The administration goes for broke

In These Times
by Hans Johnson

03/06/07

It has become conservatives’ equivalent of handshakes at a union hall. Professing aversion to government and venom toward taxes before the right-wing rank-and-file is a set piece of Republican presidential primaries. Though a gimmick, the anti-tax, anti-government message resonates with donors and diehard GOP voters and has become a badge of the seriousness, even suitability, of the party’s presidential aspirants. But the mounting cost of the Iraq war is playing havoc with this hallowed gesture of GOP statecraft. … With nearly $370 billion of taxpayers’ money spent so far and at least $8 billion more gouged from Americans each month to pay for it, the Iraq war makes a mockery of plans by Republican ‘08 candidates for any other major use of federal power. Despise and disparage LBJ as they do, the leading candidates of the party that for years boasted of its big ideas now can’t even joke about a Great Society. They’re stuck defending Bush’s glum society...

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