January 14, 2001
10:00 AM   Subscribe

i don't know about the rest of you, but this is the beginning what i fear about the new bush administration...
posted by o2b (55 comments total)
"I understand the Western mentality and I want the Western mentality represented in this administration.''

What the hell does that mean?

I think it has something to do with country western music, but I've really no idea what he's trying to say.

I reckon it has something to do with cutting down trees, bombing abortion clinics, and stockpiling guns.
posted by aladfar at 10:30 AM on January 14, 2001

Hmm... that's not a fair assessment of his views, or the Conservative views. His views are shared by a large population of Americans. Yes he's pro-life, but, what he' was talking about has little to do with banning abortions in US, or, far worse, bombing the clinics; it's cutting the financial aid to organizations abroad, He feels that our tax money shouldn't be spent this way. Again, at the center of that is taxing less and using the money is different ways. I don't think there's anyone that disagrees about the plan to cut funds to Russia though. heh.
posted by tiaka at 10:49 AM on January 14, 2001

Ohh, I also don't know what the 'western mentality' is. Anyone has the full transcript? Maybe it was taken out of context or something? I'm thinking he didn't mean the 'eastern mentality', which is what btw?
posted by tiaka at 10:52 AM on January 14, 2001

His views are shared by a large population of Americans
Hey tiaka, only a minority of voters share his views...just a reality check.
posted by Bag Man at 10:53 AM on January 14, 2001

Reality check? I didn't say majority, I said a large portion. That can be a minority. Since only about 40-50% of the entire population came out to vote, I'm thinking it was around 20-25% that voted for either of the candidates. I'm pretty sure I got most of the stats right there, but, feel free to correct me and call me a moron afterwards. : )
posted by tiaka at 10:57 AM on January 14, 2001

Westerviews=guns, whacking inidans and whatnot. I am not surpirsed by what seeems in the offing, though, after all, those of us voting for Nader or Gore were fin many ways voting against this perspective, not a majority view.

Simply put: this view holds that making money for commerdcial intrests is more important than conservation, a thing that librals seem to believe in.

As for money: we do not truly spend money for sex education in our country and at our schools and giveing less for abortions overseas is a way fo doing what, ideally, will be done once more conservaqtives get on Supreme Court. Theproblem, for me, is that many European countires with advanced views on sex education no longer have babies born out of wedlock to very young girls the way they once did and the way we still con.
As for Russian> i do not like Russian. Never have. But money to help them out is money well spent in order to keep a major country and its nuclar stuff from spreading throughout the world and causing further chaos. Sometimes you simply have to spend because it makes more sense than not to.
posted by Postroad at 10:59 AM on January 14, 2001

I'm Russian. Hmm.. you know, this is starting to make sense. heh.

The thing is that the money doesn't go into the economy or any of the country. It goes into the pockets of several people. That's it. Those people know that they're getting more from the US than they're getting from selling weapons. They're selling weapons right now, they know.

Economic reform won't come by just pouring money in without knowing where it goes or if anything at all happens. It hadn't for the last 10 years, and it won't for the next. People are poor, those who are lucky enough to have a job are stuck without pay for years now. My grandmother, still alive and very much energetic, is an English teacher, and she hadn't received pay for a year and a half, she goes by with our money that we send in every month.

This can go back to the simple fact that people have always depended on their government and have no idea what Democracy is or how to function within it. Again, pouring money in won't patch anything up, these people have to get their act together, rebuild their government and get rid of the corruption. This will then result in a gov't that actually functions. It isn't right now.
posted by tiaka at 11:22 AM on January 14, 2001

The bit about protecting land from development refers to Bush's plan to open the Arctic wilderness to oil drilling. By "western mentality," he means "oil company mentality." Tiaka, you must see that, don't you?
posted by jpoulos at 11:30 AM on January 14, 2001

Of course, tiaka, you must see that! There is only one valid viewpoint, only one logical interpretation of the facts, and the rest of us do not let our "personal politics" get in the way of our generalizations! Damn those oily oil men!
posted by sonofsamiam at 11:43 AM on January 14, 2001

Heh, son. As someone that is in the trucking industry, I read stuff like this. Stuff that's often overlooked. This report only shows companies with six trucks or more. You'd need to include companies with less trucks and owner/operators and owner/operators that have their own authority.

