Hi folks! Welcome back to the PUNDIT ROUNDTABLE, our rousing roundup of repartee.
I am your host and loyal aide-de-camp, Ken McCracken. Here are our topics for
Topic 1: What do you think are the biggest failings of the Bush administration?
Is there time enough to correct them before President Bush leaves office?
Topic 2: Porter Goss, Andrew Card and Scott McClellan are gone, and Karl
Rove has been demoted. Are recent personnel changes going to reinvigorate the
Bush administration, or is this merely a rearrangement of the deck chairs?
Topic 3: Who is the most overrated artist, thinker or personality of all
I would like to introduce a new guest to the Roundtable, Curt of Flopping
Aces. What do you think, Curt?
"In my opinion his biggest failings
would be immigration and spending as I'm sure most Republicans will
agree. I knew full well going into the Bush Presidency that he was
not a Reagan Republican but I could never had pulled the lever for
Gore, not in a million years. I was not sold on Bush from the beginning,
but that all changed after 9/11.
He has increased his spending over 130% since his first term began
but now appears to finally be tightening the belt. We shall see
how far that goes.
As far as immigration goes, what can I say. I don't agree with
him. I think a physical wall needs to be built FIRST then we go
after the illegals. I do agree that it is not possible to round
up 12 million illegals and send them home, but we can go after the
business that employ's them. Stop the jobs and they go home.
I am the first to tell people that we will never find the perfect
President. The man who we agree with on all issues. It will not
happen. So based on this fact the good greatly outweighs the bad
here. Yes, his immigration and fiscal policies could be better but
his nominations for the court, his steadfast support for the war
on terror, and the way he carried out that war far outweighs the
negatives. Most importantly to me tho is the way he will not bend/change
his belief's just to push his poll numbers up...the anti-Clinton.
Natan Sharansky put it so well recently:
There are two distinct marks of a dissident. First, dissidents are
fired by ideas and stay true to them no matter the consequences.
Second, they generally believe that betraying those ideas would
constitute the greatest of moral failures. Give up, they say to
themselves, and evil will triumph. Stand firm, and they can give
hope to others and help change the world.
Political leaders make the rarest of dissidents. In a democracy,
a leader's lifeline is the electorate's pulse. Failure to be in
tune with public sentiment can cripple any administration and undermine
any political agenda. Moreover, democratic leaders, for whom compromise
is critical to effective governance, hardly ever see any issue in
Manichaean terms. In their world, nearly everything is colored in
shades of gray.
That is why President George W. Bush is such an exception. He is
a man fired by a deep belief in the universal appeal of freedom,
its transformative power, and its critical connection to international
peace and stability. Even the fiercest critics of these ideas would
surely admit that Mr. Bush has championed them both before and after
his re-election, both when he was riding high in the polls and now
that his popularity has plummeted, when criticism has come from
longstanding opponents and from erstwhile supporters.
Does he have time to turn this around, definately. I would not
Topic 2: These changes will definately reinvigorate the
administration, and the choices he is making to replace those leaving
couldn't be better. One major mistake made by this administration
is being slow to recognize political problems on the horizon and
then once recognized, battling it head on. It appears he has realized
there is a problem and is taken the steps necessary to turn this
Topic 3: Um wow....how in the hell can I narrow this one
down? I will have to go with artist this time around and choose
Bob Dylan. His voice sucked, his harmonica sucked, but he was a
decent writer. Just never understood the homage paid to him....just
my opinion, no hate mail. Well ok, send the hate mail, they always
make me smile.
Next we have frequent WILLisms.com commenter and author of Ski-Blog.com,
Justin B. Welcome Justin, what do you say?
"Public Relations is the single
biggest failing. We could point to the WOT, handling of pre-9-11
Intel, failing to reform Social Security, etc., but ultimately,
the economy today is absolutely soaring. And the administration
cannot get the message out. The WOT is winnable and we are winning,
yet no one knows it. They have allowed the Democrats to consistently
tell us how bad the world hates us, despite leadership changes in
Germany, Canada, the reelection of Tony Blair, and the near ouster
of Chirac. The Dems have downplayed the economy, despite every indicator
pointing to this economy possibly being better than Clintons
last couple of years. It is a massive PR Failure of every sense.
The second half is yes, but it does not matter if he corrects them
by November 2008. What matters is if the administrations new
hire of Tony Snow can correct them by November 2006. And I believe
the answer is yes to both of them. Can we fix everything that has
gone wrong in Iraq? No. Can we fix Social Security. Probably not.
