Tuesday, May 09, 2006

George Bush: Christian Socialist

The other morning I was listening to the Cato Institute's book forum "Imposter: How George W. Bush Bankrupted America and Betrayed the Reagan Legacy". (Event information and download). This is a new book by Bruce Bartlett criticizing Bush's domestic policies for greatly expanding the federal government in size and power (even more than FDR!). He was joined by noted author and commentatory Andrew Sullivan. Cato asked the Bush Administration to send someone to counter--but the administration declined. It was a very interesting and educational forum. I am not sure I regret voting for Bush in the last election (given the options) but I wouldn't be able to vote for him again (if that were even an option).

Anyway, Sullivan had a great comment characterizing Bush as a Christian Socialist. This seems incredibly apt. By this, Sullivan meant that Bush has used the power of government to enact (or try to enact) his Christian cultural and social vision. Another important point made in the forum discussion is that this also explains the (welfare/egalitarian) liberal hatred of Bush even though he's enacted or adopted most of their domestic program and got more it done than Clinton. The hatred of Bush is not over what he is doing -- it is over the why.

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