The rigidity of moderation: Ex-Florida guv rewrites history of Reagan and Dad
(Page 5 of 7)
Stop right here.
A zealot. There it is again. All the way back in the Bush 41 era the Bush inner circle was saying of Jack Kemp precisely what Jeb Bush is now in essence saying about the broader GOP. Which is another version of what moderate Gerald Ford was saying to the New York Times about Ronald Reagan in 1980.
Jack Kemp, writes Kolb, “was viewed as trying to advance a philosophy of government that was eons removed” from Bush’s ideal of moderate Republicanism. And in fact, as the months moved on, this impression of elitism and a distaste for the common man emanating from the moderate Bush 41 White House cemented itself into the public mind. Or, as one angry conservative leader snapped in the New York Times:
“Mr. Bush has revived the image that haunted the Republicans for 50 years: the little man in the top hat in the Monopoly game.”
One last story — a story that is not from Kolb’s book but once again from the pages of The New York Times.
The date: March 5, 1980.
And the subject of this story? None other than a 27-year-old Jeb Bush.
The story is set in Miami, where young Jeb, putting his fluent Spanish to work, is campaigning for his Dad in the middle stages of the 1980 Reagan versus Bush showdown. The story focuses on the Bush campaign’s efforts to dent Reagan’s considerable support in Miami’s fabled Cuban- American community.
And lo and behold, we find this telling paragraph that perhaps does as much as anything to explain not only the behavior described above years later in the Bush 41 White House, but certainly rings a bell when reading Jeb Bush’s remarks of today that suggests the GOP is moving too far right. Here’s the paragraph:
But the Bush campaign has begun a last-minute effort that has split this city’s “Little Havana” along class, economic and ideological lines. The wealthy aristocrats who fled here from Havana are siding with Mr. Bush, while working-class Cuban Republicans, many of whom still dream of overthrowing Mr. Castro, are loyal to Mr. Reagan.
In other words, the elitists were going with Bush, while “working-class Cuban Republicans” were going with Reagan. And young Jeb was leading the elitist charge of moderates.
Let’s be clear.
The point here is not to pick on Governor Bush, or least of all President Bush 41. Both wonderful people. By all accounts, the mature Jeb Bush was a great Governor of Florida.
The issue here in fact has nothing to do with the Bushes — but everything to do with the moderate Republican ideology. Being a GOP moderate is a problem that goes well beyond the Bush 41 presidency. Over the years this group has included not only former Presidents Ford and Nixon, but many others with names like John Lindsay, Charles Percy, George — and Mitt — Romney, Arlen Specter, John McCain, Bob Dole, Lindsey Graham, Tom Ridge, William Weld, Olympia Snowe, Susan Collins, Christopher Shays and…a list that is longer still.
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?
H/T to National Review Online