Why are conservatives and Republicans enamored with George W. Bush?

With the release of his new book, Decision Points, many conservatives and Republicans are making a big deal over George W. Bush’s return from political exile. While I understand that they may be looking at Barack Obama’s presidency, where we’ve seen out of control spending and the Constitution often ignored. It doesn’t make much sense to look back longingly at Bush, who spent like a drunken sailor and treated the Constitution and Bill of Rights like an afterthought.

While I’m not a fan of Michelle Malkin, she is cautioning Republicans not to get too nostalgistic over the return of the Big Spender from Crawford:

The problem, of course, is that Bush nostalgia is indelibly marred by his disastrous domestic policy legacy of big government, big spending, and betrayal of core fiscal principles — the very impetus for the Tea Party movement upon which he now heaps glowing praise.

Take yourselves back to 2007. The headline on my blog on December 3, 2007:

Hillary and Bush agree: Government should bail out homeowners.

Two days later, Bush Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson announced a subprime mortgage bailout and I wrote in my syndicated column that week[.]
In January 2008, Bush floated another massive housing entitlement package, followed by an economic stimulus plan in excess of $150 billion, and passage of the $2.7 billion Bush housing boondoggle.

In September 2008, I raised the alarm over the banking bailout from DAY ONE — excoriating Paulson’s pathetic track record on the subprime crisis and calling on fiscal conservatives to stand up against the Bush GOP capitulationists.

Flashback September 19, 2008, a day that will live in infamy[.]
Bush then oversaw the $85 billion bailout of AIG and prepared the $25 billion auto bailout. In October, the Republicans swallowed the Bush crap sandwich and blindly bowed to naked emperor Paulson, and John McCain proposed a $300 billion mortgage bailout that dwarfed Obama’s campaign proposal.

As he rode into the sunset in December 2008 after pre-socializing the economy for Barack Obama, Bush wrote his own epitaph, which was one of the items on my list of things I don’t miss about Bush.


1) joined with open-borders progressives McCain and Kennedy to try to force shamnesty down our throats;

2) massively expanded the federal role in education;

3) championed the Medicare prescription drug entitlement using phony math;

4) kowtowed to the jihadi-enabling Saudis;

5) stocked DHS with incompetents and cronies;

6) pushed Hillarycare for housing;

7) enabled turncoat Arlen Specter;

8. nominated crony Harriet Myers to the Supreme Court;

9) pre-socialized the economy for Obama by embracing TARP, the auto bailouts, the AIG bailout, and in his own words:

“I’ve abandoned free-market principles to save the free-market system.”
George W. Bush

Some of us haven’t forgotten. And we’re not going to let the GOP leadership in Washington forget, either.

Well said.

After a the “Miss me yet?” billboard showed up in Minnesota back in February, I wrote a post explaining why I didn’t miss George W. Bush. Since he has found his way back on the national scene, let me explain once again.

From a fiscal perspective, the Bush Administration was a disaster. Before you repeat the Dick Cheney talking point that most of the spending was for defense and two wars. Let me go ahead and tell you, that’s not true. Bush was the biggest spender since Lyndon B. Johnson, dramatically increasing non-defense discretionary spending. Remember, he is a “compassionate conservative,” which is apparently a nice term for “statist.”

Bush signed a new entitlement into law, his administration enacted the most regulations since Nixon (“we’re all Keynesians now”) and he backed the Wall Street bailout while telling us that he “abandoned free-market principles to save the free-market system.” This is only the tip of the iceberg on his fiscal policies.

Yes, the tax cuts were a great idea, but not without corresponding cuts in spending. This is in effect a tax increase because of the enormous deficits that will have to be paid down the line. Let’s not forget that on January 20, 2001, the national debt was $5.7 trillion. The day Bush left office eight years late, the national debt had increase by almost $5 trillion to $10.6 trillion.

From a constitutional stand point, where do we begin? Gene Healy from the Cato Institute has done excellent work on this aspect of the Bush presidency. I guess the more appropriate question is, what part of the Bill of Rights survived the presidency of George W. Bush? He signed McCain-Feingold (violated the First Amendment, which even he admitted), his administration argued against the Second Amendment in the Heller case, he signed and defended the USA PATRIOT Act (violates the First, Fourth and Fifth Amendments) and NSA wiretapping (Fourth and Fifth Amendments) and generally trampled over the Tenth Amendment through legislation like No Child Left Behind and REAL ID. I haven’t even mentioned the powers the Bush Administration tried to claim to expand the office of president, some of which are detailed in Healy’s white paper.

So no, I don’t miss George W. Bush. I miss individual liberty, free markets, divided government and the Constitution.

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