Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Contrasting the Failure of Bush and Obama: Right or Left?

I often summarize the Bush Presidency as an utter failure.  I blame George Bush for an even bigger failure, the current Obama administration.  When you compare George Bush and Barrack Obama, your gut reaction is to compare the policies of the right with those of the left.  You might also conclude that you can’t win either way.   I do agree that you cannot win with either Bush or Obama.  You will also not win in the 2012 election either re-electing Obama, or electing a Bushalike, Mitt Romney.  So where do you go if neither the right nor left seem to work.  The answer is the right.  If you merely follow the popular media, you would think that George Bush and Karl Rove are a couple of right wing purists.  This is done very intentionally.  The reality is that there is more in common between George Bush and Obama than a true right wing politician.  While the scope of failure for Bush is not as large as Obama’s, they type of failure is very similar.  What did George Bush do right that is from the right.  He cut taxes, including capital gains taxes.  But he couldn’t go all right.  He had to go a little left even in this.  He added refundable tax credits for those that don’t pay taxes.  For the average person, that means he did more redistribution.   He passed the Medicare prescription plan, which was the biggest increase in entitlements since the great society.  He increased the power of the department of education.   He increase deficit spending and he signed the first bailout.  Nothing much from the right in anything that Bush did really.   Now comes Obama.  He holds steady on Bush’s war plans and actually opens up another front.  He passes bigger bailouts and bigger entitlements and more and more unlegislated policies and mandates.  You can summarize Obama’s presidency as Supersize Bush.  Obama blames Bush for everything, and he might be right in that Obama is just following through with more gusto on the Bush plan.
But let’s be honest, Bush’s failure is not a failure of the right because little if anything at all was legislated that is a true right wing initiative.  If you can describe Obama’s policy as an adverb of Bush’s, and Obama is the most left wing President in history, then Bush is just a more moderate flavor of Obama and not a flavor of the right wing at all.   The greatest victory that can be scored from the Obama Presidency is that we will be able to directly point to the failure of left wing policy.  In this coming election, we need to look for the candidate with the most right wing fruit in their life, not the most right wing lip service.  Who has lived fiscally conservative and respected life and liberty, not who speaks about it, but passes government healthcare in their state, or offers special breaks to people that break the law.  All I am saying is give liberty a chance. 
If we had a real conservative candidate, they would call for cutting entitlements, not sustaining them or limiting their growth.  If we had a real conservative, they would be for reforming the entire tax code, not using the tax code to pick winners and losers.  If we had a real conservative, they wouldn’t be talking about different things the department of education or energy or commerce could do, they would be talking about what benefits would be gained by doing without those departments.  If we had a real conservative, they would never entertain the idea of using federal spending as a means of fixing a social ill.  If we had a real conservative with a  real conservative congress, I think it would be a while before we saw leftists again.


Kansas Bob said...

Agree with your take on W. But Romney will be the next president because moderates elect president not conservatives or liberals. And there is not a real credible conservative running against him in the primaries.

Lighthouse said...

Scott, First off, congrats on your new baby boy. Secondly, I need your advice. I have been looking over the candidates, trying to find one to support. Ron Paul has caught my eye and I wanted your take. The two areas I am mainly concerned about are his views as they relate to the Bible(abortion, religious freedoms, etc.) and the Constitution(strict or loose view). I know you have studied politics much more than I have, so I would appreciate your educated opinion. Thank you very much.