If the ancient political wisdom is correct that a charge unanswered is a charge agreed to, the Bush White House pleaded guilty yesterday at the Cato Institute to some extraordinary allegations.

"We did ask a few members of the Bush economic team to come," explained David Boaz, the think tank's executive vice president, as he moderated a discussion between two prominent conservatives about President Bush. "We didn't get that."

Now why would the administration pass up such an invitation?

Well, it could have been because of the first speaker, former Reagan aide Bruce Bartlett. Author of the new book "Impostor: How George W. Bush Bankrupted America and Betrayed the Reagan Legacy," Bartlett called the administration "unconscionable," "irresponsible," "vindictive" and "inept."

It might also have had something to do with speaker No. 2, conservative blogger Andrew Sullivan. Author of the forthcoming "The Conservative Soul: How We Lost It; How to Get It Back," Sullivan called Bush "reckless" and "a socialist," and accused him of betraying "almost every principle conservatism has ever stood for."

Nor was moderator Boaz a voice of moderation. He blamed Bush for "a 48 percent increase in spending in just six years," a "federalization of public schools" and "the biggest entitlement since LBJ."

True, the small-government libertarians represented by Cato have always been the odd men out of the Bush coalition. But the standing-room-only forum yesterday, where just a single questioner offered even a tepid defense of the president, underscored some deep disillusionment among conservatives over Bush's big-spending answer to Medicare and Hurricane Katrina, his vast claims of executive power, and his handling of postwar Iraq.

Bartlett, who lost his job at the free-market National Center for Policy Analysis because of his book, said that if conservatives were honest, more would join his complaint. "They're reticent to address the issues that I've raised for fear that they might have to agree with them," he told the group. "And a lot of Washington think tanks and groups of that sort, they know that this White House is very vindictive."

Waiting for the talk to start, some in the audience expressed their ambivalence.

"It's gonna hit the [bestseller] lists, I'm sure," said Cato's legal expert, Roger Pilon.

"Typical Bruce," replied John Taylor of the Virginia Institute for Public Policy.

Admitted Pilon: "He's got a lot of material to work with."

Bartlett certainly thought so. He began by predicting a big tax increase "to finance the inevitable growth of government that is in the pipeline that President Bush is largely responsible for." He also said many fellow conservatives don't know about the "quite dreadful" traits of the administration, such as the absence of "anybody who does any serious analysis" on policy issues.

Boaz assured the audience that he told the White House that "if there's a rebuttal to what Bruce has said, please come and provide it."

Instead, Sullivan was on hand to second the critique. "This is a big-government agenda," he said. "It is fueled by a new ideology, the ideology of Christian fundamentalism." The bearded pundit offered his own indictment of Bush: "complete contempt" for democratic processes, torture of detainees, ignoring habeas corpus and a "vast expansion of the federal government." The notion, he said, that the "Thatcher-Reagan legacy that many of us grew up to love and support would end this way is an astonishing paradox and a great tragedy."

The question period gave the two a chance to come up with new insults.

"If Bush were running today against Bill Clinton, I'd vote for Clinton," Bartlett served.

"You have to understand the people in this administration have no principles," Sullivan volleyed. "Any principles that get in the way of the electoral map have to be dispensed with."

Boaz renewed his plea. "Any Bush economists hiding in the audience?"

There was, in fact, one Bush Treasury official on the attendance roster, but he did not surface. The only man who came close to defending Bush, environmental conservative Fred Singer, said he was "willing to overlook" the faults because of the president's Supreme Court nominations. Even Richard Walker, representing the think tank that fired Bartlett, declined to argue. "I agree with most of it," he said later.

Unchallenged, the Bartlett-Sullivan tag team continued. "The entire intellectual game has been given away by the Republican president," said Sullivan. "He's a socialist in so many respects, a Christian socialist."

Bartlett argued that Richard Nixon "is the model for everything Bush is doing."

Sullivan said Karl Rove's political strategy is "pathetic."

Bartlett said that "the administration lies about budget numbers."

