Steve G.

If you could change one thing about the Bush Administration…

In Libertarian on December 8, 2008 at 1:12 am

If you could change one thing about the Bush Administration before it ends, what would it be?

Why is Mike hassling you so? Well, this Saturday will be a debate meet, which we will present one bill for the next one to be debated. That meet will be the last one before President-elect Obama is sworn in.

I have one, which is to repeal the PATRIOT Act, and I’m typing one up to repeal Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. Any ideas?

From my stump, respectively,

-Mike Theodore

  1. “Administration”

  2. Of the many sins and errors of the finally departing Bush Administration, three stand out: the prosecution of the “Global War on Terror”, the massive expansion of government spending, and the retrogressive attitude toward science.

    While Bush set spending records, that one stands out primarily because he claimed to be a conservative, and his budgets were passed by alleged conservatives (or worse, real ones who gave in to their party’s leaders). GWB joins the company of those other anagram presidents, LBJ and FDR, on this one, and it’s not his most egregious action. As for science, given Bush’s religious attitudes and those of the administrators he brought in, it was probably inevitable — though in the long term, quite dangerous.

    Bush’s presidency will be most remembered for his response to the September 2001 attacks on the U.S., and on the subsidiary war in Iraq. I think one realistic change — that is, one that could have been possible, given what I know of GWB — would be that he had continued his initial broad but cautious response. He was careful to seperate the attackers from the Muslim world as a whole, and publicly met with Muslim leaders in the days after the attacks. Given the public attitude at the time, he could have won easy points by playing demagogue, but generally chose not to. In this alternative post-9/11, I see a Bush who focused on eliminating the Taliban and working with Pakistan to reduce future risks from extremists based in the region.

    This, of course, would have meant staying out of Iraq, a nation that had nothing to do with 9/11 — and perhaps even restoring ties with its dictatorship in order to prosecute the war against the extremists who did attack, as Bush smartly did with Libya’s dictatorship. Saddam Hussein was not as smart nor as cool-headed as Muammar Qaddafi, but I have read that after 9/11, Hussein discussed such hopes with his advisors.

  3. In this alternative post-9/11, I see a Bush who focused on eliminating the Taliban and working with Pakistan to reduce future risks from extremists based in the region.

    What business is it of the U.S. president to involve the citizens and taxpayers of this country in ‘eliminating’ any group overseas?

  4. I should clarify — I was interpreting the question to mean what change in decision-making that was plausible under this president I would have most like to have seen. I could say it would have been great if Bush devoted his term to repealing victimless crime laws and pardoning all those imprisoned for them, but this would have been fantastical, as nothing in his background nor those of any of his advisors suggest any interest in doing any such thing.

  5. Susan,

    Great question. It all gets a bit gray for me. I’m not a Truther, so my assumption is that AQN masterminded 9/11. If the Taliban were in cahoots with AQN, then rooting both out seem to be appropriately on the table.

    It pains me to say that, because my impulse is to be as non-interventionist as possible. I’m very mindful of blowback and unintended consequences of attempting to stop a rogue, aggressive organization from repeating heinous acts.

    If Acme Defense Co. can perform this vital (albeit sometimes violent) function better, I’m all ears.

    I don’t think the USG should just sit back and wait for the next terror attack. I see that as neither “moral” nor effective in ensuring (as best can be accomplished) domestic tranquility.

  6. These debate meets have already been heated on Iraq and foreign adventurism.

    I’m thinking of a Repeal the Federal Reserve Act bill, just to freak them out. I’d have to convince my school team to back it though.

  7. So to some extent, the question is: If you could have the government do just one thing (or do just one thing to the government), what would it be?

    I think I’d eliminate any law, regulation, position, or agency that in any way regulates non-violent speech or expression of any sort.

