Alan K. Henderson's Weblog


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Thursday, June 14, 2012

Jeb Bush Flunks History

Jeb Bush is a barking moonbat:

Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush said today that both Ronald Reagan and his father George H. W. Bush would have had a difficult time getting nominated by today’s ultra-conservative Republican Party.

“Ronald Reagan would have, based on his record of finding accommodation, finding some degree of common ground, as would my dad — they would have a hard time if you define the Republican party — and I don’t — as having an orthodoxy that doesn’t allow for disagreement, doesn’t allow for finding some common ground,” Bush said, adding that he views the hyper-partisan moment as “temporary.”
“Back to my dad’s time and Ronald Reagan’s time – they got a lot of stuff done with a lot of bipartisan suport,” he said. Reagan “would be criticized for doing the things that he did.”
Bush cited, in particular, “the budget deal my dad did, with bipartisan support — at least for a while — that created the spending restraint of the ‘90s,” a reference to a move widely viewed now as a political disaster for Bush, breaking a pledge against tax increases and infuriating conservatives. It was, Bush said, “helpful in creating a climate of more sustained economic growth.”
At Legal Insurrection, Anna Sorock takes Jeb to the woodshed:

Reagan was more than a charismatic tax-cutter; he was an insurrectionist within the Republican Party, just as the Tea Party movement is in today’s establishment. In 1976, Reagan challenged Gerald Ford for the Republican nomination, and in 1980 he defeated the establishment candidate, George H. W. Bush, who later joined him on the ticket. His 1980 platform called for a return of the citizen activist; in doing so Reagan challenged the political establishment mentality, primarily by returning to this model of the servant-leader... Bipartisanship for the sake of bipartisanship is what has provided unchecked power to the political establishment. And bipartisanship over principle is what has led us to runaway deficits and a fiscal mess that will take generations to fix. To suggest that Reagan would somehow embrace this insulated tyranny of the political class over grassroots activism is utterly false. Jonah Goldberg adds this:

Too little attention is paid to the basic fact that Reagan was a man of his times and the times have changed. For instance, much of the GOP’s “extreme” opposition to tax increases stems from lessons learned from Reagan’s experience. Democrats promised to cut spending if Reagan raised taxes. They didn’t cut spending. Reality-based Republicans don’t want to repeat that mistake.
Note that Jeb Bush hasn't learned from his dad's mistake. Note Jeb's praise for the 1990 budget deal. Part of that deal was a promise to cut spending - a deal on which the Democrats in Congress reneged.

That brings to mind something I heard Rush Limbaugh say long time ago: "Making a deal with congress is like paying a cannibal to eat you last."

I'd like to pose a question to those who'd like the Republican Party to tilt toward the political center; WHEN IN THE HELL DID CENTRIST POLICY EVER FIX ANYTHING?

The two examples of big fixes I can think of off the top of my head were not products of "moderation." The Soviet Union was not brought down by containment or appeasement but by out-competing the Soviets militarily and economically. The hyperinflation of the 70s was cured with Paul Volcker's drastic "tight money" policy (a prescription detailed in Milton Friedman's 1979 book Free to Choose), not by Congressional wheeling and dealing.

So tell me - when did policies from the political center fix anything?


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