"He is not a responsible human being; he is a phenomenally reckless human being," Sullivan proclaimed. "There is a level of recklessness involved that is beyond any ideology."

"Gosh," Boaz interjected. "I wish we had a senior White House aide up here."

© 2006 The Washington Post Company


What does that say about this President when even his own turn aganist him.
Original Post
This is very interesting because I just read a news article last night that told of 4 towns in Vermont where the people got together to discuss issues important to their townships and all 4 voted to demand that their congressional representative put forth a recommendation to have Bush impeached for the false statements that have sent our military into Iraq. And apparently, if these Reps don't do it, they have threatened to vote in somebody who will! Eek

Looks like the hot seat is warming up!!
I read that article only I think it was just the one township, but the thing is that the Rep from Vermont is the only independent in the whole Congress, even he admitted that impeachment proceedings weren't bound to happen.
Actually, Jazzdog, the number has reached 5 ... believe it or not! Eek

This isn't the exact article I read last night, but it's pretty much the same info. I guess different reporters tell the story different ways.

And for me, whether it actually "happens" or not would just be the icing on the cake!! Just to scare his azz up by a serious enough mention of it is good enough for me! tfro

Vermont towns endorse move to impeach Bush
DAVID GRAM
Associated Press


NEWFANE, Vt. - In five Vermont communities, a centuries-old tradition of residents gathering in town halls to conduct local business became a vehicle to send a message to Washington: Impeach the president.

An impeachment article, approved by a paper ballot 121-29 in Newfane Tuesday, calls on Vermont's lone member of the U.S. House, independent Rep. Bernie Sanders, to file articles of impeachment against President Bush, alleging he misled the nation into the Iraq war and engaged in illegal domestic spying.

"It absolutely affects us locally," said Newfane select board member Dan DeWalt, who drafted the impeachment article. "It's our sons and daughters, our mothers and fathers, who are dying" in the war in Iraq.

At least four other Vermont towns, spurred by publicity about Newfane's resolution, endorsed similar resolutions during Tuesday's meetings: Brookfield, Dummerston, Marlboro and Putney.

In Newfane, the impeachment item came at the end of a roughly four-hour meeting that was devoted mostly to the local affairs of the town of 1,600 located in southeastern Vermont. Among the other items discussed was whether the town should fix some of its 100-year-old sidewalks.

The impeachment discussion took up more than half an hour, reflecting the intense interest in the topic and something of a division over whether the town meeting was the appropriate place to debate it.

"As a teacher I can't say to my kids that what happens on the national level doesn't affect us at the local level," Ann Landenberger told the Newfane meeting. "Would that we could all be in a cocoon, but that is not the case."

Greg Record, a local justice of the peace, criticized the amount of time and attention such advisory votes get.

"We spend more time on these things than on a million dollar budget item," said Record, who said the town is made up of people from the "far left."

Lenore Salzbrun defended Bush, saying she had close friends who died in the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

"I am so grateful that our president didn't just put his head in the sand ... and did go out and fight," she said.

"How many attacks have we had on the U.S. since September 11?" asked another resident, Carlton Brown. "Maybe some of the terrorists around the world are sitting up and taking notice that we're not going to be patsies."

The Bush vote is not the first time Newfane has used its town meeting forum to take a state or national stand. Last year, for example, the town went on record against the Iraq war.

Sanders issued a statement after the Newfane vote saying that although the Bush administration "has been a disaster for our country, and a number of actions that he has taken may very well not have been legal," given the reality that the Republicans control the House and the Senate, "it would be impractical to talk about impeachment."

Jim Barnett, chairman of the Vermont Republican Party, said Sanders should reject the resolution: "We should not be impeaching presidents just because we disagree with them."
They called Bush a "Socialist"? lol Roll Eyes

If Bush is a Socialist, then Adolph Hitler was an Anarcho-Communist.


I do so hate Capitalists who use the term "socialist" or "communist" as a catch-all phrase/word to describe any political system or economic plan they don't agree with. They use the term "socialist" to mean "Anything I don't agree with".

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