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Tuesday, July 06, 2004

The Republican case against fascism
By Bennet Kelley

A chorus of Democrats is declaring that the Bush administration is
among the most reckless, radical and deceitful administrations in modern
history, but has had limited success in convincing voters of this fact
-- possibly because the message is lost in the current cacophony of
Bush hatred.

Democrats should permit a more compelling voice to enunciate this
theme--the voice of distinguished Republicans.

Voices like former White House aide John DiIulio, who acknowledged that
"this administration is further to right than much of the public
understands," or Clyde Prestowitz's, a Reagan administration veteran,
who aptly described the Bush administration's economic and foreign
policies as a "radicalism of the right" which cannot be sustained
because "it is at odds with fundamental--and truly conservative--American values."

Senior Republicans have been especially critical of Bush's economic
policies. Rudy Penner, the Republican former head of the Congressional
Budget Office, called the Bush tax proposals "radical," while a veteran
of four Republican administrations confided to David Broder that the
2003 tax cuts "may be the least defensible" economic policy he had ever
seen.

Former Nixon Commerce Secretary Peter Peterson accused the
administration of pursuing a "tax-cut theology that simply discards any
objective evidence that violates the tenets of the faith" and which is
likely to fail "with great injury to the young."

Vermont Sen. Jeffords, who left the party partly due to its "tax-cut
theology," warned that this administration's "belief that tax cuts will
solve any problem is uncompromising, unyielding, and, sadly, undeterred
by past experience."

Former Senator Rudman articulated this same theme stating that the Bush
administration wants to "pretend our choices have no consequences and
saddle our kids and grandkids with taxes that will soon ramp up to
unsustainable levels."

Each of these men would agree with N. Gregory Mankiw, Bush's chief
economic adviser, who prior to joining the administration, dismissed
supply-side economics as "fad economics" conceived by "charlatans and
cranks."

Republican criticism of the administration is not limited to economic
policy; as a number of prominent Republicans have been unsettled by
this administration's hawkish unilateral foreign policy, which Reagan-Bush
veteran James Pinkerton characterized as "Strangelovian." Nixon veteran
and Goldwater biographer Bill Rentschler believes that Bush has been
"guided and goaded" by "crafty, militant [and] extreme" NeoCon advisers
whom Goldwater viewed as seeking "to destroy everybody who doesn't
agree with them" in betrayal of "fundamental principles of conservatism."

Foreign policy veteran Brent Scowcroft warned before the war that there
was "scant evidence" to tie Iraq to terrorist organizations and that a
war with Iraq would only divert us from the war on terrorism, a view
shared by Sen. Hagel.

Sen. Hagel also has criticized the administration's brash
unilateralism, noting that leadership requires more than impugning "the motives of
those who disagree with you. [This is] bullying people... .You can't do
that to partners and allies."

The most biting criticism has come from Nixon White House Counsel John
Dean, who addressed the administration's "alarming" number of lies and
deceptions on matters of policy.

Dean compared Bush's statements to other Presidential lies and found
that "Bush's lies are almost never justifiable...[and] are typically of
the most serious kind - lies that misinform the public in such a way as
to disrupt the proper functioning of the democratic process."

While Republicans have never missed an opportunity to add the "radical"
prefix to every Democratic movement, the Bush NeoCons have been
relatively unscathed. Democrats should highlight these statements from their learned
Republican colleagues to hammer home that the Bush administration, in
adhering to the rigid and extreme ideology of the NeoCons, has become a
runaway train blindly heading for disaster.

Democrats are more likely to convince swing voters of this danger if
they understand that both Democrats and Republicans are sounding the
alarm. Republicans are properly alarmed about this administration's radical
and reckless policies, since they not only know that American voters have
never knowingly embraced radicalism but also that history demonstrates
that radicalism has only led to catastrophe for a political movement
and the people it governs.

In 2004, the test will be whether Democrats convince voters to follow
the warning of the most senior Republican of them all, Abe Lincoln,
that in "grave emergencies, moderation is ...safer than radicalism."

Bennet Kelley is publisher of BushLies.net and former National Co-Chair
of the Democratic National Committee's young professional arm.
His e-mail address is BKelley@hispeedmediae. com. The views expressed are those of the writer and not necessarily this newspaper.

sent by June Wortman - 520-648-5877

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