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Peggy Noonan: Since You Asked . . .
Opinion Journal ^ | 02/03/03 | Peggy Noonan

Posted on 02/02/2003 9:09:27 PM PST by Pokey78

Edited on 04/23/2004 12:05:11 AM PDT by Jim Robinson. [history]

Wasn't it surprising that at a time like this Mr. Bush didn't limit his State of the Union address to the two great issues, Iraq and the economy?

It surprised me when I learned of it, which was the morning of the speech. I was one of the columnists invited to meet with a high government official with intimate knowledge of the president's thinking, as they say, on background. We met in his office, which has no corners. He told us he would be presenting his domestic agenda, a blueprint for the coming year, in his speech.


(Excerpt) Read more at opinionjournal.com ...


TOPICS: Editorial; Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: peggynoonanlist
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1 posted on 02/02/2003 9:09:27 PM PST by Pokey78
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To: Howlin; Miss Marple; mombonn; Sabertooth; beckett; BlueAngel; JohnHuang2; *Peggy Noonan list; ...
Pinging Peggy's list.
2 posted on 02/02/2003 9:10:08 PM PST by Pokey78
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To: Pokey78
Peggy Ping...
3 posted on 02/02/2003 9:16:06 PM PST by Ronzo
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To: Pokey78
A very good Peggy piece -- but Peggy of all people should know better about joining that fainter-but-still-audible chorus which has it that The one time he didn't follow his gut--when he didn't return immediately to the White House after the attacks--he made a big mistake.

I was reporting the news live that day and I can remember the atmosphere vividly of those early hours. New York had been hit, the Pentagon was on fire and no one had any idea what was next. Mr. Bush returned to Washington at a prudent time; to have done so earlier, prior to at least a modicum of security being restored, would have been foolhardy. This is one of those brushes Mr. Bush is tarred with by people who have nothing else with which to smear him. I think better of Peggy. The President did the right thing, no matter what Peter Jennings may have snidely inferred that day.

4 posted on 02/02/2003 9:30:08 PM PST by JennysCool
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To: Pokey78
good one - thanks pokey.
5 posted on 02/02/2003 9:32:58 PM PST by ThePythonicCow (Mooo !!!!)
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To: Pokey78
Another Peggy perfecto.

So she was in the Oval Office with other columnists? I wonder who they were? Any ideas? Was this the ballyhooed meeting with Jennings/Steffie, Brokaw/Russert, etc? Was Dan there? Was Wolfie there? Tony and Brit? NYT? WP? Time?

How come we haven't heard more about this from others? Or did I miss it?
6 posted on 02/02/2003 9:34:20 PM PST by RandyRep
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To: Pokey78
This was a delight, thank you :)

Tammy
7 posted on 02/02/2003 9:34:44 PM PST by Tamzee
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To: Pokey78
He's a conservative who means it.

Oh, barf. A conservative believes in limited federal government. Bush is anything but. Spending under Bush is exploding, and he is proposing huge spending increases across the board. If there is a federal solution to a local problem, Bush is behind it. From education, to immigration, to farm spending, to health care, Bush is the anti-conservative.

Bush is a conservative like Saddam Hussein is a humanist.
8 posted on 02/02/2003 9:35:36 PM PST by Jesse
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To: Pokey78
AIDS is killing Africa, it is creating a continent of orphans, and this doesn't have to be. So much can be done. So give them help. Christian groups are deeply involved in the African effort.

This is a job for charities, not the U.S. government.

9 posted on 02/02/2003 9:42:45 PM PST by Mr. Mojo
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To: Jesse
Bush is the anti-conservative

I wouldn't go that far, but he certainly isn't a small government conservative.

10 posted on 02/02/2003 9:44:34 PM PST by Mr. Mojo
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To: JennysCool
joining that fainter-but-still-audible chorus which has it that The one time he didn't follow his gut--when he didn't return immediately to the White House after the attacks--he made a big mistake.


