Advice for Conservative Republicans - Run Against Bush


I have some advice for conservatives, especially those running for Presidential nominee for the Republican party.  At this point, that means Romney.  Not a perfect conservative, mind you, but conservative enough.  My advice is simple: Run against or at least away from Bush.  

Bush has ruined the Republican brand.  He has kicked it, stepped on it, crushed it, and then threw it out the window.  Democrats will run against it.  And they should.  It will, of course, be for all the wrong reasons, but that won't matter.  They will put Republicans on the defensive because of it, and the electorate is on their side.  Indeed, this is not a good season to be a Republican and the reason should be obvious to everyone: George W. Bush.

Which issue would you like to consider?  Let me name them.

Fiscal Restraint?  Bush has made the Democrats look like tight wads.  He has spent more than any administration in history.  He was veto-less in his first term when much of the damage was done.

Education?  He teamed up with Senator Kennedy to wrap the federal government's arms around education in No Child Left Behind.  Not a conservative position.  And, by the way, he still gets no credit from libs.

Entitlements?  He did nothing to cut the ruinous hemorrhaging of the various entitlement programs, to reform them in anyway, to reduce their liability and pending insolvency, but rather added a new one: the Medicare Prescription Program, the greatest expansion of government since Great Society, unfunded, a major new liability for taxpayers, even as Medicare alone threatens to eat the budget.

Social Security?  He talked a good game about privatization after his second term victory in '04, but did nothing to push it through the legislative process.  Net gain: zero.  Poor management and/or lack of will or interest.

Katrina: a mess.  And not entirely his fault.  How about the obvious dysfunctional local and state governments?  Bush was, I feel, unfairly blamed.  Still, when it seemed he was slow in responding, he overcompensated by putting the American taxpayer on the hook for upwards of 150 billion dollars and set a potentially disastrous precedent that may ruin the nation financially in future catastrophes when the Federal government is expected to reconstruct other areas struck by disasters.  It simply is not economically feasible.  Who built New Orleans in the first place?  The government?  Nooooo.  The people did.  Private enterprise did.  The government is responsible for emergency aid, saving lives, food, shelter, water, and the like, but not rebuilding an entire city.  Not, however, according to Mr. Government, George Bush.

Immigration?  Don't even ask.  He supported the McCain-Kennedy Amnesty bill and is a proponent of open borders.  He advocates, in effect, the importing of millions of unskilled, impoverished, uneducated Spanish speaking high school dropouts who will crack our already strained public programs in half and threaten the financial and cultural integrity of the nation.

Energy Independence?  Another big zero.  He has not opened up ANWAR or the continental shelf for drilling.  We sit on billions of gallons of oil and gas and do nothing about it, leaving it instead for the Cubans and Chinese to explore and develop.  He has not built new oil refineries.  He has not pushed coal (of which we have more in the Mid West than oil in the Middle East).  He has not pushed nuclear.  He is even mumbling now about global warming.  He has talked a good game about energy independence but did nothing about it.

The War on Terror?  This was at one point a relative strong suit but no more.  Although, thankfully, the surge has been working in Iraq, because of his poor planning, mismanagment, and miserable implementation for the first three years, the entire Iraq project is now discredited however well intentioned and far sighted it may have been initially.  No one now will even bring up the idea of preemptive action for, say, Iran because of the bitter aftertaste of Iraq.  Same for the promotion of democracy abroad.  No one even talks about it now.  His greatest attribute is now a dismal albatross.

He failed to engage the nation in the effort.  He did not increase military spending as he should have to correct the underfunding that occured during the Clinton years.  Strategic blunders.  He tried to fight the war on the cheap, with grossly inadequate troop levels.  He should have used his own father's example when he sent five hundred thousand troops to liberate Kuwait (primed, of course, by the Reagan build up), a much smaller task than defeating, occupying, and rebuilding Iraq - attempted with a mere 130,000 troops - incredible chutzpah, arrogance and just downright stupidity.  His Dad accomplished his mission in four days and American prestige was at its zenith.  Obviously not true for junior.  The frat boy just didn't measure up with the old WW II vet.

Moral Clarity?  Former strong point.  Now?  Don't ask - again.  He is busy selling out friends and befriending our enemies and the enemies of our allies.  The obvious example: the recent absurd efforts to materialize "peace" where none exists in the Middle East, where Israel's Palestinian enemies refuse to renounce violence and terror, refuse to stop indoctrinating their citizens to hate Jews and Israel, refuse to dismantle their terrorist infrastructure, or accept Israel's right to exist as a Jewish state.  Rather, they continue plotting Israel's destruction - only in stages.  Yet, Bush now screams about Israeli "settlements" and ending the "occupation."  The  man who refused to negotiate with the Palestinians until they rejected terror and undid their terrorist infrastructure now stands shoulder to shoulder with the terrorists. 

