Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
January 20, 2009
POLITICS: A Farewell to Bush & Cheney

Our latest editorial over at RedState. Not a comprehensive look back, by any means.

Posted by Baseball Crank at 11:21 AM | Politics 2009 | Comments (6) | TrackBack (0)

From the link:

"Expanded government under the guise of compassionate conservatism was what he promised and it is what he delivered."

George W. Bush was horrible for conservatism, and the GOP in general. Not because he leaves office unpopular – much of that is beyond his control. But because he and congressional Republicans never used their time in power to actually implement – or even seriously argue for – conservative governance.

Beyond tax cuts and preventing further attacks – not a small feat -- we can point to nothing, nothing, that can be used to make the case for conservative governance, or for electing conservatives or Republicans. Beside judicial appoints and pro-life views, this president did nothing politically “conservative.” And, no, invading Iraq was not conservative. Reagan would have never done it.

Bush and Karl Rove thought short term. They only had to win two elections. They sold out conservatives on education and immigration – decades of conservative arguments and courageous stances abandoned and made to look foolish in order to take two issues that favor liberals off the table and win two elections.

Washington Republicans had control of the government, and the trust of the people after the 2001 attacks, and did…nothing. They could have used the opportunity to implement some of the conservative ideas we’ve been yammering on about for decades, but they didn’t. Instead, those cowards rode the 9-11 wave as long as it would take them. And when it ended, so did their reason for being in office.

The rank and file of the Right have to take a lot of the blame. We got so caught up in the political battle, protecting “our guy” from liberal attacks, that we didn’t notice (or didn’t want to notice) that he was selling us out.

Now, he’s gone, as are many of the self-serving cowards who did his bidding in Congress. And we’re left with a broken movement, and a party with no purpose. The pendulum was bound to swing, and I’m not griping about losing elections. That happens. But I am angry about how the Republican Party conducted itself over the last eight years, trashing decades of conservative advocacy for short-term gain, and making it that much harder to swing the pendulum back the other way.

Posted by: CJ at January 20, 2009 11:59 AM

"George W. Bush and Richard B. Cheney leave Washington today. For eight years they have ably served the nation, keeping us safe."

Um, well, except 9/11, of course.

Posted by: Magrooder at January 20, 2009 12:28 PM

Good riddance to Bush and Cheney. That is all I have to say.

Posted by: steve at January 20, 2009 12:34 PM

Ding dong, the witch is dead.

Posted by: seth soothsayer at January 20, 2009 1:13 PM

Your point on India is well taken. I for one never understood why Indian-American relations were so poor for so long. That just might prove to be his most important achievement. However, name one good thing Hoover is ever remembered for (and no, you cannot say 'Dam Hoover!'). If nothing else, and there is always a lot, since Bush really was awful, but records are forever, especially in the digital era, he was among our most inarticulate presidents.

Obama should definitely strengthen the India card, and start normalizing relations with Cuba. It's not only good policy for a next door neighbor, but is a good counter to Chavez as well.

Posted by: Daryl Rosenblatt at January 20, 2009 9:53 PM

Economic mistakes of Bush from "The Big Picture"

1. The Return to Deficits: Bush’s tax cuts and spending increases — and clear disdain for the pay-as-you-go approach that had brought deficits down in the 1990s — brought a return to permanent deficits.
2. Iraq: Even if you think the war did bring benefits to the U.S., they would have to be pretty gigantic to justify the costs of $1-3 trillion dollars;
3. Tax Cuts for the Rich: Bush came to Washington facing almost diametrically opposing economic conditions, yet he offered up the same solutions as Reagan.
4. Financial Regulation: What is true is that most Bush-era financial regulators were less than enthusiastic about the very act of regulating, and that Bush’s “ownership society” push glossed over a lot of potential dangers.
5. Telling Us to Go Shopping: After the 9/11 terrorist attacks, President Bush didn’t call for sacrifice. He called for shopping.
6. Energy Policy: Not much to say here, except that there wasn’t an energy policy.
7. A State of Denial: Every Administration spins and sugarcoats the economic truth. But the Bush White House took this disingenuousness to new levels.
8. The Muddled Bailout: The main problem has been the ambivalence with which both Paulson and the White House have approached the financial rescue.

Posted by: msnthrop at January 21, 2009 3:44 PM
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