Blogs > Liberty and Power > SULLIVAN DOESN'T GET IT. BUSH IS CONSISTENT

Jan 26, 2004 2:49 pm


SULLIVAN DOESN'T GET IT. BUSH IS CONSISTENT



Courtesy of Greg Ransom at Prestopundit comes this complaint from Andrew Sullivan:"There's barely a speech by President Bush that doesn't cite the glories of human freedom. It's God gift to mankind, he believes. And in some ways this President has clearly expanded it: the people of Afghanistan and Iraq enjoy liberties unimaginable only few years ago. But there's a strange exception to this Bush doctrine. It ends when you reach America's shores."

Sullivan is wrong to see Bush's domestic policy as a"strange exception," at least if American history in the past century can be taken as evidence. Bush's praises of the"glories of human freedom" could easily be culled from the foreign policy speeches of the greatest friends of the welfare/regulatory state of the twentieth century: Woodrow Wilson (his true mentor in foreign policy), Franklin D. Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy, and Lyndon B. Johnson. Interestingly, each of these men defended interventionist government at home on the same grounds: it enables greater"freedom."

It is conservatives like Sullivan, who support grand Wilsonian foreign policies overseas but think that they can have small government at home, not Bush, who are emeshed in a contradiction. Bush is merely following a familiar pattern. Given the circumstances, it would have been a"strange exception" if he had pursued a different course in domestic policy.

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