Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The Bush People Attack Republicans Again

The Bush team never liked conservatism, never understood politics, didn’t have a clue how to govern, and didn’t care. They thought they were “beyond all that.” And over eight years of nasty, big-government incompetence, they managed to drive a very conservative public right into the arms of the socialists and crazies that make up the Democratic Party. In fact, if it were not for Obama’s overreach, they would have made the Republicans into a permanent minority party. Well, they’re back, and they’re doing their best to hurt the Republicans once again.

A few days ago, several Republicans began advocating changing the 14th Amendment to reflect the realities of the modern world. While I observed that this was likely little more than an election ploy by some of them, I also noted that this was a good idea if it could be achieved. Moreover, this idea cannot be reasonably construed as racist or offensive (except of course by far-left race-baiting Democrats) as it would do nothing more than make our laws similar to the laws of every other country in the world. Heck, even uber-RINO Lindsey Graham is on board for this one. Since then, ninety-four Republicans have co-sponsored legislation that would limit citizenship to children born in the U.S. with at least one parent who is a naturalized citizen, legal permanent resident or serving in the military.

But the Bush people don’t like Republicans or conservatives or the public or anything we ignorant and racist conservatives and/or the public might want. So they’ve pounced on this:

Exhibit 1: Mark McKinnon, who served as Bush’s media adviser on both Presidential campaigns said that Republicans would risk losing “their rightful claim to the 14th Amendment” if they continue to “demagogue” the issue:

“The 14th Amendment is a great legacy of the Republican Party. It is a shame and an embarrassment that the GOP now wants to amend it for starkly political reasons.”
So expressing and trying to address the concerns of the vast majority of the public is being a “demagogue”? So trying to make our citizenship laws just like everyone else on the planet is an “embarrassment”? And since when has anyone credited the Republican Party with creating the 14th Amendment? Oh wait, I think 50 Cent mentioned it in one of his rap songs. . . my bad.

For good measure, McKinnon finishes his slander by chastising Republicans for wanting to use the 14th Amendment “to drive people away.” Wow, that sounds like something right off the digital-sewer pages of Huffpo.

McKinnon, by the way, worked for a slew of Democrats before he joined Team Bush. Democrats like former Texas Governor Ann Richards of Texas (“poor George can’t help it, he was born with a silver foot in his mouth”) and drunken Rep. Charlie Wilson. He also represents steroid user Lance Armstrong and turd Bono. McKinnon has said that he only joined Bush’s staff because:
“This Governor Bush was doing some things that really got my attention. He was talking about education reform. He was talking about immigration reform. He was talking about issues that had typically been Democratic issues. He was talking about them in a really compassionate way. . . he’d gotten ahead of the Republican Party.”
Yep, Bush was so far ahead of the Republican Party he’d become a Democrat. McKinnon also is the source who blasted Palin in the media for her debate preparation. At the time, he was informally helping out the McCain campaign, though he resisted formally joining because he “wanted no part in flailing Obama.”

Exhibit 2: Cesar Conda, who served as a domestic policy adviser to Dick Cheney, called this proposal “incredibly offensive” and said that “this proposal . . . validates the left's worst lies about our party not being inclusive.” In other words, we’re proving we're racists. At least he called these "lies," which is more than the other Bush Leaguers have done.

Conda describes himself as a movement conservative, though he’s recently attacked Rand Paul and now Colorado Republican candidate Ken Buck. He’s also praised Obama’s “muscular policy to win the war in Afghanistan.”

Exhibit 3: Bush speechwriter and Washington Post columnist Michael Gerson, said the Republican proposal violates the “wisdom of the authors of the 14th Amendment” who “wanted to take this very difficult issue -- citizenship -- outside of the political realm.” He then accused Republicans of wanting to substitute a “subjective standard” for the “objective standard [of] birth.”

Of course, this is a lie as no one is suggesting substituting a subjective standard. Nor does he apparently understand the reasons the 14th Amendment was written the way it was. And since when is citizenship "a difficult issue" unless your advocating something the public hates.

What’s more, Gerson is one of those “conservatives” who routinely demonizes other conservatives in his column. For example, in a column titled “Letting Fear Rule,” he compared opponents of Bush’s immigration reform bill to “nativist bigots of the 1880s.” He has been blasted by various conservatives including National Review's Ramesh Ponnuru. Here is Gerson talking about the Republican Party:
“My low point with the Republican party came in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. The response of many Republicans was to use the disaster as an excuse for cutting government spending, particularly the Medicare prescription-drug benefit for seniors.”
And here is Gerson attacking conservatism:
“What does antigovernment conservatism offer to inner-city neighborhoods where violence is common and families are rare? Nothing. What achievement would it contribute to racial healing and the unity of our country? No achievement at all. Anti-government conservatism turns out to be a strange kind of idealism — an idealism that strangles mercy.”
Yep, because small government conservatism is about anarchy and racism, and only big government can cure racism and broken families. . . look how great Johnson Great Society turned out! Oh wait, that only made things worse. Of course, the fact that big government caused the problems Gerson is proposing big government should now fix escapes his small mind.

