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A Better Man Than His Detractors

On May 15, 2006, the site owner of polipundit.com issued an order to the other five writers on the blog, as follows: "From now on, every blogger at PoliPundit.com will either agree with me completely on the immigration issue, or not blog at PoliPundit.com."

Within hours of that totalitarian action, he barred all of the writers from posting at the site, an action he then called "temporary", but thirty-two months later the ban remains in effect.

Readers at the site were vocal, and some of them prescient. From the first, one reader observed "You've just lost the center-right, congratulations" (comment 63), while another simply noted "this news is very disappointing. Now there is no reason for me to come back and I will go visit other sites that agree with you in principle, but are much more respectful in there [sic] tone" (comment 7), while others were less polite, like the fellow (comment 526) who noted "that's the whole point. We CAN'T engage. Poli took that away. Intellectual cowardice at its finest."

Examining the meltdown, blogger The Anchoress warned that there would be a price for such inability to allow free and open discussion of the major issues, political as well as social. The short verdict, she warned, was that the public would reject conservatives as reactionary and small-minded.

In the polipundit debacle, a single issue caused the site owner to basically go nuts and kick out a team of writers who had built up his site from a modest readership to one of the leaders in the blogosphere for conservative debate and discussion. But it reflects a deeper and far more serious problem in Conservatism, the inability to tolerate a wide range of opinions, the bitter denunciation of even allies and champions for the smallest variance. This is most apparent in the shameful disrespect of President George W. Bush by conservatives.

Three issues reflect the collapse of conservative sanity with regard to the President; the nomination of Harriet Miers for the Supreme Court, the Immigration crisis, and the Dubai Port decision. The behavior by leading conservatives in these three cases illustrates the sad decision to abandon traditional conservative stands, and to burn their bridges to the public's appreciation of their ideals.

With regard to the Miers nomination, conservatives soon after the announcement began to express a sense of "betrayal" about Miers, and in a blatant reversal of their stated moral position that every nominee had a right to an up or down vote, demanded that Miers be removed from consideration before even her first day before a committee to consider her nomination. The hypocrisy was blatant and deliberate, and seriously damaged the moral foundation for the far Right, demoting them from principled activists to self-serving mandarins.

This does not mean that Miers was a good choice. But the opposition to Miers was expressed in exactly the wrong way, a way which played completely into the hands of the Left, as the Right could then be cast with some justification as dishonest and unconcerned with the public interest. Certainly the move showed a disloyalty to President Bush, not so much in disapproving of Miers as the manner and tone in which it was cast. When I wrote about this issue in 2005, I found a range of reactions, from those who thought I was writing "screeds" and was "unworthy of respect", to those who said I was "exactly right", those who 'especially liked'my response, including the Anchoress, who wrote that "DJ Drummond makes some excellent points and probably is quite right".

- continued -

Miers may or may not have turned out to be a good justice, we frankly will never know now because she was never given a hearing much less a chance to show her mind. It was a poor series of events for conservatives, because even though we ended up with Alito (followed by Roberts), conservatives remember not the good judgment of President Bush, but the bitter opposition they had against Miers, and they have never yet apologized for using unethical tactics to get what her removed from consideration. 'The ends justify the means' has always been a chilling maxim from the evil side of humanity, and conservatives should be ashamed for having their values sullied by such behavior. Michelle Malkin should be ashamed that she could only refer to the White House Counsel as a "crony", and Jonah Goldberg that he could only see Miers in terms of "battiness". George Will had no business claiming that President Bush "has forfeited his right to be trusted as a custodian of the Constitution." Such venomous dishonesty does not belong under the byline of a conservative writer, and until recent years we would never have seen it.

The next key issue was Immigration. Absolutely no one in the GOP argues that illegals coming into the United States do not represent a grave threat, but the hysteria from the hardline Right has damaged the credibility of the Republican leaders. One thing that annoys me the most with regard to this issue, is the constant lying on the hardline Right against President Bush, ignoring all of his work on border security like increasing funding for border security by 159% since taking office, working with foreign nations to improve their own border security along US borders, more than doubling the number of agents along the border as well as UAVs and improving interior enforcement. Bush led the initiative to increase the number and scope of ICE teams from 15 in 2005 to 75 teams in 2007.

