Arrogance, hostility to conservatives sank the moderate president elected as Reagan’s heir.
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“How long do we have to hold the tax pledge? Can we give it up this year?”
Rollins was incredulous. George H.W. Bush was now president. To get to the White House he had run a campaign highlighting himself as Reagan’s vice president, the heir of the Reagan Revolution. He had won. Now, suddenly, here was the same thought-process Rollins had witnessed that long-ago night on the porch of the vice-presidential residence with Bush himself.
“What do you mean give it up?”
“Darman [Budget Director Dick Darman, a longtime Bush ally and moderate] says the numbers won’t work.”
Rollins, even more incredulous:
“You’re going to get killed. This is the most sacred pledge he [Bush] made. If you raise taxes in this term, he can kiss his ass away in ‘92, and he’s going to take a bunch of House members with him.”
Rollins’ protest not to abandon a core conservative principle went unheeded.
In September of 1990, President Bush broke his “read my lips” pledge. In a stroke the Republican Party was divided. Party elders backed the President — young Congressman Newt Gingrich led more than a 100 House Republicans in opposition.
By 1992, President Bush had drawn a primary challenge from conservative commentator Pat Buchanan, Buchanan winning about 40 percent of the vote in New Hampshire. The New York Times described the results as a “roar of anger” from within his own party to Bush. By year’s end, just as Rollins had predicted, the abandonment of conservative principle by Bush had bluntly terminated the Bush presidency. The President who had poll numbers as high as 90 percent in the wake of the Gulf War barely scraped together 37 percent of the vote.
What’s the lesson here for the Romney campaign?
What killed the Bush 41 presidency?
From the day after the 1988 election, the Bush forces began constructing a presidency not based on conservative principle but rather the personality of the president. Loyalty is one of the best of human qualities. Yet when it came to governing, the Bush team put the emphasis on loyalty to a personality over loyalty to principle.
Hence the Romney problem.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?