Friday, September 09, 2005

W the Democrat

TigerHawk has an excellent post on W:

Bush is Really a Democrat You Know

At a very high level, he has pursued an extraordinarily populist agenda and run a Keynesian economic policy. Let me enumerate:

1) Foreign Policy - core is spread of Democracy to Protect the Homeland -- in the 20th Century, the forebears of this policy were Woodrow Wilson ("Making the World Safe for Democracy") and FDR. This is a classical liberal internationalist agenda. This used to be the territory of the Democrats, even through JFK, until LBJ's presidency destroyed the Democratic hegemony over the liberal international agenda. Today, many (most?) vocal Democrats lurch towards pacifism and isolationism.

2) Economic Policy - in response first to the massive decline in equity values wrought by the internet/telecom stock market bubble bursting, and then to the subsequent recession and 9/11 assault, the Bush Administration passed through Congress massive fiscal stimulus -- known also as a tax cut -- to every single taxpayer in this country. This type of policy is classic Keynesian economics, heretofore again the domain of Democrats, not Republicans. This fiscal accomodation was subsequently also assisted with massive monetary stimulus (lower rates from Greenspan), to help the US economy recover from the massive multiple shocks of a market crash, a recession and an attack on the homeland. The result has been nothing short of fantastic, with a very shallow recession, unprecedentedly low unemployment (in the context of a recession) and now a powerful multiyear re-expansion. The Republicans of 1929 failed to follow this prescription and the rest is history. In this case, Bush administered massive stimulus (more like JFK and then Reagan) to push the economy.

3) Social policy - Bush has appointed not one but two African Americans to the highest cabinet post yet achieved, Secretary of State. He has appointed a Hispanic American as Attorney General, again unprecedented. He has passed the most unbelievable entitlement expansion since the 1960's in the form of Medicare Part D, the Prescription Drug Plan. Congress, with the President's support, is spending like mad, and government is growing rapidly -- again, the historical province of Democrats, not Republicans. The growth of Medicaid spending, Education Spending -- again all higher than ever...the list goes on and on.

4) And then there is Immigration Policy - well this can only be described as Open Door, especially in light of 9/11. So much so that many people on both sides of the aisle are screaming about it. Yet the Open Door was historically again the province of Democrats, not Fortress America Republicans.

This is pretty much dead-on. One needs to add that his social policy (abortion, etc) is the social conservatism of the Democratic party of the New Deal era, not the liberalism of the post-McGovern Democrats.

But otherwise it fits W to a T. Even the privatization of part of Social Security (apparently) has its roots in FDR.


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