July 23, 2010

IF ONLY...:

Addicted to Bush (PAUL KRUGMAN, 7/23/10, NY Times)

The truth, however, is that the only problem Republicans ever had with George W. Bush was his low approval rating. They always loved his policies and his governing style — and they want them back. In recent weeks, G.O.P. leaders have come out for a complete return to the Bush agenda, including tax breaks for the rich and financial deregulation. They’ve even resurrected the plan to cut future Social Security benefits.

In reality, the poll numbers were largely a function of Congressional Republicans and Beltway conservatives bailing on President Bush. They were predictably terrified of even trying to pass the SS reforms that he ran on twice and won. Nor would they move tax reforms--the shift to consumption taxes--that were the follow on to reducing taxes on income, savings and investment. They got cold feet about Iraq. They became hysterical about the Dubai Ports deal. They axed Harriet Miers. And they killed immigration reform in a manner that confirmed the very worst caricatures of the GOP. Then, to top it all off, the House caucus refused to support the bank bailout that W presented them wrapped with a bow at a point when they could have still won the Fall elections.

It's worth recalling that W's two signature domestic victories--tax cuts and NCLB--became law because of two Democrats, Jim Jeffords and Ted Kennedy.

Posted by Orrin Judd at July 23, 2010 5:49 AM
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