“No Man’s life liberty or property is safe while the legislature is in session”.

- attributed to NY State Judge Gideon Tucker

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Ken Duberstein On CNBC

I caught part of former Reagan chief of staff Ken Duberstein's appearance on CNBC yesterday morning. Suffice to say, I was shocked.

Am I one of the last to learn that this alleged conservative stalwart had actually supported Wonderboy in 2008? It was worse as I listened to his reasoning and lack of remorse.

According to Duberstein, he backed the First Rookie because he would be a transformational president. Whatever that meant. And while admitting to a disappointing first 2 1/2 years, Duberstein was unrepentant.

When asked if he still supported/will support the current president in 2012, he delivered a soaring punt, claiming that with 17 months to go until the election, he can't declare for anyone right now.

Does anyone who claims to be conservative now care what Duberstein thinks? Not me.

It got worse when he elaborated on having visited the White House one or more times during the lame duck session to advise on the tax rate extension/stimulus compromise. Asked about the current trade legislation standoff, Duberstein blithely spun out some story about compromise, refusing to judge whether the trade-affected job retraining rider was worthwhile or not.

That statement alone told me all I needed to know about Duberstein now- and probably back in Reagan's day, as well. And perhaps why Reagan settled for so much less than he should have back in the day.

Duberstein pointedly ignored evidence that the so-called retraining package of several billion dollars is just a union sop that doesn't actually even require evidence of foreign-trade pact injury to pay individuals for alleged harm. Instead, he simply referred to the compromise mechanics, saying that 'that's how things get done.'

Additionally, Duberstein had earlier confided that the chief of staff gives his own opinion, and does not simply stand by, mute, awaiting orders.

Thus, you could see how Duberstein probably functioned with Reagan- pushing for compromise, dumping conservative positions in favor of expedient capitulations. Given what we now know about Reagan's last years in office and the probable early onset of Alzheimer's, Duberstein's advise eroded any possibility Reagan had of cementing the best of his conservative policies while in office.

As for Duberstein, his approach and lack of fidelity to actual conservative ideology seem to make him kindred to James Baker. No wonder Reagan was so much less effective than many of us hoped at the time. His own team lacked his conviction.

Especially, judging from his remarks yesterday, Duberstein.

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