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Republicans for Humility
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“Country before Party”

"....It really depends upon how our nation conducts itself in foreign policy. If we're an arrogant nation, they'll resent us.....but if we're a humble nation they'll respect us."
 
- George W. Bush, October 11, 2000















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Is Bush a Conservative?


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The Federalist Papers

Washington's Farewell Address

John Quincy Adams  "Monsters to Destoy "  Address - July 4, 1821>

Eisenhower's Farewell Address














"I think the president ought to meet with this mother." 

Sen. George Allen (R-Va)




"I think the wise course of action, the compassionate course of action, the better course of action would have been to immediately invite her in to the ranch. It should have been done when this whole thing started. Listen to her."

Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-Neb)







"If Tyranny and Oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy. "

James Madison






"For here we are not afraid to follow truth wherever it may lead."

Thomas Jefferson





Is George W. Bush a Conservative?



George W. Bush Claims to be a “Conservative.”  What Does His Record Show?

by  William Frey, M. D.

For Republicans and conservatives who voted for, and remain truly committed to, the values expressed by George W. Bush in the 2000 campaign debates, the Bush presidency has betrayed those values.

It is difficult to contemplate that this is the same George W. Bush who, as a candidate repeatedly promised not to engage in the "nation building" misadventures of Bill Clinton, and to never commit troops without a well defined "exit strategy". Candidate Bush promised a "humble" foreign policy in which he would correct what he described as an America "over-extended", "over-committed", "over-deployed" in "too many places around the world". Telling Al Gore, "…it changed into a nation-building mission, and that's where the mission went wrong. The mission was changed. And as a result, our nation paid a price. And so I don't think our troops ought to be used for what's called nation-building," he spoke the rhetoric of a limited-government conservative, who would reduce not only overall federal spending but military spending as well. And he was promoted as a leader who would unite Americans across partisan divides.

In contrast, as president, George W. Bush has consistently advanced policies contradictory to his professed values. He has appointed non-veteran foreign policy advisers who have the grandiose and arrogant goal of using preemptive military force to achieve regime change throughout the Middle East, even while damaging our alliances and inflaming our enemies. He has ignored inconvenient facts and advice from experienced military leaders and intelligence professionals. He has micro-mismanaged the war itself, ordering, directly from the White House, both the ill-fated assault and retreat at Fallujah, each time against the advice of his generals on the ground, with disastrous results.

President Bush has turned large budget surpluses into record deficits in record time, in part due to the highest rate of increase in discretionary domestic spending in 40 years. He has worsened the impending crisis in Social Security and Medicare with the largest expansion of entitlements since LBJ, the flawed Medicare prescription drug plan, unkind to taxpayers but a windfall to pharmaceutical lobbyists. While claiming to be a "strict constructionist", he has consorted with lawyers (and potential judicial nominees) who have given on-demand opinions that he may conveniently ignore treaty obligations such as the "quaint" Geneva conventions, and that as commander-in-chief he has the "inherent power" to "set aside" laws at his discretion.

Americans are now more divided than ever, not just among ourselves, but from our allies and from many former admiring nations which previously regarded us as a beacon of liberty. Within 3 years of 9/11, when we had widespread sympathy and support across the world, we have squandered and reversed that goodwill.

Such policies are not the policies of true conservatism. The Bush presidency has misused the rhetoric of traditional conservatism to advance an agenda that is neither conservative nor consistent with traditional American values.


     A true conservative does not falsely profess a "humble" foreign policy, while pursuing a misguided and counterproductive agenda of unwanted occupation and domination (in contrast to the original noble goal of disarming a tyrant), alienating our allies, inflaming our enemies and increasing terrorist recruitment.

   A truly conservative president does not claim to be a "strict constructionist" and respect the constitution, while subverting the constitutionally designated role of Congress to declare war and authorize force with the use of cherry-picked, flawed "intelligence".

    A genuinely conservative president does not claim that he qualifies as a believer in limited government, even though he dramatically increases the power, scope and cost of government, just because he refuses to pay for it, leaving that for future generations.

