Murray Tucker: Digging a hole


Should we keep digging a hole?

Foreign nation-building, the mantra of the Bush Administration to which John McCain is singing the chorus, is in its death throes. Even the leader of the choir, President Bush, recognizes this fact.

McCain talks tough toward Russia, but our "allies" stand on the sidelines, looking perplexed as they did when we went into Iraq. As it stands now, McCain's growl is that of a paper tiger. Does he really know how to conduct foreign policy, or is he stuck with the philosophy of Teddy Roosevelt, "Speak softly and carry a big stick?" If it is the latter, his stick is very short.

The next president might have fantastic experience in foreign affairs, but so long as the U.S. is weak, he'll get the nod from our allies that a 20-year-old gives to the advice from his great-grandmother, and our enemies will chuckle like the audience of the Colbert Report.

McCain, who admits to knowing little about economics, sees an America of the rich steering the economy. He does not realize that view of his advisers toward solving poverty is to make almost everyone poor. I guess they think that misery loves company.

The next president of the United States must be a unifying voice, not the divisive one established by George W. Bush and mimicked by John McCain. He must be creative because nation-building, or rather rebuilding, must begin at home.

We've had enough of foreign adventures. If we keep digging using the Bush shovel, our future will be in China.

Murray Tucker

Steamboat Springs


Don Thayer 8 years, 7 months ago

President Bush hasn't been divisive, the Democrats have. They've spent the last 7 years trying to convince the American people Bush is evil and incompetent. How often did they condemn Saddam, Kim Jong-il, Ahmadinejad, or even Putin? Bush has led the country, regardless of anyone's opinion of his decisions. Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid(leaders of the House and Senate) and other prominent Democrats have spent their time fighting against Bush and spreading hatred, presumably to re-take power in the White House, instead of leading.


Matthew Stoddard 8 years, 7 months ago

Well, the Thompson speech last night was funny last night. He brought up the Democrats on massive spending...forgetting that it was 6yrs of Republican congressional control under Bush that we've incurred massive debt, with no balanced budget.

Also funny- how Lieberman had to say to the effect, "What's a Democrat like me doing in a place like this?" Did he forget he was no longer affiliated with the Democrat Party and was now an Independent?

I also just read McCain's interview in Time Magazine. I can't say I was impressed. We'll see how his speech goes Thurs.

As for people bringing up Palin's daughter's underage pregnancy, I think it should be a valid point. People just need to put it into a better context. The valid point is that as a politician, Palin backs the Abstinence-Only Education in Alaska during her own 2006 gubernatorial campaign and then applied for those funds. At least she is having the baby and her parents are being supportive. That's a wonderful thing. I don't personally believe in abortion, myself, but I do believe in proper sex education. It's true that abstinence is the only true way to not get pregnant, but kids experiment with sex, among other things in this day and age. It's a fact. All one has to do is look around.

The problem isn't that a 17yr old got pregnant; it's that fact that Palin's own policy backing didn't work within the confines of her own family. This should be about that; not her daughter specifically. Yes- there are teen pregnancies and yes- it does happen. The point is about the policy she espouses. If she could be wrong on this policy, she might be wrong on others. What's even funnier is that people who are defending Palin in this were the same people denouncing Jaime Spears (Britney's little sister) when it was announced that she was pregnant underage.

What's also funny is that watching Hannity and O'Reilly saying the left is making a big deal about it...yet spending half their own shows talking about it, also.


Steve Lewis 8 years, 7 months ago

Murray, Don, Its striking how loyal Don is to Bush. He says the problem all along has been the divisive Democrats. What would a google of "wedge issue" show?

So does the array of issues/choices matter more than character? Once you decide Bush is a good fellow, because he's against abortion (or taxes), do you KNOW he's on your side, and therefore the rest of his decisions are good?

Republicans seem to decide first about moral character on 2-3 issues and then are willing to follow their leader on all other decisions. Democrats seem to personally care about a much wider array of decisions and judge character on all of those.

Palin is a good example. Dems are frustrated at lack of a track record to judge. Reps have seen all they need to know within her family.


