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The Tally Ho

Sunday, May 23, 2004

What is a Modern Republican?

You probably read about the battle of words between Dennis Hastert and John McCain this week. In an interview Hastert was questioned by reporters about McCain’s comments regarding tax levels and spending in Iraq, inferring that Americans are being asked to sacrifice little during the Iraq war (McCain has not been on board with BushCo’s tax plans). As the reporter started his question referring to a speech by McCain, Hastert responded:

Hastert: “Who?”
Reporter: “John McCain”
Hastert: “Where’s he from?”
Reporter: “He’s a Republican from Arizona”
Hastert: “A Republican?”

Hastert then says if he wants to see sacrifice go to Walter Reed and Bethesda. That is a pretty snarky thing to say to someone held as a POW during Vietnam when he didn’t serve for whatever reason (This seems to be BushCo’s MO). McCain responded, "All we are called upon to do is not spend our nation into bankruptcy while our soldiers risk their lives. I fondly remember a time when real Republicans stood for fiscal responsibility. Apparently those days are long gone for some in our party."

I often hear from individuals that will not vote for Bush say, “What does Kerry stand for. Are you excited about this guy?” Copious discussions exist on this, and many of you probably have been involved in one. But the McCain/Hastert back and forth made me wonder about the future of the Republican Party. Also, why not apply those feelings towards the Kerry candidacy towards the Bush re-election campaign? What do Bush and the national GOP stand for, and are people excited about this guy? Here in NYC we have had back to back Republican mayors in Rudolph Giuliani and Michael Bloomberg in a city that must be 4:1 Democrat, but nationally? Has the national GOP become nothing more than reactionary, cultural conservatism, and corporate cronyism? After almost three year and a half years of Bush, we see a deficit that has spiraled out of control, the problems concerning the case the US made for going into Iraq, the post war planning, loss of life…, the Plame Affair, the energy taskforce, decreasing environmental standards, NCLB and funding, the growing size of the federal government, the expensive and questionable Medicare bill (and the illegal "covert propaganda”), the proposed gay marriage amendment, and our foreign policy concerning traditional allies. What have we done to make America’s infrastructure better? Anyone can make a list, and argue about it, but that is not the point. So with the ’04 election seemingly a referendum on BushCo., I would honestly like to know the reasons why Bush should receive my vote for a second term. Is the current direction of the Bush Administration what American conservatives want from the Republican Party?

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