Quote Of The Day: Rand Paul Really Doesn’t Like George W. Bush Edition

Via Matt Welch comes this excerpt from Rand Paul’s new book The Tea Party Goes To Washington:

Imagine this-what if there had never been a Preisdent George W. Bush, and when Bill Clinton left office he was immediately replaced with Barack Obama. Now imagine Obama had governed from 2000 to 2008 exactly as Bush did-doubling the size of government, doubling the debt, expanding federal entitlements and education, starting the Iraq war-the whole works. To make matters worse, imagine that for a portion of that time, the Democrats actually controlled all three branches of government. Would Republicans have given Obama and his party a free pass in carrying out the exact same agenda as Bush? It’s hard to imagine this being the case, given the grief Bill Clinton got from Republicans, even though his big government agenda was less ambitious than Bush’s. Yet, the last Republican president got very little criticism from his own party for most of his tenure.

For conservatives, there was no excuse for this.

Indeed, there was not.

 

FILED UNDER: Quick Takes, US Politics
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Chris says:

    Rand Paul has superstar written all over him. So excited he’s in the Senate.

  2. JD says:

    Agreed. There was a reason Bush polled in the 20% range when he neared his last days in office and it wasn’t because the country was 70% Democrats.

  3. Moosebreath says:

    And yet, conservatives keep trying to continue his policies.

  4. Moosebreath says:

    Or to put it another way, how many Republican votes would there be in Congress for repealing the Bush tax cuts? For repealing Medicare Part D? For immediate withdrawal from Iraq and a sizable drawdown from Afghanistan?

  5. EJ says:

    Moosebreath,

    Similarly, how many democrats are there that would repeal medicare D, no child left behind, SarBox, Iraq etc? They have all voted these past two years to keep or expand everything bush did.

    With the exception of the Iraq war (which most democrats voted for at the beginning btw) what exactly is it really that dems hate so much about bush?

    Was it further socializing healthcare? doubt it. What about doubling the education department budget and further centralizing education policy? don’t think that’s it. Um, massively expanding corporate finance regulation? nope. Increasing poverty program spending, or AIDS research? umm.. dont think so. He even tried to get a immigrationr eform bill through with democrats. And when ti came time to sign TARP, well that was him standing with mostly democrats.

    So what exactly is it that made bush so bad in the eyes of democrats?

  6. mantis says:

    With the exception of the Iraq war (which most democrats voted for at the beginning btw) what exactly is it really that dems hate so much about bush?

    Bush was a terrible president on so many levels it’s difficult to know where to begin.

    Was it further socializing healthcare?

    Yes. Medicare Part D is a huge amount of deficit spending. Overall health care reform would have been far preferable.

    What about doubling the education department budget and further centralizing education policy?

    Yes, because No Child Left Behind is terrible policy, and has failed miserably.

    Um, massively expanding corporate finance regulation?

    You’re funny. Tell another joke.

    Increasing poverty program spending, or AIDS research?

    No, those were good.

    He even tried to get a immigrationr eform bill through with democrats.

    Did he?

    And when ti came time to sign TARP, well that was him standing with mostly democrats.

    I think you need to go back and review the vote record, pal.

    So what exactly is it that made bush so bad in the eyes of democrats?

    His supporters are complete idiots with no memory of recent history? No, that can’t be it…

    Maybe it’s:
    – Katrina
    – Free Speech Zones
    – Draconian drug war policies
    – US Attorneys scandal
    – Dick Cheney
    – Outing CIA agents for political purposes
    – Widespread deregulation or lack of regulation enforcement for Wall Street, the environment, food safety, consumer protection, and on and on
    – Guantanomo Bay
    – Torture

  7. Moosebreath says:

    “With the exception of the Iraq war (which most democrats voted for at the beginning btw) what exactly is it really that dems hate so much about bush?

    Was it further socializing healthcare? doubt it. What about doubling the education department budget and further centralizing education policy? don’t think that’s it. Um, massively expanding corporate finance regulation? nope. Increasing poverty program spending, or AIDS research? umm.. dont think so. He even tried to get a immigrationr eform bill through with democrats. And when ti came time to sign TARP, well that was him standing with mostly democrats.”