  8. Well, that’s the case, but this would be the last one with Bush still in office.
    Right now:
    Repeal PATRIOT Act
    Repeal Federal Reserve Act
    Eliminate Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell (still have to research congressional authority in US Code)

    I have to put some in, or I’m stuck with my socialist friends “eliminate capitalism” bills. 😀

  9. How about an end the drug war bill, focusing your argument specifically on how it would reduce terrorist funding? It’s one of the best little-heard arguments

  10. I would like to know (from George W. Bush) if transportation is

    1) a right
    2) a privilege
    3) a responsibility
    4) an entitlement

    5) other, explain

    I got involved with the LP in Denver in ’73 (as an Anti-Amtrak Democrat), and every year a get more confused.

    (I already know the answer, entitlement, but I’d like some ‘sweet-lies’ before he (George)

  11. Rewind to 9-12-01 and announce that we would make a better effort to figure out why we were attacked and take steps to ensure peace instead of insane wars and police states, by talking to our enemies to figure out why they were that way and how to make them friends, or at least not enemies any more. Then do it.

  12. I wish, Mike.

    Peter, I’m taking enough heat on one marijuana legalization bill. My team would kill me if they had to debate full out legalization of all.

  13. Winning the 2000 election.

  14. Mike Theodore writes:
    “Peter, I’m taking enough heat on one marijuana legalization bill. My team would kill me if they had to debate full out legalization of all.”

    And I ask of Mike what state are you in? I’m on the way out the door to see from friends who have fought the battle for better than 20 years and have seen some success. Maybe we can share some ideas.


  15. I’m in Illinois, land of corruption. I thought it would be popular, especially among fellow high school students, but I’m finding nothing but hostility.

  16. Hi Mike. Given that Playboy magazine is located there as I recall I would have thought a bit differently myself. I believe that Playboy was originally a big supporter of NORML and that the groundwork for would have been well taken care of by now. Guess we’d be wrong though.

    Given the need for police, lawyers and prison guards to have jobs I can understand why it is not legal. Where I live medical marijuana is legal and people still get hassled by the system.

    However there is the organization L.E.A.P. Law Enforcement Against Prohibition and I have met those in law enforcement who are sympathetic to the cause. Remember not to paint everyone with a broad brush.

    The best approach I have seen is to focus on the scientific and medical benefits of cannabis. There is a lot of information on the web as you probably know in this field. Someday I think we will look back at prohibition and realize that we lost a lot of medical benefits.

    Next is the prison issue. Last figures I saw suggested that the U.S. with five percent of the world’s population has twenty-five percent of the world’s prisoners. Many of those are members of minority groups in for drugs, or drug related issues. Also women prisoners are apt to be incarcerated because of drugs. And much of the animosity, or tension that exist between blacks and whites is exacerbated because of the drug issues.

    A last but not least in my opinion those of us working to end the prohibition shouldn’t be using the substance. If and when the issue has come up all too often someone on the otherside has suggested that I just want to get stoned. I can truthfully turn to that person and say that is not the case. That alone generally put that person off their stride and makes my case stronger.

    I’ve spent somewhere in the neighborhood of 400 to 500 hours at booths and that includes at Hempfest and others events as well, collected signatures for petitions and talked to elected officials. I have found that if I can tell people with a straight face that I am interested in those aspects of the issue and as I said I am not using cannabis, or any substance it almost always has a postive impact.

    Groups to check out are Media Awarness Project, Americans for Safe Access and Drug War Facts. All are on the web with great sites. Books to read; the best one on the issue is the “American Disease”. I can’t think of the authors name, but he’s a doctor and the book is very detailed and great on the history of the issue. Another is Smoke and Mirrors”. Again I don’t recall the author’s name, but a good read none the less. Of course there are many more books. Most of my books are in storage and I should have looked the names up before I began this reply. MY apologies for not doing so.

    It seems that there should be a group you could work with on the issue. Best of luck to you and Know your facts.

    Keep us informed as to what is happening. That’s all of us, not just me. I am sure others here have some insight as well.


  17. I try to keep LFV informed on whatever somewhat Libertarian things are happening in Illinois, but that’s not much. If there was a push for a medical marijuana initiative, you’d hear about it here. 😀

    BTW: The pro-legalization speech won big points in my chamber, and I was able to gain our school’s first win.
    Mike: 1 Forces of the World: the rest…

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