Bush A Dirty Word At CPAC
by Todd Beeton, Sun Mar 01, 2009 at 12:03:27 PM EST
This Politico article is pretty funny. Certainly gives you a sense of the sort of legacy Bush has left behind: even the folks who swore by him for 8 years want nothing to do with him. Keep in mind when reading this that Bush addressed CPAC every year of his presidency.
...if there's one thing those attending the annual Conservative Political Action Conference this week agree on, it is this: They don't want another George W. Bush.
Few come out right out and say it, but they don't have to. There's no nostalgia for the past eight years, no tributes to Bush and no sessions dedicated to exploring his presidency.
Indeed, for a president who publicly embraced conservative principles, there is little evidence that the movement returns the sentiment.
The disdain for Bush, particularly of his profligate spending habits, is fueling a new talking point that Obama is just a continuation of Bush. Right.
Conservative icon Newt Gingrich, the former House Speaker, railed against the "Bush-Obama continuity in economic policy" and the "Bush-Obama big spending program" in a speech Friday.
"We had big spending under Bush and now we have big spending under Obama," Gingrich said. "And so now we have two failures."
Throwing Bush under the bus isn't really new. Conservatives have been spitting up the Bush Kool-Aid since 2005 when the left's consensus about Bush -- i..e epic FAIL -- began to become THE consensus. I mean, c'mon, they couldn't have a failed president be a conservative president; that would mean conservatism itself would have failed.
The fact is, Bush's failure WAS the failure of the conservative movement, not an aberration from it. Cronyism over competence, enriching the private sector while starving the public sector, redistributing wealth upwards, it's all precisely what they've been working toward for 30 years. Believing otherwise is just the latest in a long string of conservative delusions.