There is somewhat of a revival of the reputation of President George H. W. Bush, or '41' as he might be known. Looking back at both the person and the Presidency he looks a lot better than the current crop of politicians, both Democrats and Republicans and certainly better than his offspring who became President. President George H. W. Bush was a patriot, a person who enlisted in the armed services at the age of 18 to fight in World War II. As President his greatest decision was not to do something, namely not to invade
Iraq after rescuing Kuwait.
The two sons of Mr. Bush who entered politics went different ways. George W. Bush was elected twice as Governor of Texas, and twice was elected President. His brother Jeb was twice elected Governor of Florida. Jeb Bush was at one time considered a potential 2012 candidate for the Republican nomination, and now is considered a former candidate for the Vice Presidential nomination. The reason he is a former candidate is that Mr. Bush has spoken out on the current state of the Republican party, and not in the sycophantic terms he was supposed to.
“Ronald Reagan would have, based on his record of finding accommodation, finding some degree of common ground, similar to my dad, they would have had a hard time if you define the Republican Party — and I don’t — as having an orthodoxy that doesn’t allow for disagreement,” Mr. Bush said at question-and-answer session with reporters and editors held Monday morning in Manhattan by Bloomberg View.
Mr. Bush was almost eloquent (for a Bush) in defending his father.
when asked to point to a moment of political courage of the sort he said Mr. Obama had not produced, he pointed positively to the budget deal his father struck in 1990, which included tax increases in spite of the elder Bush’s “read my lips, no new taxes” campaign pledge.
The deal angered many Republicans and is viewed as contributing to George Bush’s re-election loss in 1992, but Jeb Bush said “that created the spending restraint of the 1990s; more than anything else that was helpful in creating a climate for sustained economic growth.”
“He didn’t win,” he added, “but at least he did it.”
None of this is to mean that Mr. Bush is soft on Democrats, he takes the President to task for abandoning Simpson Bowles
Mr. Bush was careful to emphasize that he believed the modern-day Democratic Party was equally dug in on ideological and partisan grounds, saying, “this dysfunction, you can’t say it’s one side or another.” And he said President Obama had failed to live up to his promise to be a transcendent leader, specifically pointing to failure to embrace the advice of the bipartisan deficit panel he created, known as the Simpson-Bowles Commission.
“It was purely a political calculation,” he said. “He created Simpson-Bowles and then abandoned it at birth.”
So Jeb Bush has now talked his way out of being a serious Republican candidate for national office, but at least some of us feel a little bit better about the Bush family, excluding George W. of course.