The plain fact is, Bush's detractors simply ignored the facts because they wanted to attack the President. Tom Tancredo was one such rebel, refusing to cooperate with the President or grant even courteous consideration to White House proposals to deal with the problem. Tancredo was sadly representative of a bitter contingent willing to blow apart any chance of a real solution, simply because they did not get their way. President Bush, to his credit, was willing to re-examine and modify his plans in response to real-world conditions, something the foam-mouthed Right never once considered.

It should be obvious on its face that dealing with twenty-some-odd million people who should not be in the country is a difficult task, not least when you have to fight political opposition, including a bunch of narcissists in your own party, to get anything done. This is a problem that has vexed Presidents and Governors and all manner of political solution for more than a generation. No, that does not mean that it's acceptable to ignore the problem, or that every solution should be accepted without debate or criticism, but the puerile and vicious attacks on President Bush, from conservatives especially, is unconscionable. In the first place it sabotaged any kind of progress towards a solution, allowing liberals and egotists to pretend they did not have to do anything, while honest efforts to address the problem were mocked and shot down by people who could not offer a realistic alternative.

I especially disliked the people who thought it was a good idea to eviscerate the ones trying to find a workable solution, and who presented themselves as equals to the leaders they attacked, even though such men never actually run for the office they claim they could do so easily, and are unwilling to concede that the people duly elected might have a moral right to claim authority to actually do their job. Back in 2006, I went off on Jed Babbin for that kind of attitude. I still like what I wrote then, so for all you folks who believe you have the right to trash President Bush for not being your personal meat puppet, it's real simple:

Elections matter, you dope. And nobody elected you diddly, much less President of the United States. He's the captain of our Ship of State, and if you want to cut him off at the knees, you don't get to claim he has to earn your allegiance. That's what the elections did, you hypocrite. Dubs said the same things then as he is saying now, and since he got the win in 2000 and again in 2004, that makes him the boss. Him, not you. 62 million plus voted for George W. Bush in 2004, and you don't get to ignore that election now when it's inconvenient for you, anymore than John Kerry and Al Gore get to pretend they are really the President.

Right about now any of the Rabid Wing will start off saying how I am trying to silence dissent. Not at all. If you don't like a policy, say so, and by all means tell your Congressman and Senators what you want them to do on any given vote. But disagreeing with a position on a given issue, or several issues, does not give you license to lie about what Bush has really said or done or stands for, and it doesn't give you leave to attack the twice-elected leader of our party and our country. The man has more than earned your respect and support, and only the most venal and petty sort of person does not see that. And the sort of person who would ride the rise of the Republicans into majority, largely on the work of George W. Bush, but then threaten to sink the ship if they don't get to set the course and seize command from the rightful captain, well folks that's nothing but a dirty, low-down mutineer.

On now to the Dubai Ports deal. In early 2006, DP World, a company based out of the United Arab Emirates, agreed in principle to take over management of six U.S. ports then managed by a British firm which was leaving the business. It should be noted at the start, that there were only two companies interested in the deal - Dubai World out of the UAE, and the People's Republic of China. For some reason, the hardline Right decided that there was a third option, a way to either force the British company to keep the ports or that some fictional all-American firm would come into existence just to prevent - what? It seems that the hardright was never clear about what exactly was at risk. Dick Meyer at CBS noted that the UAE would never own the ports or have anything at all to do with their security (security at ports is addressed by US Homeland Security), and in any case the UAE's standing as a US ally is excellent. As Meyer wrote in his article, the people attacking Bush for the deal were nothing but purveyors of "demagoguery and cheap shots". Reuters put it bluntly: "Maritime security experts sided with the president"
I tried to put the matter in perspective myself, even before I realized that the hype against the deal was paranoid delusion and Bush-hate.

In the end, the deluded jackals of HardRight won, and the deal was destroyed, at the small cost of breaking legal and diplomatic precedent, insulting a valuable ally, and demonstrating once again the refusal of the hardline elements of conservatism to act like adults.

My point is simple - President Bush has made mistakes, but he has been unfairly attacked by people who should, by all rights, have supported him, if only to gain the most of their own goals and ideals.

The greatest President of the 20th century was Ronald W. Reagan, the man who represents the heart of Conservative Idealism for most self-identified Conservatives. Many conservatives have been disparaging of President George W. Bush, despite a comparable record on major points:

Ronald Reagan was governor of California, where he earned a record for getting the job done by working with all parties, including Democrats. George W. Bush was governor of Texas, where he earned a record for getting the job done by working with all parties, including Democrats.

Ronald Reagan as governor experienced economic crises and had first-hand experience with the causes and effects of illegal immigration. George W. Bush as governor experienced economic crises and had first-hand experience with the causes and effects of illegal immigration.

