Skip to comments.Why can't conservatives admit George Bush broke America? (Salon's anonymous "conservaive" explains)
Posted on 04/28/2009 12:33:24 PM PDT by presidio9
Why is it my conservative friends won't admit the truth: that George W. Bush "broke" the United States of America?
Hello again. Judging by your response to my first three columns, this feature is proving quite popular. I appreciate all the letters that you have taken the time to send. I am sorry I am not able to answer each one of them personally.
This week I've been asked to explain why conservatives won't admit that George W. Bush "broke" the United States of America. It's an interesting question, so open-ended it's difficult to choose the way to answer it.
The short answer is they won't admit it because it's not true. George W. Bush did not break the country. Many conservatives believe history's judgment will be much kinder to him and his accomplishments than the current crop of historians and commentators allow and that he will eventually be seen in a much better light than he is today.
That is not to say he was near perfect. There are things that occurred on his watch that, whether Bush was directly responsible for them or not, are cause for legitimate conservative criticism. But this is far different from what I am sure many of you would point to as his failings as president, for example the idea -- really a canard -- that he "lied" us into war in Iraq.
It may be true that the decision to invade Iraq was partly based on faulty intelligence, that information the United States and other nations believed to be accurate regarding Saddam Hussein's intentions to develop chemical, biological and, particularly, nuclear weapons was not, in fact, accurate.
Bush may have been incorrect, but that is different by many degrees from engaging in a deliberate falsehood, as more than a few historians now believe occurred with President Lyndon Johnson following the Gulf of Tonkin incident, which led to a major increase in the U.S. commitment to the defense of South Vietnam.
Critics on the left blame Bush for a decline in America's global prestige and connect it to his foreign policy. I would like to point out that his clear-minded prosecution of the war on terror resulted in Libyan leader Muammar al-Qaddafi's giving up his nation's nuclear weapons program, among other things. Barack Obama's make-nice approach got us a book accusing the United States of being a neo-colonial bully from Venezuelan strongman Hugo Chavez. I know which outcome I prefer.
On the right, the criticisms of Bush started during his 2000 race for the White House over his emphasis on "compassionate conservatism," which many feared was really just another way to talk about "big government" conservatism.
Events proved these concerns were, at least in part, justified. Fred Barnes, writing in the Weekly Standard in 2005, just about a year after Bush was reelected, cited six reasons they were, starting with the fact that Bush was not, in fact, a conventional conservative.
"He deviates on the role of the federal government, on domestic spending, on education, on the Medicare prescription-drug benefit, and on immigration," Barnes wrote. And by "deviates" Barnes meant favoring an expanded role for the federal government, counter to the limited-government philosophy of the Reaganite Republican Party.
But Bush gets credit for his pursuit of tax cuts that, rather than create the economic mess we are currently in, helped fuel economic growth. Under Bush, the economy and the stock market strengthened from 2003 to 2007 following the reduction in the capital gains tax from 20 to 15 percent and the tax on dividends was reduced from 35 percent to 15 percent.
Following the 2006 elections, when the Democrats regained control of Congress, it became clear that the House and Senate would not continue the lower rates. The response by investors to the promise of higher dividend and capital gains taxes started the decline in the stock market.
To those who understand the relationship between government and the economy it is no wonder that private investors, faced with these two near-certainties, changed their behavior. It's similar to the relationship between the realization that there were enough votes in Congress to pass the Smoot-Hawley tariff increase and the onset of the Great Depression. The stock market is a leading, not a lagging indicator.
If there are places where Bush's stewardship of the economy is to be faulted they are the way in which government, and government spending, expanded on his watch and the way in which the federal government violated basic free-market principles through its handling of the initial round of TARP bailouts.
Many conservatives opposed, as one wrote recently, "the idea that we would be able to bail out various financial institutions with taxpayer money, thereby stabilizing markets and mitigating losses while instilling confidence among investors and the general public."
As we now all know, it didn't work -- under Bush, who conceived it, or under Obama, who expanded it. And it opened the door for an unprecedented -- in my lifetime anyway -- level of intervention by the White House in American business.
Those who blame Bush for the bursting mortgage bubble overlook his efforts to bring greater regulation to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and the way congressional leaders like Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., and Sen. Christopher Dodd, D-Conn., interposed themselves between the White House and efforts at reform. Could Bush have done more? Maybe, but he's also not solely to blame.
The "blame Bush" approach also ignores the way the Clinton-era revisions to the Community Reinvestment Act and pressure from the Department of Housing and Urban Development, again during the Clinton presidency especially, led to an increase in the number of people being given home mortgages who really never should have gotten them.
