Domestic disturbance

I haven't been watching much of the convention, especially not with access to regional Fox (ugh) Sports Network coverage of the Texas Rangers (who blew their chance to pick up some group in the West tonight, but it was good to see Chan Ho throwing well after three years).

From what I hear, Bush is going to speak tomorrow night. This is just a guess, but he'll probably talk about his domestic policy plans for the next four years. And a lot about the war on terror and the war in Iraq (the conjunction of which is the empty set). Putting foreign policy aside, I just don't understand how anyone in his position could, with a straight face, pretend that he'll accomplish something positive domestically over the next four years without having done anything positive for the citizens of this nation in the first four. Off the top of my head, this is what Bush's domestic policy has amounted to so far:


  • tax cuts that overwhelmingly favoured the rich (especially the dividends tax reduction, the capital gains tax reduction, and the estate tax reduction), and which will hurt the economy in the long run due to the outrageous national debt, without helping the economy much in the short run

  • civil liberty curtailment in the guise of the Patriot Act and the designation of American citizens as enemy combatants, who are then incarcerated without trial dates or access to attorneys

  • regulations that benefit heavily polluting power plants

  • a prescription drug system whose cost they had to lie about to get Congress to pass and that goes out of its way to inflate the prices paid to large pharmaceuticals

  • overtures in favour of a Constitutional ammendant against gay marriage

  • channeling federal money to religious organizations to perform social service functions that government employees could do, if properly funded

  • F.C.C. regulations making it easier for large media conglomerates to control geographic markets

  • signing a campaign finance reform bill into law, and then pretending to be against a provision of the bill pertaining the 527 groups when it's politically expedient

  • continuing the long-standing U.S. policy of claiming to be in favour of free trade while offering massive, massive subsidies to agribusiness and certain other industries, and imposing tarrifs to protect other politcally important industries that just lead to retaliatory tarrifs on our exports

  • the creation of an Office of Homeland Security (after originally opposing it) that does little more than distract America with terror alerts whenever a Republican scandal breaks out

  • passing the No Child Left Behind Act and not fully funding it, and not really caring that it doesn't address the core problems that create dysfunctional schools in the first place

  • fiscal policies that haven't done anything to help the job market


I'm sure I'm leaving some of his domestic policies out. And maybe they're positive; this is just a list off the top of my head, and I certainly have spent a lot more time reading things critical of Bush in the past four years than positive pieces. But my point is this: Bush is going to come out tomorrow night and promise massive health care reform, and promise fiscal policies that will create more jobs, and promise just about anything else that America desperately needs, but he's had four years to provide those things. Why hasn't he done anything at all positive yet? He's had a friendly Congress (which is definitely not a given for the next four years), but he's used the time and the nation's resources to wage a war that his team was planning from his first month in the White House. That's what his priorities were. I just hope the people who are electorally important see this, and realize that if he hasn't done anything for this country yet, there's no reason to think he will by 2008.

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