Thursday, April 24, 2003
Context: FDR's evil twin? Did someone in the office brew the high test into the decaf pot yesterday? First, I think that FDR's evil twin was clearly ... FDR. (And if that doesn't count, then LBJ wins.) Yes, the Bush administration has its share of big-government conservatives -- and Bush is one of them. And I don't like the Patriot Act or Ashcroft a whole lot, but I don't think people are going to be rounded up for dancing or not going to church, as Ashcroft's critics imply. (On the whole, disagree as you might, wouldn't you admit his department is more competently run than Planet Reno?) Bush has put women and minorities in real jobs in his administration, like cabinet jobs -- not the Department of Pet Rock and Imaginary Friend Services like his predecessor did, who loved talked the talk. (Don't tell me you really think Webb Hubbell would have ever been expected to actually take orders from Janet Reno.) Colin Powell has brought some dignity, so lacking under Maddie Albright, to the State Department, and he played a stellar "good cop" in Europe and the UN. Don Rumsfeld, who got the "bad cop" role, has proved his critics wrong, I think. Bush dragged Congress, kicking and screaming, to one tax cut, and is about to drag them to another. And don't kid yourself about it being "only" $350 billion. Left to their own devices, Congress would have proposed an economic stimulus package that included another $50 credit to Toyota Prius owners, deductability of veterinary care for Rover, subsidized minty freshness for people with bad breath, and a (non-binding) resolution telling the economy to shape up, dammit, or we'll really get Keynesian on your ass!