- The American Conservative - http://www.theamericanconservative.com -

Bush Wrecked the GOP Long Before Trump Appeared

Max Boot laments [1] Trump’s victory:

That’s why, despite my disagreements with social conservatives, I worked as a foreign policy advisor to John McCain in 2008, Mitt Romney in 2012 and Marco Rubio this year. All of those candidates, different as they were, recognizably represented Reagan Republicanism.

For the time being, at least, that Republican Party is dead. It was wounded by the tea party absolutists who insisted on political purity and rejected any compromise. Now it has been killed by Donald Trump.

Boot is wrong about this, and I can only wish that the Bush-era GOP he mourns really was dead and gone. There’s no question that Bushism has suffered at least a partial repudiation in this election cycle, and I consider that to be as good and desirable a result as Boot considers it to terrible. But it will unfortunately take more than one defeat in the presidential primaries in one year to make sure that Bushism is thoroughly driven out of the GOP for good. While its supporters didn’t have much luck at the polls this year, Bushism continues to be well-represented among the party’s elected officials and pundits, and for all their theatrical declarations about the GOP’s death right now almost all of them will remain in the party and continue to have their baleful influence on it.

One of the remarkable things about this election is the sheer intensity of hostility to Trump from many of the same movement conservatives who shrugged at Bush’s far more serious betrayals and failures. Many movement conservatives have been much more horrified by Trump’s momentary political success over a few months than they were by the real, costly, staggering failures of governance under the Bush administration over a period of eight years. Bush certainly drove some conservatives and Republicans into vocal opposition, including those of us here at TAC, but there seem to be many, many more on the right that thought Bush could practically do no wrong but have been driven into fits by nothing more than Trump’s nomination.

People that now panic about incipient caudillismo and the dangers of a nationalist demagogue didn’t care when Bush expanded the security state, trampled on the Constitution, or launched an unnecessary war of aggression, and people that yawned at the steady expansion of government and creation of new unfunded liabilities under Bush are now supposedly alarmed by Trump’s lack of fidelity to the cause of limited government. They correctly identify many of Trump’s flaws, but refuse to acknowledge the fact that the party was already killed (or at least severely wounded) years ago during the disastrous Bush era. It was that period of incompetence and ideologically-driven debacles that shattered the GOP, and for the last seven years the vast majority of die-hard Trump foes have refused to recognize that and have chosen to learn nothing from it. They lost to Trump, but the part they can’t accept is that they deserved to lose because of their role in enabling the GOP’s past failures. Now they’re touting their abandonment of the wreckage they helped to create as if they deserve applause for running away from their own handiwork. If it weren’t so serious, it would be quite comical.

50 Comments (Open | Close)

50 Comments To "Bush Wrecked the GOP Long Before Trump Appeared"

#1 Comment By jamie On May 9, 2016 @ 8:29 pm

Was it just that Bush was a reliable neocon, or does Bush get a pass because he was a viable candidate?

#2 Comment By Flavius On May 9, 2016 @ 8:52 pm

Good God, if Trump marks paid to the Boots and the Kristols and the Lowrys, and the Party that produced the Doles, and the Bushes, and the McCains, and the Romneys, he, despite his flaws, will have done no mean thing. Win or lose, he will have earned his place in America’s political Hall of Fame. So many, so, so many are so, so tired of them, their hollow promises, their debacles – don’t they get that, even now.

#3 Comment By Rossbach On May 9, 2016 @ 9:00 pm

Bush was a sock puppet for the donor class. Repudiating him means repudiating them. That is what is upsetting the GOP hierarchy. They stand to lose a ton of cash if Trump wins in November.

#4 Comment By bt On May 9, 2016 @ 9:39 pm

This is so true.

One of the memories of the Bush Years that really makes me want to vomit is the fantastical creatn of the “Unitary Executive”.

This fabrication was used as justification for any and all manner of misbehavior by Bush. And for Republicans when one of theirs is President, that person can mostly do anything they want.

Then when Obama is in office they turn right around and go on and on about that Precious Construction which Bush ignored for 8 years, and how important it is to stop all that Obama executive overreach. And they pretty much prevent Obama form doing anything at all for the last 6 years. Like this supreme court deal – Advise and consent? Never mind, Republicans deserve the privilege, I guess.