Before I close, there is one last point I want to make. It is fallacious to argue that George W. Bush or any other American president can or could "break" the United States. We are a strong country, full of amazing people who sometimes do incredible things. We are innovative, resilient, forward thinking, committed to liberty, and we remain, even for all our faults, a shining example to the rest of the world. The idea that any one man or woman, any president, could break the country runs counter to the true spirit of America.
I hope that helps.
-- By Glenallen Walken
Let me be the first to admit it. That fact hardly excuses Obama for being four times more reckless.
Who did we lose “prestige” with?
Hell, Bush wasn't much better.
Billions for Aids in Africa.
Border remained wide open.
Huge entitlement Rx program.
780 billion stimulus that had to be passed now now now!
If it quacks like a duck.....
Interesting read ping:)
We’ve been “admitting it” here for months, maybe years.
Yeah..and Bush bankrupted the UK and CA as well. Not to mention NY, NJ, IL and more than a few cities.
Bush allowed too much spending to get past him, but the Rats were always there pushing and are now in complete control.
Exactly: Bush overspent like mad. Now Obama is quintupling the error and I’m supposed to be all OK with him?
The good news is that every policy that pushed us in this direction represented a clear straying from conservative principles regarding economics, foreign affairs, the role of government in our lives, etc.
In other words, George W. Bush screwed things up when he acted like a Democrat.
I admit it. Bush set the stage for the current abomination and that’s unforgivable.
GWB, did his best with regards to protecting this nation from islamic terror. He was less than hard-core conservative on many domestic issues, but he was consistent on that from the start. He said from the get go, that laws and budgets were congress’ job, and he would sign what they passed. He didn’t even veto things I know he wanted to, but he stuck to his belief that our representatives wouldn’t send him legislation WE (voters) didn’t approve of. IMO, GWB got blamed for Americans piss poor selection of Representatives and Senators. No doubt, he was no Reagan, but he did exactly what he said he would do for 99% of things. The 1% he flubbed, I got nothing for that other than, nobody is perfect.
Guess what, Americans have managed to screw ourselves again with an even MORE commie dem congress, and a commie pres. Good maybe some pain will slap this country’s stupid back to sane.
Why can’t liberals answer “How did Bush break America?” Last time I asked that on Youtube, I was cussed at.
Congress overspent like mad.
There I fixed it.
Exactly...there is plenty of blame to go around but there is no doubt that the states with the biggest issues are controlled by the dims. Wouldn’t you expect an honest new source to do some research into this phenomenon and why the Dims policies lead to destruction.
This was from the peak time of Rush’s water-carrying for the Repcialists, which was of course before the Demcialists got into power.
Will Limbaugh now allow Toomey equal time on his show?
Posted on 04/14/2004 12:18:51 PM MDT by Skyleader
Rush sends softballs to Arlen Specter
Posted on 04/14/2004 12:07:47 PM MDT by Phantom Lord
He’s a regular President Taft.
The Constitution gives the President a veto for a reason.
Note to author- Please go back to 1977 and review what part Jimmah Carter had in the start of the financial meltdown...the CRA.
Then review Cinton, Cisneros, and Reno di\uring 1992-2000.
This financial problem was cooking for long before Bush was in office. PERIOD.
George Bush broke it, but zero broke it more. And in much less time.
I used to believe this, now I am not so sure it holds water anymore.
Hey, he got elected promising a “new tone” and he followed through with that promise.
He CAN veto, but WE shouldn’t re-elect gasbags that put that much spending in a bill in the first place.
And the results were so successful. Thank you President Bush. /sar
Regarding regulation: People forget the role of:
Depository Institutions Deregulation and Monetary Control Act of 1980
Garn-St. Germain Depository Institutions Act of 1982
Tax Reform Act of 1986
And lets not forget the deregulatory efforts of the Keating Five (4 of whom were Democrats, the 5th being J. McCain)
The economic mess is not the fault of one party.
Gramm/Leach/Bliley — the bill that repealed Glass Steagall — was a fully bipartisan effort. It passed the Senate 90-8.
Had every Senator voted down party lines the bill would have failed 56-44, and Clinton could have vetoed it. He wouldn’t have though, because he later voiced support for the bill.
It is comforting for the left to blame Bush and the GOP, but this is Americas mess — the fault lies with both parties as well as the electorate who put them in power.
America who is your missing Daddy?..
O'bama is his name..
Billions for Aids in Africa.
Border remained wide open.
Huge entitlement Rx program.
780 billion stimulus that had to be passed now now now!
If it quacks like a duck.....”
Add Rebuilding Iraq too that list With W smiling as they Crept along at a Snails Pace..We should have been out of there in the first 6 months.. Now if someone would ask me if losing this country was a fair trade for that horse manure over there,, HELL NO Again that Moron W has left his mark.