I kind of took that as GWB "revealing" that to her, not so much her personal opinion. Peggy's "in the know" so to speak, and for her to be in the office with no corners (I loved that!), and because of her closeness to Reagan's and Bush 1's administrations, I get the feeling she's a person our president just might reveal something like that to.
11 posted on 02/02/2003 9:50:25 PM PST by Dasaji (uhhhh....can I buy a vowel, Pat?)
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To: Pokey78
There's something I don't get though. President Bush the elder backed a lot of big government spending; he didn't make the government smaller; the deficit grew; he was open to adding on new spending. And by 1992 his Republican base turned on him, and he was finished. Now Bush the younger comes along and promises more government spending, a government getting bigger, the return of deficits. And yet after the speech Tuesday his base is more rock solid than ever. How come?

IMO, he has increased spending, but strategically - in areas that are key to pleasing the overall electorate, and in areas that are 'stealing' issues away from his opponents. Bush, the elder, simply went weak against the Democrats and let their agenda slide through Congress. Bush is controlling the situation.

I think most conservatives continue to back him because he is also enacting of a positive Republican agenda in regards to tax cuts, military build-up, forein policy decisions, etc that most Republicans continue to support him and his leadership.

12 posted on 02/02/2003 9:58:48 PM PST by ilgipper
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To: Pokey78; Victoria Delsoul; Marine Inspector; FITZ; Ajnin; Pelham; Travis McGee; sarcasm; ...
...conservatives know something about President Bush that they didn't know about his father: He's a conservative who means it. So they trust him.

...Mr. Bush didn't promise new spending in the liberal mode; he didn't ask for spending on liberal targets and programs guided by liberal assumptions.

I generally enjoy Peggy very much, but this, unfortunately, is probably the worst column of hers that I've ever seen.

The hydrogen car, $400 billion more for Medicare, AIDS programs in Africa, and prescription drug benefits are all big goverrnment programs in matters in which the government has no business.

Big government = liberal. To say otherwise is Carvillian spin.

what seemed to me to tie his domestic agenda to his international agenda was protectiveness.

Hence: the President's bold initiatives to protect our borders from terrorists and Illegals?

The President has given every indication that he wants Illegals in this country, unless it too obviously inconveniences the War on Terror. His deportation record on Illegals is every bit as lackluster as President Clinton's.

Bush's coddling of Illegals can't be excused as something for which he hasn't found the time, though. As Peggy herself, said:

He told us he would be presenting his domestic agenda, a blueprint for the coming year, in his speech.

This struck me as counterintuitive, and odd. I asked how this decision had come about. He said he had made it early on in the preparation of the speech. He said he thinks a great nation can do many things at once, and that his domestic agenda is important.

< -snip- >

Then I thought, if the domestic program he unveils tonight seems connected to Iraq, and can be understood as an expression of the thinking that guides his decisions on Iraq--well, that would be big, and helpful.

If President Bush had the security of our borders in mind as a priority, one could certainly see how that would connect back to Iraq and the War on Terror.

Heck, most Americans see that already. Most politicians, the President included, are willfully blind to the connection.

It's great that the President correctly identifies the enemy in the international theater. The domestic phase of his State of the Union address was quite disappointing.

Even a writer as talented as Peggy Noonan can't put a bow on that and make it pretty.





13 posted on 02/02/2003 9:58:57 PM PST by Sabertooth
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To: JennysCool
I agree. Jennings' comments showed more about Jennings and his lack of concern for the safety of the President when we are under attack than about Bush.

To return directly to the White House would have put the president in the line of fire. Only by providing an unknown destination or whereabouts could safety of our President have been assured. The secret service grabbed Cheney and physically carried him to a safe spot - would they not do the same for the leader of this country? If not, what is the purpose of the secret service?

Just how ignorant does Jennings think we are?
14 posted on 02/02/2003 10:31:04 PM PST by ClancyJ
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To: ClancyJ
Just how ignorant does Jennings think we are?

It'd take all night to deal with that one, wouldn't it?

