Wednesday, September 02, 2015

The Moderate Republican’s Case for Donald Trump

Only Trump can make the GOP sane again—by losing in a landslide to Hillary Clinton.

By Bruce Bartlett
07/27/15, 07:48 PM EDT

Hardline conservatives paint George H.W. Bush as a failure because he raised taxes in 1990 despite routinely giving Reagan a pass for much greater violations of conservative orthodoxy. In effect, Bush paid the price for Reagan’s heresies. His defeat was also part of a plan by the GOP’s most conservative members to take operational control of the party in a way that they had never been able to do before. Bush’s defeat was considered a small price to pay to put people like Newt Gingrich and Tom DeLay in charge of party policy.

The Republican takeover of Congress in 1994 validated this strategy. The 1996 defeat of Bob Dole, a throwback to the Eisenhower-Nixon-Ford era (he was Ford’s running mate in 1976), was further validation.

Conservatives were not enthusiastic about George W. Bush in 2000, in part because they feared that he would follow in his father’s footsteps. But Bush knew that as long as he kept throwing tax cuts at the conservative base, he was free to pursue traditional moderate Republican policies in areas such as expanding Medicare, financial regulation, education, trade and the budget.

By 2008, conservatives were frustrated with their lack of substantive policy progress during the Bush years. Even the tax cuts that bought him their support were scheduled to expire at the end of 2010. In many ways, the rise of the Tea Party was as much a reaction to Bush’s infidelities to conservative principles as it was to the election of Barack Obama.

(More here.)


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