Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Where George W. Bush succeeded, Mitt Romney fell short
Tribune Media Services ^ | November 16, 2012 | Jonah Goldberg

Posted on 12/02/2012 8:32:38 PM PST by MinorityRepublican

I think I owe an apology to George W. Bush.

William F. Buckley once noted that he was 19 when the Cold War began at the Yalta conference. The year the Berlin Wall came down, he became a senior citizen. In other words, he explained, anti-communism was a defining feature of conservatism his entire adult life.

Domestically, meanwhile, the right was largely a “leave me alone coalition”: Religious and traditional conservatives, overtaxed businessmen, Western libertarians, and others fed up with government social engineering and economic folly. The battle against tyrannical statism abroad only buttressed the domestic antagonism toward well-intentioned and occasionally democratic statism at home.

The end of the Cold War gave way to what Charles Krauthammer dubbed the “holiday from history” of the 1990s and the “war on terror” in the 2000s. People forget that Bush was elected during the former and had the latter thrust upon him. But at the end of the 1990s, he was one of many voices on the right trying to craft a political rationale to deal with a demographically changing electorate.

He campaigned on a “humble foreign policy” in 2000 and promised something very, very different than a “leave me alone” domestic policy. He called his new approach “compassionate conservatism.”

For years, I’ve criticized “compassionate conservatism” as an insult to traditional conservatism and an affront to all things libertarian.

Bush liked to say that he was a “different kind of Republican,” that he was a “compassionate conservative.” I still hate that formulation. Imagine if someone said, “I’m a different kind of Catholic (or Jew, or American, etc.): I’m a compassionate Catholic.” The insinuation was that conservatives who disagreed with him and his “strong-government conservatism” were somehow lacking in compassion.

(Excerpt) Read more at kansascity.com ...


TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: bush43; compassionatecon; conservatism; georgewbush; gwb; jonahgoldberg; noapology; wfb; wrong

1 posted on 12/02/2012 8:32:46 PM PST by MinorityRepublican
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: MinorityRepublican

RINO File.


2 posted on 12/02/2012 8:35:05 PM PST by Graewoulf ((Traitor John Roberts' Obama"care" violates Sherman Anti-Trust Law, AND the U.S. Constitution.))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: MinorityRepublican
The previous postings of this:

I Think I Owe an Apology to George W. Bush.

Compassionate Conservatism Redux [Was "Compassionate Conservatism" of Bush 43 Correct?]

3 posted on 12/02/2012 8:37:56 PM PST by Theoria (Romney is a Pyrrhic victory.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: MinorityRepublican

Hey Jonah - check the facts instead of rewriting history:

November 8, 2004
...the untold story of the 2004 election, according to national religious leaders and grass-roots activists, is that evangelical Christian groups were often more aggressive and sometimes better organized on the ground than the Bush campaign. The White House struggled to stay abreast of the Christian right and consulted with the movement’s leaders in weekly conference calls. But in many respects, Christian activists led the charge that GOP operatives followed and capitalized upon.

This was particularly true of the same-sex marriage issue. One of the most successful tactics of social conservatives — the ballot referendums against same-sex marriage in 13 states — bubbled up from below and initially met resistance from White House aides, Christian leaders said.

In dozens of interviews since the election, grass-roots activists in Ohio, Michigan and Florida credited President Bush’s chief political adviser, Karl Rove, with setting a clear goal that became a mantra among conservatives: To win, Bush had to draw 4 million more evangelicals to the polls than he did in 2000. But they also described a mobilization of evangelical Protestants and conservative Roman Catholics that took off under its own power. (snip)
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A32793-2004Nov7.html


4 posted on 12/02/2012 8:38:52 PM PST by donna (Pray for revival.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: MinorityRepublican
I have a friend (obviously much richer than I) that knows GWB and donated lots of money to him during his run for Governor and then President. He always says he only saw the guy he knows one time during that eight years, and that was standing on a destroyed fire truck in the middle of a rubble pile.

It almost seems as if it really doesn't matter who you send to Washington. Once there they are taken over by ‘advisers’ who make sure there is not one honest or sincere emotion allowed to be shown.