15 posted on 02/02/2003 10:48:16 PM PST by JennysCool
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To: Pokey78
Generally Noonan is right on about conservatism. This article is more fit for propaganda releases. The deficit is soaring, GW has proposed more govt spending than the man he replaced. GW is no conservative, he learned that the way to keep enough Republicans happy, was to cut taxes, while giving more money away(borrowed money by the way).
16 posted on 02/02/2003 10:52:57 PM PST by jeremiah (Sunshine scares all of them, for they all are cockaroaches)
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To: jeremiah
Funny, it seems to me certain elements of the right were making almost exactly this criticism of Reagan, after his first two years in office.
17 posted on 02/02/2003 11:23:02 PM PST by TheConservator (Homines libenter quod volunt credunt.)
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To: TheConservator
As I see it we don't live in a perfect world. Conservatives have learned to bend to the reality that Americans combine rhetorical conservatism with minimal operational liberalism in public policy. In other words, the public wants to have its cake and it eat it too. Make a bow to the base and promise the masses bread and circuses. Its strategery as old as Augustus Caesar and President Bush is a master at trying to holding the bureaucratic leviathian in check while at the same time assuring the sheeple they'll still get their government benefits.
18 posted on 02/02/2003 11:37:28 PM PST by goldstategop
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To: goldstategop
I think you hit the nail on the head.

As he made concessions in order to win over the Senate and provide the GOP with the House, Senate and Presidency, so he will now juggle as needed to win in '04 and get the four more years.

After he wins in '04 - look for the more controversial conservative initiatives to be put in place to be built on by the following GOP president. Bush is playing the chess game, he is bringing about needed changes for the nation and building for the next president to take more steps forward.
19 posted on 02/03/2003 12:01:07 AM PST by ClancyJ
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To: Sabertooth
It is never good to spend the treasury away. You are right and I thank your for your thoughts on that article.
20 posted on 02/03/2003 12:43:32 AM PST by A CA Guy (God Bless America, God bless and keep safe our fighting men and women.)
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To: Mr. Mojo
NO, aiding with the AIDS problem is our problem. God did not give us all that we have so as not to help out our neighbor. It is our obligation to help out and I am glad the president has committed us.
21 posted on 02/03/2003 3:21:17 AM PST by olliemb
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To: Mr. Mojo
I wouldn't go that far, but he certainly isn't a small government conservative.

I think it's pretty safe to say that after 9/11, the very idea of limited government is over. The era's been over for a long, long time.

22 posted on 02/03/2003 3:50:09 AM PST by Publius Maximus
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To: Sabertooth
Liberals are not the only ones that "spin". To call Bush a conservative is laughable. Rove's invitation to conservatives to leave the "big tent" if they don't like it may haunt the party in 2004. It certainly was a splash of cold water on my plans to ever vote for the show pony they put forward as presidential material. I'll write in whom ever displays integrity to the Constitution and our sovereignty.
23 posted on 02/03/2003 4:25:25 AM PST by MissAmericanPie
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To: RandyRep
So she was in the Oval Office with other columnists? I wonder who they were? Any ideas? Was this the ballyhooed meeting with Jennings/Steffie, Brokaw/Russert, etc? Was Dan there? Was Wolfie there? Tony and Brit? NYT? WP? Time

Robert Novak mentioned the fact that he was at this meeting, during his debate with Sam Donaldson at CPAC this past Saturday.

24 posted on 02/03/2003 4:31:29 AM PST by xsmommy
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To: olliemb
It is our obligation to help out

No, it is not.

25 posted on 02/03/2003 5:25:24 AM PST by RJCogburn (Yes, it is pretty bold talk......)
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To: RJCogburn
Moral obligation, yes. Read your bible.
26 posted on 02/03/2003 6:08:10 AM PST by olliemb
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To: Sabertooth
Mr Bush refuses to bring up the Borders even thouhg they are a source of real danger to our country because they are afraid they will lose the Hispanic vote.
They believe the border issue to be the third rail of Politics!
27 posted on 02/03/2003 7:27:03 AM PST by chatham
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To: olliemb
It is not the government's job to take my money and give it to those that are in the current spotlight to satisfy "my moral obligation." If I want to give it, I'll do it myself... and far more efficiently, directly, and effectively where most charities and churches are involved.