Or when Bush passed Medicare Part B, and then when a Republican is not in charge, suddenly we must fix the debt, the debt, the debt.

The hypocrisy of it all is staggering. And W is the one that really blew it up and made it undeniable.

#5 Comment By Kurt Gayle On May 9, 2016 @ 10:16 pm

Daniel, I agree with your analysis completely! Well-said.

I particularly appreciate the importance of your warning:

“While its supporters didn’t have much luck at the polls this year, Bushism continues to be well-represented among the party’s elected officials and pundits, and for all their theatrical declarations about the GOP’s death right now almost all of them will remain in the party and continue to have their baleful influence on it.”

Bushism may require the white oak stake.

#6 Comment By Commenter Man On May 9, 2016 @ 11:36 pm

Thank you. Especially liked this: “Now they’re touting their abandonment of the wreckage they helped to create as if they deserve applause for running away from their own handiwork.”

#7 Comment By Rambler89 On May 10, 2016 @ 4:06 am

Very true, and alongside the points made here about the Republican side of the establishment, pretty much the same points can be made about the Democratic side. They, as well as the Republicans, created Trump, by creating a situation in which even a Trump is better than allowing that same establishment to become irremediably entrenched through even greater abuse of government power. I suspect that many of Trump’s supporters (the ones the media doesn’t publicize) see it that way, some clearly, some vaguely but enough for it to be a motivation.

#8 Comment By bill B On May 10, 2016 @ 7:41 am

So true. I would add that Bush caved to Pelosi/Reid just like Boehner/McConnell caved to Obama. Bush was the food stamp president before Obama. Bush was the “obamaphone” president before Obama. Obama strode into office and could rightly say, “Well, Bush did it, too.”

#9 Comment By Jerry Rhoades On May 10, 2016 @ 8:16 am

Of course, some of us cared “about it and spoke openly against it when when Bush expanded the security state, trampled on the Constitution, or launched an unnecessary war of aggression.”

We were called “traitors” and told that we wanted Americans to die. By the same so-called “Conservatives” who are now wringing their hands over Trump.

#10 Comment By Brooklyn Blue Dog On May 10, 2016 @ 8:23 am

Bret Stephens, the dumbest neocon at the WSJ, has a similar column today that exposes a huge blind spot to the damage that W did to the GOP and the conservative cause. Stephens just can’t accept that it was W and apologists like himself that put the GOP in the hole it’s in today.

#11 Comment By Uncle Billy On May 10, 2016 @ 9:21 am

W Bush was a disaster. Unnecessary war in Iraq, huge deficits, economic meltdown of 2008 and much more. He certainly was no real “conservative” but a puppet for the Neocons and the billionaires.

Boot has zero credibility. Any politician who signs him up as an adviser is a fool.

#12 Comment By Duncan On May 10, 2016 @ 9:45 am

Bush ruined it? What about Reagan with his infamous know-nothingism? Or for that matter Nixon, who brought the worst elements of the Democratic party into the GOP?

#13 Comment By MissButterfly On May 10, 2016 @ 10:04 am

Excellent article!
I’ll never forget how nauseating it was that the first thing George W. Bush did in office was to kiss up to Ted Kennedy – he asked him to write the ‘education bill’! It went downhill from there.
But the hate-Trump crowd never acknowledges the disaster that was the eight years under George W., can never admit the truth.

#14 Comment By Richard_Iowa On May 10, 2016 @ 10:34 am

The Bush’s are globalists looking to expand. I have voted for every Bush that ever ran, up until now. I was very confident in Bush I until he made the “New World Order” comment, and strongly supported NAFTA. Both of these issues bothered me then and bother me now. I helped elect Bush II as Texas governor, and voted for him twice for President. What change my view of Bush II was his Waco meeting with Vincente Fox and Canada PM Paul Martin. There were obfuscations in the agenda and it did not pass the smell test. Bush I over spent like a kid who found a prepaid debit card, and then wanted to give ~ 11 million illegal aliens citizenship all the while denying this action. Bush III is same song third verse. Trump is a nationalist and is for making America great again for “We the People.” Therein lies the distinction and the difference. The Bush’s want the global expansion of government, while Trump wants the average Joe to have a shot at life, and the reduction of the size and influence of government in our lives.

