Thursday, November 04, 2004

Dubya Slays 'em

I'm hugely enjoying the constant hand wringing in the media about Bush's victory. They seem to be a state of total shock. As I've said on this Blog before, I'm hardly W's biggest fan, but he has upset the entire liberal consensus, and that can only be a good thing methinks. I heard him do a press conference this afternoon and he seemed to be different. Maybe it was because he was completely knackered, but I just have this feeling that he's going to surprise a few people in his second term. And I don't mean by invading Iran.


Westbury-on-Trym Lib Dems said...

Would you have voted for Dubya?

Westbury-on-Trym Lib Dems said...

I also just wonder whether "Dubya slays 'em" is the most opportune headline in the light of recent events in Iraq.

Iain Dale said...

Did you get out of bed on the wrong side this morning, James? Yes, I probably would have voted for Bush despite the reservations which I have outlined on this Blog in the past. Kerry just didn't cut it. He kept on about having a plan for this, a plan for that and a plan for just about everything else. Yet he was never quite able to articulate what the plan was. The main reason for my reluctance to vote for Bush in the first place was more to do with his social agenda than anything else.

As for the hadline, it's quite clear I was talking about the Democrats, as you well know. Blogging is supposed to be spontaneous. Do you really want me to vte everything with about a dozen fine toothcombs?

Westbury-on-Trym Lib Dems said...

Any side of bed is the wrong side to get out of as far as I'm concerned!

I think Kerry's key messages/plans were fairly clear and, with one exception, I agree with them. They were, inter alia:

1. Rebuild international relations in order to recast Iraq as international reconstruction rather than US occupation. The signs were that France, Germany and others would have offered troops in a peacekeeping/reconstruction role as they play in Afghanistan.

2. Refocus "war on terror" to secure nuclear materials in former Soviet states. Bush has ignored this issue.

3. Abandon crank "supply-sider" tax cuts for the rich and rebalance the budget. The US and rest of world economy was fortunate that the 1990s boom was powerful enough to remove the Reagan deficiet without causing too much pain. We may not be so lucky again.

4. Assist struggling sectors of the US economy with some (strictly limited) protectionism. On this point, unlike the others, I disagree and agree with Bush's broad approach to trade. However, it would be very unfair to cast Kerry as an out and out protectionist.

5. Broad social liberal approach - no national government action in key issues for the religious right (homosexuality, abortion etc) - but let individual states decide within limits.

6. Appoint socially liberal (but not 1960s style activist) Supreme Court justices - this will be a major issue as several are very elderly.

But what, pray tell, do you think Dubya's plan is? You said yourself that "I just have this feeling that he's going to surprise a few people in his second term" which suggests you don't have the faintest idea what he has in store.

Unknown said...

What I find unfortunate about Bush, and some of the right-wing coverage of his victory, is that he claims to be a conservative, which he quite clearly isn't. Even labels like 'neo-conservative' are disingenuous, as there is nothing new, and nothing conservative about him. Bush is a radical evangelical fundamentalist, in my opinion, and one who is happy for the state to expand into people's personal lives as his dubious morality sees fit.

Westbury-on-Trym Lib Dems said...

I tend to agree with you, Dave.

Iain, are you re-entering the debate at all?