   A true conservative doesn’t boast that he will cut spending and then promise so may programs that even his supporters at the Wall Street Journal complain that his agenda reads “like a litany of tiny, poll-tested programs of the kind that Dick Morris used to gin up for Bill Clinton."

    A true conservative doesn’t rely on a political consultant such as Karl Rove as a key  domestic and foreign policy adviser, and have him sit in on meetings of the cabinet and National Security Council.

   A true conservative doesn’t attempt to portray his opponents as big-spending liberals who will wreck the budget, when he himself has increase discretionary domestic spending at the highest rate of growth in 40 years, creating record deficits from a surplus he inherited from Democrats.  

   A true conservative doesn’t portray himself as a champion of free enterprise while handing out billions in contracts to cronies who are campaign contributors and letting corporate criminals name their own regulators. To the contrary, a true conservative recognizes that an impartial government free of corrupting influence, and the absence of corporate welfare, is essential to the proper functioning, fairness, and survival of the free enterprise capitalistic system in which we believe.

    A true conservative does not think he’s shrunk the size of the federal bureaucracy just because he’s put it on your children’s credit card.

    A true conservative does not simply claim to be for “family values”, carefully selecting issues for maximum symbolic impact, then do little to advance those causes, even opposing loyal Republican social conservative candidates (e.g. Pat Toomey) when it is politically expedient.

    A true conservative does not become the first president in history to ask lawyers to find ways to get around the Geneva conventions prohibiting torture.

    A true conservative does not have hand picked lawyers give him a legal opinions that as commander in chief he has the prerogative to “set aside” laws at his personal discretion, and then claim he’s spreading democracy.

    A true conservative doesn’t claim to have “no ambitions of empire”, and then fill his administration with professed empire-builders.

   A true conservative doesn’t campaign on promises of a “humble” relationship with other nations and then, as Treasury Secretary and National Security Council member Paul O’Neill reports, start secretly planning how he can justify a war at his first cabinet meeting within 10 days of inauguration.

    A true conservative does not ignore 228 years of American foreign policy to adopt a National Security Strategy of “preventive war”, and then use cherry-picked and flawed intelligence to mislead Congress about the real motive for the war.

    A true conservative does not brag that he rarely reads newspapers and prefers to get his news filtered by his staff.

    Nor does a truly conservative president repeatedly ignore inconvenient facts and the advice of experienced military leaders and intelligence professionals when they conflict with his misinformed vision of reality, launch a misguided war while ignoring the warnings of experienced generals, commanders of CENTCOM and the Joint Chiefs of Staff, micro-mismanage the war against the advice of his generals on the ground, enact policies that massively increase terrorist recruitment and inflame terrorist passions, isolate America from our allies and inflame our enemies, and then claim that he’s made us safer.


True conservatives and Republicans recognize these claims as less than truthful.

George W. Bush claims to be a "conservative", and to represent American values. His actions show otherwise. And while his resolute determination is admirable, he refuses to recognize unpleasant realities or to correct deeply flawed policies and incompetent administration.

We now face the reality that the best hope for our nation, and for the rebirth of the Republican Party that we love, is in the defeat of this President. 

For Republican conservatives, no Democrat is a first choice.  But we have survived Democrats in the White House before.  Moreover, as William Niskanen of the Cato Institute has shown, a divided government, especially the combination of a Democratic president and a Congress in which at least one house is controlled by Republicans, has consistently governed in a more frugal and conservative fashion than has been the case when Republicans controlled both Congress and the presidency.  As for judicial appointments, how much faith can one have in a president who, although professing a belief in “strict construction” holds in high esteem lawyers (and potential judicial appointees) who will give on-demand opinions that the president may, as commander-in-chief, “set aside” laws at his personal discretion, or ignore the Geneva conventions as time has rendered them “quaint”?  (This may, of course, qualify as “strict construction” in the mind of a president who believes that persuading a reluctant Congress to pass a Resolution to Authorize Force by means of cherry-picked, flawed “intelligence” does not subvert the constistutionally designated authority of the Congress to declare war.)