Now, think who these people are, they are in an industry where profits come in cents, and often times those cents are taken away for taxes. These people work their ass off for us. These people are being driven out of business, and often times, since they're family-based, the whole family ends up on the street.

That's basically where I'm coming from, be it right or wrong, it's me and I'm open to criticism.
posted by tiaka at 11:56 AM on January 14, 2001

``Organizations that promote abortions are organizations I don't want to support'' with taxpayers' dollars, he was quoted as saying.

That sound you now hear is my forehead, banging against my keyboard.

posted by kristin at 11:59 AM on January 14, 2001

"In an interview at his ranch in Crawford, Texas, Bush said that chief among the steps he would review were regulations putting nearly 60 million acres of the nation's forests off-limits to development."


posted by ed at 12:03 PM on January 14, 2001

Well, kristin are there any government spending programs that you don't like? I bet you wish your taxes weren't going to those, huh?
posted by sonofsamiam at 12:03 PM on January 14, 2001

My comments about 'bombing clinics' were pure hyperbole. I know that's not what he's saying. I just like making fun of him . . .

As for Russia, his plan to cut financial aid to them frightens me very much. While the money may not be actively bringing about democratic reform, it is helping to promote friendly relations with our former cold war adversaries.

Given Bush's affinity for a missile defense system (which, in my opinoin will only encourage 'rogue' states to nuke us) and his apparant willingness to repeal the ICBM treaty, there's a distinct possibility that we'll return to a 1960's Dr. Strangelove style relationship with not only Russia, but a host of other nations.

That scares me a little . . .

posted by aladfar at 12:07 PM on January 14, 2001

Bush said that chief among the steps he would review were regulations putting nearly 60 million acres of the nation's forests off-limits to development.

I think you all misunderstood his quote about "the Western mentality". I think he was refering to people who will oppose him on openning that 60 million acres up to whoever wants to buy it...
posted by Neb at 12:12 PM on January 14, 2001

I just wish he'd learn how to speak properly.

In Canada we have a Prime Minister with a thick French-Canadian accent and half of his face paralyzed and he still speaks better than Bush.
posted by frenetic at 12:23 PM on January 14, 2001

It seems that there are a lot of jokes going around. I should do that more. : )

And come on! Should I really be building a nuclear bunker right now? You're stretching this too far.

I'm wondering now, should I use someone else's comment on how "Daddy Bush" would really run things behind his dumb son? Because I could see how he'd want to get communism back, right? Because last time I checked it was Saddam who was riding us like a 5 dollar whore and Clinton was too busy 'smoking cigars' to care. See? I'm joking. heh.
posted by tiaka at 12:24 PM on January 14, 2001

This seems like a negative way to start a presidency--actively dismantling the work of the former president. Have they all done that? One would think he'd start out in a less contentious fashion; building something of his own rather than focusing on the past. This is a shame, no matter who is doing it, and I hope it doesn't set the entire tone for the next four years.
posted by frykitty at 12:30 PM on January 14, 2001

Here's a lengthy excerpt from the interview itself, but unfortunately the context doesn't shed any light on some of Bush's comments. And here's the actual New York Times story, which offers a lot more detail than the story-about-the-story that kicked off the thread.
posted by jjg at 12:33 PM on January 14, 2001

frykitty - I remember reading something on this, it's something that the current president does. Basically he just spends all of the time he has left writing up stuff that goes against the next president. And then, the next president has to spend time reversing the former's. Or so I remember. Anyone?
posted by tiaka at 12:37 PM on January 14, 2001

I don't want my taxpayer dollars going to organizations that PROMOTE abortion either. Making abortion available to women who want or need it is one thing, PROMOTING the practice is an entirely different matter.

