It's On!: Mark Levin V. George W. Bush's (un)Conservative Record

by the Left Coast Rebel

I'm going to ruffle some feathers here (including, perhaps even my own lovely mother's) and praise Mark Levin for "coming out of the closet" in calling out former president George W. Bush as anything but a conservative in a limited government sense. Levin did so in a Facebook posting about Sarah Palin.

Before I move along, I must say that it still shocks and disheartens me when I see my conservative brothers and sisters in the proverbial dark about W's big-government largess and Progressive Co-opted Good Intentions that laid the bricks for the road to Obama's socialist utopia hell.

From Mark Levin's Facebook page:

That said, Bush's record, at best, is marginally conservative, and depending on the issue, worse. In fact, the Tea Party movement is, in part, a negative reaction to Bush's profligate spending (including his expansion of a bankrupt Medicare program to include prescription drugs). And while Bush's spending comes nowhere near Barack Obama's, that is not the standard. Moreover, Bush was not exactly among our most articulate presidents, let alone conservative voices. I raise this not to compare Bush to Palin, but to point out only a few of the situational aspects of the criticism from the Bush community corner. (If necessary, and if challenged, I will take the time to lay out the case in all its particulars, as well as other non-conservative Bush policies and statements. No Republican president is perfect, of course, but certainly some are more perfect that others, if you will.)
Levin is right and as far as I'm concerned, he's being gracious here. A HUGE component of the Tea Party movement heralds from disaffection with George W. Bush's (and the GOP Congress during his two terms) abandonment of any semblance of fiscal conservatism.

Peter Wehner (m) at Commentary Magazine responds to Mark Levin, I grabbed an excerpt that really caught my eye:
The complaint about Bush is that he was the architect of a prescription-drug entitlement. Fair enough, though it should be said that because of free-market reforms, the cost of the plan was 40 percent below the estimates, an unheard of achievement.
I'm going a little off topic here but I can't help myself, this is such establishment tripe.

The logic goes like this: Democrat-statists float an unconstitutional, fiscal train-wreck entitlement program or any other sundry of horrible legislation. Out-of-power Republicans balk and block said program and claim victory for the taxpayer. Several years down the road, Republicans gain power and co-opt the unconstitutional, fiscal train-wreck entitlement program or "progressive" government scheme, but they nibble around the edges and *save* 40% for the taxpayer by adding "free market" aspects to the legislation!

The question then is this:

What do we as liberty-loving Americans that don't believe the Federal government should command every aspect of our lives get in the end by Republican "compromise" of Democrat progressive government?

Answer: More of our hard-earned dollars confiscated by an intrusive, out-of-control government, kicking the United States fiscal insolvency can down the road and doing so from the opposition party of limited government.

George W. Bush did some good things, for instance the *attempt* of reforming Social Insecurity. The man didn't loathe the United States as his successor does.

But does the following list look like the accomplishment list of a limited government conservative? The truth is, George W. Bush would have been a statist liberal if not for the fact that the Democrat Party has gone so far to the left as to make the socialists of old blush. Partying with future generation's earnings like it's 2000-2008, the Bush hit list:
In fairness, Dan Mitchell of the Cato Institute throws in Obama and Bush's record on annual domestic spending increases adjusted for inflation and compares the combination to the presidency of Ronald Reagan (by percentage increases):

Even more foreboding, the inflation-adjusted dollar comparison:

Reagan wasn't perfect as even his best efforts to rein in the Federal government only resulted in slowing the rate of growth. He is still the best measuring stick for true conservatism that we have had in my lifetime and possibly far beyond.

Why do I bring all of this up? Simple. Before we know it, Republicans will be choosing a nominee to go up against Obama in 2012. Establishment charlatans will co-opt the Tea Party movement, promise fiscal restraint and sound libertarian-esque. Only those few with proven fiscal-conservative track records will deliver and this nation cannot afford another big-spending Republican administration.

And, oh, yah, just to reiterate -- Bush was no conservative. Please pass this along.

Cross posted to The Libertarian Patriot, LCR and RightKlik.

Via Memeorandum.


  1. I reluctantly agree with you but it's hard because I loathe Mark Levin. However, you mentioned something that is the bottom line to me because what's done is done - GWB was most certainly a progressive but he was one that loved his country which I appreciate a lot these days. Having said that - unfortunately, we'll get more of the same from most of the Republican elite in Congress today. They are part of the ruling class who will never put up with another Reagan-type candidate. Instead, they will Newt and Romney us into another losing candidate in 2012. It horrifies me and I pray for America to wake up and somehow drive these people out of office. It'll take a miracle.

  2. Mark Levin is one of the few unflinching conservative warriors in the field.

    He's right. Bush was no conservative. He was a big-government centrist.

    The term "conservative" barely means anything anymore. The goalpost has been moved so far to the left, I can't even see it now.

    If you stand for limited government, constrained by constitutional boundaries that protect individual liberty as defined by the Bill of Rights -- as well as secure borders, strong families, cultural unity, natural law, minimal statism and maximum freedom -- with national defense that can protect all that... what are you? A right-wing extremist?

  3. Speaking of "establishment charlatans" to watch out for in 2012, I'll gladly name names:

    Mitch Daniels
    Mitt Romney
    Newt Gingrich

    There are others, of course.

  4. Without the Bushes there would be no Tea Party because limited government folks would have something of a home in the GOP. The TP isn't a response to Obama its filling a vacuum in American politics left by the GOP's abandonment of any free market principles it might have held on to.

  5. hard to improve on this factual recitation of the facts...sad as they are.

    Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan of NY once famously said: 'you are entitled to your own opinion BUT you are not entitled to your own set of facts.'

    The facts are as you laid out here, as much as it pains me to say it. I saw it up close and personal as chief of staff to former Senator Elizabeth Dole from 2002-2004 and the train of bigger government programs and spending, coupled with the massive tax cuts, all led to a huge increase in deficit-spending and ergo, the national debt, beyond anyone's comprehension.....until Obama and the Dems took over in 2009 and really showed everyone 'how to do it right' meaning 'really step on the federal spending accelerator and push the pedal through the floorboard of excessive national debt and profligate spending'

    other than dat, these past 10 years have been 'great' and 'peachy=keen' when it comes to fiscal responsibility and integrity and brains.

  6. MJ - Thanks for the comment, its up to us to get the candidate we deserve, third party or otherwise.

    RK - Right-on. I agree completely with your list of charlatans, I have a very bad feeling that we are going to get 'stuck' with a real turd in 2012.

    Shane - Well said, I could argue that we are still in the wilderness, so to speak. Look at how the GOP leadership (with the $100 billion Obamacare funding/continuing resolution) has already shafted the people that sent them there.

    Frank - We are on the same page, completely. I can only imagine my distress, had I been there in person, as you were.

  7. I think Shane said it well. " The TP is filling a void left by the GOP"... Thus why we are as RK said," right-wing extremist" simply because we contrast the our opposition and the so called "Conservative" party.

  8. Just had another thought... "I have a very bad feeling that we are going to get 'stuck' with a real turd in 2012." It may very well be another case of voting for either a turd or a not so stinky turd.

  9. Dan Mitchell had another post on Big Government comparing GWB's domestic spending to Clinton and Reagan. Either Bill was a closet conservative or GWB was a raging progressive in conservative clothing. I'll go with the latter.


Commenting here is a privilege, not a right. Comments that contain cursing or insults and those failing to add to the discussion will be summarily deleted.