These are the people who drove the Bush administration. They are the Bush League. Their unmitigated and unrelenting failures gave us Obama and disgraced the Republican brand. And now they are at it again, lobbing slanders at those evil Republicans for trying to defend their country from a virtual invasion.

It’s time these people went away and joined the rest of the “big government compassionate conservatives” on the ash heap of history.


Anonymous said...

Andrew: I knew we were in trouble when Bush adopted "compassionate conservatism," whatever that means. And we must remember that his father promoted a "kinder and gentler" Republican Party (as Nancy Reagan asked: "kinder and gentler than what?"). Already worried, I knew we were in deep poo-poo when W announced "when people hurt, government must act." Then we got Donald Rumsfeld running a war using the Robert McNamara civilian technocrat model for fighting to a stalemate with no victory in sight.

I voted for W twice, but what reasonable alternatives did I have? Which does sort of explain why I say I'm a conservative by choice, a Republican by default. Butt out, Bushies. Your day has passed.

AndrewPrice said...

Yep, couldn't agree more. And Bush Sr. even coined Reaganomics -- which gave us the longest stretch of peace time prosperity in history -- "voodoo economics."

This really shows why Bush failed. These are literally the people who were running his administration and they are idiots.

It's time they shut the heck up and left the rest of us alone.

Ed said...

This does not surprise me. It seemed to me that every time somebody spoke out of the Bush White House it was to slam conservatives. Now I know why.

As for the current issue, talk about giving aid and comfort to the race-baiters!

AndrewPrice said...

Ed, There were a lot of people in the Bush Administration that truly did not like conservatives and that hated politics. That explains a lot about why they undertook the policies they did, and of course why it all blew up.

What really bothers me is that they wrapped themselves in the mantle of "conservative" when they were nothing of the sort. So we ended up being tarred by their incompetence.

Mike K. said...

I didn't vote in the 2000 election because I couldn't see a difference between the two candidates. I was wrong about that, as was demonstrated in the aftermath of 9/11. I voted for Bush in 2004 purely because I didn't want to lose Iraq. I never saw Bush as a conservative, either. He picked a couple of good Supremes, though. Eventually.

Anyone know how one goes about validating a lie?

AndrewPrice said...

Mike, Great point! Talk about verbal double speak.

I voted for Bush because I thought Al Gore and Kerry would be much, much worse. But I am done voting for Bushes. Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice shame on me, fool me three times. . . then I'm an idiot.

When I first heard the term "compassionate conservative," I got nervous. That sounded a lot like "kinder, gentler America." And that was troubling. Then his administration just ran wild handing our money left and right, doing the bidding of huge corporations, and never once defending or implementing a single conservative idea. Even "the Bush tax cuts" were economic nonsense and should have been less about reshaping behavior and more about encouraging people to work.

He did get the Supreme Court justices right -- very nice -- but we did have to go through the whole Harriet Myers thing first.

And when I look at the Bushies who are out there now writing books and working for leftist places like the Washington Post, and they are blasting conservatives over and over. . . it just reminds me of everything that was wrong with that administration.

StanH said...

According to Ann Coulter: “In 1982 Justice Brennan slipped a footnote into his 5-4 opinion in Plyler v. Doe, asserting that "no plausible distinction with respect to Fourteenth Amendment 'jurisdiction' can be drawn between resident aliens whose entry into the United States was lawful, and resident aliens whose entry was unlawful."

She claims that this essentially wrote into the 14th verbiage allowing anchor babies, do you guys know this to be true? If so it would seem you could restore the original 14th Amendment with a 5-4 opinion by the Supremes, reversing Brennan’s footnote? Or as Lawhawk suggested the Congress passing a law, reversing Brennan.

As far as Bush 1 or 2, being conservatives, that’s funny. I voted for them by default, Dukakis, Clinton, Gore, Kerry, I think not. One caveat, my wife and I voted for Perot - - fifty lashes with a wet noodle. True conservatism scares the Hell out of statist Washington, both parties. Bush Sr. thought Reagan was a primitive Neanderthal, we know who wins that debate!

AndrewPrice said...

Stan, If it's in a footnote, then it doesn't have a lot of authority. That is usually considered "dicta" (meaning -- not relevant to the decision) and usually gets ignored. In fact, the few times I've tried to rely on footnotes, the judges have all but punched me.

