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Thursday, August 19, 2004

The Son of Ronald Reagan on the Son of George H W Bush

This is what Ron Reagan has to say about his father's Vice President's son, our current President George W Bush. Clearly, Reagan Jr is not an unbiased party as his close relationship with his father could not have possibly allowed him not to form certain political and personal perceptions. Come to think of it, no one is completely unbiased when it comes to things about which they have strong feelings.

However, I think Ron Reagan offers an impressively clear-headed review of what this administration is about. Certain observations of his certainly ring true. I could quote almost the entire article here, so relevant and reasonable it sounds. It lists various lies the administration told us; of course, they are not unique in that regard as lies are an integral part of politics. But Reagan believes there is a difference here between the administration of George W Bush and other administrations:
ALL ADMINISTRATIONS WILL DISSEMBLE, distort, or outright lie when their backs are against the wall, when honesty begins to look like political suicide. But this administration seems to lie reflexively, as if it were simply the easiest option for busy folks with a lot on their minds. While the big lies are more damning and of immeasurably greater import to the nation, it is the small, unnecessary prevarications that may be diagnostic. Who lies when they don't have to? When the simple truth, though perhaps embarrassing in the short run, is nevertheless in one's long-term self-interest? Why would a president whose calling card is his alleged rock-solid integrity waste his chief asset for penny-ante stakes? Habit, perhaps. Or an inability to admit even small mistakes.
Reagan makes a compelling case for his arguments. Towards the end, he summarizes,
GEORGE W. BUSH PROMISED to "change the tone in Washington" and ran for office as a moderate, a "compassionate conservative," in the focus-group-tested sloganeering of his campaign. Yet he has governed from the right wing of his already conservative party, assiduously tending a "base" that includes, along with the expected Fortune 500 fat cats, fiscal evangelicals who talk openly of doing away with Social Security and Medicare, of shrinking government to the size where they can, in tax radical Grover Norquist's phrase, "drown it in the bathtub." That base also encompasses a healthy share of anti-choice zealots, homophobic bigots, and assorted purveyors of junk science. Bush has tossed bones to all of them—"partial birth" abortion legislation, the promise of a constitutional amendment banning marriage between homosexuals, federal roadblocks to embryonic-stem-cell research, even comments suggesting presidential doubts about Darwinian evolution. It's not that Mr. Bush necessarily shares their worldview; indeed, it's unclear whether he embraces any coherent philosophy. But this president, who vowed to eschew politics in favor of sound policy, panders nonetheless in the interest of political gain. As John DiIulio, Bush's former head of the Office of Community and Faith-Based Initiatives, once told this magazine, "What you've got is everything—and I mean everything—being run by the political arm."
I especially agree with the notion that all the activities of this White House have become highly politicized,- in fact, so much so as to make professionalism next to impossible in many key areas of the governmental activities, such as intelligence, financial planning, environmental management and others.

I am thoroughly impressed by this Ron Reagan's piece. Kudos to Esquire for publishing it. I have just done a Google search to see if anybody else has published this article and found some reprints in the alternative media but none in the mainstream. Which, in my humble opinion, is a shame.

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