Will: The party that produced four Bush nominations in 20 years is hardly “extreme”

posted at 11:21 am on June 18, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

Let’s play a game that we used to play in school, and lay out a series of data points to see if anyone can guess what they have in common.  Ready?  Here we go:

  • Bush, Bush, Dole, Bush, Bush, McCain, Romney

What’s the answer?  As George Will insisted yesterday on ABC’s This Week, it sure isn’t extremism, despite what Jeb Bush thinks:

“Well, let’s look at the facts,” Will said. “Since Ronald Reagan, the Republican Party has given its presidential nomination four times to the Bush family. Other times, to Bob Dole, John McCain and Mitt Romney — where’s the extremist in that lot? Now, Jeb Bush’s father is celebrated today for a statesman ship that consisted of breaking the promise to the American people of not raising taxes. He had a budget deal in 1990, Austan [Goolsbee] because this goes back to something you said earlier. In the budget deal it was said for every $2 of — every dollar of tax increase, would be $2 of spending cuts. The tax increases went into effect and spending increased.”

Will added that it is popular for observers to romanticize politicians like Reagan, along with conservative commentator William Buckley and 1964 presidential nominee Barry Goldwater, after the fact.

“We’re going through this — we go through this all the time,” he continued. “About 20 years after a conservative leaves the scene or dies, he becomes acceptable. They said, ‘If only people were more like Ronald Reagan, that wonderful libertarian curmudgeon Barry Goldwater and that fine fellow Bill Buckley.’ I worked for Bill Buckley, voted for Barry Goldwater, knew Ronald Reagan and no one talked about him on the left that way at the time.”

For that matter, take a look at the main contenders in the Republican primary this year, once the voting started.  The race came down to Mitt Romney, Rick Perry, Newt Gingrich, and Rick Santorum.  All of these men had good qualities and shortcomings, but none of them are known for their extremist bent, no matter what the hyperventilating media might have said at the time. All four represented the same mainstreams in Republican politics that existed when Reagan was President, and have ever since.

It seems especially churlish to hear this kind of complaint coming from former Governor Jeb Bush after watching his father and brother rack up more than half of the GOP’s presidential nominations in the last 30 years.  Will does a nice job with Bush’s hanging curve and knocks it out of the park.

On the same show, Tim Pawlenty argues that the real problem is the “arsonist” of bipartisanship in the White House at the moment. Gore, Kerry, Obama, Obama.  And Jeb’s griping about extremism in the GOP?


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Explain to me how corporatism is a far-rightist orientation. As traditionally understood corporatism is government ownership of the economy de facto utilizing favored corporations to implement government policy.

BKennedy on June 18, 2012 at 1:22 PM

Socialism is government ownership, corporatism is government control but private ownership under he central authority.

FloatingRock on June 18, 2012 at 1:53 PM

de facto utilizing favored corporations to implement government policy.

You mean like the Obama/Romneycare mandate?

FloatingRock on June 18, 2012 at 1:54 PM

This is not a conspiracy theory, it is reality.

SWalker on June 18, 2012 at 1:13 PM

I never said anything about conspiracy theories, you are assuming I am like some of the Ron Paul supporters that are into conspiracy theories, but I’m not one of them. I’m sure there have been some conspiracies here and there over the history of man but nothing I’ve ever discussed necessarily involves conspiracy theories. Anybody can see with their own eyes that what I’ve said in this thread is common sense and true and I didn’t say anything about any conspiracy theories.

FloatingRock on June 18, 2012 at 2:00 PM

Whether the mess America was/is caused by conspiracy theories or an organic act of human-nature as I believe, (absolute power corrupts absolutely), is besides the point: we can all see the results of the corruption all around us in our daily lives and the abondonment of the Constitution and free markets and everything American.

Conspiracies aren’t necessary to make sense of it all.

FloatingRock on June 18, 2012 at 2:03 PM

Anybody can see with their own eyes that what I’ve said in this thread is common sense and true and I didn’t say anything about any conspiracy theories.

FloatingRock on June 18, 2012 at 2:00 PM

I think you’re either whacky or on drugs.

I’ve asked you several times to show me some proof that the extra money coming in from Romneycare outweighs the extra healthcare costs.

Gladtobehere on June 18, 2012 at 2:05 PM

I’ve asked you several times to show me some proof that the extra money coming in from Romneycare outweighs the extra healthcare costs.

Gladtobehere on June 18, 2012 at 2:05 PM

The fact is, whether you care to admit it or not, is that the Romneycare mandate uses the force of government to make a lot of people, who didn’t previously, send a large chunk of their personal income to Romney’s cronies each and every month against their will. That may be an inconvenient, un-American fact about your candidate, but never the less, it is a fact.

FloatingRock on June 18, 2012 at 2:19 PM

I think you’re either whacky or on drugs.

Gladtobehere on June 18, 2012 at 2:05 PM

I think you are probably high on power and control over other peoples personal lives and property, like Romney and Bloomberg.

FloatingRock on June 18, 2012 at 2:21 PM

The idea that the Republican party has moved to the right has always been told by the liberal left. The fact is that there are both moderates and conservatives in the Republican party.

The party that has moved to the fringes is the Democrat Party. They have basically purged blue dogs and conservative democrats. So, they either have Democrats, prograssives, or flat-out socialists like Bernie Sanders. They nomined a progressive liberal to be Speaker, they nominated a hardcore liberal for president (and have in 3 straight elections now). And the Majority leader of the Senate has moved so far to the left that the he himself, from 20 years ago, would not recognize the person he became.