#15 Comment By Egypt Steve On May 10, 2016 @ 11:22 am

Larison, you need an agent. Why can’t you get on the Sunday shows? Yours is a voice that we really need way beyond the pixels of TAC.

#16 Comment By Al from da Nort On May 10, 2016 @ 11:44 am

I think the matter much simpler. W’s critics were so unhinged, repugnant and obviously motivated by unprincipled partisanship that many of us who questioned many aspects of his agenda were influenced to circle the wagons in his defense. At least that was true for me.

Regards the foreign wars, W had a lot of critical decisions to make and not much time to make them post 9/11. Afghanistan really could not be left unpunished for their role in the attack. Why Saudi Arabia was left unpunished for its role is another matter that still festers under the surface, as it should.

Re Iraq, the pre-war situation was hardly the idyl that some apparently suppose. We were spending billions a month so that France and Russia could get high prices for their munitions and UN kleptocrats could add to their Swiss bank accounts. The choices were crush Sadam or let him up to world-wide derision. Neither very attractive.

#17 Comment By sglover On May 10, 2016 @ 12:45 pm

@Al from da Nort — didn’t know there were any dead-enders still around. Interesting, if only in an archaeological sense.

#18 Comment By EliteCommInc. On May 10, 2016 @ 1:59 pm

I remain fond of Pres. Bush despite opposing nearly all of the agenda for many of the reasons noted above.

My initial response to the NCLB was incorrect. After actually reading it objectives, I found much of the complaints flats and sheer whining about nothing aside from the fact that the proposal came from Pres. Bush.

The events of 9/11 don’t explain everything. I still think the invasion of Afghanistan a strategic error.

#19 Comment By DES On May 10, 2016 @ 2:08 pm

“Bush expanded the security state, trampled on the Constitution,…launched an unnecessary war of aggression, and people that yawned at the steady expansion of government and creation of new unfunded liabilities”

Spot on, although it fails to mention the one statistic that summarizes and underlies all of the others, namely, that he increased the national debt from $5 trillion to $10 trillion in eight short years.

Some “conservative”!

#20 Comment By Calvin On May 10, 2016 @ 2:10 pm

I wonder if bill B realizes that Ronald Reagan was the original “obamaphone” president?

Probably not. I’ve found that’s usually how that goes… -_-

#21 Comment By Myron Hudson On May 10, 2016 @ 2:26 pm

“It was that period of incompetence and ideologically-driven debacles that shattered the GOP…”

All too fresh in my mind. The entire Bush II/neocon movement was built on ideology and fueled by emotion. Dismissive of facts on the ground. Dismissive of scores of Reagan-era operatives leaving State in the run-up to Iraq II. The administration famously asserted that as an Empire it could create it’s own reality. And apparently 50% of the populace bought right into it and excoriated the rest of us.

I missed the good old days when the conservatives said things like “You can’t legislate morality” and “We have to be practical; we can’t afford to be sentimental” and drove the then-counter culture crazy. Frankly I saw a lot of similarity between the Bush II rah-rahs and the radicals of the 70s; the shoe was just on the other foot.

Fast forward to 2006-2008. GOP candidates could not run far enough from W’s record. Rightly so. Fast forward to now: the original enablers and cheerleaders cannot understand why won’t come to our senses and return to Bushism. Do they really think we are that stupid, or are they really that stupid?

I’m grateful for Trump. He might be bad news in some respects but if he further marginalizes that crowd he won’t bring the same level of disaster upon us.

#22 Comment By Richard Brock On May 10, 2016 @ 2:44 pm

You know in which party the true Conservatives of this country reside in? The Constitution Party.

#23 Comment By Sanf On May 10, 2016 @ 2:46 pm

“BUT, HE KEPT US SAFE”.

BTW, I read recently that Dick Cheney is supporting Trump. Maybe they can go hunting together.

#24 Comment By EliteCommInc. On May 10, 2016 @ 3:32 pm

“Regards the foreign wars, W had a lot of critical decisions to make and not much time to make them post 9/11. Afghanistan really could not be left unpunished for their role in the attack. Why Saudi Arabia was left unpunished for its role is another matter that still festers under the surface, as it should. . . .could add to their Swiss bank accounts. The choices were crush Saddam or let him up to world-wide derision. Neither very attractive.”

