world war one destroyed british imperial hegemony in the same role, or the revolutionary/napoleonic wars destroyed the french as same.

  61. M1EK:

    Clinton at least ran on the platform of fiscal responsibility. So did Gore. Arguably, so did Kerry.

    The result of restrained spending of the Clinton administration (relative to the big spender Bush) was a result of the GOP congress throttling Clinton, and very early on, Greenspan’s threats to Clinton that the Fed would raise rates if Clinton was able to successfully pursue his agenda of much more expansive government spending.

    Kerry’s spending proposals were larger than Bush’s. But I also think that if we had elected Kerry and a Republican congress, we would have smaller spending cuz the GOP congress would be far more stingy with a Dem in the White House.

  62. M1EK:

    …y’all probably think I’m pretty damn liberal.

    I would have liked Gore,r

    What?? Well, now I certainly think that you’re a liberal. Gore?? It would be hard to come up with many areas where Gore would not want to expand the reach of the government into our lives. What in the Hell could you possibly like about Gore? He positively wasn’t for a non-interventionist foreign policy. He was always a major supporter of big bucks for the Israeli government, the most ravenous destination for our foreign aid tax dollars.

  63. So, let’s say there’s two groups of people who are total party animals. You know that if either one of those groups has unfettered access to a hotel suite they’ll totally trash it, but one will trash it much worse than the other.0

    But you also know that those two groups can’t stand each other. If you force them to share a suite of rooms they’ll be so busy bickering that they won’t throw too many wild parties.

    Can anybody tell me the appropriate course of action here?

  64. Compared to the Bush we actually got, Gore was a light-spender and a non-interventionalist.

    He also has a position on energy and the environment which actually matches the science that Bush continues to try to shove under the carpet.

  65. thoreau,

    Clearly you attempt to rent the hotel room to the seedy bum on the corner who isn’t willing to show you his drivers’ license, and then act surprised when the rowdier bunch ends up in the room.

  66. But you also know that those two groups can’t stand each other. If you force them to share a suite of rooms they’ll be so busy bickering that they won’t throw too many wild parties.

    Can anybody tell me the appropriate course of action here?

    Yes. Hillary ’08!

  67. Great Bowie reference, Matt. Possibly my favorite Bowie song of all time.

  68. “The result of restrained spending of the Clinton administration (relative to the big spender Bush) was a result of the GOP congress throttling Clinton, and very early on, Greenspan’s threats to Clinton that the Fed would raise rates if Clinton was able to successfully pursue his agenda of much more expansive government spending.”

    Clintonian Mass Hypnotism, that’s the only explanation I can come up with for why so many have forgotten the GOP congress from back then.

    …Yes Virginia, we shut down a big part of the government for a while–and most of us hardly even noticed.

  69. Yeah, I get to be comment #69!

    Sorry for the threadjack. Continue with previously scheduled debate.

  70. Yeah, I get to be comment #69!

    Don Pardo, tell her what she’s won!

  71. M1EK:

    He (Gore) also has a position on energy and the environment which actually matches the science that Bush continues to try to shove under the carpet.

    What?? Did you ever read his Earth in the Balance? It’s even a larger dose of anti-science environmental hysteria than you get from the pro Kyoto crowd. Plus, in that book, Gore came out in favor of all manner of restrictions on our liberty with his hysteria serving as a pre-text.

  72. I came here late, but are we arguing about, “But Gore would have been worse”?

  73. “What?? Did you ever read his Earth in the Balance? It’s even a larger dose of anti-science environmental hysteria than you get from the pro Kyoto crowd.”

    THANKS, RUSH

    Talk to PhD scientists about whether they’d have preferred Bush or Gore. Go ahead, I dare you.

  74. Stevo-

    As irrelevant as the debate over Gore might be, I can think of even more irrelevant comparisons: I shall henceforth defend all of the administration’s shenanigans by reminding everybody that Nixon was more corrupt. And Johnson’s war killed even more people. And Hayes’ victory in Florida was even more dubious. And, dammit, Aaron Burr actually killed a guy!

  75. King George actually used the regular army against people on US soil!

    And let’s not forget that Cuba, formerly ruled by a US military government, is now a brutal dictatorship.

    So as long as Bush isn’t as bad as Castro, well, that’s good enough!

  76. M1EK,

    That question doesn’t address the unscientific scare tactics that Gore cooked up in “Earth in the Balance”. But Bush vs. Gore?
    None of the above, for sure. Gore is worse on environmental policy though. Which, as we all can see, you shifted to cuz Gore’s record on fiscal restraint is so abysmal and is as indefensible as Bush’s and the great majority of the Dems in congress.

  77. thoreau, I was just snarking lightly, but …

    Don’t forget that Thogg of the People by the Stream used to bash the heads of his political opponents with the thigh-bone of an antelope!

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