The Daily Sandwich

"We have to learn the lesson that intellectual honesty is fundamental for everything we cherish." -Sir Karl Popper

Location: Boston, Massachusetts, United States


Wednesday, June 13, 2007

The Giuliani 12-Step Program

For the second time in two days, I'm linking to a conservative author. How about that? I have reason to disagree with the author's line of attack in some cases, but it's sad to see a GOP frontrunner toss out pretty much the same campaign promises that Fearless Leader did in 2000 and 2004. All of them can be filed under 'meaningless,' 'idiotic,' or 'impossible.'

Meaningless: 1. I will keep America on offense in the Terrorists’ War on Us.
A conservative's criticism: What the hell does that mean, exactly?

Yes, those capitals are in the original, which make it one of the sorriest 'rebranding' attempts I've ever seen. You see, Iraq isn't even our war. We aren't even responsible!

Idiotic: 10. I will ensure that every community in America is prepared for terrorist attacks and natural disasters.
A conservative's criticism: Have you ever heard of Federalism? Anyway, 99.9% of the communities in America are in essentially no danger from terrorism, so why would you expend federal resources on protecting them?

Aside from the poverty of the federalism argument (I've never seen a winger argue against Bush v Gore on those grounds, or for states' rights in matters of abortion) in the second Republican era where government expansion and massive spending were wildly applauded by conservatives, we've already had one administration waste huge sums of money "protecting" things like petting zoos and flea markets in the rural Midwest. He wants more of that?

Impossible: 2. I will end illegal immigration, secure our borders, and identify every non-citizen in our nation.
A conservative's criticism: No, you won’t. And, frankly, I wouldn’t want to give you (or anyone else) enough power to “identify every non-citizen in our nation.” There are over 300 million people living here, stretched across a continental landmass. How on earth would you do that?

Can't argue with a word of that.

The overall theme of the author's criticism is that Giuliani is being self-contradictory in his bid to combine a little old-fashioned populism with anti-government bromides. His "12 Commitments," (which itself sounds like a Therapy-Age version of the Contract With America) are also packed to the gills with the same old coded language. "Strict constructionists" in the courts, which means right-wing activists. "School choice," which means government-funded religious schools. And "tax reform," which apparently means shifting more of the tax burden to America's poor and creating monstrous debt while convincing people that only Karl Marx would do anything less.