Now put them together and what do you get?

Last month, Andrew Sullivan found himself quite concerned about the spending numbers President Bush had offered to the New York Times. Our man in P-Town had noticed that every study of government spending increase during Bush’s presidency finds said increases to have been much higher than what Bush claimed. His reaction?

Note that these studies are from groups favorably disposed to the administration. There are a few options here. Either I’ve missed something or the president a) doesn’t know what he’s talking about or b) he’s lying. Let’s hope I’ve missed something, shall we?

Yesterday, Andrew eliminated one option:

Here’s the truth: If you take defense and entitlement spending out of the picture altogether (and they have, of course, gone through the roof), Bush and the Republican Congress have upped domestic spending by a whopping 21 percent in three years. That compares with an actual decrease in such spending of 0.7 percent in the first three years of Bill Clinton. Spending on education is up 61 percent; on energy 22 percent; on health and human services 22 percent; on the Labor Department a massive 56 percent. There really is no spinning of this. Bill Clinton was a fiscal conservative. George W. Bush is a fiscal liberal of a kind we haven’t seen since LBJ.

In order to avoid having to call Bush a liar however, Sullivan is responding to a quote by Rick Santorum above. Yet Santorum isn’t saying anything that differs from what Bush & Cheney have said. (The latter told Tim Russert in August that he was a fiscal conservative too!) For extra bonus points, notice Andrew say that Democrats might be worse, right before bringing up a study that found Democratic legislatures to increase spending less than Republican ones at the state level.

Anyhoo, since Andrew no longer thinks he missed something, can we get him to tell us whether Bush is a) a liar or b) clueless. (We’d go with a little bit of column a, a little bit of column b ourselves.)

This should be good.


Comments: 5


How about five sacks of Column A, wet down with just enough Column B to shape them into Column C…the crumbly pedestal that Bush’s fans have put him on, which is apparently so unstable that it can’t stand the pressure of truth. Bush isn’t really all _that_ clueless. As many failing business ventures and misguided government operations as he’s helmed, he would have to have picked up a certain amount of wit by simple osmosis.

No, Bush knows exactly what he’s doing. He’s trying to recreate “The Texas Miracle” on a grander scale. Judging by the detritus left in TX, God help us all.


Of course if they’re lying, the next question is why, something Sullivan hasn’t girded himself up to ask yet.


Of course if they’re lying, the next question is why, something Sullivan hasn’t girded himself up to ask yet.

Give him time, give him time…


Conservative columnists are like a huge pack of bounding, closely packed, incessantly barking hunting dogs. Every now and then one takes its head out of the ass of the dog in front and notices that the sky is an odd, scary color, and nothing has been growing on the ground beneath its feet — and becomes quizzically concerned.


In Sully’s case that dog is, needless to say, a Beagle.


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