    Somehow, you overlooked the first item I mentioned. I can’t imagine why. Moreover, roughly 2/3rds of Democrats in the House and 40% in the Senate opposed the Iraq War resolution.

    As to your list of items, the only one which has a significant effect on the deficit is Medicare Part D. Democrats opposed Medicare Part D nearly unanimously. The contrast between Medicare Part D and the recently passed Healthcare legislation is huge. Bush did not even seek to pay for it; Obama’s healthcare law not merely pays for itself, but actually reduces the deficit. And yet, people are supposed to take Republicans seriously when they say they are opposed to the deficit.

    As to why Bush is reviled by Democrats, his main accomplishments were his tax cuts, which were overwhelming opposed by Democrats, and the Iraq War, where Democrats are divided roughly equally into groups who thought it was wrong from the beginning and those who did not oppose it at the time, but believe it is wrong now. So what’s there for a Democrat to like?

  8. mantis says:

    By the way, EJ, the false notion that liberals all like government spending, no matter how much and what for, reveals you to be presenting a far less than serious debate. Just FYI. We don’t like spending for the sake of spending. This contrasts us with the right, who like tax cuts just for the sake of tax cuts, and would gladly bankrupt the country with them if allowed.

  9. EJ says:

    Mantis,

    Bush was a terrible president on so many levels it’s difficult to know where to begin (not disagreeing with you here – just that most of his major polices are not antathetical to democrat beliefs).

    Was it further socializing healthcare?

    Yes. Medicare Part D is a huge amount of deficit spending. Overall health care reform would have been far preferable. (so are you telling me that the dems didnt want to give out free medications to old people? And yeah this bill added to the defcit a lot, but the current healthcare bill adds magnitudes more. In fact the Obama bill even expands Medicare D further. So the concept of Medicare D is not what democrats dont like).

    What about doubling the education department budget and further centralizing education policy?

    Yes, because No Child Left Behind is terrible policy, and has failed miserably. (hmm, so Obama is expanding that frame work even further. And it still was a doubling of eduction spending and more centralized control, which is exactly what democrats have been doing with education for the last 40 years.)

    Um, massively expanding corporate finance regulation?

    You’re funny. Tell another joke. (ever hear of SarBox?)

    Increasing poverty program spending, or AIDS research?

    No, those were good.

    He even tried to get a immigrationr eform bill through with democrats.

    Did he? (Where you asleep when this was a major battle that congressional republicans blocked? Remember that McCain also got crap from republicans for supporting this.)

    And when it came time to sign TARP, well that was him standing with mostly democrats.

    I think you need to go back and review the vote record, pal. (I’m not the one needing a refresher… here it the first house vote that failed mostly by republicans voting no. Barney Frank following this vote occuring, humourously complains that republicans arent following Bush – http://clerk.house.gov/evs/2008/roll674.xml)

    So what exactly is it that made bush so bad in the eyes of democrats?

    His supporters are complete idiots with no memory of recent history? No, that can’t be it…

    Maybe it’s:
    – Katrina (surely incompetance was prevelant, but that was occuring at all levels of government in that crisis – not much different than the current WH repsonce to the oil spill)
    – Free Speech Zones (you dont care about free speech – you support McCain Feingold, which Bush supported btw)
    – Draconian drug war policies (same as Obama’s and Obama has increased drug war spending)
    – US Attorneys scandal (not much different than something like this that every president has)
    – Dick Cheney (reason being?)
    – Outing CIA agents for political purposes
    – Widespread deregulation or lack of regulation enforcement for Wall Street, the environment, food safety, consumer protection, and on and on (It was bush that signed a law requireing turcks and construction equipent to abide by emissions standards – hence the reason why you dont see smoke plumes anymroe on them, the regulatory regime of “wall street” did not change over the bush presidency – the onyl major regulatory changes where SarBoz, which was a major increase, and Homeland Security changes, food saftey? really?
    – Guantanomo Bay (Obama is still continuing it and now not only is he detaining people indeffinately Obama is making the claim that if people are given a trial and found innocent, that they will just hold them anyway – thats an even bigger power grab than Bush attempted)
    – Torture

    The point being, I odnt expect Busht o be ideal in a democrats eyes, but he was far more alliaged with what you guys want that not. All of that deep hatred is missplaced. He did far more to expand the welfare and regulatory state than Clinton ever did. All of this hatred is some combination fo indentiy politics and partsian hackary. There is a reason why there are plenty of comments int he blog world about Obama being Bush’s third term.