Also, the Bible is not a binding document on the government of the United States. If you want to back up the "obligation" idea, you'll need to cite the Constitution.

28 posted on 02/03/2003 7:47:50 AM PST by Teacher317
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To: TheConservator
It seems to me, certain elements of the right, were making this same criticism of Reagan, after his first two years in office.

I'm sure that is true, and still making that same point. Reagan presided over record deficits, his legacy of national debt may never be topped. RR was many things, and is remembered fondly by the vast majority of peoples, but figure out how much you owe to the service of debt, just from his 8 years in office.

Just because it is constantly repeated that someone is a conservative, does not make it true. Conservatism has as its main plank, the importance of de-centralized govt, a strict interpretation of the constitution, and a balanced budget. Under RR, Bush, and now GW, the govt is more centralized, the constitution is more broadly interpreted, and of course the budget is further out of balance, than under a Clinton administration. Those are facts, although I don't cite sources as proof, I am sure they will stand up to scrutiny. I know that Al Gore would be different, and may not be what this country needed in '02, but never again will I believe that the Republicans are the party of smaller govt etc.....That lie has been outed consistently.

29 posted on 02/03/2003 8:12:34 AM PST by jeremiah (Sunshine scares all of them, for they all are cockaroaches)
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To: ClancyJ
The only thing wrong with your opinion of positioning the party and himself, for bigger changes after '04, is that his political capital will never be higher than it is right now. He could make drastic cuts to federal spending, slash govt programs, and blame it all on the need to fight terrorism. He could propose elimination of entire programs and agencies, challenge the Republican controlled Senate, to live up the mantle of greatness, and streamline the workings of govt. Eliminate corporate welfare, dept of education, or many other unconstitutional workings. Of course, that would go against his personal beliefs. He believes in the power of a centralized govt, he worries not one whit about the constitutional restrictions placed upon it. I base my statement on his actions, not some made for the public press release, or campaign promise. Now is the time to strike a blow for conservatism. We don't need to spend $2.4 Trillion dollars of the publics money. I know this has been said before, and the nation is still here, but nearly a Trillion dollars, before any money is spent on the Social programs that are still growing and feeding? No nation can long support that kind of spending, and a Pollyanna attitude of "its morning in America" will not save the peoples bankbook from this fiscal irresponsibility.
30 posted on 02/03/2003 8:28:31 AM PST by jeremiah (Sunshine scares all of them, for they all are cockaroaches)
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To: Teacher317
I am not talking about the "binding law" of man. I am talking about a human beings obligation to help out another human being. I am talking about God's law. The AIDS epidemic is not only for charities to tend to b/c it is so monumental in its scope. Millions of people are dying b/c of this. Why would you not feel compassion for these people? The monies that you or I individually or collectively could donate to charities for this problem won't even put a dent in solving this problem. Humanity has an obligation to take care of humanity.
31 posted on 02/03/2003 8:34:55 AM PST by olliemb
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To: olliemb
I am not talking about the "binding law" of man. I am talking about a human beings obligation to help out another human being. I am talking about God's law.

Yet you cite it as an excuse for further government interference. Care to cite the chapter and verse where the Bible directs us to have our government do our charitable works for us? I thought the whole point was for each individual to do good works, not to subordinate the responsibilities to other agents to do it for us.

The monies that you or I individually or collectively could donate to charities for this problem won't even put a dent in solving this problem.

Where do you think the government collects those revenues from? Government doesn't have a dime that it does not take from you and I.

Why would you not feel compassion for these people?

Why do you assume that I don't? Once again, private individuals and charities do the same work FAR more efficiently, with less waste, with less "accounting losses", and with greater effect (since the majority of the large-scale government gifts are hoarded by the receiving governments, and not used as intended). My way, there are FAR greater benefits to the suffering for the same amount of money. With this in mind, should we ask why YOU don't feel compassion for these people?

