Friday, March 18, 2011

It's On!: Mark Levin V. George W. Bush's (un)Conservative Record

by the Left Coast Rebel

I'm going to ruffle some feathers here (including, perhaps even my own lovely mother's) and praise Mark Levin for "coming out of the closet" in calling out former president George W. Bush as anything but a conservative in a limited government sense. Levin did so in a Facebook posting about Sarah Palin.

Before I move along, I must say that it still shocks and disheartens me when I see my conservative brothers and sisters in the proverbial dark about W's big-government largess and Progressive Co-opted Good Intentions that laid the bricks for the road to Obama's socialist utopia hell.

From Mark Levin's Facebook page:
That said, Bush's record, at best, is marginally conservative, and depending on the issue, worse. In fact, the Tea Party movement is, in part, a negative reaction to Bush's profligate spending (including his expansion of a bankrupt Medicare program to include prescription drugs). And while Bush's spending comes nowhere near Barack Obama's, that is not the standard. Moreover, Bush was not exactly among our most articulate presidents, let alone conservative voices. I raise this not to compare Bush to Palin, but to point out only a few of the situational aspects of the criticism from the Bush community corner. (If necessary, and if challenged, I will take the time to lay out the case in all its particulars, as well as other non-conservative Bush policies and statements. No Republican president is perfect, of course, but certainly some are more perfect that others, if you will.)
Levin is right and as far as I'm concerned, he's being gracious here. A HUGE component of the Tea Party movement heralds from disaffection with George W. Bush's (and the GOP Congress during his two terms) abandonment of any semblance of fiscal conservatism.

Peter Wehner at Commentary Magazine responds to Mark Levin, I grabbed an excerpt that really caught my eye:
The complaint about Bush is that he was the architect of a prescription-drug entitlement. Fair enough, though it should be said that because of free-market reforms, the cost of the plan was 40 percent below the estimates, an unheard of achievement.
I'm going a little off topic here but I can't help myself, this is such establishment tripe.

The logic goes like this: Democrat-statists float an unconstitutional, fiscal train-wreck entitlement program or any other sundry of horrible legislation. Out-of-power Republicans balk and block said program and claim victory for the taxpayer. Several years down the road, Republicans gain power and co-opt the unconstitutional, fiscal train-wreck entitlement program or "progressive" government scheme, but they nibble around the edges and *save* 40% for the taxpayer by adding "free market" aspects to the legislation!

The question then is this:

What do we as liberty-loving Americans that don't believe the Federal government should command every aspect of our lives get in the end by Republican "compromise" of Democrat progressive government?

Answer: More of our hard-earned dollars confiscated by an intrusive, out-of-control government, kicking the United States fiscal insolvency can down the road and doing so from the opposition party of limited government.

George W. Bush did some good things, for instance the *attempt* of reforming Social Insecurity. The man didn't loathe the United States as his successor does.

But does the following list look like the accomplishment list of a limited government conservative? The truth is, George W. Bush would have been a statist liberal if not for the fact that the Democrat Party has gone so far to the left as to make the socialists of old blush. Partying with future generation's earnings like it's 2000-2008, the Bush hit list:
In fairness, Dan Mitchell of the Cato Institute throws in Obama and Bush's record on annual domestic spending increases adjusted for inflation and compares the combination to the presidency of Ronald Reagan (by percentage increases):

Even more foreboding, the inflation-adjusted dollar comparison:

Reagan wasn't perfect as even his best efforts to rein in the Federal government only resulted in slowing the rate of growth. He is still the best measuring stick for true conservatism that we have had in my lifetime and possibly far beyond.

Why do I bring all of this up? Simple. Before we know it, Republicans will be choosing a nominee to go up against Obama in 2012. Establishment charlatans will co-opt the Tea Party movement, promise fiscal restraint and sound libertarian-esque. Only those few with proven fiscal-conservative track records will deliver and this nation cannot afford another big-spending Republican administration.

And, oh, yah, just to reiterate -- Bush was no conservative. Please pass this along.

Cross posted to The Libertarian Patriot, LCR and RightKlik.


Teresa said...

Bush was a conservative on social issues but he was not a conservative on fiscal issues, with the exception of the Bush tax cuts.

Left Coast Rebel said...

You are correct, Teresa. I would wager though that Bush was only 1/2 correct on the tax cuts as they should have been backed up by subsequent spending cuts as well. Instead, he spent more than any President since LBJ.

Reaganite Republican said...

Bush was a social and foreign policy conservative, so it depends who you ask and what their hot button issues are

We all knew W spent too much money and was no Reagan, but it can always get worse... and it sure as hell did

I would take Bush back in 2 seconds rather than another term of this insanity

RightKlik said...

Mark Levin is one of the few unflinching conservative warriors in the field.

He's right. Bush was no conservative. He was a big-government centrist.

The term "conservative" barely means anything anymore. The goalpost has been moved so far to the left, I can't even see it now.

If you stand for limited government, constrained by constitutional boundaries that protect individual liberty as defined by the Bill of Rights, as well as secure borders, strong families, cultural unity, natural law, minimal statism and maximum freedom with national defense that can protect all that... what are you? A right-wing extremist?