He now prefers "dialogue" with Iran and North Korea, two card carrying members of the "axis of evil."  Fine.  Give, as they say, futility its chance.  But be ready with hard power.  He is not, and, after the Iraq debacle, he obviously lacks the will and the political capital.  But while sending Condi over to chat, don't sell out friends for heaven's sake.  For example, why not let Japan nuclearize as they should or at least have an open discussion about it?  Instead of condemning them for debating it when Pyongyang was launching missiles.  They are a world power, the second greatest economy in the world, a democracy, a stalwart supporter of the US and our greatest ally in Asia.  We trust the Chicoms with nuclear weapons but not Japan?  But of course Bush wouldn't want to upset or "friends" in Red China and North Korea.  Taiwan is a whole other matter.  Moral Clarity is out the window.    

Affirmative Action?  Seems to favor it.  He sent mixed signals to the Supreme Court that led to the muddled decision in favor of University of Michigan's race based admissions policy that will only perpetuate the divisive confusion another generation instead of resolving and ending a program that should be seen as insulting and stigmatizing to blacks and balkanizing to the country. 

Bilingual Education?  Favors it.  A real multiculturalist (same on affirmative action).

Tort Reform?  Alot of talk but no action - again.

Budget Deficits?  Seems to love them.  Never vetoed a spending bill when the Republicans ran Congress, which is part of the reason they are out of power.  He suddenly became a fiscal conservative when the Democrats took over in 06.  Too late.  The party of fiscal discipline, balanced budgets, and cutting spending is gone.

Supply Sider?  Maybe before, although barely.  Not any longer, witness the absurd Keynesian Demand Side "stimulus" package he is falling all over himself to pass with the Democrats and other confused, spineless Republicans, adding another 150-200 billion dollars to the deficit, which will do not a thing to improve the economy.  Handing out dollars is also known as welfare, especially when giving it to those who do not pay taxes.  It will not help with a possible recession.  It will increase inflation, already picking up steam.  It will increase the deficit.  It will yield zero wealth and zero growth because no new wealth is created, only a redistribution of dollars.  So called "tax rebates" have been tried before and did not work.  If government handouts of dollars would boost the economy why not do it all the time? 

It is a failed policy that Reagan demolished after the Carter era ("stagflation," double digit inflation and unemployment).  Again, there is no increase in wealth.  There is no growth.  It is merely a recycling of dollars that were either taxed or borrowed.  Improving the health of the economy is done through permanent structural changes that increase money in the hands of consumers and, most importantly, capital in the hands of entrepreneurs who will invest in new businesses or expand existing ones.  That is true wealth creation and economic growth.  The mindless handing out of dollars will do nothing for the economy but will increase the deficit, raise inflation, and diminish the value of the dollar.

It is tactics like the "stimulus" package which, by the way, are so demoralizing to conservatives when embraced by Republicans.  We expect that from Democrats, but what can be said about the Republican party when they pursue such silly and damaging gambits just to show they are "doing something."  Isn't one liberal party enough?  It is particularly dangerous because if the putative party of fiscal discipline peddles such nonsense, it increases the likelihood that it will be tried again and again, ushering in a new era of ruinous Keynesian economic policies.  This, after conservatives (lead by Friedman and Reagan) worked so hard to defeat it and inaugurate the Friedman era of supply side economics - or, to put it another way, the era of freedom and free markets.

Global Warming?  He is beginning to inhale the vapors. 

Summary: Bush inherited a Republican majority in both houses of Congress.  He inherited the Reagan legacy.  He inherited the party of limited government.  He has squandered all of it.  He had a unique opportunity to unify the country with a new spirit of assimilative patriotism and rebuild our depleted military after 9/11.  He could have created a lasting Republican majority.  He failed.  The reason: he governed as a liberal.  

We've gotten meager tax cuts and two judges from Bush (one, Alito, only after a great hue and cry over initial pick, Myers).  And a bungled war on terror.  A discredited President and Presidency.  Washed up on the rocky shores of mushy headed "compassionate conservatism," which, if anyone remains confused about it, is code for liberalism. 

Let it be said: Bush is a liberal.  He is as liberal as any Democrat only the libs don't realize it and many Bush diehards remain in denial (including Rush and other conservative talk show superstars who seem overly magnanimous toward our President).  If he had a 'D' after his name and not an 'R', he would be the darling of liberal democrats nationwide.  He is one of them only they don't recognize it, consumed as they are with hatred from the loss in 2000 and the war in Iraq.

Conservative Republicans must run away from Bush.  They need to distance themselves from his record and governing philosophy.  They need to go on the offensive against the liberalism of George Bush who has singlehandedly ruined the Republican party and damaged his country.  If conservatives are angry and worried about McCain, they should be livid over Bush (that goes especially for conservative talk show hosts who hold McCain in contempt but remain supportive of Bush - a real disconnect).  After all, Bush gave us McCain.  He moved the nation and the party to the left.  As a result, the Republican party may wander in the wilderness for a generation or more  - and so may the country.  

End of discussion.



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