George W. Bush ran up far, far bigger deficits than any of the 42 previous presidents, but that didn’t seem to bother many Conservatives. “Why should that be any big deal?” they seemed to be saying. Since that stuff is supposed to be a whopping violation of your espoused beliefs, I’m guessing? The 8 years of Bush administration policies created ever-eye-poppingly larger debts, culminating in a projected 1.2 trillion dollar deficit for 2009.
But now that the new(er) President has wisely decided to use the power of the government to ease the pain of the Republican Recession and to bring some reform to the broken healthcare system, government debts are causing Americans to consider armed revolution or secession from The Union. It’s even inspired a popular political movement: the Tea Party.
Why the sudden political firestorm over ‘reckless’ spending? It’s not like the Iraq War wasn’t around from 2003 on, costing us more than 10 billion dollars every month — and, for what? For Americans to die in faraway places? What a great return for your tax dollars.
Jonah Goldberg has got it all figured out, as usual. It’s not that Conservatives have no actual principles, and that whatever values they say they hold dear are nothing more than weapons of convenience in a war for political power. And it’s not that Conservatives believe the un-American Democrats have no rightful claim to the political power they duly win in elections, that’s not it. And it’s not that right-wingers are angry at and wholly uncomfortable with a black person at the top of the heap, that’s not it, either.
What it is, is this: Conservatives are just now speaking out about President Bush.
April 21, 2010 12:00 A.M.
A Delayed Bush Backlash
Conservatives don’t want to be fooled again.
. . One of the more widespread anti-tea-party arguments goes like this: Republicans didn’t protest very much when Bush ran up deficits and expanded government, so when Obama does the same thing (albeit on a far grander scale), Republican complaints can’t be sincere.
This lazy sophistry opens the door to liberals’ preferred argument: racism. “No student of American history,” writes Paul Butler in the New York Times, “would be surprised to learn that when the United States elects its first non-white president, a strong anti-government movement rises up.”
Butler, a law professor and author of the no-doubt-seminal Let’s Get Free: A Hip-Hop Theory of Justice, speaks for many in the media when he insinuates that nearly unprecedented stimulus spending combined with government takeovers of the health-care, banking, and automotive industries are dwarfed in importance by Obama’s skin color.
I speak for many who have actually spoken to tea partiers when I say that is slanderous hogwash.
Amount of time available for Conservatives to wake up and put a stop to the overspending disaster under Bush: 8 years. But they never did do it. Amount of time it took for them ‘realize their mistake’ and ‘vow never to let it happen again’ once a Democrat was in charge? What, weeks? Hours?
The truth is Conservatives don’t actually hold any of their precious values sacred, those are only used for political gain. Otherwise, this rebellion over the government’s being out of control would have started when the government began to get out of control, under the Bush administration, when idiotic tax cuts and the brutal War in Iraq hit the TNT of growing deficits like a series of atomic bombs.
If Goldberg’s ridiculous argument isn’t already laughable, witness Jonah himself try the patriotic ‘waking up’ to the wayward Bush administration, but this time with a difference: while the Republican was in power and vulnerable to criticism. With respect to the Iraq War, was it a mistake? He says he has come to his senses in this 2006 post, but it’s all really actually perfectly fine, there’s no sense in getting all overworked into a pro-war/anti-war thing, sheesh:
October 19, 2006
We know now that invading Iraq was the wrong decision, but that doesn’t vindicate the antiwar crowd.
THERE’S A STRICT taboo in the column-writing business against recycling ideas. So let me start with something fresh.
The Iraq war was a mistake.
I know, I know. But I’ve never said it before. And I don’t enjoy saying it now. I’m sure that to the antiwar crowd this is too little, too late, and that’s fine because I’m not joining their ranks anyway.
In the dumbed-down debate we’re having, there are only two sides: Pro-war and antiwar. This is silly . .
Just think if Obama had started and essentially owned the War, the way the Republican Bush had. In that case, Jonah himself might patriotically speak of secession, Tea Party style.