The AIDS epidemic is not only for charities to tend to b/c it is so monumental in its scope. Millions of people are dying b/c of this.

While monumental in scope, it is also 100% preventable, most especially by following those same Biblical admonitions and suggestions. Why must I feel obligated to help out someone who has intentionally ignores wisdom, engages in a dangerous activity, and sees consequences for it? Should we feel similar obligations towards those who walk into a polar bear's cage? Finally, since Americans can't cure every ill on the planet (although we're doing a rather good job of it anyway), why is it such a bad idea to allow me to decide which causes to support, rather than taking my money and making the decision for me?

32 posted on 02/03/2003 8:51:51 AM PST by Teacher317
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To: olliemb
NO, aiding with the AIDS problem is our problem. God did not give us all that we have so as not to help out our neighbor.

You didn't read my post too carefully, did you? I never said that AIDS "wasn't our problem," nor did I say that humans shouldn't help their neighbor(s). I merely said that these types of problems are more appropriately left to private charities, not government. Capiche?

33 posted on 02/03/2003 9:12:07 AM PST by Mr. Mojo
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To: olliemb
Why would you not feel compassion for these people?

You have a nasty habit of putting words in peoples' mouths. Who on this thread has said that they don't feel compassion for African AIDS victims?

34 posted on 02/03/2003 9:15:29 AM PST by Mr. Mojo
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To: Teacher317
Well argued.
35 posted on 02/03/2003 9:18:04 AM PST by Mr. Mojo
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To: chatham
Isn't it true that in 1986 President Reagan signed a bill giving amnesty to 3 million illegal immigrants?
36 posted on 02/03/2003 9:20:51 AM PST by Wait4Truth (I HATE THE MEDIA!!!)
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To: olliemb
Moral obligation, yes. Read your bible.

No, you may decide that it is your obligation, and that is fine.

You said our obligation....

I am may choose to wish to assist, but I do not need to be told what others decide my obligation is.

37 posted on 02/03/2003 9:23:12 AM PST by RJCogburn (Yes, it is pretty bold talk......)
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To: Sabertooth
The President has given every indication that he wants Illegals in this country, unless it too obviously inconveniences the War on Terror.

He has made it painfully clear that pandering for votes and supplying cheap labor to corporations (probably as a payback for campaign funds) is significantly more important than seeing to our national defense, and it's fairly obvious by now that only a nuked American city or two will change his position. God bless the few American citizens who have the guts to take up the fight at our southern border that our government should be responsible for waging.

38 posted on 02/03/2003 9:34:12 AM PST by Mr. Mojo
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To: Jesse
Oh, barf. A conservative believes in limited federal government. Bush is anything but. Spending under Bush is exploding, and he is proposing huge spending increases across the board.

I am also somewhat distressed to see that economic conservatism has died unmourned. Yet folks should have known what was coming. Bush ran for President as anything but an economic conservative. He spent huge amounts of money in Texas, and now the current Governor must deal with a huge budget shortfall directly related to it.

Having said that, the SOTU bits on Iraq were superb, and Bush will fight the coming war with a great deal of domestic support.

39 posted on 02/03/2003 9:37:54 AM PST by Zack Nguyen
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To: Wait4Truth
Isn't it true that in 1986 President Reagan signed a bill giving amnesty to 3 million illegal immigrants?

He did indeed. Reagan made some huge mistakes, and that was one of them.

40 posted on 02/03/2003 9:37:56 AM PST by Mr. Mojo
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To: Mr. Mojo
Thank you. I just wanted verification...not a fight. I appreciate you not attacking me for even bringing it up.
41 posted on 02/03/2003 9:39:56 AM PST by Wait4Truth (I HATE THE MEDIA!!!)
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To: ClancyJ
After he wins in '04 - look for the more controversial conservative initiatives to be put in place to be built on by the following GOP president.

I seriously doubt this will be the case. For one thing, Presidents in their second term have much less political capitol. The last couple of years are usually spent on foreign policy achievements because they can no longer effect the domestic agenda.