Matthew Stoddard 8 years, 7 months ago

There actually quite a few Republicans like myself who aren't real happy with the way Bush has run things. Evidently, I'm not the only one, since his approval ratings have been less than 40% for the last 2yrs-ish.

Compare that to Clinton's polls, where he was about 55% or higher for most of his last 2yrs. (even the FoxNews Poll!)

I admit- Palin's got good stuff going for her. She may not have much of a track record, but the record she has speak highly of her. I think she was the best choice McCain could have made, regardless of comparisons of her lack of experience vs Obama's lack of experience. That's a wash except for the fact that Obama's the one running for Pres while she's running for VP. Yes, she's a "heartbeat" away from the Pres but she's still VP until that that time.


Steve Lewis 8 years, 7 months ago

Matt, We'll hear more to qualify this, but I believe 9 Vice -presidents became president, per Lehrer's RNC show. So history says Palin has between a 25% and 33% chance of becoming Pres. The odds go up with a 72 year old Pres. So that "heartbeat" worries me.

We'll never agree on the experience debate. I think the difference is Obama's got the education, intelligence and 18 million "vetting" approvals. Palin has lived up to the conservative value of pro-life, ethics and MCCain's approval.

Should be an interesting two months.


Matthew Stoddard 8 years, 7 months ago

It will be interesting. I'll be watching her speech tonight, along with McCain's tomorrow. When I mentioned Time Magazine, last issue was about Obama and the current issue was about McCain.

What I found very interesting was the interview portion on McCain. It was comparing this go around to his 2000 campaign. Apparently, McCain thinks he's running the exact same type of campaign as last time. If I remember correct, McCain ran a very cordial campaign (especially ads) in 2000. That's not what I see this time.

Obama's ads, for the most part barring a few exceptions, have not only trash-talked McCain, but also included what Obama would do. (Granted- no specifics, but he made it about comparing both of them.) McCain's ads have all been just about Obama, from what I've seen. No mention of what McCain will do. That tends to reinforce the notion that nothing will change if he takes over after Bush. How "maverick" is that?

And now, as Brit Hume's panel was making fun of, all the Republicans are suddenly "mavericks!" LOL! McCain's a maverick! Palin's a maverick! Reagan was a maverick, even! Funny- I don't remember Reagan running as a "maverick."


Murray Tucker 8 years, 7 months ago

Don: "DIVISIVE"-It takes at least two to make a division. Actually, without Democrat support, there would have been no money for the disastrous Iraq mistake, nor wiretapping. "INCOMPETENT"- Iraq, Katrina, neglect of bank oversight, lack of understanding the environment, putting foxes (industry lobbyists) in charge of the hen house-this is just the start! "CONDEMNATION"- Strong word. I think that Clinton did use a similar word referring to Saddam, but did not condemn an entire country. And remember, W looked into Putin's soul and saw good! "LEADERSHIP"- I'll grant you that W has led this country, right into the hole that John McCain wants to make deeper. So long as there are enough Republican Senators to block anything, nothing will get done. "HATRED"- Strong word coming from the Swift Boat side!


Duke_bets 8 years, 7 months ago

Murray - Well written response to Don.

I don't believe it matters what yahoo heads up the White House, but your Senator statement should be taken seriously. Who we vote into the senate and house seats will be the rise or fall of this country.


Don Thayer 8 years, 7 months ago

Murray, Steve,

I knew if I defended Bush I would come across as a strong supporter to some people. The truth is I voted against Kerry in the last election, not for Bush, I actually liked Wesley Clark at the beginning. I spoke out because I think the Democrats have gone to far with some of their comments.

Iraq has not been disastrous - 4100 deaths in 5 years versus the following numbers: WW1 - 116000 in 19 months, WW2 - 407000 in 44 months, Korea - 54000 in 37 months, Vietnam - 58000 in 90 months, Iraq 1991(Desert Storm) - 150 in 1 month. That is not incompetent. Also, Bush did not condemn the entire country, he said many times it was a war against Saddam and his supporters.

As far as Katrina, my understanding is that Bush declared it a national emergency 2 days before the hurricane hit New Orleans and FEMA was ready to go, it was just so much worse than anyone expected.