5 posted on 12/02/2012 8:53:09 PM PST by I cannot think of a name
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: MinorityRepublican
"Still, it’s worth remembering that Bush won a staggering (for a Republican) 44 percent of the Hispanic vote. Romney got 27 percent."

Bush was running against white guys, Gore and Kerry. Bush would have lost to Obama too. Hispanics, Asians, Blacks and even Cubans voted for the half-African marxist because they dig his getting one over on whitey.

Moreover, according to exit polls, Romney decisively beat Obama on the questions of leadership, values and economic expertise but was crushed by more than 60 points on the question of which candidate “cares about people like me.”

Also, Bush would have lost because he would have rolled over and said nice things about Obama too. Just like McCain and Romney.

6 posted on 12/02/2012 8:57:05 PM PST by Smokeyblue
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: donna

Add to that the swift boaters.


7 posted on 12/02/2012 9:02:13 PM PST by headstamp 2 (What would Scooby do?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: MinorityRepublican; ding_dong_daddy_from_dumas; stephenjohnbanker; DoughtyOne; Gilbo_3; NFHale; ...
RE :” Bush liked to say that he was a “different kind of Republican,” that he was a “compassionate conservative.” I still hate that formulation. Imagine if someone said, “I’m a different kind of Catholic (or Jew, or American, etc.): I’m a compassionate Catholic.” The insinuation was that conservatives who disagreed with him and his “strong-government conservatism” were somehow lacking in compassion.
As a candidate, Bush talked endlessly about how tough a job single mothers have and scolded his fellow conservatives for failing to see that “family values don’t end at the Rio GAs president, he said that “when somebody hurts, government has got to move.” According to compassionate conservatives, reflexive anti-statism on the right is foolish, for there are many important — and conservative — things the state can do right.
Compassionate conservatism struck me as a surrender to liberal assumptions about the role of the government in our lives. A hallmark of Great Society liberalism is the idea that an individual’s worth as a human being is correlated to his support for expansions of the entitlement state.”

Oh brother. Guess what? By 2008 GWB would have lost to O in a landslide. His compassionate conservative strategy was a short term one and those single Moms and Hispanics he got votes from in 2004 would have voted against him in 2008.

Romney's problems were of his own makings, standing for nothing (except what appeared to be rich guys like himself) blaming the voters instead of Obama. He was great at going after Republicans and the voters but he treated O with kid gloves.
He failed to come up with a convincing argument that his policies would help the voters that he needed. He was the wrong candidate for sure. And Akin and CO didn't help either.

Lets not learn the wrong lessons here.

8 posted on 12/02/2012 9:03:52 PM PST by sickoflibs (Dems want to win.The GOP wants to whine. Why dont they fight to win like Dems do?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Smokeyblue

Bush did NOT win 44% of the Hispanic vote in 2004. That has been debunked, from analysts from both the Left and the Right. He got maybe 40%. And while that is still great for a Republican, it was still a large, double-digit loss to a weak and dull opponent in John Kerry.

Only Republican leaders could be stupid enough to think that repeating this performance is a path to victory going forward. Just do the math; if the Hispanic vote continues to rise, then eventually a relative increase can still end with an absolute loss. And when it comes to battleground states where the margins are close and Hispanics (or some other group the GOP is told it must pander to) are said to be decisive, the truth is that any group could be said to be decisive in a close race. Yeah, the increase in Hispanic voters hurt Romney big in Florida, but what if Romney had done a few points better with whites? Well, he’d be President elect right now.

And I’m always suspicious of why people like Jonah Goldberg repeat this bogus 44% figure. Someone like Goldberg, who’s job is to live and breathe politics, has to know that the number is bogus. So why does he repeat it?


9 posted on 12/02/2012 9:23:54 PM PST by Aetius
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: sickoflibs

Still blaming Akin? Sorry, I believe he could have been rehabilitated, if Republicans had not cut and run on him. He lost by less than some of the RINOs did (such as Allen in VA and Mack in FL).

Why do you not also rag on Allen and Mack?


10 posted on 12/02/2012 9:24:33 PM PST by man_in_tx (Islam is a Hate Crime. (Blowback: Faithfully farting towards Mecca five times daily!))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: sickoflibs

If Romney faced the same percentage demographics as Reagan, he would have won by an even bigger landslide than RR.