Afghanistan had no role in the attacks of September 11. There was not even a central authority governing body accountable to the country’s citizens. Osama Bin Laden and plotters were outside of any real jurisdiction, given the structure of Afghanistan politics. I won’t speculate on how long we should have waited to convince them to cooperate. But in either case, cooperative or not, remaking Afghanistan int some state for women’s equality or general democracy is a stretch. Punishing Afghanistan accomplished nothing toward resolving some international role of terrorist organizations. If anything it as with the invasion of Iraq, have given the contentions of Bin Laden and company legs. I wuld like t put a nail in the Afghanistan myth making twelve years ago.

The government of Saudi Arabia were no more culpable than Afghanistan. And certainly less as they did not harbor any players after the fact, that I am aware of. The fact that the key players are from Saudi Arabia ignores a complex dynamic in which the Europeans and the US pressed the Saudis to take former Afghan rebels after the Soviets departed.

Pres Hussein was already crushed after the first Gulf War and no threat to the US, doubtful in a position to be a threat to his neighbors either. These relentless attempts to justify invading Iraq just fall flat on scrutiny. Swiss Bank accounts . . .

Oy ve’.

It is just these types of imagined or rough sketched machinations that embolden the manufacture of evidence, ignoring the reports of the IAEA, the successful work of weapons inspectors on the ground in Iraq and that no fly ones and other measures were effective.

Whether Pres Hussein was roller coasting the price of his country’s oil was not justification for an invasion either.

There was of course the option to maintain the status quo, blocking the predicted and predictable events that have followed. Iraq fell apart in our presence as the result of our actions to devastating consequence for the region. The attempt to manufacture some kind of “Arab Spring” rehab lacking any real indigenous support was doomed to failure.

I appreciate positive thinking to positive ends. But putting lipstick and band aids on these shattered ceramic dolls by ignoring the shatter isn’t positive and isn’t going to breed any better success forward.

No other events have so crippled the conservative or Republican bids for leadership than the invasions and management of Iraq and Afghanistan. The democrats having made matters worse in Libya, Syria, Egypt, the Ukraine and I suspect designs are in the works for other needless interventions have provided an opportunity for a turn around and recover what reams of conservative thought have not been crushed under the tracks of careless and needless interventions.

But continuing to embrace failure as justification as opposed to a learnings will not do it.

#25 Comment By EliteCommInc. On May 10, 2016 @ 3:34 pm

My comments are of one, who actually supported Pres. Bush despite my disagreements —-

anyone with the courage to advance abstinence as a national agenda, can’t be all be bad.

#26 Comment By Captain P On May 10, 2016 @ 4:13 pm

Hopefully Trump’s election will convince Boot and his ilk to self-deport.

#27 Comment By Anonne On May 10, 2016 @ 5:14 pm

Daniel, I tend to agree except that it wasn’t Bush per se. The problem is that Bush was a weak leader and all the so-called thought leaders in the party drove the train. Cheney, Rumsfeld, and all the establishment folks that knew that “deficits didn’t matter” and blew them up anyway are to blame, though Bush is included.

Bush enacted Republican Party policies. The Party destroyed itself in the name of power, and continues to do so today. The Party cares not one whit about good governance, only about getting re-elected and continues to speak in feel-good slogans that only rile up the base against Democrats. There is no such thing as compromise, or humility.

They have learned nothing, and will not learn anything, so long as these incentive stay in place. The coalition is dead and the faithful really weren’t.

#28 Comment By Tom On May 10, 2016 @ 5:16 pm

41 Destroyed Reaganism, W just finished it off while McInsane and Romney were the urine on the final candle.

#29 Comment By Sanf On May 10, 2016 @ 5:36 pm

SO much to criticize, so little space.
What about Katrina? The Great Recession? And, although I’m a moderate Dem., you can thank the many failures of Bush for the election of a first-term Senator with the middle name of Hussein—-extraordinary.

#30 Comment By John On May 10, 2016 @ 6:35 pm

Well, whatever we do, let’s not question what some say Reagan would have wanted, no matter how many people have come out to vote against it. It’s only been 28 years since he left office, and I’m sure that nothing has changed to warrant all this Trump nonsense.

