Thursday, June 03, 2004

People who could do a better job than Bush (in order of preference, kinda):

Joe Biden
Madeline Albright, if she were eligible
Bill Richardson
Mario Cuomo
John McCain
Richard Lugar
Bob Kerry
Colin Powell
Sam Nunn
Bill Bradley
John Kerry
Bill Graves
Evan Bayh
Lamar Alexander
Al Gore
Ralph Nader
John Edwards
Elizabeth Dole
Chuck Hagel
Charles Schumer

1 comment:

Dude said...

I did leave off George Mitchell. But I don't think just anyone could do better than Bush. Rosie O' way. Oprah....maybe. Al Yankovic, nope. Carlos Beltran (were he eligible), nope.

As far as Bush being vile....I never said that. He makes a lot of policy decisions without sound policy analysis. And if the United States had unlimited resources, I would love to remove Kim Jong Il, Castro, Mugabe, and maybe some others from power. However, there are a few problems with doing that. One, our resources are limited, so foreign policy should really be about how to put forward our interests with the resources we have. Remember, the estimates before the war were that it would cost around $30 billion, as Iraq oil would pay for much of the reconstruction. The latest figure I saw was about $119 billion. (Lugar and Biden are on my list because before the war, they went around to Lehrer News Hour and other programs saying that they weren't against invading based on the intelligence that had been presented at the time, but that the president really needed to be more upfront about the costs of the war......Bush's own economic advisor got fired for publicly saying somewhere between $100 billion and $200 billion.)

Additionally, hope is driving our foreign policy, rather than pragmatism. By this, I mean just as Carter hoped the world would heed his call for improved human rights, the reality was the Soviets invading Afghanistan, Bush is hoping to bring democracy to the Middle East. Not that those people are capable of it, and not that the status quo is necessarily worth keeping. But investing huge amounts of money and straining our military is a gamble.

There's an interesting quote from a Jeanne Kirkpatrick essay, "Dictatorships and Double Standards." In it, she wrote, "No idea holds greater sway in the mind of educated Americans than the belief that it is possible to democratize government, anytime, anywhere, under any circumstances." This is an outlandish belief, she continued, because "decades, if not centuries, are normally required for people to acquire the necessary discipline and habits [of democracy]." (My Web search didn't return the essay....I'm pulling the quote from a Nation article....