WASHINGTON, October 25, 2015 – It’s odd to see the New York Times attempt to gin up sympathy for the declining Bush political dynasty like it does for Transgenders.
The New York Times usually saves its front page for lefty sob stories accompanied by headlines like, “New York Leads the Way on Transgender Rights.”
But both share a similar fate: they are in a state of transition.
The first story says the elder Bush is “perplexed” by what the “Republican Party has become in its embrace of anti-establishment outsiders, especially the sometimes rude Mr. Trump.”
In the second piece, the Times quotes despondent son Jeb, “If this election is about how we’re going to fight to get nothing done, then I don’t want any part of it. I don’t want to be elected president to sit around and see gridlock… listening to people demonize me and me feeling compelled to demonize them.”
The Times adds that Jeb is confounded by “the rise of Mr. Trump in the Republican contest” as is “his family, and his supporters, who had built a battleship-sized campaign operation that was theoretically geared toward a general election.”
Meanwhile, the first piece says the “former President George Bush, 91 and frail, is straining to understand an election season that has, for his son and the Republican Party, lurched sharply and stunningly off script.”
I think it is at this point we – and I mean we as a nation – are supposed to weep.
The Bush dynasty, once so comfortable in its national standing and polished in its familial presentation, is undone by a loud and insulting avatar of discontent for the GOP’s independent and conservative base, Donald Trump.
That fury is aimed at the GOP’s irrelevant and out-of-touch ruling elites.
If GOP voters have “lurched sharply and stunningly off script,” it might have something to do with Bush history.
Like the time the elder Bush told the nation in his acceptance of the Republican presidential nomination in 1988, “Read my lips: no new taxes.”
An Associated Press story of 1992 reported, “Bush’s standing in the polls has slumped due to the recession and conservatives’ dismay with the 1990 deficit deal [with Democrats] that broke his 1988 campaign pledge against raising taxes.”
Then, of course, there is son George W. Bush, who said in 2002, “We can put light where there’s darkness, and hope where there’s despondency in this country. And part of it is working together as a nation to encourage folks to own their own home.”
Former Bush Treasury Secretary John Snow later told the New York Times, “The Bush administration took a lot of pride that home ownership had reached historic highs. But what we forgot in the process was that it was to be done in the context of people being able to afford their house.”
The reason for all the tears welling in the eyes of the editors and writers at the New York Times is that the Progressive wing of the GOP is dying. And no family since the Roosevelts (Teddy and Franklin) exemplify big-government, Progressive activism like the family Bush.
Back in 2003, Fred Barnes of the Weekly Standard wrote a profile of George W. Bush’s brand of conservatism, which pretty much applies to the other members of his Texas clan.
“Is President Bush really a conservative?” asked Barnes. “The case for Bush’s conservatism is strong. Sure, some conservatives are upset because he has tolerated a surge in federal spending, downplayed swollen deficits, failed to use his veto, created a vast Department of Homeland Security, and fashioned an alliance of sorts with Teddy Kennedy on education and Medicare. But the real gripe is that Bush isn’t their kind of conventional conservative. Rather, he’s a big government conservative. This isn’t a description he or other prominent conservatives willingly embrace. It makes them sound as if they aren’t conservatives at all. But they are. They simply believe in using what would normally be seen as liberal means—activist government—for conservative ends.” (Emphasis added).
Today, the GOP’s conservative base knows full well that there is little daylight separating Bush family big-government conservatism from big-government Obamaism, Hillaryism or Sandersism.
If some conservatives beat their heads against a wall screaming, “Donald Trump is not a conservative!,” they have only themselves to blame. They stood by while fools like Fred Barnes defined the Bush family’s Progressivism as “conservative.”
And in standing silent, they rendered the conservative brand meaningless.
Trump’s stance on illegal immigration, taxes and economic progress are what define him. Not his party affiliation or the imprimatur of the editors at William F. Buckley’s conservative National Review.
In that sense, Trump is America’s first “post-partisan” politician.
And so, the Bush family’s tired and discredited “ism” joins other such failed political projects atop the ash-heap of history.