11 posted on 12/02/2012 9:29:23 PM PST by Stealth Ninja
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: MinorityRepublican

Bush left us with huge deficits and an economy in desperate shape. He started TARP and the GM bailout. It hardly pays to elect Republicans who give us statist liberal policies. If that is what Jonah is selling I will pass.


12 posted on 12/02/2012 9:33:11 PM PST by freedomrings69
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: MinorityRepublican

Bush left us with huge deficits and an economy in desperate shape. He started TARP and the GM bailout. It hardly pays to elect Republicans who give us statist liberal policies. If that is what Jonah is selling I will pass.


13 posted on 12/02/2012 9:33:19 PM PST by freedomrings69
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Stealth Ninja
RE :”If Romney faced the same percentage demographics as Reagan, he would have won by an even bigger landslide than RR.”

What good is that today?

Is there something hidden in the US constitution that says that only whites (how about 50+ whites) get to pick the POTUS?

Is that what Romney was counting on and planned his campaign on? That only whites could vote?

14 posted on 12/02/2012 9:38:25 PM PST by sickoflibs (Dems want to win.The GOP wants to whine. Why dont they fight to win like Dems do?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: MinorityRepublican

George W did a lot to damage the Republican brand.

The 9/11 attack and the war on terror dominated the Bush presidency but can anyone remember what he campaigned on in 2000? I wonder what his administration would have been like it there had been no September 11?


15 posted on 12/02/2012 9:43:10 PM PST by cradle of freedom (Long live the Republic !)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: MinorityRepublican

George W did a lot to damage the Republican brand.

The 9/11 attack and the war on terror dominated the Bush presidency but can anyone remember what he campaigned on in 2000? I wonder what his administration would have been like it there had been no September 11?


16 posted on 12/02/2012 9:43:21 PM PST by cradle of freedom (Long live the Republic !)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: man_in_tx; GOPsterinMA; ding_dong_daddy_from_dumas; stephenjohnbanker; Gilbo_3; NFHale; Impy
RE :”Still blaming Akin? Sorry, I believe he could have been rehabilitated, if Republicans had not cut and run on him. He lost by less than some of the RINOs did (such as Allen in VA and Mack in FL)”

They didn't make themselves national figures this race by giving Dems exactly what they were praying for, like Akin did.

Allen and Mack did not make such stupid statements that could be used as clubs to beat on all other Republicans with as Akin’s were, and used to get out the Dem vote in swing districts.
Didn't he see what Dems were up to before he said that dumb stuff?

Electing Dems never saved one unborn babies life, sorry that is true,

17 posted on 12/02/2012 9:48:47 PM PST by sickoflibs (Dems want to win.The GOP wants to whine. Why dont they fight to win like Dems do?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: MinorityRepublican

Wrong. Bush created the biggest federal entitlement program since the Great Society. It did get him re-elected, but left the country saddled with yet another unaffordable entitlement. For it he had neglected the war in Iraq, and then, after re-election, he still failed to make the war his prime focus. Blame it partly on Casey, another affirmation of the Peter Principal, but because hope is not a policy. We may never find out what the hell was going on in 2005-6, but obviously it was a pushmepullye thing. Bush wanted to forget he was a war president. He didn’t take care of first things first. Finally, he did what he had to do, which was to give Petraeus his head. Too late,


18 posted on 12/02/2012 10:11:17 PM PST by RobbyS (Christus rex.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: cradle of freedom
George W did a lot to damage the Republican brand.

The 9/11 attack and the war on terror dominated the Bush presidency but can anyone remember what he campaigned on in 2000? I wonder what his administration would have been like it there had been no September 11?

Bingo!

The Bush presidency was floundering badly until he climbed on top of that crushed fire truck in NYC. He had no mandate, and no real idea what he wanted to do. Then he became the 9/11 president, which flew for a few years. He tried to ride that horse into Iraq, which may have been worth doing, but it really damaged the Republican brand.