Exactly. For a while the country was telling the Republicans they were on the wrong course. Bush was locked into staying the course heading over the cliff.
The Rats being in complete control is a blessing in disguise. Within a few months they will “own” everthing that comes out of Washington, from bad to worse. Maybe then the American people will get a clear picture of the Democrats total incompetence.
We came to the conclusion that GWB was attempting to court moderates.
We all were dead sure that Bush was waiting until his reelection, then he'd take his policies hard right.
After the election, he turned more liberal.
Compassionate conservatism....yea right, we shoulda seen’r comin.
Then there's the “Maverick for Change” John McCain. What a freakin joke.
Man, a person would get absolutely tore up talkin bad bout Johnny Dem on this forum.
No, it was Deocrats’ subprime mortgages that “broke” America.
Bush had almost nothing to do with “it”. The fault lay in the Congress and the filthy turds who run corporate America. The true causes were present during the last several administrations.
I don’t consider GWB a conservative.
As far as lasting/significant changes and/or differences in governing style I honestly don’t see much difference domestically between Clinton & Bush. Obviously one is revered and one reviled by the left.
Bush ran a lot of things on auto-pilot except he was only too happy to write more blank checks. Suddenly this is a problem for liberals?
The left continuously wants to reduce it all to Bush=Iraq and that’s too simplistic to ever be true or accurate. The fact that we achieved victory is what drove them over the edge.
THE DEMONRATS ARE THE ONES RESPONSIBLE FOR AMERICA’S POOR IMAGE BY SPREADING LIES AND MISINFORMATION ABOUT THE WAR IN IRAQ, TORTURE, INTELLIGENCE GATHERING, THE PATRIOT ACT, WAR CRIMES, ETC.
Would we even be having this debate if the economy was not in the sh*tter.
Bush was a lot of things, but everyone thinks he had that much control over the economy.
Here is who you can thnak for this mess:
1) Greedy DEMS who pushed homeownership for anyone & everyone for votes and campaign money.
2) Greedy mortgage brokers who lied and cheated to get anyone with a pulse a mortgage.
3) Greed Bankers who packaged up the sh*tty mortgages into CDO’s and sold them all over the world.
4) Greedy Rating Agencies that stamped these sh*tty blocks of mortgages as “AAA” rated securities.
5) Greedy & Stupid AIG executives who insured these sh*tty CDO’s (groups of sh*tty mortgages).
6) The SEC and the Government Banking officials (Fwank and Dodd) who looked the other way while all this was going on.
Blame Bush all that you want, but he did not have that much control, especially from 2006 and on.
so the economy went down because of deregulation?
if only the government was there to protect us, we’d be in great shape right?
Bush ended the Reagan Revolution in the Republican Party, now the Rockefeller wing is firmly back in control.
American president can or could “break” the United States.Get ready for the first time.
for all the ****ty things you mentioned, you do realize that there has to be a buyer? nobody stuck a gun to their head
That's THEIR claim (liberals). (I don't think so)
But I'm making the point that both parties indulged in 'deregulation'. So if they want to blame the current situation on that, they have to take much of the blame themselves.
Yes, you are right. There were the sh*tty buyers of mortgages.
But I will say this, if people don’t have the money to buy a house and someone offers it to them and works it out where they won’t have to lay out any money — a lot of people will take it.
So, I don’t blame them quite as much - some people will do whatever they have to for their family and worry about the consequences later (not talking about the speculators).
I absolutely HATE that talk. It is never a blessing in disguise to have one political party in power without any checks and balances (in the political sense - no Republican controlled branches of govern.) for at least two years.
Maybe then the American people will get a clear picture of the Democrats total incompetence.
Has it ever occurred to anyone, that maybe the American people will not get a clear picture. Has it occurred to anyone, that maybe the American people will keep giving the liberals numerous chances with the help of the MSM. I don't mean to sound pessimistic ... but ...
100 days and he still has his support thanks in part to the MSM. Even after numerous controversies so far. His poll numbers are still high ... The previous congress(Dem controlled) had the lowest approval ratings ever ... and were rewarded by having more liberals elected into office.
I do not have faith in the American Public when they receive their news and have their opinions influenced by the MSM.
Both. Bush should have vetoed so much more of the overspending.
It wasn’t Bush, it was Andrea Mitchell’s hubby, Alan Greedspan.
The bulk of blame should always rest with Congress because the President is not consitutionally assigned this duty and has only one blunt instrument for trimming the budget. That blunt instrument can have devastating political effect for Republican President speaking to democratically controlled Media.
Agreed! But just as I wouldn’t let Clinton (and won’t let Obama) off the hook for “not vetoing,” I can’t let Bush off the hook for it either.