The Last Laugh

James Rogers jamesr at
Mon Apr 21 18:07:33 PDT 2003

Jeff Bone wrote:
> FWIW, James, your "pattern" here betrays still more textbook 
> ditto-think, including such elements as:  
> Reagan gets the credit for the fall of the Soviet Union, 

I would assert that Reagan is far more deserving of credit than any other
President I can think of.

> Bush I gets the credit for the economic recovery experienced during

Well gee, seeing as how I don't give Presidents credit for the economy in
general, I don't see why I would make any such assertion directly or
indirectly.  And even if I *had* to pick a President to assign the economy
during the '90s, it sure as hell wouldn't be Bush.

> Clinton gets blamed for 9/11 and the recession, 

See the above re:recession.  If I *had* to assign responsibility to a
President though, I would give it to Clinton; it would be hard to reasonably
assign that one to anyone else.  Economies shift on timeframes of several
years, not months.

As for 9/11, I assign Clinton partial blame, mostly for negligence that was
a contributing factor though.  

> Bush II ducks 9/11 and gets cred for the military 
> 'victories' in Afghanistan and Iraq at the same time that 
> Clinton gets 
> blasted for "decimating" the military beforehand

Ummm... Clinton *did* let the military badly decay.  Look at the force
readiness reports during Bush Sr. into Clinton -- its appalling how severely
the US military was degraded only a couple years after Clinton took office.
Half the vehicles were non-operational and were being cannibalized for parts
to keep the remaining vehicles running.  There was almost no training going
on because they had no way to replace the parts that would inevitably be
broken and consumed by training.  Personnel retention dropped to new
peace-time lows.  Despite being stripped of resources, the military was then
sent on dozens of expensive adventures of dubious value that strained the
forces logistically even more such that they were cannibalizing units for
resources at home to support unrelated units overseas.

Fortunately, it takes about as long to fix this as it takes to break it: 1-2

The armed forces were malnourished a starved, but they still had the same
strong frame that they always did.  Putting meat on the bones doesn't take
that long; it wasn't like we were starting from scratch.

> and Bush II 
> will get 
> the credit for the economic recovery experienced under Democratic 
> leadership from 2004-2008.  (I'm not saying you've said all of those 
> things, but I'm just waiting for you to fill in the blanks.)

This is all a lovely fantasy, but what does it have to do with me?  You
should spend less time and emotional energy creating straw man around what
you imagine that I "really" think and get on with the issues.  Your model of
how and what I think is clearly broken, and I don't fit into any popular
molds anyway.

I'm not emotionally invested in politics, I mostly just like to argue.  A
point that escapes most people is that I rarely volunteer my personal
opinion, only observations.  You try MUCH too hard to read "intent" and
"ideology" that I'm intentionally not offering, and it rarely fails to lead
you off on ridiculous tangents.  At the very least it doesn't seem to be
serving you well.


-James Rogers
 jamesr at

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