I'm not sure what Coulter is talking about, but I'll look into it. I do know the Court has been interpreting the 14th Amendment to allow anyone born here to be a citizen as far back at the 1890s, so there's not really a lot of reason for Brennan to have said that. I'll look into it and let you know.

In any event, the Supreme Court can always change the law with a 5-4 decision no matter what the law is -- that's the power they possess at this point.

As for Bush being a conservative, I thought he was at first, but it all started coming apart during the campaign. And it really fell apart during his first time. Should have known.... the apple never falls far from the tree, and his father was the epitome of big government insider.

StanH said...

Ann’s has the article on her sight. I thought it was interesting, she usually does her homework. This is very compelling to me and would be a hell of a lot easier than repealing, or altering the 14th Amendment. I believe Constitutional Law is her thing, perhaps footnotes by a supreme holds more weight?

AndrewPrice said...

Stan, Theoretically the whole decision holds weight (except the dissents or concurrences), but footnotes are dumping grounds for things that get ignored -- even Supreme Court decisions.

I'll check it out and get back to you.

Notawonk said...

is it so hard for washington to grasp the simple idea that americans want leaders to LEAD us out of the mess we're in?! i'm sick of the bashing...all of it. i want washington to understand that while i am leading my house, they were voted in by me (and you) to lead our bigger house. if they fail, we fail. it's incredibly simple. until it gets mucked up by politics. and it's precisely the reason i am hearing more and more folks say they will NOT be voting for one incumbent come november.

Joel Farnham said...

What disappointed me about the Bushies is that they never defended their positions on Iraq and WMD's. They were always silent.

AndrewPrice said...

Patti, I think the political process is corrupt. The problem is that the incentives are not to lead, but to do the bidding of special interests and then to pretend to lead by following the trend.

There are so few good people in politics who are there because they genuinely believe something and want to bring it to the rest of us. There are some who want to trick us or force us, but most just want to spend their time playing at being in charge.

AndrewPrice said...

Joel, It wasn't just Iraq, it was everything. They never once responded to anything the Democrats said, they never once defended anything they did, and when they did speak up, it was always to slam conservatives and to try to appeal to leftists.

That, by the way, is the exact same problem the left is having with Obama right now -- that he's no interested in politics, that he just wants to have the office to hand out benefits to his friends and he doesn't care at all what happens to his party.

In many ways, Obama is their version of Bush.

Ed said...

I like Bush as a person, but not as a President. In fact, I can't think of many presidents that I've liked as Presidents.

AndrewPrice said...

Ed, I think he's hard to dislike as a person. He seems nice and decent. But as a President, he was a disaster. Of course, Obama is making him look like a genius.

DUQ said...

So according to the Bush people, we're all a bunch of racists? Why can't they just go away? Is that so much to ask?

AndrewPrice said...

Stan, The issue of birth being enough, even to non-citizens, was decided in 1898 by the Supreme Court in US. v. Wong Kim Ark. However, it did not explicitly make a distinction between legal and illegal. That actually hasn’t been decided -- however, the court has repeatedly suggested that there is no difference. Plyler v. Doe (1982) is one of those cases, as is INS v. Rios-Pineda (1985). BUT, it’s generally recognized that this suggestion in each case was merely dicta, meaning that it has no legal effect. In other words, the footnote doesn’t really matter -- it’s just a suggestion of how that court might have ruled if called upon to make a ruling.

So the answer is this: technically, the issue of being here illegally has never been decided. BUT, since 1898, the court has always assumed that this distinction doesn’t matter.

What that means is that if the current court chooses to make this distinction, it actually can without having to overturn anything. But it also means that this is a long shot. The path of least resistance is that the court will simply say “here is here and how you got here doesn’t matter.”

AndrewPrice said...

DUQ, Yes, we're racists because we want to decide who can be here and who can't.

And yes, apparently it is too much to ask. And I think we better watch future Republican campaigns to make sure that these people don't end up on those campaigns as well.

Ed said...

On your comment to Stan, if the issue isn't decided, can Congress tell the Court how to decide it?

AndrewPrice said...

That's a good question Ed. Strangely, the issue isn't decided. A lot of people believe that the Congress can pass a law taking things out of the Court's jurisdiction. So, for example, the Congress could say: "the court can no longer hear cases involving product liability."

But it's unlikely that the Congress could do this in any way that affects the Constitution. In other words, while they might be able to limit the Court's power to hear product liability cases, they couldn't limit its power to hear free speech cases.

So I would say no.

MegaTroll said...

I will admit that I liked Bush for a long time. But he just angered me time and time again, especially the way he never fought back about anything. Also, his team was totally incompetent. They should get a sense of shame and disappear back to whereever they came from.

AndrewPrice said...

Mega, He was a nice guy and was hard to dislike. And at first, his administration spoke like conservatives. So it was easy to be pulled in.

StanH said...

