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Should Bush dump Ashcroft?

Republican victories in the past few decades have come with substantial support from libertarians and libertarian-leaning conservatives, who usually view the GOP as the lesser of two evils.
Should Bush dump Ashcroft?
Craft6, eThePeople.com, 7/22/03

The Democrats haven't yet found a clear contender or a cogent message, but it's not too early for President Bush to start worrying about the election. Part of that effort will be finding a campaign theme and accentuating the positives, but part of it is also dealing with the negatives.

As I see it, Bush has three big negatives to worry about -- the war in Iraq, the economy, and his attorney general, John Ashcroft. Bush needs to show the American people a plan for getting out of Iraq honorably, after establishing a stable Iraqi government. He may just have to cross his fingers on the economy and hope for a well timed upturn. But he can get rid of Ashcroft now, before he becomes an even bigger liability.

As criticism mounts over the Patriot Act and Ashcroft's overzealous enforcement of it, he gives Democrats someone to focus their negative attacks on. Many Americans, rightly or wrongly, consider President Bush a strong leader and a good person, and look down on those who criticize him too severely during a national crisis. They don't share that same sympathy for Ashcroft.

Republican victories in the past few decades have come with substantial support from libertarians and libertarian-leaning conservatives, who usually view Republicans as the lesser of two evils when compared to the Democrats. This may no longer be the case with a free-spending President, especially if his Attorney General is perceived as showing callous disregard for fundamental civil liberties.

The majority of folks who support the Bill of Rights are still Progressives. Maybe we should call them Social Libertarians. Orthodox anarcho-capitalists are much more interested in the financial side of the Libertarian Party Platform and so may mislead one into thinking they're far-right Republicans, but please keep in mind that the signature issue of the L.P. is still the legalization of marijuana, NOT something too many authoritarians support. Libertarians, with their fierce protection of the whole Bill of Rights are much closer to Progressives than to born-again Fundamentalists like Ashcroft and Dubbya.

The sooner we can get rid of this Neo-Nazi and his pal, Poindexter, the healthier the state of the union will be.

I agree with you, although I suspect you are referring to the libertarians (like me) who actually vote Libertarian. There is a much larger group of libertarian-leaning voters which has traditionally sided with the Republicans against the Democrats. Bush is dangerously closing to losing their support, on both economic and civil liberties issues.

homepage: homepage: http://www.e-thepeople.org/article/22326/view

I'm no so sure about that 23.Jul.2003 15:25


The economy and the war in Iraq are huge negatives for Bush, because those issues cross party lines. There's a substantial anti-war contingent on the right, (Libertarians, Pat Buchanan-conservatives, etc). And nearly all Americans care about how a president's policies affect their wallets.

But most people don't dislike Ashcroft and a majority approves of his job performance. Whether that's because they really agree with his policies, or they just don't know much about them, I'm not sure. Most people are more than willing to give up their rights for the promise of security. So when they hear about Ashcroft rounding-up "the Muslims" or prosecuting "medicinal marijuana farmers" they think it's great.

"A Harris Interactive poll last month found that 54 percent of respondents had a positive view of Ashcroft's job performance and only 32 percent had a negative view."

Bush's base is about 35% of the voting electorate. The Democrats' base is probably also close to 35% of the voting electorate. Bush's challenge is going to be convincing 15-20% of swing voters that his policies are helping them. But I don't think Ashcroft will affect the opinions of many of those voters. Then again, if much is made of Ashcroft's policies by the other candidates, maybe it will hurt Bush a bit. But I can't see it being a major thorn.

YES 23.Jul.2003 23:00


Yes, he should.

Remove Ashcroft Now 18.Jan.2004 09:49

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