But we can fix the misperception that lower taxes, less government,
and an aggressive foreign policy and WOT strategy work. And that
is the goal. Bush is a lame duck, but this is now a referendum on
the Republican Ideals of values, smaller government, economic freedom,
capitalism, and lower taxes. Bushs lack of PR expertise, if
not corrected, could sink all of these ideas and their supporters.
Yes. Absolutely. Americans are tired of the same old faces. And
this administration has allowed their reliance on loyalty
and Bushs belief in some folks that are not doing their jobs
to influence his decisions. I like Card and McClellan, but given
the poll numbers on the economy, despite the reality of GDP Growth,
Unemployment, Wage Growth, etc., the message has not been getting
out. So you fire your PR firm. You have to. Perhaps Rummy needs
to go too, but honestly, he has done a pretty good job and you dont
fire your General in mid-battle. That is conceding defeat. But things
need to change and again, it starts with PR.
Marx. No doubt. Considering the range of influence that his ideas
have had and that so many have been proven wrong and caused so many
problems throughout the world. His ideas led to the slaughter of
close to 100M people in China, Russia, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam,
North Korea, Cuba, South and Central America, the dividing of Germany,
and the economic and political imprisonment of half the worlds
population under tyranny. Now, that does not mean he is wrong about
everything. Conflict theory and some of the other pieces of things
such as religions influence are relevant and need to be explored
and understood, but given his range of influence and how wrong several
of his ideas were that caused massive conflicts worldwide, I am
I will add a simple tidbit on personalities and other overrated
peopleTom Cruise. How the hell did this guy go from Risky
Business to being the worlds preeminent expert on Mental Disorders
and Psychiatric treatment simply by joining a cult and reading some
science fiction? Put on your sunglasses, slide across the wood floor
in your socks, and shut the hell up. MI-3 should have been about
the Impossible Mission of him coming out of the closet and fathering
a child. I believe that about as much as Michael Jackson and Debbie
I am also pleased to announce another newcomer to the Roundtable, Scott
Chaffin, The Fat Guy. Tell us what's
on your mind, Scott.
"Failing is a harsh word. In
general, I would say that pronouncements
of failure are best left to history. But by far my biggest
disappointment with the Bush administration is with the expansion
the federal government. It would be unfair to say that we didn't
it coming, since Bush never ran as a small government guy, and I
personal experience under his governorship of Texas. I did, however,
expect a lower rate of expansion than we've seen, but it's almost
certainly slower than I would have expected under a Democrat.
External events, specifically 9/11 and the resulting global war
terror, have to be a part of the calculus, though, and the return
investment, as it were, is still out there a ways.
Is there enough time to correct that? I doubt it, as there is no
external, voter-driven push to shrink the federal footprint.
Americans seem to want the federal security blanket, and our elected
leaders seem quite happy to give it to them, thus ensuring their
continuing to be our elected leaders. My personal, somewhat
irrational view is that there are almost no frontiers left for
Americans to escape to, and the innate drive for independence from
government is muffled.
Topic 2: Porter Goss, Andrew Card and Scott McClellan are gone,
Karl Rove has been demoted. Are recent personnel changes going to
reinvigorate the Bush administration, or is this merely a
rearrangement of the deck chairs?
Do you mean reinvigorate the administration, or reinvigorate the
about the administration? Personally, I could care less about the
administration's invigoration, and even less about the polls. I
my president to have his head down doing the job of leading the
country. Obviously, though, polls tie into that, as does
administrative invigoration. I don't think there's ever anything
about fresh ideas, but I don't believe those are going to come from
the press secretary or the chief of staff. Ultimately, though, I
believe the polity is too divided by the question of whether we
war with terrorists or not (and how we handle that) for the
administration to have much of an effect on American vigor, which
what truly matters.
Topic 3: Who is the most overrated artist, thinker or personality
of all time?
Whoo. Of all time??? I'll stick to what I've personally experienced,
thanks. For my money, it's the Beatles. Talk about 'right place
the right time.' If I never have to listen to one more hippie deliver
an uber-serious, self-important monologue about the overwhelming
genius of John, Paul, George and Ringo, it'll be too soon. Give
the Rolling Stones (and someone please tell those guys to hang it
right now and quit screwing up their legacy; that's the one thing
Beatles did right - quit.)
And now we have returning pundit John Stansbury of The
Blorg to tell us the score. What do you say?