19 posted on 12/02/2012 10:19:51 PM PST by tpmintx (Problem: People who work for a living ARE outnumbered by those who VOTE for a living (47%).)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: tpmintx
The Bush presidency was floundering badly until he climbed on top of that crushed fire truck in NYC. He had no mandate, and no real idea what he wanted to do.

I guess you don't recall the Bush tax cuts. Remember them? They're the ones that turned around the stagnant economy Bush inerited from Clinton.

They were passed in June, 2001 -- a bare five months after Bush was inaugurated. A pretty hefty accomplishment...

20 posted on 12/02/2012 10:31:47 PM PST by okie01 (THE MAINSTREAM MEDIA; Ignorance on parade.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]

To: MinorityRepublican

I like Bush the man, but as President he spent too much, never vetoed a bill and caved to the Democrats way too often. Besides his ignoring the enforcement of our borders (which he could have easily pushed for after 9/11), his biggest mistake in my opinion was not trying to pass a voter ID law after the hanging chads debacle (it would have been the perfect time to enact it, since it cost us both mentally and financially to go through all that recount nonsense). If it had passed then, you know Romney would have probably won this last election, despite his terribly-run campaign, and it would have been a Helluva lot easier for future Republican candidates to win in general thereafter (Romney won all but one state that had voter I.D. requirements).


21 posted on 12/03/2012 12:23:57 AM PST by teeker
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: man_in_tx
Still blaming Akin? Sorry, I believe he could have been rehabilitated, if Republicans had not cut and run on him. He lost by less than some of the RINOs did (such as Allen in VA and Mack in FL).

Am I hallucinating or did you just type the above?

1) George Allen is a RINO? Really?

2) Akin lost by FIFTEEN POINTS. HE ran FOURTEEN points behind Romney. NOTHING could have saved him.

Allen lost by 6 points.

22 posted on 12/03/2012 4:22:07 AM PST by Strategerist
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: Aetius
And I’m always suspicious of why people like Jonah Goldberg repeat this bogus 44% figure. Someone like Goldberg, who’s job is to live and breathe politics, has to know that the number is bogus. So why does he repeat it?

44% vs. 40% isn't nearly as bad as the collection of nitwits, from Gary Bauer to Phyllis Schafly, that have been repeating the bogus "Romney got fewer votes than McCain" nonsense.

23 posted on 12/03/2012 4:25:08 AM PST by Strategerist
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: sickoflibs

There needs to ba a Republican *charm school* where candidates and wanna be candidates can go to smooth over their rough edges. Every Republican should know that the media will ask tough questions on abortion, creationism etc. Republicans should know how to finesse those kinds of questions.


24 posted on 12/03/2012 7:36:58 PM PST by cradle of freedom (Long live the Republic !)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: cradle of freedom; GOPsterinMA; ding_dong_daddy_from_dumas; stephenjohnbanker; DoughtyOne; ...
RE :”There needs to ba a Republican *charm school* where candidates and wanna be candidates can go to smooth over their rough edges. Every Republican should know that the media will ask tough questions on abortion, creationism etc. Republicans should know how to finesse those kinds of questions”

yep, GOPsterin suggested something like this the other day.

Here's a couple of common sense rules:

1) The first commandment should be : Don't insult the voters you need to get you elected.(Ironically Romney and Angle both broke this one, and Akin too)
2) Don't be more effective at rallying voters to vote against you than you are to rally voters to vote for you.

And since in many areas there are more registered Dems than registered Rs then #1 is required to follow #2.

Here's the more popular excuses that I have read so far:

1) Voter fraud(right after this election this was #1)
2) the MSM (always the most popular)
3) The establishment stopped supporting them
(I saw this one today a bunch)

Here's one floating around here that they been hearing on talk radio (so it must be true): If only Scott Brown was a real conservative like Angle or Akin he would have won MA. What kind of hopeis there with thinkin like that?

25 posted on 12/03/2012 8:07:38 PM PST by sickoflibs (Dems want to win.The GOP wants to whine. Why dont they fight to win like Dems do?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 24 | View Replies]

To: sickoflibs

All of the elections since 2000 show that half of the country wants big government and half do not like big government. Both sides have to somehow talk to each other, preferably without using politicians. Promoting discussions in school regarding big versus small government would be good. Maybe some interested individuals or business people or organizations could promote essay contests on what the founding fathers said about small government and what it means as opposed to big government. A prize of $50 could be a good motivator.