The 'western mentality' refers to those with experience coming to grips with both environmental and development viewpoints. The 'western' U.S. faces these issues each and every day on a broader scale than does Washington, D.C. Clinton's huge federal land grabs of the past couple years have essentially shutdown any rational discourse.

It is not the American taxpayer's responsibility to bribe Russian officials to behave themselves on the world stage. Enough is enough with this nefarious welfare. Time for the Russian government to demonstrate their commitment to democracy. In the short term, the Russian people will probably suffer, but long term solutions are required to complete the turnaround and that must come from within.
posted by netbros at 1:20 PM on January 14, 2001

In Bush's defense, Clinton seems to have done so many things by executive order lately that it's reasonable for the next president to scrutinize them. It will be politically difficult for Bush to reverse Clinton's efforts to protect environmental areas, though.

I do like the fact that Bush realizes he shouldn't try to micromanage the real president, Alan Greenspan.
posted by rcade at 1:24 PM on January 14, 2001

For those wanting to read the NY Times article feel free to use my ID: yousuck99 and Password: fuckuIt contains such Dubya gems as:"Organizations that promote abortions are organizations I don't want to support" with American taxpayer dollars, Mr. Bush said."It's hard for America to fashion (I think you meant "fathom", stupid!) Russia," Mr. Bush said. "It just seems like to me that we don't want to be lending money and/or encourage the lending of money into a system in which the intention of the capital is never fulfilled," he said. "The intent of the capital was to encourage entrepreneurship and growth and markets."Mr. Bush said he planned to quickly introduce his plan to cut taxes by an amount now estimated at $1.6 trillion over the next 10 years as a single bill, perhaps modifying it to deepen the tax cuts in the next few years so that it could spur a slowing economy. Asked if he was willing to negotiate the size of his proposed tax cut with a sharply divided Congress, he shot back: "The answer is no. I think it's the right number.""I'm always mindful of what Sam Rayburn told Lyndon Johnson when he first saw the Kennedy administration," he said, referring to the famously gruff former speaker of the House. "He said, `Gosh, I just wish one of them had run for sheriff.' " And that's why I'm very comfortable with an Ashcroft or a Norton. They not only ran for sheriff, they ran for statewide offices."At one point Mr. Bush said that he had cautioned his press secretary, Ari Fleischer, that at times he would withhold information so that Mr. Fleischer could truthfully profess ignorance to reporters — hardly a new strategy for occupants of the White House. Mr. Bush recalled telling Mr. Fleischer recently, "When I tell you you are not going to know something, you say, `Yes, sir.' "He reiterated his determination to drill for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and said: "People shouldn't be shocked that I'm picking somebody who agrees with me. That's what a president does."This proves that all you have to do is quote this guy to prove that he's even more of a moron than his daddy and Ronald Reagan put together.
posted by Mr. skullhead at 1:34 PM on January 14, 2001

I'd imagine Bush was particularly peeved at Clinton's declaration of the ranch in Crawford, TX as federally-protected land. At least, I hope Bill appropriated the farmstead by executive order. If not, he's still got time.

(And I'm unsure how Bush can say he speaks for the "western" mentality, when he's the scion of a New England family, received an Ivy League education, exploited the land through corporate backing, and whose only similarity to the pioneers of the 19th and 20th century is his functional illiteracy. Which is why I'm most interested at his plans to limit the inauguration speech to 12 minutes.)

Oh and finally: William Hague has come out in favour of the anti-missile defence programme, which proves that it's obviously barmy beyond belief. I'm sure those near to his Yorkshire constituency in Menwith Hill and Fylingdales appreciate such generosity, and the prospect of being targetted by "rogue states" (the "they" of "we don't know who they are") before a missile goes near the US.
posted by holgate at 1:40 PM on January 14, 2001

Netbros: The abortion restriction isn't about stopping the promotion of the practice; it's about cutting off groups that are not unilaterally against it. Republicans are even trying to cut off funds to any group that lobbies its governmen to support pro-choice. Bush's effort is the latest salvo in a 12-year battle over the Mexico City Policy introduced by Reagan.
posted by rcade at 1:41 PM on January 14, 2001

After age 7 or thereabouts, George W. Bush grew up in Midland, Texas. The town's in the middle of nowhere and dominated by the oil bidness, so I think his claim to a "western mentality" is legitimate. Certainly more legitimate than Poppy Bush.
posted by rcade at 1:44 PM on January 14, 2001

skullhard: This proves that all you have to do is quote this guy to prove that he's even more of a moron than his daddy and Ronald Reagan put together.

