WHAT HAPPENED TO THE GOP?


Copyright 2010, 2015 by Jim Hull

(Please cite the author if you quote from this work)



Nobody can create a big budget deficit like a Democrat. President Obama presides over the biggest since World War II. Meanwhile, by tradition, the Republicans defend us against the excesses of expansive government spending. So far, so good. But then Republicans point at Obama, saying, "He's the one who created all this trouble! He's the one who's increased the deficit to record heights!" It's as if the Republicans are standing by innocently while out of power, watching as the Democrats ruin all their recent hard work.

Let's look at that hard work. According to the fiscally conservative Cato Institute, Bush's non-defense spending items -- especially education and medicare prescription entitlements -- increased by 70% during his administration, and his overall budgets made him the biggest-spending president between LBJ and Obama. So even while Obama sucks away your hard-earned money like a thirsty vampire, Bush's own budgets looked suspiciously like those of the Democrats. What went wrong?

What went wrong was that Bush was NOT a small-government, small-tax Reagan Republican, as most voters believed in 2000. Instead, he was a Neoconservative (conservative values wedded to a large and activist federal government and an aggressive foreign policy) and a believer in the Unitary Executive Theory (the president has dictatorial power during wartime, and wars happen on his say-so).

The economy tanked under Bush's watch, not Obama's: see the 2004 SEC decision to allow investment banks to spend nearly ALL their reserves on mortgage-backed derivatives, something an unregulated market would never have permitted, and which led directly to the financial meltdown.

Meanwhile, the powers to strip you (not just foreigners) of habeas corpus and declare martial law without consulting Congress were written in Cheney's office. See the Military Commissions Act of 2006 and the Defense Authorization Act of 2007, which specifically grant those arbitrary powers to the Executive branch. I'm not making this up! They're easy to find and read on the Internet. When you're done, sit back and try to guess who now wields those powers and has made no move to revoke them. Hint: his initials are BHO.

What were Bush and Cheney thinking?!? In effect, the Republican administration vastly increased the cost and invasive power of the federal government . . . AND HANDED IT TO THE DEMOCRATS!!!

What were they thinking, indeed. What kind of true Republican would create that much chaos? Reagan must be spinning in his grave at about 600 rpm. Bush/Cheney was a mistake, not an advance.

It's easy to blame Democrats for our country's current woes. But pointing the finger at the other guy when one is guilty of the same actions is like the pot calling the kettle black. If the GOP wants America to return to its core values, then it, too, needs to return to those values.

Republicans should do what they do best: tend the garden! For eight years they went crazy and planted crabgrass. The GOP has to get over Bush/Cheney and reconnect with Reagan, or the vast majority of Americans won't see them as a viable alternative to the tax-and-spend Democrats. What good is a loyal opposition if it merely promotes diluted versions of Democratic programs? Right now, most Republican politicians are _following_, not leading, the Tea Parties. Time to get ahead of the parade, or that parade will march off with someone else at its head.



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