John Kerry is a thoughtful, patriotic, and accomplished American. The challenge facing us are difficult and will continue to tax all of our nation's resouces and talents. In a Kerry administration, ending the Bush tradition of ignoring the advice and warnings of experienced military leaders, commanders of CENTCOM and the Joint Chiefs of Staff will be a welcome change. Diplomatic realists will replace neo-conservative, empire-seeking, unrepentant, non-veteran ideologues who seek to expand the war to Syria and Iran.  Under a Kerry administration, a Republican controlled Congress may once again act as an instrument of fiscal and government restraint, rather than continuing their current binge of unrestrained and ill-conceived pork barrel and politically motivated spending. Those traditional Republican conservatives who value individual freedom, who remain leery of the encroachment of the state on civil liberties, will no longer be marginalized by those Republicans falsely claiming to be “conservative”, but who dismiss the dangers of the unrestrained growth of state powers in the name of security, and appear to naively believe that “conservatives” like themselves will always be the ones wielding this power. First and foremost, a Kerry administration, by replacing those who have hijacked the Republican Party, will allow an opportunity for a true conservatism, a conservatism consistent with our most cherished principles, to experience a rebirth within the Republican Party.

The alternative is to allow the further consolidation of power by incompetent and intolerant ideologues, who, blinded by their grandiose vision, and lacking a commitment to our historic values, will continue to inflict grave damage on our safety, our liberties, and our system of government.



October 6, 2004  






"The New American Militarism"
How Americans Are Seduced by War

by  Andrew Bacevich,

Prof. of International Relations, Boston University
Graduate of the United States Military Academy
Retired Colonel, U. S. Army







"Why This Soldier Can't Support This War"

Justin Gordon,
1999 Graduate of United States Military Academy,
Iraq Veteran





"The Logic of Suicide Terrorism"
in
"The American Conservative"
Robert Pape
University of Chicago,
former instructor in air power strategy at the USAF's School of Advanced Air Power Studies



"The central motive for anti-American terrorism, suicide terrorism, and catastrophic terrorism is response to foreign occupation, the presence of our troops. The longer our forces stay on the ground in the Arabian Peninsula, the greater the risk of the next 9/11, whether that is a suicide attack, a nuclear attack, or a biological attack."

Robert Pape,
"The Logic of Suicide Terrorism"





"America Alone: The Neo-Conservatives and the Global Order"
by
Stefan Halper,

Senior Fellow, Cambridge University's Center of International Studies; Served in Nixon, Ford, and Reagan administrations; Former U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State; National Policy Director of George H. W. Bush's 1980 presidential campaign; Director of Policy Coordination for Reagan-Bush 1980; Senior foreign policy advisor to Republican National Committee, author of
"What  Would Reagan Do?"






"But (America) goes not abroad, in search of monsters to destroy.

She is the well-wisher to the freedom and independence of all.

She is the champion and vindicator only of her own.

She will commend the general cause by the countenance of her voice, and the benignant sympathy of her example.

She well knows that by once enlisting under other banners than her own, were they even the banners of foreign independence, she would involve herself beyond the power of extrication, in all the wars of interest and intrigue, of individual avarice, envy, and ambition, which assume the colors and usurp the standard of freedom.

The fundamental maxims of her policy would insensibly change from liberty to force....

She might become the dictatress of the world. She would be no longer the ruler of her own spirit...."

John Quincy Adams

















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Rhetoric & Reality: The Bush Natl Security Strategy & the War in Iraq
Reconsidering Iraq: Conservative, Republican & Military Dissent
The Conservative Case Against George W. Bush
The Case for Divided Government
Military Leaders, Conservatives, Republicans Rejecting Bush/Cheney
Statement of Principles
Email a Friend Republicans for Humility -
Email Campaign for America
Contact Us





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Republicans for Humility

"Country Before Party"


George W. Bush"....It really depends upon how our nation conducts itself in foreign policy. If we're an arrogant nation, they'll resent us.....but if we're a humble nation they'll respect us."
George W. Bush, October 11, 2000


"Stand with anybody that stands right.  Stand with him while he is right, and part with him when he goes wrong."   
Abraham Lincoln, October 16, 1854






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