  10. EJ says:

    mantis,

    Bush spent on all the area swhere democrats want more spending – healthcare, education, povery alliviateing, corporate finace regulation. The exact policy might not be exactly what you want – but it sure is in line which what you do. Imaging if Bush actually spent his time in office repealing or downsizing all of these areas – not expanding them. Imaging if Reagan or even Eisenhower had a fully republican congress for 6 years. We wouldnt be talkign abotu doubling the size of the education department – there likely wouldnt be an education department.

  11. EJ says:

    moose,

    “Obama’s healthcare law not merely pays for itself, but actually reduces the deficit.”

    This is entriely incorrect and you know it is unless you assume doctor reimbursments are going to suddenly be cut in 2013, that two new AMT sytme tax increases that dont adjust for inflationa re not patched, and that the long term care prgram that was called a “ponzi sceme madoff would be proud of” by sen dorgan is not going to be bailed out when it rouns out of money.

    Democrats where not against medicare D. They were against not raising taxes even further to pay for it. Medicare D cost about 30-40 billion per year in deficit spending. Obama’s bill under relaist assumption added somehwere around 100 billion per year once its put fully into place.

    Once again.. there is not a huge different on doestic policy between Obama and Bush – just a matter of degree.

    You should be much mroe hatefull of Clinton, who did what exactly that democrats like so much? Welfare reform? Um capital gains tax cuts?

  12. EJ says:

    and wrong link on TARP first, here;s the reauthorization of it – the second round

    http://www.govtrack.us/congress/vote.xpd?vote=h2009-26

    and here is the first vote with almost all dems voting yes and most republicans voting no:

    http://www.govtrack.us/congress/vote.xpd?vote=h2008-101

  13. EJ says:

    damn it – keep messing up on thie links… damn carrying shell bills

    http://www.govtrack.us/congress/vote.xpd?vote=h2008-681

  14. Moosebreath says:

    EJ,

    Funny how you keep ignoring the Bush tax cuts — the primary reason for the current deficits. Until you actually address them, it’s going to be pointless to have a discussion with you.

  15. EJ says:

    Moose,

    The tax cuts dont fit under that Paul is saying that conservatives should be ashamed of bush for, which is the topic of the post.

    I realize Bush isnt the ideal person for a dem, what I, asking is why such ravid hatred? He did more to to continue to the progressive march towards a centralized welfare and regulatroy state than Clinton did.

    So basically the two things Dems dont like Bush for are

    1. Iraq, which i stated as such (but they really didnt get angry about this until later- and as soona s Obama was in office they stopped trying to end it)
    2. A tax cut (which btw Gore was also running on, but just he wanted a smaller one)

    So its either political hackery/ identity politics or really in the end is that class warfare is what democrats are all about in the end. The spending policies of both Bush and Obama have done far more to add to deficits than the tax rate cuts on the top two brakets. And even with those rate cuts, because of bracket creap, actual revenue recipts as a percent of GDP were the same in 2006-2007 as they were in 1996.

    The next time a republican becomes president and he/she starts trying to actualyl cut programs, I am going to laugh very hard reaidng all these Bush appoligetic articles by liberals complaining on why oh why the current batch of republicans could be more resonable like Bush was.

  16. EJ says:

    also i might add, if you do believe in the effacacy of keynsian fiscal stimulus, then takign deficits circa 2001-2003 is exactly what you were supposed to do. The Obama deficits cant be good while the Bush ones bad. Either they were both appropriate fiscal policy or they both werent.

