Oliver Kamm– the self-proclaimed “pro-Bush leftie”– is a smart and often perceptive guy. So when he writes, “George W. Bush is truly the president, and soon once more the candidate, of the finest ideals of the liberal Left,” I can only shake my head and wonder if he’s noticed something enormous that I’ve missed.
I don’t think so. Briefly, I agree with Oliver that Bush did the right thing in ordering the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq; they were morally justified and they ultimately will save many times more lives than they cost. On the other hand I think Bush has failed to grasp that the invasions themselves were, relatively speaking, the “easy part.” Remember when he landed in a jet on the aircraft carrier returning from the Persian Gulf? There was a huge banner hanging overhead proclaiming, “Mission Accomplished.” Well, it wasn’t, and it still isn’t. Anyone representing “the finest ideals of the liberal Left” would understand that the mission has just begun.
As an inhabitant of the UK, Oliver is, I suppose, entitled to look at Bush strictly through the prism of his foreign policy. Those of us in the USA don’t have that luxury. Jonathan Alter in Newsweek has written a devastating column about the fiscal chaos and the hardship that are a direct result of Bush’s taxing and spending policies.
As Alter writes: “President Bush is a regular guy who doesn’t care a whole lot about regular people. The first is a political asset; voters like his guyness. The second is his greatest vulnerability, and he offers more evidence for it almost every day.”
And Oliver, if you require more details on how Bush does not represent the finest ideals of the liberal Left, the AFL-CIO has been keeping track.
If Oliver had argued simply that Bush is a better option than any of his Democratic challengers, he might have an arguable point, although I’d disagree with him. But Bush the liberal leftist?