Hopping on the Bandwagon

The president has overreached.

Ever since he outlined his plans for reshaping the future of Social Security, he can’t buy good press. Every day at least a dozen articles hit the pages of newspapers across the country and on the internet, lambasting his misguided attempts to gut the most popular government program in the history of the country. Liberal pundits, op-ed columnists, reporters, commentators, even the publicly-expressed doubts of Republican senators and representatives, have all served to make this a difficult time for the Bush administration. Today, in fact, conservative legend Alan Greenspan cast doubt on the president’s Social Security plan in his regular testimony before the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee. Mr. Greenspan has a large amount of credibility in this country and abroad when it comes to money, and it is encouraging to see him, maybe, throw off the mantle of being a Bush yes-man and get back to the business of fiscal responsibility. But praising Alan Greenspan is not my reason for putting pen to paper today, as it were. Continue reading “Hopping on the Bandwagon”

The Invisible Enemy

The latest estimates from the pentagon place the number of insurgents in Iraq at around 15,000, a tenth of the 150,000 on the American side. Step back and think about that number for a second. If 15,000 is an accurate assessment of the amount of men our military is fighting, then I would not wish to contemplate what would happen were we facing an enemy equal in number to our own forces. Continue reading “The Invisible Enemy”

Election Day

In her book, The Guns of August, Barbara Tuchman begins chapter 17, “In 1915 a book about the invasion of his country was published in exile by Emile Verhaeren, Belgium’s leading living poet whose life before 1914 had been a flaming dedication to socialist and humanitarian ideals that were then believed to erase national lines. He prefaced his account with this dedication: ‘He who writes this book in which hate is not hidden was formerly a pacifist…For him no disillusionment was ever greater or more sudden. It struck him with such violence that he thought himself no longer the same man. And yet, as it seems to him that in this state of hatred his conscience becomes diminished, he dedicates these pages, with emotion, to the man he used to be.’ Continue reading “Election Day”

A Country That Has Lost Its Way

America has gazed at itself in the mirror, has taken stock of its wealth, power, influence, military might, and is in the process of deciding whether or not to throw it all away. Historians centuries from now will not refer to the United States as an empire in name, but it will be treated as such in fact. They will look back on the 20th century in awe, not just of humankind’s achievements, but for its seeming descent into insanity, for thrusting upon itself a pace of change that the world had never seen, and that has been proved it was not yet ready for. Out of all this, the United States was poised to stand tall for the foreseeable future. No one could seriously challenge the will of its people, or its money. Continue reading “A Country That Has Lost Its Way”

The Guns of August

Forget the news analysis and all the previews leading up to tonight’s third evening of the Republican National Convention. Common wisdom would tell you that the heavy hitters of any political convention traditionally come on Wednesday, with the nominee set to wrap things up on Thursday. But all a person would have to have done is watch the past two nights out of Madison Square Garden to realize that the most powerful presenters of the Republican platform weren’t named Bush and Cheney, but were named McCain, Giuliani, and Schwarzenegger. Continue reading “The Guns of August”