Skip to main content.
Friday, May 27th, 2005

George F. Will Trashing Bush?

So far I’ve stayed silent on politics, but that’s always been destined to change. I don’t have the time to sit down and write out a manifesto, so I’ll just have to toss little tidbits in as we go along.

I’ve always liked George F. Will, even though I’ve rarely agreed completely with him. He has a clear, logical approach to expounding his position, and many times I’ve read his words and had to adjust my own opinions. But he has always been way too conservative for my taste, and a supporter, if not voice, for the far right. So I was very surprised to read his column in the May 23rd issue of Newsweek.

He takes the whole column to get to the point, and maybe that’s a bit of smokescreen (or perhaps some reluctant foot-dragging) but here’s the part that made me jump:

…the greatest threat to civility—and ultimately to civilization—is an excess of certitude. The world is much menaced just now by people who think that the world and their duties in it are clear and simple. They are certain that they know what—who—created the universe and what this creator wants them to do to make our little speck in the universe perfect, even if extreme measures—even violence—are required.

Mr. Will has trumpeted the second Bush presidency since it was a campaign, and this is probably as close as he can come to a direct admonishment. He gets even more direct:

It has been well said that the spirit of liberty is the spirit of not being too sure that you are right.

There’s lot of ways to interpret these words, of course, but what stood out to me is a criticism of Bush’s handling of international affairs, and possibly his heavy-handedness in domestic matters. I’ve spent a little time searching and I haven’t found any columns by Mr. Will on the nomination to the UN of John Bolton. I did find his column arguing against the “nuclear option” of ending filibusters for judicial nominees. Considering the current rancor between parties on Capitol Hill, I’m surprised that Mr. Will isn’t toeing the neoconservative line.

Now I’m not an avid George F. Will follower who reads all his columns and watches him on the Sunday morning tv shows, so perhaps he would be surprised at my surprise. As moderate, libertarian-leaning Republican who is horrified and embarrassed by President Bush’s fiscal irresponsibility and downright scared of the religious right’s assault on our civil liberties, I have been starting to feel pretty out of place in my party, and it sure is nice seeing at least one of our stalwarts standing up against the “my way or the highway” attitudes that seem to have taken over.

Posted by Greg as Politics at 15:25 PST

Comments Off on George F. Will Trashing Bush?