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Saturday, February 18, 2006

Reagan was no neoconservative 


[The yes view. The no view.]

NeoProgBlog links to this article from Paul Craig Roberts. Read the whole thing. Here are a few snippets:


When I saw that the neoconservative response to 9/11 was to turn a war against stateless terrorism into military attacks on Muslim states, I realized that the Bush administration was committing a strategic blunder with open-ended disastrous consequences for the US that, in the end, would destroy Bush, the Republican Party, and the conservative movement....

I have never been any party's political or ideological servant. I used my positions in the congressional staff and the Reagan administration to change the economic policy of the United States. In my efforts, I found more allies among influential Democrats, such as Senate Finance Committee Chairman Russell Long, Joint Economic Committee Chairman Lloyd Bentsen and my Georgia Tech fraternity brother Sam Nunn, than I did among traditional Republicans who were only concerned about the budget deficit....

The left-wing's demonization of Ronald Reagan owes much to the Republican Establishment. The Republican Establishment regarded Reagan as a threat to its hegemony over the party. They saw Jack Kemp the same way. Kemp, a professional football star quarterback, represented an essentially Democratic district. Kemp was aggressive in challenging Republican orthodoxy. Both Reagan and Kemp spoke to ordinary people....

I had a 16-year stint as Business Week's first outside columnist, despite hostility within the magazine and from the editor's New York social set, because the editor regarded me as the most trenchant critic of the George H.W. Bush administration in the business. The White House felt the same way and lobbied to have me removed from the William E. Simon Chair in Political Economy at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

Earlier when I resigned from the Reagan administration to accept appointment to the new chair, CSIS was part of Georgetown University. The University's liberal president, Timothy Healy, objected to having anyone from the Reagan administration in a chair affiliated with Georgetown University. CSIS had to defuse the situation by appointing a distinguished panel of scholars from outside universities, including Harvard, to ratify my appointment.

I can truly say that at one time or the other both sides have tried to shut me down. I have experienced the same from "free thinking" libertarians, who are free thinking only inside their own box....

Reagan was certainly no neoconservative. He went along with some of their schemes, but when neoconservatives went too far, he fired them. George W. Bush promotes them....

Neoconservatives were disappointed with Reagan. Reagan's goal was to END the cold war, not to WIN it. He made common purpose with Gorbachev and ENDED the cold war. It is the new Jacobins, the neoconservatives, who have exploited this victory by taking military bases to Russian borders....

Americans have forgotten what it takes to remain free. Instead, every ideology, every group is determined to use government to advance its agenda. As the government's power grows, the people are eclipsed.

We have reached a point where the Bush administration is determined to totally eclipse the people. Bewitched by neoconservatives and lustful for power, the Bush administration and the Republican Party are aligning themselves firmly against the American people. Their first victims, of course, were the true conservatives. Having eliminated internal opposition, the Bush administration is now using blackmail obtained through illegal spying on American citizens to silence the media and the opposition party.

Before flinching at my assertion of blackmail, ask yourself why President Bush refuses to obey the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. The purpose of the FISA court is to ensure that administrations do not spy for partisan political reasons. The warrant requirement is to ensure that a panel of independent federal judges hears a legitimate reason for the spying, thus protecting a president from the temptation to abuse the powers of government. The only reason for the Bush administration to evade the court is that the Bush administration had no legitimate reasons for its spying. This should be obvious even to a naif.

The TV networks mimic Fox News' faux patriotism. Anyone who depends on print, TV, or right-wing talk radio media is totally misinformed. The Bush administration has achieved a de facto Ministry of Propaganda.



On this last assertion I'll disagree to a point. While Bill O'Reilly certainly favors the Republicans over the Democrats, he has not been blindingly obedient to the GOP propaganda dictates. And, to their credit, several of the local KFI jocks have gone to great pains to slam Bush on his illegal alien amnesty policy, with John and Ken taking the lead in the "damn ALL governments" point of view. And the Republican Party didn't like it.

From the Ontario Empoblog (Latest OVVA news here)

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