26 posted on 12/03/2012 8:15:00 PM PST by cradle of freedom (Long live the Republic !)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 25 | View Replies]

To: cradle of freedom

Buy the way, are they still teaching civics in the public schools?


27 posted on 12/03/2012 8:18:25 PM PST by cradle of freedom (Long live the Republic !)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 26 | View Replies]

To: cradle of freedom; ding_dong_daddy_from_dumas; stephenjohnbanker; DoughtyOne; Gilbo_3; NFHale; ...
RE :”All of the elections since 2000 show that half of the country wants big government and half do not like big government. Both sides have to somehow talk to each other, preferably without using politicians”

The GOP screwed themselves and us under GWB. We got generations of voting age kids that either just remember GWB years, or more like Clinton then GWB years, but no positive R POTUS as an example.

I have posted many times here that if it was important to convince voters that ‘freedom’ is better than the mommy state, to vote R POTUS rather than D POTUS, then they needed a 2-term-R POTUS to show how something like that works successfully in their interests, and clearly that was not GWB.

This is the unfortunate reality.

If Obama leaves office looking like a success (say the economy looks like it is getting better) leaving office then the national R party is over as a governing option.
Rs best bet now is that taxes on the rich go up (automatically), Obama gets his big ‘victory’ without GOP votes and then the economy crashes. Then Rs can give Ds a taste of their own medicine,

Otherwise its just more of the crazy cult minority stuff.

28 posted on 12/03/2012 8:40:02 PM PST by sickoflibs (Dems want to win.The GOP wants to whine. Why dont they fight to win like Dems do?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 26 | View Replies]

To: sickoflibs

I don’t know how any white male can vote for the dems. White males have a target on their backs.


29 posted on 12/03/2012 8:46:01 PM PST by cradle of freedom (Long live the Republic !)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 28 | View Replies]

To: Strategerist

You’re right that these people should take more care to be accurate, especially in trying to figure out what went so wrong, how it could have been different, and how to make it different going forward. In the days after the election that sort of thing can be forgiven. I guess it takes a week or longer to get the final numbers.

But I do think repeating the bogus 44% figure is a big deal because of the false narrative it is used to advance. If it really was 44%, then that means Bush was almost within 10 points with Hispanics. This is used to convince conservatives and Republicans to go the Bush route of pandering and being firmly left wing on immigration. I mean, if Bush was that close, then maybe more of the same could get us even closer.

However, the reality that Bush got no more than 40% takes it from a nearly single-digit loss to as much as a landslide 20 point loss. This shows that even a shameless panderer like Bush (who even coined, or at least made popular a new nauseating platitude in ‘family values don’t stop at the Rio Grande’), against an uninspiring opponent in Kerry, will still get his clock cleaned with Hispanics. It shows the folly and limits of Bush style pandering. It shows that even in a good year for Republicans with a good showing with Hispanics, we’ll nonetheless lose big with Hispanics.

There really is no good reason to expect a shift among immigrant groups from Democrats to Republicans. California proves that even ‘moderate’ Republicans can’t win Asians or Hispanics even though the Democrats have run the state into the ground. And so what if we do manage to get back up to Bush’s 40%? It won’t be long before the Hispanic share of the electorate grows large enough that even a 40% showing will represent an absolute loss from our dismal showing in 2012.


30 posted on 12/03/2012 9:02:37 PM PST by Aetius
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 23 | View Replies]

To: sickoflibs; cradle of freedom; ding_dong_daddy_from_dumas; stephenjohnbanker; DoughtyOne; ...

” Rs best bet now is that taxes on the rich go up (automatically), Obama gets his big ‘victory’ without GOP votes and then the economy crashes. Then Rs can give Ds a taste of their own medicine,”

YEP


31 posted on 12/04/2012 7:09:17 AM PST by stephenjohnbanker
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 28 | View Replies]

To: MinorityRepublican

Bush had weaker opponents and still barley beat them.


32 posted on 12/04/2012 11:59:05 AM PST by Impy (All in favor of Harry Reid meeting Mr. Mayhem?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson