Quite a few people joined in the Nitpicker's First Ever "Win a Partisan Fruitcake Competition," but, suprisingly no one got all the answers right. In fact, there was one trick quote which I would have let slide, but no one even came close.
To recap, I asked people to see if they could name the Bush/Republican Congress critics, who, by the very fact they had questioned the President and his buddies, had proven that they were evil partisan liberals. It was all bullshit. Here are the answers:
- Right now the deficit is 4.2 percent of GDP that they're projecting for this year; that's about normal when you are running a recession. Then it's supposed to come down according to projections to about 1.8 percent of GDP, which would be great. My question is will it really? One of the things we've learned is that Democrats are better at controlling spending than Republicans. Bill Clinton's growth domestic spending was a lot lower than George W. Bush's or George H. W. Bush's were. And so I have a feeling the Republicans are going to spend. - David Brooks, Editor, Weekly Standard
- Thus, in (the Congressional Republicans’) view, once someone is elected president, he or she faces no legal or political constraint. The president doesn't need congressional authority; Washington doesn't need UN authority. Allied support is irrelevant. The president needn't offer the public a justification for going to war that holds up after the conflict ends. The president may not even be questioned about the legitimacy of his professed justification. Accept his word and let him do whatever he wants, irrespective of circumstances.
This is not the government created by the Founders. This is not the government that any believer in liberty should favor. - Doug Bandow, Senior Fellow at the Cato Institute and former special assistant to Ronald Reagan
- Federal spending is soaring at every level. The first three years of the Bush administration have given us three of the five biggest increases in government spending in US history; the other two were during World War II… And the United States is on the road to France in terms of how big our government is, and President Bush has done nothing to get us off that road. - Kevin Hasset, American Enterprise Institute Scholar
- We have a department now, a national focus on homeland security. We've got some more money coming out.
But the depressing reality is that, when you look at the range of threats that we have out there, many of them from terrorist attacks -- others as well, just because of the nature of the modern world like SARS and monkeypox that can spread like crazy just around the world -- that we just do not have the resources ready or a plan in place or communications available to deal with them.
We're far away from it and we've been inching towards a goal to which we should have been sprinting…
We need a number of things. We need to put a plan in place. It's inertia in the process as much as anything. We need to have standards set nationally that we can apply to the local level.
Congress has moved very, very slowly to create its own integrated process here. We have a department -- excuse me, a committee on homeland security that's only a select committee in the House. Nothing that's been done in the Senate so we can provide overall oversight.
And frankly the administration, while it has inched towards this goal, really hasn't given the kind of drive to homeland security that they've given to dealing with these threats abroad. - Norman Ornstein, American Enterprise Institute
- Our government has kept us in a perpetual state of fear - kept us in a continuous stampede of patriotic fervour - with the cry of grave national emergency. Always, there has been some terrible evil at home, or some monstrous foreign power that was going to gobble us up if we did not blindly rally behind it. - Gen. Douglas MacArthur, 1957
- Mr Bush could have asked Congress to pass new anti-terrorism laws. Instead, he is setting up a shadow court system outside the reach of either Congress or America's judiciary, and answerable only to himself. Such a system is the antithesis of the rule of law which the United States was founded to uphold. In a speech on July 4th, Mr Bush rightly noted that American ideals have been a beacon of hope to others around the world. In compromising those ideals in this matter, Mr Bush is not only dismaying America's friends but also blunting one of America's most powerful weapons against terrorism. - Editorial in The Economist
- We have interrogated a lot of people and we haven't found a single person who said he participated in disposing, destroying the stock of weapons of mass destruction. Or in hiding them… But it is fair to say that if we don't find serious weapons of mass destruction capabilities, the case for urgency, which Bush and Blair certainly articulated, is going to be undercut to some degree. - William Kristol, editor of Weekly Standard, on Fox News Sunday, June 8, 2003
- There's a cloud hanging over this administration… We had the vice president and his office involved -- Rumsfeld, Condi Rice, Powell's people. This wasn't just a one-man show. And this is too serious here for this country to not know what happened. - Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-NE), also here
- We should not march into Baghdad. To occupy Iraq would instantly shatter our coalition, turning the whole Arab world against us and make a broken tyrant into a latter-day Arab hero. Assigning young soldiers to a fruitless hunt for a securely entrenched dictator and condemning them to fight in what would be an unwinnable urban guerilla war, it could only plunge that part of the world into ever greater instability. - George H.W. Bush, A World Transformed
Now, my point in listing all these instances of Republicans and other conservatives bashing the President is to show that there are valid reasons that the President needs to be kept in check. Note that none of these attacks is really a "wingnut check" -- a swipe at a Republican from the right in order to keep him true to ultra-conservative values -- but they are, instead, the very same complaints that are coming from the so-called-liberal-Democratic-presidential-candidates. How, then, can they be so easily brushed off as partisan? I suggest you print this list of quotes, clip it out and keep it in your wallet like a Get Out Of "These Are All Just Partisan Democrat Attacks" Argument Free Card.