The Jefferson Report
The Jefferson Report

The Jefferson Report

Bob Dole's wisdom

by Tim Roach on 06/02/13

Reince Priebus did a good job on Fox News Sunday today.  His two main points were 1: that sometimes how you say it matters more than what you say, and 2: the Republican Party needs to be more active in presidential politics that just the five months every four years that it does now.

Of course he was asked questions about the party and its state of disrepair because Bob Dole made news on that same program last week criticizing the party.  He (Priebus) was shown a clip of Dole’s comments with respect to whether past Republican nominees could possibly win “today”.  Dole said …“Reagan couldn’t’ve made it.  Certainly Nixon couldn’t’ve made it ’cause he had ideas.  And uh, we might’a’ made it, but I doubt it”…

Now that’s priceless.  I hate to revisit the previous post, but Dole ignores the party’s recent two-time winner in favor of saying something positive about Richard Nixon.  He also implied that he is more conservative than Ronald Reagan.  Newt Gingrich said it best about this guy. 

Conservatives, Republicans, and the forsaking of George W. Bush

by Tim Roach on 06/02/13

Republicans and Conservatives will continue to look like they don’t stand for much for as long as they don’t.  They speak more reverently about President Clinton than they do about President Bush 43.  The fact that The Name: George W. Bush is one that the right thinks reflects negatively on them really says a lot more about them than it does the former president.

In these days of Obama carnage, there are countless opportunities to contrast this current presidency with the last one  -  the one given to America from our side.  Our side, however, just doesn't want to do it.

The most prominent talking heads on the right implore their audiences to contrast today with the Reagan Administration …a clear and obvious slight to the more recent, two-term Republican administration.  Glenn Beck in particular never misses an opportunity to take a swipe at President Bush.  He (Beck) goes on and on about how he’s not afraid to say what is unpopular, but his Bush-bashing is popular and I don’t believe for a minute he’d do it if it weren't.  My evidence for this is the fact that Beck never says anything negative about Ronald Reagan.

I grew up under Ronald Reagan and I thought he was great (and still do).  He restored American pride and gave an exceptionally articulate voice to the views of mainstream and traditional America.

Three points; taxes, the court, and the military / defense - are the short list of why Americans and particularly conservatives loved President Reagan.  For my generation, he set the bar for all future presidents and he set it high.

But here’s the deal:  generally  -  over eight years  -  the results of the Bush 43 Administration are more conservative than the eight years of Ronald Reagan.  Specifically, let’s look at the “big three”.

Taxes:  Reagan cited Kennedy in his campaign …“a rising tide lifts all boats”… and said …“we’re going to try that”...  Kemp-Roth was a bill that had kicked around congress for a few years (it was first introduced in 1977).  Reagan won a landslide, coat-tails election and was able to get the Kemp-Roth Tax Cuts of 1981 passed and he signed it into law.  It was a very important piece of legislation that turned the economy around after years of floundering.  After that however, the Democrat controlled congress managed to get the Reagan Administration to acquiesce to different types of tax increases in six of the remaining seven years of the Reagan tenure.

For Bush, the so-called “tech bubble” actually burst about two weeks after his “Super Tuesday” primary wins over John McCain all but solidified his nomination for president.  Before that, he was making the case for tax cuts to bolster an economy that looked (to him) like it was weakening a bit.  Many people, including fellow GOP competitors for the nomination thought Bush’s plans and observations were borderline laughable.  George W Bush went on to win a disputed election and pass two tax cut bills to weather the dual economic storms of the tech crash and then 911 (in which the entire tourism industry was taken right out of the economy for a time).  Bush’s administration was firm and despite many efforts to raise taxes (some from inside the Republican Party) - taxes never went up under Bush 43.

The Court:  Reagan gave us Scalia, but he also gave us O’Conner and Kennedy  -  and the latter two were “consensus” picks.

Bush gave us Roberts and Alito.  And although conservatives were betrayed by Roberts with respect to the Obama-Care decision, Bush was also betrayed.  Roberts was a known conservative.  He was not a “consensus” pick.

The Military / Defense:  Reagan was pro defense and his military build-up which effectively escalated the so called “arms race”, bankrupted the Soviet Union and brought it to its knees.  His commitment to his Strategic Defense Initiative as illustrated by his walking out on peace talks at Reykjavik, Iceland when the Soviets insisted it be on the table seems to have been the knockout blow.  Reagan’s “peace through strength” mantra and personal strength of character assured no Soviet advancement on his watch.  Under Reagan the U.S. armed the Contra Rebels in Nicaragua, armed the Mujahidin in Afghanistan, and invaded Granada rescuing 800 American medical students.  However, the 1983 withdrawal of troops from Lebanon after the barracks bombing killed 241 U.S. Marines -  along with Mogadishu, Somalia incident under Clinton were sited by Osama bin Laden as evidence that casualties would make America retreat.

George W Bush too was pro defense and presided over a military build-up that was necessary to wage wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.  What makes Bush so special on military and defense is the absolute guts and class with which he commanded the military in war during those years.  Bush certainly had learned the lessons of Vietnam:  mainly that politicians shouldn't run the war, the military should.  The issues of troop levels and strategy that received the most public debate and criticism were all recommendations of the military people whose job it was to advise on such matters.  For years, President Bush took all the heat, all the responsibility, all the criticism and never once threw anyone under the bus.  He never deflected anything.  He never even stated what should have been the obvious; that he was listening to his military advisers and not doing it his own way.  President Bush never even said the “Mission Accomplished” banner was the troops’ banner (their mission was accomplished).

George W Bush also had a “Reykjavik” moment.  I believe the presentation of the results of the “Iraq Study Group” and Bush’s refusal to bow to it was analogous. That study group was led by James A Baker III (the elder President Bush’s best friend) and that public betrayal was hard to watch, but the president handled it with his usual grace and class.

Spending increased too much during both of these administrations  -  but remember; congressional Republicans and talking heads didn't abandon George W Bush over the spending.  They abandoned him over the war.  And he and the military won the war.  

April 13, 1743  -  July 4, 1826  (83)
April 4, 1926  -  October 15, 2010  (84)
-  3rd president of the United States, was an American Founding Father, and principle author of the Declaration of Independence.
- Co-founder (1974) and president of National Right To Life Committee 1975 - 1978; First black woman to graduate from Harvard Medical School 1951.
Thomas Jefferson
Mildred F. Jefferson, M. D.
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