Said the men who should lose their positions in a healthy and viable Republican Party.

#31 Comment By Fran Macadam On May 11, 2016 @ 2:42 am

Going down with Das Boot, whose ideas always have been all wet, and left us under water.

#32 Comment By Fran Macadam On May 11, 2016 @ 2:45 am

“BTW, I read recently that Dick Cheney is supporting Trump. Maybe they can go hunting together.”

That might be exactly what that heartless man has in mind.

#33 Comment By jk On May 11, 2016 @ 4:03 am

If 9/11 never happened, Bush would have been an OK, forgettable President.

#34 Comment By Al from da Nort On May 11, 2016 @ 7:34 am

I see that some people completely misunderstood my purpose, not to mention manufactured their own history. Critical evaluation depends upon the ability to put oneself into the shoes of ‘the decider’ at the time the decisions were made with the information and political conditions he/she had at the time.

Anachronistic negative overreaction to everything W did is just as unhelpful as the emotion-driven defensiveness towards some of W’s more questionable policies that I now realize I had at the time.

Re Afghanistan: I recommend to ‘EliteCommInc’ that he/she read the actual 9/11 committee report and the contemporary analysis in the national security blogosphere before pontificating in ignorance.

It did indeed turn into strategic error. Would a Roman style punitive expedition (line the road with crosses with the old elite on them and leave after telling the new elite not to let it happen again) have been a preferred method of punishment?

Possibly, but while known to be effective, this option was unavailable to W at the time for, on the whole, excellent contemporary political reasons.

#35 Comment By TB On May 11, 2016 @ 8:51 am

Ronald Reagan wrecked the GOP.
– Voodoo Economics
– “The government is the problem.”

#36 Comment By Mike Lyman On May 11, 2016 @ 10:24 am

While I see a lot of conservatives lament the damage Bush Jr did to their cause, I see very few acknowledge that most of the country does not distinguish between them and Bush. Say he wasn’t conservative all you want but the bulk of the country doesn’t buy it. They aren’t concerned with the nuanced levels of conservative that the right is. It’s all right to them.

The GOP is in trouble from both its right and left flank and those on the right would do well to remember there are a lot more voters on the GOP’s left flank than there are on theirs. That said, as Reagan showed, there plenty of common ground upon which to build a winning coalition as long as you look for it rather than focus on the disagreements all the time.

#37 Comment By Starched Collar On May 11, 2016 @ 11:28 am

“People that now panic about incipient caudillismo and the dangers of a nationalist demagogue didn’t care when Bush expanded the security state, trampled on the Constitution, or launched an unnecessary war of aggression, and people that yawned at the steady expansion of government and creation of new unfunded liabilities under Bush are now supposedly alarmed by Trump’s lack of fidelity to the cause of limited government. “

Not only did they ignore what Bush did, they condemned Obama for not doing more of it.

It’s depressing that we’re still exposed to the views of people like Max Boot. One reason people are so disgusted, angry with and contemptuous of the “establishment” and elites is because they suffer no serious consequences for being repeatedly wrong about big, important matters. Boot is a case in point. It’s well past time that we hosed out the stables.

#38 Comment By Conserving What? On May 11, 2016 @ 12:12 pm

People like Max Boot and George Will exist mainly to annoy people who read political “news”, but have no impact at all on the “man in the street”, who doesn’t read their blatherings. Bush did indeed destroy the GOP as envisioned by traditional GOP voters, because he made evident what the leaders of the party were doing and were prepared to do (including war with Iran). And Trump is doing a good job of shaking the nerves of the GOP establishment, but for all his posturing, I doubt that Trump is the strongman he wants us to believe he is. If he gets elected, he will likely be co-opted by the GOP establishment.

#39 Comment By EliteCommInc. On May 11, 2016 @ 1:46 pm

“Re Afghanistan: I recommend to ‘EliteCommInc’ that he/she read the actual 9/11 committee report and the contemporary analysis in the national security blogosphere before pontificating in ignorance.”

There’s long reading list I could proffer. But the options available were numerous. none of which needed a vast reading at the time.

1. on it face, there was no evidence that Pres. Hussein had anything to do with 9/11.