Now that certainly raises the level of debate around here. Frankly, I think every one of those Bush quotes you so graciously provided for us here are spot on. He hasn't been sitting idly back on his ranch waiting for the keys to the White House.

The man has been studying the issues, is confident in his views and the approach to tackle them. That beats watching CNN then reacting to the news any day.
posted by netbros at 1:58 PM on January 14, 2001

One might also say "obstinate."

Honestly, we all knew Dubya would swing right at the first opportunity. Let's all not act so shocked.

But a 12-minute inaguration speech? Coupled with his 30-minute (as opposed to an hour) acceptance speech at the convention? There's brevity, and then there's handlers who are afraid to let this retard ramble.
posted by solistrato at 2:31 PM on January 14, 2001

netbros, how does running for any office make anyone qualified to be a part of a presidential administration? I don't think there are many people who think simply being a candidate, or even winning an election, makes someone a good politician.
posted by rabi at 2:51 PM on January 14, 2001

Solistrato: you sure come off sounding intelligent, calling someone a "retard."
posted by ericost at 3:31 PM on January 14, 2001

I'm not from the "The West," but neither is Bush, really. He and his family come form the Northeast. He went to Andover and Yale for school, can't get more east aristocracy that than. The Bushes are traditionally from Maine, which is about as are away from the American West that can get with going into an ocean or going into Canada or Mexico. G. B. sir. is only a resident of Texas for tax purposes. All that Spanish speaking and Jeb's marriage are just window dressings for the Hispanic vote. We won't get fooled again! At least we know that the Bush/Cheney propaganda machine is hard at work.
posted by Bag Man at 3:36 PM on January 14, 2001

Just to note in passing that when the issue under discussion might suggest a Garand Canyon devide between those on the Left of Center and those on the Right of Center, the posts come flying in.
Note to Tanaki: in your last paragraph about cleaning up corruption etc in govt, where you referring to Russia or our country?
Note two: I learned today that Clinton's pubglic rating is somewhere around 67% high, and that puts him beyond what even Ronnie achieved. and Clinton spoke his mind about how he believed Bush got the presidency. Many thought he would be sucking about and looking perhaps for a pardon, should the Right wingers try (stil, again) to jail him.
posted by Postroad at 3:49 PM on January 14, 2001

<homer moment>

retard is a funny word.

just like chicken.

and flapjack.

</homer moment>
posted by o2b at 4:11 PM on January 14, 2001

Okay, let's be analytical about this. What precisely a "Western mentality"? When Bush uses the term, he's no doubt referring, not to the irritatingly liberal Left Coast, byt to that swathe of sparsely-populated, Mountain Time America that voted en masse for him. That's his constituency.

But I doubt he's invoking the spirit of John Steinbeck. Or even the Alamo, for that matter. There's none of the expansiveness or ambition of dealing with the "big country". To me, when he says "western", he's in Utah with the video-editors, Kansas with the creationists, and North Dakota with the blind gunslingers.

And I think that's a betrayal of whatever integrity can still be salvaged from the drive to the Pacific.
posted by holgate at 4:26 PM on January 14, 2001

Greenspan is not the "real president". He's the CFO.

I think he definitely means the West of America, and when he refers to this mentality, he means the Wise Use movement. [that's a skeptical overview, btw]

People in the West think there's nothing wrong with using the forests for logging or 4x4ing, after all, they're big and there's a lot of them, and animals aren't more important than people etc. etc. They also believe that most of the people interested in conservation are from Eastern cities and never actually visit the forest.
posted by dhartung at 5:15 PM on January 14, 2001

Solistrato: you sure come off sounding intelligent, calling someone a "retard."