Second, nothing extremely controversial or conservative will be suggested because Bush doesn't want anything controversial. It is not his style. He does not see the need for a drastic reformation of the relationship between government and America. That is just the way it is. Only occasionally do Americans elect someone who completely upends the existing political dynamic. Roosevelt, Reagan, Jackson, and possibly L. Johnson come to mind.

Bush's main legacy will be the crippling of worldwide terrorism, and that is nothing to shake a stick at. There will be proud moments.

42 posted on 02/03/2003 9:45:38 AM PST by Zack Nguyen
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To: olliemb
Moral obligation, yes. Read your bible.

Most certainly we have an obligation Biblically. But is it government's job? After all, with government it is not charity, it is force. Bush is committing us to "charity" whether we like it or not. And that is not charity, and I have grave doubts whether it is government's job.

43 posted on 02/03/2003 9:47:11 AM PST by Zack Nguyen
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To: Wait4Truth
Why would I attack you for bringing up the truth? I love The Gipper, but I admit he was far from a perfect President. His worst mistake was not annihilating both Hizbollah and the nations that sponsor them when they killed hundreds of U.S. Marines in Lebanon in 1983. Weinberger strongly argued that such a retaliation would greatly upset our Saudi "friends," and unfortunately Reagan agreed. In hindsight, this non-action sent a clear message throughout the Islamic world that we can be messed with without consequence.
44 posted on 02/03/2003 9:49:21 AM PST by Mr. Mojo
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To: Jesse
I agree.

I challenge the Bushbots to think of one serious aspect of the FedGov that Bush has cut? I do concede that he has cut some small programs (like foreign abortion funding). But when it is coupled by massive new spending and copouts like that farm bill, it makes me want to vote Libertarian.
45 posted on 02/03/2003 9:52:12 AM PST by jjm2111
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To: jjm2111
it makes me want to vote Libertarian.

If it weren't for the fact that most Libertarians wouldn't condone fighting a pre-emptive war unless our enemy was "huddled on our own borders ready to attack," I'd vote for them as well. But alas, Libertarians seem completely unable to grasp the concept that ICBMs and WMD have rendered their 18th century military defense model obsolete.

46 posted on 02/03/2003 10:10:24 AM PST by Mr. Mojo
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To: Jesse
"Second, conservatives know something about President Bush that they didn't know about his father: He's a conservative who means it. So they trust him."

I think what this shows is how effective Bush has been at personally connecting with and distorting the views of conservative leaders by meeting with the "on background." He did it with Rush, before the 2000 primary, and Rush has been smitten blind by W ever since. I read early on that after the 1992 election Bush Sr. (Poppy) came to believe that he hadn't paid enough inter-personal attention to his conservative base, and so W. began -- and has very successfully -- preempted legitimate conservative criticism by having secret feel-good sessions with our leaders.

47 posted on 02/03/2003 10:12:55 AM PST by Goodman26
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To: Pokey78
She is such a paragon of decency and common sense. I enjoy her viewpoints so much.
48 posted on 02/03/2003 10:26:56 AM PST by Marysecretary
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To: Zack Nguyen
God gave the Great Commission to the churches, not the government. As a Christian I have an obligation to feed the hungry, help the poor and the widows and orphans but I wouldn't want to give that job to any governmental agency or the UN. I would support individual Christian missionaries and organizations in those countries.

If Ghana can cut the AIDS plague in their country, so can other countries. M
49 posted on 02/03/2003 11:15:13 AM PST by Marysecretary
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To: Mr. Mojo
If it weren't for the fact that most Libertarians wouldn't condone fighting a pre-emptive war unless our enemy was "huddled on our own borders ready to attack," I'd vote for them as well. But alas, Libertarians seem completely unable to grasp the concept that ICBMs and WMD have rendered their 18th century military defense model obsolete.

Somehow "Letters of Marque" don't seem so appropriate in this day and age.

50 posted on 02/03/2003 11:16:55 AM PST by jjm2111
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