Paul Krugman has an interesting article on the Republican party's relationship with George W. Bush.
The truth, however, is that the only problem Republicans ever had with George W. Bush was his low approval rating. They always loved his policies and his governing style — and they want them back.To that end they have returned to their age old cry for tax cuts for the rich to be kept in place.
Let's forget that the economic collapse happened on his watch, let's forget that he waged two deeply unpopular wars, and let's forget that he took the Clinton surplus and turned it into a huge deficit.
The Republicans want more of the same, despite all the noise they are making about "fiscal conservatism".
To that end they have started trying to resell Bush's policies.
On the economy: Last week Mitch McConnell, the Senate minority leader, declared that “there’s no evidence whatsoever that the Bush tax cuts actually diminished revenue. They increased revenue, because of the vibrancy of these tax cuts in the economy.” So now the word is that the Bush-era economy was characterized by “vibrancy.”I have always wondered how the party that screams, "deregulate, deregulate, deregulate" would find a political message which got round the fact that deregulation had ended in such catastrophe.
On the deficit: Republicans are now claiming that the Bush administration was actually a paragon of fiscal responsibility, and that the deficit is Mr. Obama’s fault. “The last year of the Bush administration,” said Mr. McConnell recently, “the deficit as a percentage of gross domestic product was 3.2 percent, well within the range of what most economists think is manageable. A year and a half later, it’s almost 10 percent.”
Finally, on the war: For most Americans, the whole debate about the war is old if painful news — but not for those obsessed with refurbishing the Bush image. Karl Rove now claims that his biggest mistake was letting Democrats get away with the “shameful” claim that the Bush administration hyped the case for invading Iraq. Let the whitewashing begin!
I honestly thought that the wiser minds of that party were quietly taking stock, working out how to sell Republican policies back to the American people and that it was their silence which was enabling the lunatic wing of the party to hold such public sway.
It appears that they have decided the best way forward is to argue that black was white and that George Bush was actually a very successful president.
Good luck selling that...
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