2. All the evidence makes clear, he would not have tolerated this organization, much less supported.

3. If you advance a position, then the burden of proof is on you to lend weight that said action is merited. One did not need a bachelors degree to know the case came up short. The case was not made for war.

4. I think if you want to counter my content you can apply the volumes of rhetoric used that my comments are meant to counter.

5. Should one read the 9/11 commission’s report (alone), what they will discover is that the US missed multiple opportunities to prevent or minimize the attacks. And none of the actions to do so required extraordinary measures. Something as simple as following up on expired VISA’s and terror watch lists, and various organizations communicating information . . .

5. As opposed to reading “blogs” it might be a god idea to read the actual NIE at the time dedicated to this issue. And the focus should be on the arguments making the case. The counter analysis just drove the nail home of the advocates case — they did not have one.

6. It was a strategic error. And the error is simple, telegraphing intent, and means. Overgeneralizing that Afghans had any idea what Osama Bin Laden was up to, much less supported the matter. I would recommend some reading, but it is not required because the mistake was quite obvious. In essence we invaded a country to arrest twenty suspects. One need not be a scholar to get the problems.

The capabilities of the US make Rome appear impotent. And given that Rome routinely lined its defeated for miles along it routes, I can say with a good deal of confidence, that putting crucifixes along the road to this or that territory is of little consequence as to strategic error. One can do this to a defeated enemy as messaging. But one does have to actually defeat them.

_______________

Should you have a question about my gender feel free to ask. Your implication reminds me of the period in which these events were being discussed. I should let it pass, but I think I will comment. Not hopping on the invasion band wagon has nothing to do with being timid on the use of force. The suggestion would be incorrect.

I have routinely made it clear that 9/11 was catastrophic event that shaped events and caught the country completely off guard. I am also aware that my views on Afghanistan are in the minority and unpopular. I think time is my ally here and will continue to be.

#40 Comment By EliteCommInc. On May 11, 2016 @ 2:01 pm

” . . . blogosphere before pontificating in ignorance.”

You have a slim ray of leverage here, but it is pure speculation. The only evidence that Muslims as a community before hand that September 11, was in the works, rests on a 9 year olds comments at school the week of the day before.

____
Here’s one of my favorite spaces for strategic data:

[2]

The article discusses the effectiveness steps taken after 9/11 by noting how it prevented further attacks.

The actors of 9/11 had no second act. They were stunned that they achieved what they did. In very real terms they got lucky. Making claims that the wars stopped further attacks is akin to me saying not driving today prevented me getting into an accident.
The data is overwhelmingly against invading two nations, neither of which had anything to do with the attacks.

A lot of planning took place outside Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia and none in Iraq. If invasion is the key, then maybe we should invade Germany and Great Britain.

But maybe my ignorance is getting in the way here.

#41 Comment By Still_Berry On May 11, 2016 @ 5:13 pm

A little nuance is needed here. Without neocons shouting down the voices of restraint G. W. Bush might have avoided the most serious blunders of his catastrophic presidency. It’s still his fault, of course, because he gave them a place at the table and let them turn his head. His father knew better when it came to “the crazies in the basement”.

#42 Comment By bt On May 11, 2016 @ 5:18 pm

“Bush enacted Republican Party policies”

————–

I think that hits it on the head.

He took those policies and put the pedal to the metal. When they failed, it’s very much a now what problem.

Like taking a budget surplus, and implementing huge tax cuts and turning that into a big deficit. You can’t go on about debt and deficits when you are the ones that keep making them.

Using 9/11 as a pretext to launch regime change anywhere the USA sees fit. Axis of Evil and all that. Just blowing stuff up because we’re America, and we make our own reality. All with a big pile of Texas braggadocio on top.

Bush blew the lid off quite a few things. And he put those bedrock GOP policies into a ditch that they’ve not come out of. Seriously, what’s left? Gay marriage. Bathroom bills. Ted Nugent.

#43 Comment By Richard M On May 11, 2016 @ 6:13 pm

People that now panic about incipient caudillismo and the dangers of a nationalist demagogue didn’t care when Bush expanded the security state, trampled on the Constitution, or launched an unnecessary war of aggression…

True enough. And yet that doesn’t make Trump’s incipient authoritarianism (which really does operate at a more intense level, with even less respect for constitutional, legal or political niceties, than Bush’s ever did) any less dangerous. The old Bushian neo-cons may be discredited in all this, but this does not make the prospect of a Trump presidency any less ominous. Especially since his cheering section gives all evidence of being more visceral in cheerleading such authoritarianism than Dubya’s ever was after 9/11.

