June 18, 2012 Leave a comment
The Democrats have spent the better part of the last 50 years calling Republicans extreme. It’s expected that Democrats attack Republicans, accusing them of waging war on women, children, the elderly and anyone not earning over $250,000 a year. The Democrats are good at name calling, it masks the weakness of their arguments. Our ears perk up though when Republicans start calling our party extreme and not just turncoats and RINO’s like Joe Scarborough and David Brooks.
Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush claims Ronald Reagan is too moderate for today’s GOP. The left-wing media ran with the story last week, which isn’t a shock at all. The media loves infighting in the Republican Party, especially when it involves a Bush. In order to believe Jeb Bush and the liberal media, we have to suspend all logic and critical thinking skills. What Jeb said simply isn’t true and we can see it in the history of the Republican Party dating from 1980. In fact, we could even go back to Barry Goldwater in 1964, after all deep in your heart you know he was right.
If Reagan is too moderate to get the GOP nomination today, then we must be nominating even more conservative candidates for the White House. We’re in the process of nominating Mitt Romney, a man who a decade ago called himself a progressive. He’s a man whose belief in the conservative cause seems to have begun around six years ago when he ran for President. He didn’t run Massachusetts as a flaming liberal but he hardly ran the state like a bona fide conservative. At best Romney was a moderate governor who perhaps became more conservative during his four years in that office by becoming pro-life. But if Jeb Bush is right, Mitt Romney must be to the right of Reagan. That would be news to Reagan, not to mention Romney.
In 2008 our party nominated John McCain for President. McCain is a lifelong moderate who has always been more comfortable working with liberals against conservatives. He’s the author of McCain-Feingold which unconstitutionally limited speech. He barely qualifies as pro-life and hasn’t met a tax he wouldn’t like to raise. McCain is a media darling, largely because he’s so critical of conservative Republicans. Jeb Bush seems to think McCain is to the right of Reagan, it’s a comical fantasy that even McCain wouldn’t truly buy.
George W. Bush is as close to Reagan the party has nominated since 1984. He lowered taxes, though not to Reagan’s level. He did have a strong interventionist foreign policy, not unlike Reagan’s though with clearly different enemies. Where they differ is that Reagan didn’t come into office proposing massive government programs such as the Prescription Drug law Bush supported. Reagan went along with domestic spending increases to get military spending increases which he used to destroy the Soviet Union. Bush is more moderate than Reagan was but he’s nowhere near as liberal as McCain or Romney.
Bob Dole was a moderate, just like Jeb Bush’s father. Dole never advanced conservatism during his years in the Senate. He ran a dreadful campaign largely because he couldn’t distinguish himself from Clinton. Bush 41 ran as a Reagan conservative and governed as the moderate he ran as in 1980 against Reagan. He broke his promise not to raise taxes and got snookered by the Democrats who never cut spending in an equal amount. These guys are to the right of Reagan? Hardly.
Looking at Congress, are we to pretend that John Boehner is to the right of Reagan? He isn’t even to the right of Newt Gingrich when Gingrich was Speaker. Surely Dennis Hastert isn’t an extreme right-winger. In the Senate, Bob Dole led the party from the mid 80′s to the mid 90′s followed by Trent Lott, Bill Frist and Mitch McConnell. These guys are extremists? Jeb Bush is either living in a fantasy land or he’s been hanging out in the Florida sun for too long.
Since 1980 the Republican Party hasn’t nominated a Presidential candidate more conservative than Ronald Reagan. Surely no one believes Mitt Romney is to Reagan’s right. If we look at leadership in the House and Senate, is there any of them since the 80′s to Reagan’s right? The notion that the GOP has become an “extreme” party is the figment of the left-wing media’s imagination. The Republican Party hasn’t become extreme, we don’t nominate candidates more conservative than Reagan. If Reagan cannot get the nomination in 2012, perhaps it’s because we’ve become too moderate a party that cannot stomach a conservative. But of course you won’t hear moderates like Jeb Bush say that and you can bet the media will never say it.