  17. Moosebreath says:

    “He did more to to continue to the progressive march towards a centralized welfare and regulatroy state than Clinton did.”

    Umm, no. A centralized welfare and regulatory state isn’t the Democrats goal. It sometimes is the means to the Democrats’ goals, but is not always.

    “also i might add, if you do believe in the effacacy of keynsian fiscal stimulus, then takign deficits circa 2001-2003 is exactly what you were supposed to do”

    Sure, and most Democrats supported a temporary tax cut to stimulate the economy in 2001, although they likely would have targeted it differently. By 2003, we were out of recession, so one did not seem needed. However, the Bush tax cuts were not temporary, but rather lasted for more than a full business cycle, contrary to Keynesian principles.

  18. EJ says:

    “A centralized welfare and regulatory state isn’t the Democrats goal. It sometimes is the means to the Democrats’ goals, but is not always.”

    But it is the framework for the end goal – virtually every democrat policy perscrption is to expand and/or centralize the welfare state. And Bush government in just this way. Are you tellign me Democrats are opposed to providing more universal healthcare to old people? Maybe the democrats in Congress at the time wanted a slightly different vehichle, but the concept was in agreement. Same goes for expansion of federal education mandates and funding. Not a huge difference here. And despite all this mythical deregulation claims liberal now make without actually pointing to anythign specific, Bush increased the Federal regulatory budget by the largest amount since NIxon and passed SarBox which at the time was the largest overhal since the 1930s. Are you telling me democrats dont like SarBox?

    And yes, the tax cuts were perminant or at least ten years, but so is much of the “investment” under Obama the last two years. Baseline spending is considerable higher than it was when he entered office – both have made the structual deficit worse than what they inherited.

    But even if you wanted it to be temporary, this still leaves two parts. 1. Gore was arguing for a broad tax cut as well, just only about half the size, and this didnt make dems abandon gore. 2. most of the Bush deficits occured in the perior 2001-2003. By 2007, the deficit was only 140 billion (doesnt that sound quaint?) And it wasnt the permenant nature of the Bush tax cuts that democrats where bitching about in 2001-2003 – it was the tax cuts themselves.

    ” By 2003, we were out of recession” Thats not what the dems were saying in 2003. I believe the runup to the 2004 election was how bad the bush “jobless recovery was”?

    And you continue to miss my point. Im not arguing there is nothing Bush did that democrats wont like, its just he was not hostile to your broader motives and goals and in many ways aided them. Bush did not cut, decentralize or reduce any kind of welfare/ safety net program. He embraded an expanded roll of the federal government in social and welfare spending. He could have very well been a southern social conservative/ moderate democrat all those years.

  19. EJ says:

    What bush did would be the equivelant of if Obama came into office and decentralized education back to the states by cutting the education department, shiting Medicare to a voucher system, and slashing $200 billion out of the annual budet. I might complain that teh exact meathods that Obama chooses is not what I would do. But the general effort is surely in allignment. I can onyl dream fo the opposition party giving me so much I want.

  20. wr says:

    What a shock that the great Bush supporter around here is also just about completely illiterate. Maybe if EJ learned to spell and then learned how to compose a sentence he’d also learn how to construct a thought.

  21. matt says:

    EJ sure is flogging the crap out of that strawman…

  22. Moosebreath says:

    EJ,

    You continue to miss my point, so I’ll spell it out again, hopefully in short enough words that you can both read and avoid misspelling.

    Democrats do not view increasing the size of the government as their goal. That is roughly as accurate as saying Republicans want sick people to die in the street. However, given a choice between increasing the size of the government and having sick people die in the street, Democrats believe a modern, wealthy society should not have sick people dying in the street and choose to increase the size of the government.

    As a result, Democrats judge government programs by whether they accomplish their goals. The problem with the Bush Administration is that he always chose methods that both increased the size of government while doing as little to solve actual real-world problems as possible (unless you believe the problem was how to make the rich richer).

    If you continue to think Democrats judge a President by how big the government was under his Presidency, then I can see why you think Democrats would support Bush. However, your assumptions are wrong, so your conclusion is also wrong.