TO THE GOP?
Copyright © 2010, 2015 by Jim Hull
(Please cite the author if you
quote from this work)
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
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
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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