Ronald Reagan's judicial appointments in general were excellent, with the exception of Supreme Court nominee Sandra Day O'Connor. Conservatives forgave him for that one bad choice. George W. Bush's judicial appointments in general were excellent, with the possible exception of Supreme Court nominee Harriet Miers. Conservatives never forgave him for that choice.

Ronald Reagan tried to address the problem of illegal immigration, proposing a program that critics said amounted to Amnesty. Conservatives in general forgave him for that program. George W. Bush tried to address the problem of illegal immigration, proposing a program that critics said amounted to Amnesty. Conservatives in general never forgave him for that program.

Ronald Reagan faced down an enemy that liberals said could not be beaten, in Communism. Years later critics began to grudgingly admit that Reagan played a role in winning the Cold War. George W. Bush faced down an enemy that liberals said could not be beaten, in Global Terrorism. Years later critics still refuse to acknowledge Bush's success in protecting America.

Of course there are also differences between Ronald W. Reagan and George W. Bush. When terrorists blew up the Marine barracks in Beirut, Reagan withdrew from Lebanon, condemning that nation to another generation of civil war and terrorist violence. When Al Qaeda mounted counter-offensives using car bombs and incursions from Iran and Syria, George W. Bush refused to abandon Iraq, saving that nation from another generation of tyranny and terrorist violence. And President George W. Bush tried to propose solutions to the Social Security and Medicare crises while there was still room to act proactively. One cannot help but wonder what he might have accomplished if the conservatives in power at that time had acted in America's interest instead of their own myopic political greed. During the 1980s, Republicans were in the minority of power but accomplished a lot because they rallied behind President Reagan. It can fairly be said that this is the source of our present consternation - conservatives expected the President to get behind their pet projects and bills, instead of showing the loyalty due to Bush.

So what did President Bush do, that he deserves any credit? Here's a short list:

• Banned partial-birth abortion
• Reinstated parental-consent clause in the Medical Privacy Act
• Upheld ban on abortions at military hospitals
• Proposed, worked for, and signed into law two income-tax cuts
• Worked to eliminate the Death Tax
• Worked to privatize Social Security
• Eliminated OSHA's 'ergonomic' rules for home businesses
• Reduced H1B visas from 195,000 a year to 66,000
• Killed attempts to revive Kyoto Global Warming Treaty
• Revised Forestry Management Act to allow cleanup to prevent fires, removed need for Environmental Impact Statement before removing dangerous brush and fallen tress from fire-risk areas
• Removed Saddam Hussein from Iraq
• Eliminated Al Qaeda network in Afghanistan
• Eliminated Al Qaeda operational existence outside North African continent
• Disarmed Libya of its WMDs
• Improved US military review ability, emphasis on asymmetrical warfare
• Best friend to Israel since 1948
• Prohibited putting US forces under UN command
• Brought back EP-3 plane and crew from China without conflict
• Ended participation in International Criminal Court
• Faced down the UN, saying "America will never seek a permission slip to defend the security of our country."
• Worked to reform Medicare
• Worked to address border security, created largest budget and roster for enforcement, internal fugitive capture, and employer penalty system in history
• Constructed ABM silos in Alaska, Montana, and Maine
• Operation Tarmac
• Denied ABA role in vetting federal judge/justice nominations

It's quite fashionable these days to deride and attack President Bush. In a few days, he will be former President Bush, so few if any people consider the man except as a target. But it is my contention that Bush has done a fine job, deserving not only of credit and praise, but also that the present condition of Republicans and Conservatives is directly attributable to the shabby treatment heaped on the President. For the ideals of Conservatism to become attractive to American voters again, we simply owe better loyalty and support to our leaders, especially when they are conservatives or at least Republicans.


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Comments (31)

If it's Wednesday, it must ... (Below threshold)

If it's Wednesday, it must be time for another DJ defense of Bush.

Reagan left us demonstrably better after eight years. Only members of the Bush fan club would claim we're better off after eight years of Bush. And after Reagan died, he was praised by politicians from both sides, does anyone think Bush is going to receive similar praise after he moves on?

