Kevin Drum sums it up:

… the Bush administration literally seems to have no foreign policy at all anymore. They have no serious plan for Iraq, no plan for Iran, no plan for North Korea, no plan for democracy promotion, no plan for anything. With the neocons on the outs, Condoleezza Rice at the State Department, and Dick Cheney continuing to drift into an alternate universe at the OVP, the Bush administration seems completely at sea. There’s virtually no ideological coherency to their foreign policy that I can discern, and no credible followup on what little coherency is left.

We keeping reading that the Democrats are in disarray, and that the Democrats can’t agree on a plan. But at least the Democrats have competing plans to disagree about.

The Bushies got zip.

And check out “Why Conservatives Can’t Govern” by Alan Wolfe:

The collapse of the Bush presidency, in other words, is not just due to Bush’s incompetence (although his administration has been incompetent beyond belief). Nor is it a response to the president’s principled lack of intellectual curiosity and pitbull refusal to admit mistakes (although those character flaws are certainly real enough). And the orgy of bribery and special-interest dispensation in Congress is not the result of Tom DeLay’s ruthlessness, as impressive a bully as he was. This conservative presidency and Congress imploded, not despite their conservatism, but because of it.

Contemporary conservatism is first and foremost about shrinking the size and reach of the federal government. This mission, let us be clear, is an ideological one. It does not emerge out of an attempt to solve real-world problems, such as managing increasing deficits or finding revenue to pay for entitlements built into the structure of federal legislation. It stems, rather, from the libertarian conviction, repeated endlessly by George W. Bush, that the money government collects in order to carry out its business properly belongs to the people themselves. One thought, and one thought only, guided Bush and his Republican allies since they assumed power in the wake of Bush vs. Gore: taxes must be cut, and the more they are cut — especially in ways benefiting the rich — the better.

But like all politicians, conservatives, once in office, find themselves under constant pressure from constituents to use government to improve their lives. This puts conservatives in the awkward position of managing government agencies whose missions — indeed, whose very existence — they believe to be illegitimate.

Contemporary conservatism is a walking contradiction. Unable to shrink government but unwilling to improve it, conservatives attempt to split the difference, expanding government for political gain, but always in ways that validate their disregard for the very thing they are expanding. The end result is not just bigger government, but more incompetent government.

Brilliantly put.

As a way of governing, conservatism is another name for disaster. And the disasters will continue, year after year, as long as conservatives, whose political tactics are frequently as brilliant as their policy-making is inept, find ways to perpetuate their power.

Wolfe doesn’t distinguish between conservatives and, um, other conservatives, as I did here. But be sure to read the whole article.

11 thoughts on “Bankrupt

  1. The justification for this insanity is a ‘growing economy’. Has your pay doubled under the Bush presidency; the debt has.If I don’t make more, how can I spend more to ‘grow’ the economy? How’s that national debt number going to go down? More exports? – NO. We have a negative balance of trade.

    In my paranoid way, I find myself wondering if that’s the real justification for an open-borders policy with Mexico. Over the next 20 years under the Senate plan, we will increase the population by some 60 million unskilled workers. This is also OK with Dem activists who are making plans to sign them up as soon as they are citizens (if not sooner). But some economists with no political ax need to really study the effect before we are totally screwed.

    The Prez and the Dems have together undertaken a dangerous course for different reasons of expediency without considering the effect.

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  3. Right wingers love Bush’s tough talk but Bush’s actions aren’t consistent with someone who knows what he’s doing. His delusional dreams are becoming this nation’s nightmare.

    TomDispatch has an excellent article on Bush’s failing foreign policy. Although Englehardt says a few things I disagree with, he nails much of what’s happening. I agree with him totally on the spat that involved Condi Rice and the Russians last week.

    I did a survey today of different news outlets and blogs and there are a number of people, on both the right and left, coming to pretty much the same conclusion about Bush’s foreign policy, such as it is.

    If the Democrats can gain a house this fall, we might be able to force Bush to make some changes, but if Republicans retain control, we’re in for some more serious drift. Bush could roll the dice and go to war in Iran thinking it will somehow recover his reputation.

    One quick thought on conservatives. I’m a liberal Democrat but I grew up in conservative Orange County (Goldwater country). There are real differences among conservatives.

    Bush and his crowd are far to the right of the conservatives that dominated Washington during the 1980s; in my mind, I suspect a significant percentage of Republicans consider themselves more aligned with the conservatives of that era than with Bush. Also, if it weren’t for rational conservatives like Scott Ritter, Larry Wilkerson and a host of others, there’s a great deal about the Bush Administration we would never have learned.

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  5. The bushies have a plan.It is just not one they can share with us.If they told the truth about their plan they would never be able to carry it out. Imagine if bush had told us”Ok we have this plan to make all of us neocon elites even richer… we are going to use the American peoples funds and their sons and daughters to steal as much of the worlds resources as we can.”

    The true bush plan wouldn’t even fly with his own base, thus the lies of the past 6 years….”we the people” will never be part of the plan…we are nothing more then enablers.The best way for bush to reach his goals? Get people to think he is too stupid to have a plan.No one ever suspects an idiot of evil.

  6. the ship of state sails on, every other, other year, sometimes a new captain, this one that steers to the right, that one who steers to the left, same thing each time, at least we progressed, we moved forward

    only now, we have a fetal-alcohol-syndrome coked-up brain-dead sales-monkey of a captain laughing and crying as he hits every iceberg in the way, on the way to the waterfall everyone sees coming up, but his other execs, bridge officer commander and the security chief, who have taken over the actual running of the ship, keep propping him up, cheering him on, and denoucing as wacked out old sailors, anyone who points out the obvious

    the crew needs to be brought up on charges and the ship brought into dry-dock for a major fucking overhaul, for the chief engineer may go down on the captain, the captain will not be going down with the ship, only the rest of u.s., especially those locked in the lower decks will

  7. The plan is simple… let the next guy worry about it. Back in my management days, that’s the way we got a bonus and promotions. W always follows that rule. Perfect. All the rewards and none of the pain.

  8. I disagree that conservatives are necessarily incompetent. Just imagine how bad things would be if Henry Kissinger or James Baker were in charge. They’d be COMPETENT shredders of the Constitution and destroyers of the American way of life.

    If we don’t fight them with full knowledge and understanding of who and what they really are, without indulging in wishful thinking, we’ll continue to lose to them.

    Carolyn Kay

  9. I disagree that conservatives are necessarily incompetent.

    I didn’t say they were. The point is not that righties are incompetent in general. In fact, they are brilliantly and ruthlessly competent in many areas. The point is that they can’t govern. Rightie ideology wins elections but doesn’t provide a foundation for good public management. Shredding the Constitution does not make the trains run on time.

  10. I believe the POTUS thinks God is driving the bus, thus no plan is needed.Just kick off the big rocks as you tumble down stream, and pray your ass off….
    As for comment #8, kindly refer to “Armed Madhouse” re: James Baker and Henry Kissinger.
    Maha nails it with comment 9.

  11. conservatism in its present form is an effort to use the government to make a small number of people rich at the expense of the many. This is accomplished in part by reducing taxes on the rich, partly by eliminating controls on corporate corruption and pollution, partly by giving tax money/government assets to corporations/individuals, and partly by suppression of the labor force.

    Since the scheme benefits only a small number, it is crucial that “conservatives” execute brilliant political strategies to hold power. Some of these include exploitation of nationalism, religion, racial bias, ignorance, jealousy, intimidation, control of the flow of information, kickback schemes, and manipulation of political races and voting.

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