Thanks, you retard. :D
posted by solistrato at 6:35 PM on January 14, 2001

People in the West think there's nothing wrong with using the forests for logging or 4x4ing, after all, they're big and there's a lot of them, and animals aren't more important than people etc. etc.

Yeah, and we eat our young, too... I hope that you are trying to paraphrase Bush's views of the "western mentality", because you've incorrectly pigeonholed this westerner.
posted by Neb at 6:55 PM on January 14, 2001

I live in the West, and westerners tend to believe, rightly or wrongly, that they represent a more independent, "pioneer-like" spirit that brooks less government intervention and control than those who live in other parts of the country. Part of this, I have long believed, is simply a natural result of the differential in population densities. More people = more laws needed (and even more perceived to be needed); less people = more elbow room and more "freedom."

I believe it is this mindset (small government, in particular) that Bush is referring to in this statement. It fits with the philosophy (if that is not being too generous) with which he has aligned himself from the start. So, yes, it was probably specifically addressed to the environmental issues, although it touches on others as well.
posted by rushmc at 8:00 PM on January 14, 2001

How about if I just settle this right now?

1) How about a rule: No more quoting Bush crap!
2) Some of us think Bush is just what the country needs.
3) Some of us think he's a retard.
4) That's what we think and nothing you say will change that.

Okay. We're done. No more of this crap until next election. No more.

No more stupid name calling. No more quoting silly shit. Move to Canada or shut up. It's pointless and it's tired. If you're going to spend the next four years explaining why GWB is a retard maybe it's time to get a life. Either we already know, or we'll never agree, or we don't care.

Bush is a retard.
No he's not.
Yes he is.
No he's not
Yes he is.
No he's not.

Is this old yet?
posted by y6y6y6 at 8:18 PM on January 14, 2001

If the media coverage of Clinton's presidency was any indication of how this one will turn out, you're in for a lot of frustration y6y6y6. :)
posted by Neb at 9:59 PM on January 14, 2001

If you're going to spend the next four years...

Well, I mean the guy is going to have an impact on our lives whether we like it or not and to turn the lights out on comments and criticism for four years till the next election when it will suddenly become permissible once again to talk about these things isn't exactly my definition of a healthy democratic process. What I'm sure most people don't want is hearing people here calling each other "retard" and various other names -- for four years. It really brings down the level or discussion.

In any case, since the original subject was western mentality, a western mentality that's impressed me, though it goes back a while, was the encouragement to raise less corn and more Hell. Drawing on this is what'll get me out in the streets for four years and in this way -- through peaceful protest -- I'm convinced that I'll be helping move things out of their current moribund condition.
posted by leo at 10:51 PM on January 14, 2001

I think the point is, let's talk about specific policy, and not whether or not Bush is a retard, which is a dead issue no matter what side you're on.
posted by cell divide at 11:07 PM on January 14, 2001

If that was the point, I'm sorry for having read into it more than was intended.
posted by leo at 11:31 PM on January 14, 2001

Ok, since At&t is really, really, really evil they decided to turn off cable access in the entire city. Heh. I'm sure they have *reasons*.

But, here goes. Tanaka? It's Tiaka, but, whatever, and I meant The Russian government. My mother, told me a joke she heard on the radio during the whole Florida recount - "In U.S. they can't tell who won a month after the election, in Russia people know who won a year before an 'election'". And it's mostly true.

I agree with cell there which goes with what y6y6y6 said and then leo.

there. heh. : )
posted by tiaka at 3:43 AM on January 15, 2001

no you don't
posted by Optamystic at 4:18 AM on January 15, 2001

Is it just me, or does it feel that some sort of nuclear event gets closer to happening every time GWB speaks.

