The Corner

Bush The Moderate

From a reader:

One factor we arch-wingers often fail to take into consider is that George Bush really isn’t one of us. He didn’t run in 2000 as a conservative, and he hasn’t governed much as one — particularly on spending, entitlements, the National Endowment for the arts, etc. On the other side of the ledger are significant accomplishments — tax cuts and withdrawal from the ABM treaty. But overall, and excepting the war on terror, you might say he’s a squish.

However, and the point about this not being Reagan’s approach brings this up: Bush is a party builder. Reagan never was. The GOP Senate he got in 1980 was a coattails fluke, and he lost it in 1986.

Bush, on the other hand, was only the second Republican elected governor in Texas since Reconstruction. When he was elected, Democrats had strong majorities in both houses of the state legislature and the Congressional delegation. Democrats controlled every other statewide elective office at the state government level. That was only 10 years ago.

When Bush left office to assume the presidency, he left behind Republican majorities in both houses of the legislature — and because of that, next year the congressional delegation will flip to the GOP. Further, every statewide elective office had gone Republican — including, to my knowledge, the only two statewide-elected African-Americans in the United States. One is a Supreme Court justice, the other a railroad commissioner (the latter’s big stuff in Texas, has something to do with oil).

Bush is a moderate Republican. He’s putting on a moderate convention. If this results in a stronger Senate and House majority and a more conservative judiciary, I sure as hell won’t complain.

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