A New Kind of Liberal
I've had my little skirmishes with Erik over Bush. My stand is that I try to be fair in my political assessment of him. What I mean by that is when liberals like Erik repeatedly bash the president for seemingly anything that goes wrong with this country, I tend to pick on certain ones where I feel Erik is being unfair. Such has been the case concerning Bush's appointment of John Roberts as Supreme Court Justice and the handling of relief for hurricane Katrina. In doing so, I have been called a "Bush supporter", a right wing nut, and a few other things I don't care to mention. So let me put out a few things I want to say instead of just reacting to what Erik or other liberals say.
Bush is a liberal. There, I've said it and I mean it. Bush's speech yesterday, Sept. 15, 2005 that detailed his massive recovery effort of the Katrina disaster shows clearly that the president is taking a liberal stand. If Bush was a conservative, he would not be throwing tons of federal tax dollars (taxpayer money) at this. I'm not talking about FEMA and the task of providing food and health services to residents who have lost their homes, I'm talking about the actual re-building of the city of New Orleans, Biloxi, and other gulf coast hit areas. To true conservatives, this clearly is up to businesses to cooperate with local governments (state, county, and city). This is not a federal matter. I shudder at how much this is going to cost taxpayers and what's worse, this sets a terrible precedant. Now every time disasters, large and small happen, as they inevitably do, we will look past our local governments (someone tell me why we even have local and state governments) and look to the feds who will mismanage it horribly because that is what they do.
In adopting liberal policies like this and others ("No Child Left Behind" for one), Bush is expanding the power of the federal government way beyond what the constitution allows. In decades past, we had democrat presidents who did this too but we would then get a republican to turn things back. Now, we can't even rely on the republicans because they are now a liberal party as well. This is not a good thing.
There is something that I think many people missed in Bush's speech. In admitting responsibility to slow response of FEMA, Bush basically empowered himself and future presidents even more. We can thank the liberal left for this because they took the Katrina disaster as an opportunity to blast him. If these critics think they got a victory in Bush's acknowledgement of blame, they are mistaken. Bush will now aggressively revamp and re-mold FEMA in a way that he sees fit. Again, this isn't a good thing and is precisely why we need to limit power of the president and keep organizations like FEMA as a separate entity.
Just to summarize, a conservative supports a small, limited federal government and more direct power to local governments. A liberal believes in a large, powerful federal government. By these definitions, Bush is a liberal.