Friday, February 26, 2010

What Jeb Bush Doesn’t Know

There are two types of Republicans right now and Glenn Beck’s C-PAC speech separated them neatly into opposing camps. While Sarah Palin tweeted her applause, over at NRO William Bennett scorned what he called dangerous.
And I suspect that Jeb Bush’s petty what’s-her-deal comments, against the one contender for 2012 who repeatedly shows her spine by giving credit to Bush for what he did right, is more about Jeb’s shock at hearing Beck’s contempt for the Bush legacy and his deflected outrage at Sarah’s cheerleading Beck’s tack. At C-PAC Beck rightly observed that anybody who supported George Bush’s spending was “a madman” and compared our current era to the morning after—an alcoholic’s vomit-filled hangover. All the Bushies I’m sure got the hint.
I don’t agree with Beck on everything (see Commentary on Teddy Roosevelt) but he’s right on the George Bush legacy as the elephant that is still in the living room. Unlike Reagan’s, Bush’s spending was indefensible. Glenn Beck’s broad stroke rejection of it was shrewdly right on.
Sarah Palin’s refusal to take the if-you-look-closely-enough-at-the-details-it-was-all-the-Democrats-fault and George Bush was just an innocent bystander line is exactly right. Jeb’s lack of intellectual curiosity line is a euphemism for her repeated willingness, with Beck, to blurt out the accurate generalization that classic spending spree bipartisanship is what defined his brother’s administration. Spending spree bipartisanship will be the death of the GOP if they don’t snap out of it.
In total contrast with the Bush narrative pushed in the media, the Bush family’s biggest mistake may be their obsession with appearances—in “Being Presidential” over all else. Bush lost all sense of scale regarding Congressional fiscal irresponsibility because of his obsession with the dignity of the office. What would have been the cost had Bush thrown a public tantrum about the dangers of Fannie Mae as a domestic threat? My children will be paying the real cost for his above-it-all presidential style. Laying all his bets on a light touch CEO style of leadership of the Federal Leviathan was a disaster. A light touch as it turned out didn’t cut it. It put America at peril.
Begging to differ with Beck’s thing about the Progressives being the Big Problem, it is simpler than that. Forsaking spending-spree bipartisanship is our country's only hope.