Maybe it's because I've not had much sleep, maybe it's because my weekend sucked, but I just get this feeling that come next Saturday things are going to get very scary very quickly.
posted by fullerine at 4:35 AM on January 15, 2001

y6y6y6: Bush isn't even president yet and you're already tired of hearing arguments about him?
posted by rcade at 6:19 AM on January 15, 2001

to turn the lights out on comments and criticism for four years till the next election ... isn't exactly my definition of a healthy democratic process.

But sitting around saying "Look! He mispronounced a word! I'm moving to Canada!" isn't exactly of shrewd analysis of the issues of the day. And that's about all I've heard...
posted by dagnyscott at 8:13 AM on January 15, 2001

Thats very true...besides...better places to move than Canada. ;-)

Nader Nader Nader! [nostalgic for the days when bush wasn't elected]
posted by th3ph17 at 8:31 AM on January 15, 2001

I agree with dagnyscott -- discussing and debating the issues is fine, but we could all do a damn sight better if we left the silly and utterly inaccurate namecalling aside. It serves no purpose.

As for the rollback of the executive orders, particularly the land-grab orders, not only does it go in line with Bush's long-held "wise use" ideals, it also goes toward his oft mentioned belief that the president should not govern by fiat. By signing executive orders Clinton singlehandedly shut off 60 million acres of land, without any discussion, any debate, or any input from the people who are affected by those orders on a first-hand basis.

The GOP, GWB and even many Dems have long held that the president simply should not undertake that kind of declarative action except under the most narrow and extreme circumstances -- he is the executive, not the sole legislator, and he needs to act thusly.
posted by Dreama at 8:44 AM on January 15, 2001

Lemme just chime in here as a resident of a certain very large Western state in the south of the country that has a coastline and a border with another country that also just happens to be the state that the new president elect is leaving, a state which shall remain nameless :)

For further reference, since I'm willing to bet these will keep coming up:

A) Texans are not stupid.
B) Texans are not cowboys.
C) All of Texas is not rural and backwoodsy (Houston, Dallas, and Fort Worth are all quite modern, as are most of the larger cities)
C) All of those who own firearms are not psychos and raving idiots.
D) All of us "westerners" are not heartless anti-environmentalists. I care about the environment a great deal, but I also want to have a place to go with a dune buggy or a Baja Bug. I also want to be able to drive a classic car (which supposedly put out too many pollutants and are evil), or go to the drag strip or the autocross course on weekends for a few runs.

posted by Spirit_VW at 10:16 AM on January 15, 2001

Even though I'd be in favor of Clinton's land-protection measures if I believed they were sincere, I suspect that at least part of the motivation behind them is to make Bush look like a villain for rolling them back.
posted by harmful at 12:36 PM on January 15, 2001

What difference does that make, harmful? Either you agree with the policy or you don't--and if you do, you would presumably want to see it enacted. Why should the sincerity of those implementing it matter? It may reflect poorly on THEM, but surely it doesn't impact the policy itself!
posted by rushmc at 7:25 PM on January 15, 2001

If the policy gets enacted, whether by hook or by crook, it doesn't bother me. It's just that as much as I dislike the Shrub, I see nothing inherently sinister about him overturning an act about which his predecessor didn't care enough to spend any meaningful political capital. If I want, I can find better reasons to dislike Dubya.
posted by harmful at 8:59 PM on January 15, 2001

At least he didn't invade Somalia--that was Bush I's little inauguration present to Clinton.

rushmc: It makes a difference because there's more than one story happening at a time. You can be in favor of a decision and still be uncomfortable with the larger chess game it's part of.

Spirit_VW: I care about the environment a great deal, but I also want to have a place to go with a dune buggy or a Baja Bug. I can't help but feel there's a deep illogic at work here--if you "care about" something but go out and do things that are destructive to it, don't you have to compartmentalize that "caring" to an extent that renders it meaningless? I mean, to make an analogy (I know it will seem inflammatory--don't mean to be but I can't come up with a better one right now): if I said "I love my son but I also find it entertaining when he is tormented by bullies," wouldn't you question whether I knew what the word "love" meant?
posted by rodii at 9:12 PM on January 15, 2001

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