"Not to go all 11th Commandment
or anything, but George W. Bush's biggest problem was that he was
a Conservative Christian, and he's never been able to recover from
that. That, and he doesn't take the time to slam his enemies in
public. Plus, if he has a problem with somebody, he takes it up
with them in private, and doesn't make a public spectacle of it.
Bush is a pathological classy guy. From this, he can never recover.
Topic 2: Not to go all 11th Commandment or anything...uh,
okay, actually I will go and break Reagan's Law. The Bush administration
was always originally built as the massive team-building exercise.
As hokey as "I'm a uniter, not a divider" sounds, that's
what it was built to do. If Bush had any idea just how partisan
and militarily important his tenure would be, I'm sure the makeup
would be different.
That said, I think there's little to the changes being made. 8 years
is a long time to be doing anything, especially in a wartime administration.
Topic 3: That guy who said that socialism was a good idea.
Sadly, I would have to explain, over and over again, who that guy
is. It fails every time it's tried, yet...over and over again...there's
always some "brilliant thinker"...
Finally we have Will Franklin of this very blog with his thoughts. Will?
"This is a difficult question
to answer. So many failings (in terms of results) could have ended
up even worse under different courses of action. It's too easy to
Monday Morning Quarterback things. However, in terms of ongoing
failings, there needs to be a far more aggressive campaign to "sell"
Topic 2: It's way too early to write off this administration.
There are still roughly 1000 days remaining. If anything, the GOP
Congressional leadership is what needs reinvigoration.
Topic 3: Muhammad Ali.
The Host's Last Word: The biggest failing of the Bush administration was falling
prey to boondoggles like No Child Left Behind and the Medicare prescriptions
bill, and yet not tackling the really important issue of Social Security reform.
I give Bush huge credit for touching the third rail of American politics, but
then when the fight started getting tough Bush left the gloves on. The PR campaign
(what there was of it) just sputtered, and Bush left the field to the fear mongering
demagogues of the nanny-state Left.
Folks, this was not a failure for Bush, it was a failure for America because
this problem is not going away and is simply multiplying. No doubt some future
Democratic administration will blame Bush for the problem, when it was Democratic
stonewalling that bankrupted the federal government.
As for the second topic, I am particularly interested in who will replace Porter
Goss. The CIA is an absolutely critical agency in this day and age, and yet
sections of it are in near-revolt against the Bush administration. The CIA is
in the unenviable position of never being able to trumpet its successes, yet
its failures (911, Iraq WMDs, leaks, etc.) make glaring front-page news. The
volume of reportage on the CIA indeed makes it look like a completely broken
What we need is a new CIA director that will keep the CIA out of the news.
No news is good news when it comes to intelligence.
Curt absolutely nails it on Bob Dylan - easily the most overrated artist of
all time. Curt says that he is at least a good writer - I don't even give him
credit for that, I always found his lyrics and poetry to be incoherent at best.
As for Marx, calling him 'overrated' seems almost like a compliment of sorts
when juxtaposed with the mass murders committed in his name, and all the lives,
resources and opportunites squandered in the service of his destructive philosophy,
which even continues today in places such as that gulag known as Cuba. To paraphrase
William F. Buckley, the time spent studying Marx's writings and those of his
followers was the greatest waste of man-hours in the history of civilization.
That's all! Come back next week for the next edition of PUNDIT ROUNDTABLE!
Posted by Ken McCracken · 7 May 2006 01:05 PM
How about Neil Young? Heard his new "impeach Bush" song? Grow up hippie. What a joke.
Madonna? Does she have any relevance at all artistically? I mean "Like a Virgin" and "Material Girl" make her some kind of pop sensation. People worship her and think she is some kind of enlightened being because she heads to the Temple occasionally to make an ass out of herself.
Her music sucks and were it not for a fairly fine body and some metal cone bras, she would be completely irrelevant.
Super Susan...Gosh that is funny! Ha! That is so funny! AND, true.
Jason, Neil Young is probably a socialist commie. Once I loved his music. Sometimes they just don't know when to quit...He is a Has been. When Americans start insulting our troops and start spouting anti american leftist liberal trash it shows their true colors. RED. unfortunately it happens all too often. He is probably hoping to relive his Viet Nam days of yore.
Why you gotta start spouting off about Sean Penn? He is a great humanitarian. Did you see him single handedly saving those four cameramen in his five person boat in New Orleans? Or how about him trying to talk Saddam into not invading Kuwait... wait, isn't that why he went on his humanitarian mission to Iraq? Code Pink was to stop Saddam's invasion wasn't it?
But he did marry Madonna, so can you imagine how overrated their children would be?