DJ, You've omitted a whole ... (Below threshold)
Bungalowlife:

DJ, You've omitted a whole slew of the reasons where conservatives find fault with President Bush. He was president during a time when Republicans were in control of both houses of Congress. If any party was going to control federal spending it would be the "conservative" Republicans, right? No way! Bush is a "compassionate" conservative which means he never vetoed any spending bills including the massive prescription drug benefit. It makes conservatives long for the comparatively fiscal restraint of the Clinton years! He was fully on-board with the Community Reinvestment Act which has created, to a large degree, the financial mess we're in. He signed McCain-Feingold into law. No-Child-Left-Behind ..... You get the picture. The republicans were considered the party of limited government. They have a long hard road to get that rep back, in large part thanks to Bush.

does anyone think ... (Below threshold)
does anyone think Bush is going to receive similar praise after he moves on?

Eventually, yes. I think the BDS will subside in time. It may take a few years, but it will happen.

OregonMuse,Unfortu... (Below threshold)
Sheik Yur Bouty:

OregonMuse,

Unfortunately, I'm afraid that BDS is a permanent condition.

I think Miers was not quali... (Below threshold)
tarpon:

I think Miers was not qualified, she did not understand Constitutional law. I did not like that choice and thought it was made without much thought.

On immigration, you are mostly right, but as far as I am concerned, Bush did not respond to sealing the borders until after he had lost on the issue. Immigration must be orderly. You cannot have any society overrun with immigrants and not expect that culture to disappear. In days of old it was called assimilation, now it's called little Mexico. If we need temporary workers, then give them visas. If we want to make them citizens, let them get in line.

Who amongst us doesn't know what it's really all about, illegal off the books, tax avoidance labor for cheap.

The Dubai ports thing was just dumb to oppose.

For Bush's part, he demonstrated that playing a liberal punching bag for eight years did not work out like planned.

When the first two issues y... (Below threshold)
newton:

When the first two issues you mentioned arrived to the table, all I could do is to spin my head in disbelief, at the nuttiness I was witnessing.

But when the Dubai Ports deal thing arrived and saw it go "nuclear", I just about lost it. I could have never imagined that so many people could be so ignorant of things related to international commerce, let alone maritime commerce! I asked my husband (who is in the maritime industry) what he thought of the whole thing. He had no problems with Dubai. And neither did any of his co-workers and buddies in the industry. At one point, just about all of them have been or worked somewhere in the Persian Gulf.

But the heads exploding because of "compromising port security" was so ignorant and ridiculous in the extreme, if not laughable. People who know about those things know that it is the United States Coast Guard, under the DHS, that handles port security - not any private company, local or global. Dubai Ports was going to handle operations - a different matter. I believe the issue was obfuscated on purpose, to inflame nativist sentiment against those "stinkin' Arabs" against the deal, and weaken Republicans before the eyes of many in the industries that deal with the Persian Gulf region on a daily basis.

I would not be surprised if the moving of Halliburton's headquarters to the Persian Gulf region from Houston has something, however small, to do with what was shown before the world during the whole uproar on Dubai Ports. Frankly, I wouldn't be surprised if more petrol companies based here moved their headquarters away from here. If that happens, and the job losses become massive as a result, those who went nuts will only have themselves to blame.

(I can tell you for sure that all the ports in the Gulf area will suffer, especially the Port of Houston.)

DJ, excellent post. I disag... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

DJ, excellent post. I disagree with you on the immigration mess. All opponents wanted with demonstrated border security FIRST, before discussing anything else. No need to be comprehensive right out of the shoot. Reagan did that and it failed.

I am a huge supporter of GW. This is a president who had faced a very serious challente in his first year. There were no policies and/or procedures on how to go about fighting a global war on terror. He and his administration had to work double time to create the policies and then execute them. What was the benefit of that hard work? I have felt safe for the past eight years.

I believe historians will be very kind to GW when his administration is put in prospective.

GW want to overhaul the SS Administration three years ago and the dem leadership said there was not problem with it.

As a Texan, as you are DJ, I have sat under GW's leadership for 16 years and I am better for it.

Steve, I am better off now then I was 8 years ago. You probably are also, but your BDS gets in the way. ww

Well, I'll respectfully dis... (Below threshold)
Clay:

Well, I'll respectfully disagree. My disagreements with Bush's policies are myriad, not the least of which is the illegal immigration issue. However, I kept my mouth shut, out of respect for the office of the Presidency and out of a Leibniz-esque view of Bush being the best possible choice in two elections (the lesser of two evils would be more accurate). I repeated my error in this past election when I pushed down my disdain for McCain and pulled the lever for his lighter version of socialism. The error that I've participated in since the Reagan presidency is that I've thought so little of my principles that I've been willing to compromise them. All the while, the elephants have been making jackasses of themselves...even when they had control of 2/3 of the governmental branches. Bush is a Republican, true enough, but he's no true conservative. The error in voting for the lesser of two evils can be demonstrated in asking who you would vote for if Hitler and Stalin were your only choices. Reductio ad absurdum? Yes, but I'll bet you get my point.