Bank oversight - is that really the Federal Government's job, to regulate everyone? I'd like to see less government interference in my life.

Republican Senators do block legislation - Democrats do the same.

I haven't decided Bush is a good fellow, he's a politician just like the rest, but that's the real point here - so are all the others! Do you really think the Democrats want any thing other than the power of the White house? That applies to Republicans too of course.


Scott Wedel 8 years, 7 months ago

The Daily Show and Colbert Report both had excellent clips of Rove, Dick Morris, O'Reilly and so on today praising Palin for exactly what they had been criticizing someone else a few months ago. They even had Palin telling an audience to quit whining about sexism and be tough and do the job better.

If Republicans want to be the party of family values and morals then why do they put partisan politics so far above what they believed in a month or two ago?

What I think will be the real issue for Palin is that these jobs are so big that the team they assemble is as important as the person. So can Palin being a relative unknown from Alaska put together a capable team she trusts?


Duke_bets 8 years, 7 months ago

Do you think Palin was chosen just to sway the Hillary supporters into voting Republican?


Matthew Stoddard 8 years, 7 months ago

Duke- I think that was a good part of the it, but not the only factor. For having a short record, it is a good one.

Key factors I believe in McCain's:

Woman (for possible Hillary votes not going to Obama) Alaska Gov(ANWAR- nuff said) Took on Her Own Party on Corruption (There's that "Maverick" title again) Increased Oil Company Taxes Anti-Abortion Pro-Gun

She's easily a party-player, no doubt.

Some of those factors may work against her within her own party, though. GOP is the "Good Ol' Party" at times. She's the first woman VP candidate for a the Republicans...24yrs after the Dems had one. I can only wonder why there was never one before this. I can't believe there was never anyone qualified prior to this. Anyone could easily have been more qualified than Dan Quayle. This holds true for Dems also, since there has been nobody on a ticket since Ferraro.

She took on her own party for corruption. Both major parties have skeletons in a few closets, whether they can be proven or not. This might make some people a little nervous. Especially since she did increase taxes on oil companies...which is a business...then faults Obama for saying he'd increase taxes on higher earnings for businesses. Don't get me wrong- I'd prefer they didn't get a tax increase...I just don't see a need for so many tax breaks to companies making record profits.

Her overall experience IS another thing. If you make that argument about Obama, you can't help but make that argument about her. She was mayor...of a town smaller than Steamboat. So was Cargo Rodeman. Guiliani was mayor of NYC. She was governor is Alaska. Romney was governor of Massachusetts, which has about 10x the population. Neither Guiliani, Romney nor Rodeman are DC insiders.

Her speech last night was great! I can't wait to see how she does in debates, especially against Biden. Problem is- I don't think McCain can keep that momentum going. His speaking skills aren't as "electric" and I think he'll be upstaged by her.


JLM 8 years, 7 months ago

Hell, guess what, China is the future!

As to our election choices, it is pretty easy to dismiss a well educated but shallow and inexperienced product of the Chicago machine v almost anybody.

Obama is so inexperienced that it is shameful that he was nominated.

Boy I miss Eisenhower, Reagan and GHW Bush --- those guys had real experience.

A Senator ought to have served at least one term before throwing their hat into the ring.

Let's grow up, America!


Matthew Stoddard 8 years, 7 months ago

JLM- Lincoln only spent 2yrs in the House. That's it. Reagan only 8yrs governing California. Ike was only military and served no elected office before. W only governed 6yrs. Clinton governed Arkansas for 12yrs. I guess that made him more qualified than Reagan or Bush?

In fact, HW had more experience than Reagan, overall, yet was only elected to 1 term himself.

The Pres is also somewhat a figurehead- they surround themselves with people who have experience. Why do you think Bush chose Cheney as VP, just as Obama has picked Biden?


Steve Lewis 8 years, 7 months ago

We could do with some Eisenhower. The military industrial complex he warned about is alive and thriving in Washington.

McCain's campaign staff is basically a lobby. His "change" claims are so hollow. His VP pick was a stranger to him. The man has completely abandoned his previous self in this quest for the big chair.


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