#44 Comment By Richard M On May 11, 2016 @ 6:18 pm

Ronald Reagan wrecked the GOP.
– Voodoo Economics
– “The government is the problem.”

That’s an ideological indictment, not a factual analysis.

Because the reality is that the GOP was already pre-wrecked – over the previous two decades it had lost 3 of the past five presidential elections, with the president who won the only two hounded out of office under threat of impeachment, was never even remotely a threat to take control of either house of Congress or .a majority of statehouses. Whereas Reagan was able to manage at least a partial realignment.

It’s just that that realignment has run its course now, 36 years later.

#45 Comment By Ken T On May 12, 2016 @ 8:45 am

Take heart. Since Hillary is now openly appealing to the Bushists to cross over and support her, she may solve your problem for you.

btw – I think Fran wins the thread with “Das Boot”! LOL

#46 Comment By EliteCommInc. On May 12, 2016 @ 11:13 am

” . . . Like taking a budget surplus, and implementing huge tax cuts and turning that into a big deficit. You can’t go on about debt and deficits when you are the ones that keep making them.

Using 9/11 as a pretext to launch regime change anywhere the USA sees fit. Axis of Evil and all that. Just blowing stuff up because we’re America, and we make our own reality. All with a big pile of Texas braggadocio on top.”

1. There was no a surplus. The supposed savings were based on

a. budget projections of future economic performance and expenses
b. there were other manipulative accounting practices such cobbling debt in a means such as not to be counted in the actual budget

2. What the incoming admin. discovered very quickly after taking office was that the economy was not nearly as pretty as one was led to believe. Enron was only a precursor what seems to have been business as usual in the financial and business sectors. All of which was revved up under the previous admin.

There was no surplus.

2. The response to 9/11 was not a Republican party platform. The event was unexpected and unforseen in the specifics. And given that both democrats and republican clamored for response making said response a Republican policy only is incorrect. That the democratic party signed on to regime change in Afghanistan, hardly makes it a Republican policy. And while there was more hesitation about Iraq, the same holds true. Up until hinges got very tough, the democrats were all besides themselves with positive chattering.

a. regime change is not part of Republican policy
b. tax cuts while increasing the size of government is not a Republican party policy agenda.
c. responding to acts of terror is not uniquely a republican policy.

What is telling about the years of Pres. Bush’s admin. is that not much of it reflected a Republican agenda much less a conservative agenda.

The implementation of the vast security aparatus we have now is built on the debate security vs freedom. 9/11 pushed the weight heavily to the side of security and democrats have been all happy to expand the matter as democrats want to do.

No sadly, Pres. Bush allowed his admin to act as if democrats were in office. And that is a very painful admission.

#47 Comment By Christopher Manion On May 12, 2016 @ 1:08 pm

Thank you for writing the obvious, which (obviously) is still denied by the diehards protecting their careers, reputations, incomes, and consciences.

Although obvious, it must be repeated again and again and again (Thanks, FDR 1940).

#48 Comment By bt On May 12, 2016 @ 3:03 pm

“There was no surplus.”

And those tax cuts? Did they never happen either? Perhaps they stopped the deficit from getting even bigger (sarcasm alert).

#49 Comment By EliteCommInc. On May 12, 2016 @ 10:52 pm

“And those tax cuts? Did they never happen either?”

Taking my comments from their context and presenting them as you have furthers my point. Selectively choosing information merely to make a point completely out of context is akin to what liberals and democrats want to do —

Tax cuts minus cutting the size of government, at the same time one is expanding government is not Republican policy.

Sarcasm won’t create future dollars that didn’t materialize.

#50 Comment By Sting Mccoy On May 15, 2016 @ 5:51 pm

Great article. I’m shocked by the number of people who don’t understand the importance of Bush in this election cycle.

The New York Times is unsuccessfully trying to destroy Trump by saying he likes girls. They left thinks Bush is popular with voters, so it never occurred to use the (imaginary) Kill Shot that Trump was Bush’s friend.