While most conservatives cite Ronald Reagan as the “ultimate Republican,” I just don’t see it that way at all. Because when I think of the president who best represents Republicans, the first name that comes to mind is George W. Bush.
I’ve often referred to his presidency as the “talking points presidency.” He gave that “good ol’ boy shtick” that conservatives ate right up. Never mind that most times he couldn’t even read a speech straight off a teleprompter without sounding like a complete idiot, he just “seemed like that kind of guy conservatives wanted to go have a beer with.”
As if making a good drinking buddy somehow qualifies someone to lead the United States.
But he stood up there and “stuck to his guns.” To conservatives, “true leadership” is apparently found in the inability for that leader to admit that they were wrong on something and change course before it spirals into complete chaos.
Remember how Bush often said we had to “stay the course”? Well, I guess that’s something he and Captain Edward J. Smith have in common – they “stayed the course.”
And even though almost nothing he said was going to happen actually happened (we didn’t make America safer, we never found Osama bin Ladin while he was in office, we didn’t balance the budget and we didn’t pay off our national debt following his tax breaks), the conservative base never really turned on him.
He is the ultimate “tough on terrorism small government Republican Christian conservative president” who:
- Passed the most intrusive piece of legislation in our nation’s history (the Patriot Act).
- Nearly doubled our national debt.
- Presided over record deficits.
- Started two wars without having any way to pay for them.
- Endorsed the inhumane torture of other human beings.
- Promised that tax cuts would bring about economic prosperity; instead they nearly led us into economic ruin.
- Didn’t make America, or the world for that matter, any safer.
He turned out to be the exact opposite of every single value for which Republicans claim they stand. Yet they proudly voted for him anyway – twice.
And now what do these same conservatives do? Blame the Democrat for not cleaning up Bush’s mess fast enough. All the while ignoring the blatantly obvious fact that Republicans in Congress have done just about everything they possibly can to prevent President Obama from being able to fix the seemingly endless list of issues George W. Bush left him.
But, in my opinion, Bush epitomizes everything about the GOP. He’s someone who ran on promises of conservative values, fiscal responsibility, economic prosperity and keeping America safer – yet he didn’t accomplish any of that.
And that’s what the GOP essentially is. It’s a party built on a foundation of perpetual talking points about what they are always going to do, without actually accomplishing any of them.
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