The affiliation on my voter card has been changed to unaffiliated. You might consider doing the same in order to make the point that needs to be made. There was a time when there was a difference between the (R) and the (D) that followed the names of politicians. Those differences are indiscernable now. And that is why Republicans lost the last election. And that is why they will continue to lose.

Compromise between poison and water results in death. And that is what will happen to our republic if we let go of the principles upon which it was founded.

Please don't forget that Re... (Below threshold)
David:

Please don't forget that Reagan was villified as well. The press thought that his funeral was over the top, Iran/Contra, too old, not willing to compromise with congress, loose cannon, star wars?...
The moderate right did not like him either until he mollified them by bringing in George H.W. Bush.
Reagan had his faults. We all tend to remember the good things and forget the bad ones like first serious girl friend in high school. You remember all the good times but don't think of the times where you age glad you didn't marry her!
George W. has made his share of mistakes. He thought a Democrat in Washington would be like a Democrat in Texas. That you could work with them, give them the credit for something and we could all live together resonably well. He was wrong on that score. He could have been a better party leader but I think we only have to look at the deterioration of the Republican congress after years in control. They lacked leadership and focus in their own group as well. So there is fault on both sides there.
I think if it were not for three RHINOS in the Senate we would now have privatized social security and have avoided the whole financial meltdown by having the votes to have fixed the problem before it started.
Guys, We can go on and on...
I have wanted to tear my hair out at times because of G.W. but if he were not a fighter and have given up what would we be saying right about now as Al Gore was leaving office.

WildWillie: how do you figu... (Below threshold)

WildWillie: how do you figure we as a country are better off now than we were 8 years ago?

Eight years ago:

* We weren't in the middle of a huge recession. We are now.
* The Dow was over 10,000. It sure ain't now.
* Housing prices were on the rise, they're falling every month now.
* The GOP wasn't humiliated and irrelevant. It is now.
* We hadn't wasted hundreds of billions of dollars and thousands of American lives chasing Bush's illusion that democracy in the Middle East equals peace.
* The federal budget was a fraction of what it is now.
* The federal government wasn't bailing out Detroit, nor was it investing hundreds of billions of dollars in Fannie, Freddie, AIG.
* There was a chance to rein in sub-prime lending and avert the crisis we're now in.
* College tuition was a heck of a lot less, as was health insurance and the price of gas.
* "Brownie, you're doing a heck of a job' and 'slam dunk' weren't fodder for late night comedy.

A good day for another "Bus... (Below threshold)
Brian:

A good day for another "Bush is better than you think" post.

In one sense, Bush's final rating is worse than either Carter's or Truman's, because his disapproval score is significantly higher. Whereas Bush and Carter share identical 34% final job approval ratings, 61% of Americans disapprove of the job Bush is doing, compared with 55% who said they disapproved of Carter in December 1980. Similarly, whereas Bush's final approval rating is slightly higher than Truman's 32% in 1952, his disapproval rating is also higher (61% vs. 56%), resulting in a lower net approval rating for Bush.

Only Richard Nixon was explicitly less popular at the time of his exit than Bush is today. Gallup's final approval polling on Nixon, in which 24% of Americans said they approved of the job he was doing, was conducted Aug. 2-5, 1974, less than a week before Nixon resigned from office over the Watergate break-in political scandal.

Greater disapproval than Carter?! That must make some Republican heads explode.

DJ,I don't think y... (Below threshold)

DJ,

I don't think you are arguing fairly on the immigration issue because you are ignoring how it really went. Conservatives did try to engage the president, but GW made it clear taht he was going to steamroll the opposition to a "path to citizenship" no matter what opposition he ran into. Most conservatives are not anti-immigration, but they were and continue to be very anti-amnesty, which was what eventually caused the fallout. If Bush had made it clear that he was willing to stop the bleeding first, he would not have incurredt he disastrous fallout.

I always got the feeling that the whole immigration thing is a disaster for the GOP. Most GOP lawmakers are fairly beholden to business, which means that the business worlds insatiable need for cheap labor creates an impetous to push for massive immigration in the hopes of flooding the labor market and driving wages down. Heck, that's why some businesses love immigrants today, they can usually pay an immigrant far less than they can a third generation American. Unfortunately, the GOP voter tends to be someone who sees their paycheck and lifestyle threatened by the very immigration flood that business desires. Bush appeared to be falling over himself to support the business view and conversatives, already upset by years of out of control regulation and spending finally said, "prove it first" when Bush tried to play the "trust me" card.

The Miers nomination was definitely overblown as far as the reaction goes. I didn't like the choice, but figured she'd go down in the hearings so I said nothing. The port thing was a case of Conservative over-reaction to the way Liberals were already beating on Bush. They hated that once again Bush had been clumsy politically and handed the opposition another club to use.

But I think that's where the problem always was. I'm registered as "Decline to state" where I live, but usually vote GOP and support conservative positions. My father is a typical baby boomer and very, very liberal. When he and I discuss politics I do not defend Bush on anything beyond his decisive actions against Saddam, and even I admit that it might not have been necessary to do that. The end was good, but it was definitely messy. Domesitcally I rarely defend Bush because he accomplished nothing that will last. Even his tax cuts will die during Obama's first term, if not this year.

Regarding amnesty. Ronald ... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

Regarding amnesty. Ronald Reagan also said that there would be NO MORE AMNESTY, that the borders WOULD BE SECURED.

Far as I'm concerned, the 'leaders' in DC fucking LIED TO US.

As they will keep doing.</p... (Below threshold)
LaMedusa:

As they will keep doing.

because even though we e... (Below threshold)

because even though we ended up with Alito (followed by Roberts)

strike that, reverse it

Isn't anyone else sick of the 'let's look back that Bush presidency and watch the trolls pee their pants' like me? The BDS'd trolls still think Bush lost in Florida more than 8 years ago...what's the point of arguing with them in 2009?

because even though we e... (Below threshold)

because even though we ended up with Alito (followed by Roberts)

strike that, reverse it

Isn't anyone else sick of the 'let's look back at the Bush presidency and watch the trolls pee their pants' like me? The BDS'd trolls still think Bush lost in Florida more than 8 years ago...what's the point of arguing with them in 2009?

* We weren't in the middle ... (Below threshold)
Harvey:

* We weren't in the middle of a huge recession. We are now.
++ Caused mostly by Democrats buying votes by having banks loan to people who couldn't pay back the loans
* The Dow was over 10,000. It sure ain't now.
++ Ditto
* Housing prices were on the rise, they're falling every month now.
++ High prices are good? I must have missed that in Eco 101.
* The GOP wasn't humiliated and irrelevant. It is now.
++ Partly Bush's fault, but the HR and Sen were also spending like drunken Kennedys. Steven's and Craig's actions didn't help either.
* We hadn't wasted hundreds of billions of dollars and thousands of American lives chasing Bush's illusion that democracy in the Middle East equals peace.
++ You probably mean DElusion, but the leadership in most ME countries do not want peace. And there were some signs of improvement in 2003 until the opposition of leftists in the US and Europe convinced Islamacists that they could outlast Bush.
* The federal budget was a fraction of what it is now.
++ True. But don't look for BO to shrink the budget. On the bright side, the deficit was shrinking every year (tax cuts) until this one.
* The federal government wasn't bailing out Detroit, nor was it investing hundreds of billions of dollars in Fannie, Freddie, AIG.
++ Too true, but remember, it was Democrat programs that started the slide.
* There was a chance to rein in sub-prime lending and avert the crisis we're now in.
++ Which the Bush adminstration (and McCain, and a House committee)tried to do. Democrats in Congress and the lobbyists they hired shot it down.(Though the GOP should have had bigger gonads)
* College tuition was a heck of a lot less, as was health insurance and the price of gas.
++ College tuition: more student loans = rising prices; simple economics. Insurance: govt interference, frivolous lawsuits, and the natural cost of the best medical care in the world. Gas: the president doesn't regulate what other countries charge for their oil.
* "Brownie, you're doing a heck of a job' and 'slam dunk' weren't fodder for late night comedy.
++ OK, Bush did have some less than memorable moments.

"Except for the incident wi... (Below threshold)
Adrian Browne:

"Except for the incident with the iceberg the cruise was great."
~ Molly Brown, Titanic Survivor

The level of hate for GW by... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

The level of hate for GW by the looney left is still at an all time high. Remember the treatment after January 20th. You have taught us we do not have to respect the presidency anymore. Get ready. It is going to be a great 4 years. ww

This is an excellent post a... (Below threshold)
Dana Mac:

This is an excellent post and a very good start to diagnosing the problems that have befallen the GOP. Bush may not have spent his presidency fighting "for his party" or trying to please his base, but his base spent a lot of time bitching that Bush wasn't "dancing with the ones who brung him" while alternately spitting at him that he wasn't a good enough dancer, anyway. The GOP has hurt itself immeasurably by throwing its own president under the bus in the name of ideological "purity." Now they're out of power - WAY out of power - all because they could not accept the 70% Bush tried to get them and held out for 100% or nothing. Now they have nothing.

Thank you for listing Bush's accomplishments. There are more here: http://theanchoressonline.com/2007/06/06/part-ii-bush-betrayal-the-nations-soul/

There is also an argument for his impeachment, here: http://theanchoressonline.com/2008/06/10/go-ahead-impeach-bush-try-him/

Good work, Mr. D.

"Eight years ago:*... (Below threshold)
Dana Mac:

"Eight years ago:

* We weren't in the middle of a huge recession. We are now.
* The Dow was over 10,000. It sure ain't now.
* Housing prices were on the rise, they're falling every month now.
* The GOP wasn't humiliated and irrelevant. It is now.
* We hadn't wasted hundreds of billions of dollars and thousands of American lives chasing Bush's illusion that democracy in the Middle East equals peace.
* The federal budget was a fraction of what it is now.
* The federal government wasn't bailing out Detroit, nor was it investing hundreds of billions of dollars in Fannie, Freddie, AIG.
* There was a chance to rein in sub-prime lending and avert the crisis we're now in...etc"

Right. And there were no good times in between, when unemployment was 4.6% and economic growth was 3% or higher. And the Democrats being in power since 2006 have nothing to do with where we are now?

Yeah, you're right. It's all Bushs' fault.

That's easy, isn't it?

Now, let's see the people in power do better.

Shorter Harvey: "For eight ... (Below threshold)
Brian:

Shorter Harvey: "For eight years, Bush was a completely ineffective president, and was unable to save the country from the scourge of the Democrats, even with Republican majorities in both houses for 75% of his term."

Yes, Bush got some sharp cr... (Below threshold)

Yes, Bush got some sharp criticism from the Hard Right. The Pat Buchanan crowd was especially annoying. But the moderate Republicans (the John McCain crowd) undermined him more effectively than anyone else.
http://www.rightklik.net/

The GOP has hurt itself ... (Below threshold)
Clay:

The GOP has hurt itself immeasurably by throwing its own president under the bus in the name of ideological "purity."

Are you friggin' serious? No, most conservatives kept their mouth shut in hopes the next election provided better results. In the meantime, the Republican gene pool weakened. Do you think the Republicans can actually get elected by being better versions of Democrats? It comes down to having principles, demonstrating your belief in them by adherence, and pointing out the difference between your principles and the Democrats' non-principles.

Until the Republicans figure that out, I will remain unaffiliated. I am not alone, and our numbers are growing as the Republican party shrinks. You ignore me at your own peril.

Forget "conservatism," plea... (Below threshold)

Forget "conservatism," please. It has been, operationally, de facto, Godless and therefore irrelevant. Secular conservatism will not defeat secular liberalism because to God both are two atheistic peas-in-a-pod and thus predestined to failure. As Stonewall Jackson's Chief of Staff R.L. Dabney said of such a humanistic belief more than 100 years ago:

"[Secular conservatism] is a party which never conserves anything. Its history has been that it demurs to each aggression of the progressive party, and aims to save its credit by a respectable amount of growling, but always acquiesces at last in the innovation. What was the resisted novelty of yesterday is today .one of the accepted principles of conservatism; it is now conservative only in affecting to resist the next innovation, which will tomorrow be forced upon its timidity and will be succeeded by some third revolution; to be denounced and then adopted in its turn. American conservatism is merely the shadow that follows Radicalism as it moves forward towards perdition. It remains behind it, but never retards it, and always advances near its leader. This pretended salt bath utterly lost its savor: wherewith shall it be salted? Its impotency is not hard, indeed, to explain. It .is worthless because it is the conservatism of expediency only, and not of sturdy principle. It intends to risk nothing serious for the sake of the truth."

Our country is collapsing because we have turned our back on God (Psalm 9:17) and refused to kiss His Son (Psalm 2).

John Lofton, Editor, TheAmericanView.com
Recovering Republican
[email protected]

Hi Everyone,In a f... (Below threshold)
MMO:

Hi Everyone,

In a few days our nation's leader will be leaving office. Already many while appearing to exercise their right to free speech are doing something very wrong. They are deliberately associating with the memory of an honorable man, characterizations aimed at shaping how history remembers him. Why not let time do that? Why not be honorable Americans and recognize that now is the time to let a man of honor leave with honor. He embodies much of what we are. And no matter what we might think about what role privilege might have had in him reaching the office. There is much of the "regular' American in him and we can all be proud of him for having lived the dream.

More careful analysis will show a lot what President Bush did in office that others might not have had the courage to do to save this country's 'soul'. He is the first to admit his mistakes. Let's not use these to ignore his accomplishments. Those motivated to the negative speech that has attempted to get headlines are showing a trend that is disturbing, that of deliberately destroying an image, or of demanding that someone be made a villain. Also, as a people who have for a long time led the way in the world, let's tell the world that we are a civilized people that exercise our rights when it matters but also know to show respect and leave a man with his honor when it matters. How we treat our outgoing leader reflects more on us than we seem to remember.

We stand to gain nothing from distroying our leader's image and stand to loose our own image in the eyes of the world. I am hoping that many will make themselves heard in the coming weeks that want to do their part for President Bush to leave with honor and for all of America to remember many reasons to be proud of him.

Bush failed to protect us f... (Below threshold)
dave:

Bush failed to protect us from a foreign invasion
because he remembered his wetback nannies favorably. Bush's first job was to protect American citizens. He didn't. You live in Houston don't pretend you don't know wetback crime is a problem.
Crime used to be a GOP issue dating back to Nixon. Republicans ran around saying rule of law
when Clinton was president. Then Bush wants to give amnesty to convicted child molesters?
Bush's failure to enforce immigration laws has resulted in the deaths of far more Americans
than Bin Laden could even hope to cause.

When manipulating conservat... (Below threshold)
jpm100:

When manipulating conservatives, invoke Reagan. Of course its often out of context. In return for the Amnesty deal (he was working with a Democrat legislature so he made a deal), he made hiring illegal alien workers a crime and created tools for enforcement. However subsequently the laws and tools Reagan establish were willfully ignored by Bush/Clinton/Bush.

More importantly, Reagan's Amnesty was where we learned that Amnesty is not a solution to any degree.

BTW, sugar helps lemons become lemonade. I imagine some sugar may have helped with those sour grapes.

A lot of what bedeviled Pre... (Below threshold)

A lot of what bedeviled President Bush is his attempts to be bipartisan with the Democrats over the last two years. But, on the illegal immigration issue, I can not disagree with President Bush, Sen. "F--- You" McCain's or any other Republicans that wanted to cut a deal more. This problem predates the Reagan "reform" of 1986. No one wants to really solve the problem. I think there is a middle ground. But, the amnesty crowd does not want to hear that. Nor do some who want to deport the 12-20 million illegals. It will never be done unless the United States becomes a dictatorship. Since that will not happen, how about actually ENFORCING the laws that have been on the books since 1986? How about doing the raids on businesses and deporting those clearly breaking the law? And prosucuting those businesses that knowingly employed the illegals? We have to make it a disincentive for people to come here illegally from other nations. That is not what the anmesty did. The tone on both sides is discouraging. But, a bad amnesty law is worse than doing nothing. On a lot of other issues, I shown total support for President Bush. But, we have to help him by pointing out the error of his ways, when nessecary.

do their part for Presid... (Below threshold)
Clay:

do their part for President Bush to leave with honor and for all of America to remember many reasons to be proud of him

And I say that this mentality will absolutely destroy what's left of the Republican party. If the unexamined life is not worth living, then the unexamined party is not worth having. Now is the time to thoroughly scrutinize the Bush record and weigh his departure from the principles of his party. His honor should be the least of concerns.

It is either decided that this is a party founded on the firm foundation of individual rights, limited government, allegiance to God, and adherence to the Constitution or it's a clone to the Democrat party built on shifting sand.

Truth is beauty. To whitewash Bush's record and revise history to conform it to our wishes is ignoring truth. Probably the only thing on which Obama and I will agree is that you cannot make a pig beautiful with the application of cosmetics.

Thank you so much for all y... (Below threshold)

Thank you so much for all you are doing!

It's time we show President Bush our appreciation for him

Sign the Official Thank You Letter at www.ThankW.com




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