Bummer! You know I’m not a lawyer, but to Ed’s question it does say in the 14th Amendment Sec. 5 “The Congress shall have power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.” Is this unique to the 14th? It seems to leave open a way to modify the amendment, short of a change to the Constitution?

AndrewPrice said...

Stan, No, that's quite what that means. The 14th Amendment did other things as well besides granting citizenship. It was basically an attempt to force civil rights on the South. What this was, was an attempt to break through the argument that states rights prevented the Congress from passing laws that affected things inside the states -- at the point, Congress's power to use the Commerce Clause was much more limited.

AndrewPrice said...

Still, Stan, on the plus side, there really is nothing standing in the way of a 5-4 ruling by the Court that Congress has the power to pass a law keeping preventing illegals from counting under the 14th Amendment. We just need 5 justices to sign up for that. And given the lack of any clear precedent, that improves the odds.

Joel Farnham said...


There is one other thing about the Bush Administration that bugged me. The fact that they didn't remove all liberals from their posts. They almost always went with a Clinton appointee, not a conservative one.

Instead of removing the US attorneys which serve at the pleasure of the President, he left them there until it became obvious to the casual observer that they were a hindrance. I fully understand keeping one on because of an ongoing investigation or trial that a particular lawyer is involved in, but they should be changed at the earliest possible convenience.

AndrewPrice said...

Joel, I think they were way to happy to appoint liberals and leave liberal appointees in place. But that's part of the whole "we're beyond politics" garbage they were playing.

rlaWTX said...

Bush is a good guy. I voted for him every time intentionally.I still think he had great intentions, but bad follow through and implementation. And his "defense" team in DC was atrocious! Andrew's points about W's staff are very valid and regretable.
[I have relatives that think I am/was certifiable when I'd tell them that Bush wasn't nearly conservative enough!!]
I was hopeful when I first heard about "compassionate conservatism" because I was young enough to want a "nice" answer to the liberals' "you're mean!" line. I liked the idea of letting faith-based groups do their thing without being defined down to nothing. Unfortunately, that's not what it turned out to be...
I AM very glad that W was president for 9/11. I think that the forceful response from the top (regardless of the namby-pamby complaints) was necessary. If we had skipped that "dead or alive" feeling and gone directly to "they're misunderstood" at that level, I think we'd be in a worse place than we are (and that's saying something).
Besides, I'm in Midland, TX!!!! :-)

AndrewPrice said...

rlaWTX, I don't disagree with you on any of this.

I also think that Bush meant well, though it just never turned out well. And I blame his team more than anything, and I think the guys mentioned in the article are a good example of the problem with his team.

I was uneasy about the "compassionate conservative" line, though I thought I knew his meaning and I thought/hoped he meant it as you describe it. Unfortunately, it turned out to be more of repudiation of conservatism than anything.

I'm also glad he was President on 9/11 and not Gore. It would have been a disaster if we had tried to "reach out" and "understand" al Qaeda -- though I think he really mishandled Iraq, snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.

I think the reason people think that it's crazy that you don't see him as a conservative is because for 8 years, the left pounded each of his failures as a failure of conservative ideology and he not only never fought back, but he happily wrapped himself in the cloak of conservatism, even though he really wasn't. So for 8 years, all anyone heard was "that evil conservative." That's what hurt "our brand" so much -- not only was no one defending it, but we were getting blamed for all his failures, even when they didn't involve conservative policies at all.

Individualist said...


I think one of the problems we conservatives have had is that we were in fact silent even when we were the majority. Bush and his people were politicians who like all politicians worry about staying in power. They feared the wrath of the media for applying conservative positions and tried to make up for it by hiding it. Thus the compassionate conservatism nonsense which just validates the democratic lie that conservatism is not compassionate.

The first failure of George Bush was the inability to get the SSN reform that set up private accounts for people. Never mind it was 4% of the tax collected and may not have meant anything they caved and that was that.

The next failure I remember was the TSA employees having to work for the agency instead of the government providing stricter guidelines for airlines. Bush rightly opposed making these people federal employees but caved as well. The damnable thing was two years later the government outsourced these jobs to private contracting agencies and I am sure none of the TSA middle bureaurats lost their job thus increasing spending.

I think that while Bush's people were bad especially the Rino's who worked for liberal rags and never challenged the lies, there is another failure we are missing. That would be us conservatives. We never yelled out or even attempted to get our message over the din of the media megaphone. That situation has been rectified because of Obama but the danger to us is that if we take back the house, senate and/or presidency are we going to go back to our lives and remain silent. If we do I suggest we will experience the Bush Rino Incompentence Syndrome again (BRIS) for short. The reason I think this is that I know the left never shuts up. We have to understand that our speaking out has got to be a permanant change in our movment. We have to learn to be more vocal.

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