The fact is that there are no moderates in the Democratic party, and a ton in the GOP. However, by painting Republicans, all the Democrats are seeking to accomplish is to pretend that liberals are mainstream.

milcus on June 18, 2012 at 2:22 PM

FloatingRock on June 18, 2012 at 2:19 PM

I think you are probably high on power and control over other peoples personal lives and property, like Romney and Bloomberg.

FloatingRock on June 18, 2012 at 2:21 PM

You’re as totalitarian as the people you rant against. Only FloatingRock is capable of understanding all the subtleties of what’s going on.

Over and over I’ve asked for proof that the healthcare companies are making big profits from Romneycare. All you do is spout inane philosophy that you learned many years ago. You’ve been ranting and raving for several hours now. Feel better?

Gladtobehere on June 18, 2012 at 2:29 PM

The party that has moved to the fringes is the Democrat Party.

milcus on June 18, 2012 at 2:22 PM

Both parties are fringe statist parties now. Republicans didn’t nominate a moderate like Palin, they nominated a far-right corporatist that invented Obamacare and supported crony bailouts.

FloatingRock on June 18, 2012 at 2:41 PM

Only FloatingRock is capable of understanding all the subtleties of what’s going on.

Gladtobehere on June 18, 2012 at 2:29 PM

I never said that, you did. I’ve read comments all over the Internet from people that understand what is going on in this country and the world, I never claimed to be special or unique.

FloatingRock on June 18, 2012 at 2:44 PM

Over and over I’ve asked for proof that the healthcare companies are making big profits from Romneycare.

Gladtobehere on June 18, 2012 at 2:29 PM

Whether or not their scheme paid off or not is besides the point. I hope their plan fails and they go bankrupt and their cronies like Obama and Romney are unable to bail them out on the backs of young Americans and the unborn.

FloatingRock on June 18, 2012 at 2:48 PM

I believe Jeb’s point was intended to be his editorial on the current situation, not past. He did not intend it to be reflective of past Presidents.

He’s foolish, but not that stupid.

That said, his comment was meant to be more of an excuse for his brothers and fathers actions. In other words, their flaws, which many have articulated, need to be seen as some type of middle ground, statesman like negotiation. Not the foolish, misguided, unmoored and destructive actions they were.

Ergo, the Tea Party and people who can actually read the Constitution, identify as conservatives and are a driving force behind the elections since 2010 are a bunch of rubes, extremists and sundry malcontents who are not smart enough to understand the genius that is “Bush” and appreciate their overlords in the Republican Establishment.

Nothing could be further from the truth and Jeb will see that come the next election.

Marcus Traianus on June 18, 2012 at 2:50 PM

I never said that, you did. I’ve read comments all over the Internet from people that understand what is going on in this country and the world, I never claimed to be special or unique.

FloatingRock on June 18, 2012 at 2:44 PM

You accused me of being Romney or Bloomberg, even though you’ve ranting for hours.

You have never given me any proof. If Romney did this to benefit healthcare companies, there should be proof.

Where is your proof?
Where is your proof?
Where is your proof?
Where is your proof?
Where is your proof?
Where is your proof?
Where is your proof?

Gladtobehere on June 18, 2012 at 2:50 PM

Things like this make me laugh– and make me wonder if I’m living on the same planet as these people with claims of “extremism.” Then I remember that I must not be, because Obama’s planet is “doing just fine”! :)
I think young people are going to be huge this year; and unfortunately they’re still leaning toward Obama. It’s going to take plenty of effort to attract young people, but it will be well worth the effort in November!
Also, please check out my latest youtube video :) http://www.youtube.com/user/usabethany.

NextGenerationVoters on June 18, 2012 at 3:15 PM

It’s going to take plenty of effort to attract young people, but it will be well worth the effort in November!

NextGenerationVoters on June 18, 2012 at 3:15 PM

The worst thing that young Americans can do to themselves is vote for Obama or Romney, who both promise to continue the generational theft unabated. They’re both Keynesian’s. They need to make their protest loud and clear and vote 3rd party or else their interests will continue to be ignored.

FloatingRock on June 18, 2012 at 3:42 PM

Things like this make me laugh– and make me wonder if I’m living on the same planet as these people with claims of “extremism.” Then I remember that I must not be, because Obama’s planet is “doing just fine”! :)
I think young people are going to be huge this year; and unfortunately they’re still leaning toward Obama. It’s going to take plenty of effort to attract young people, but it will be well worth the effort in November!
Also, please check out my latest youtube video :) http://www.youtube.com/user/usabethany.

NextGenerationVoters on June 18, 2012 at 3:15 PM

Most polls show the opposite trend, a seriously depressed youth vote, though sure, it’s too early in the game to tell for sure… the obamaites can still craft and execute a few distractions and theatric coups from now to elections…so, despite the fact that the youth are inclined to obama, if they don’t come out and vote in great numbers for him (right now I don’t see what their motivation to do so would be), O is toast…

jimver on June 18, 2012 at 3:47 PM

The race came down to Mitt Romney, Rick Perry, Newt Gingrich, and Rick Santorum. All of these men had good qualities and shortcomings, but none of them are known for their extremist bent, no matter what the hyperventilating media might have said at the time.

Gotta disagree.

Rick Santorum is a nutter

Lehosh on June 18, 2012 at 3:51 PM

Where is your proof?
Where is your proof?
Where is your proof?
Where is your proof?
Where is your proof?
Where is your proof?
Where is your proof?

Gladtobehere on June 18, 2012 at 2:50 PM

Translation: I have no argument, so I have to repeat the same idiotic over and over and over. It’s not my fault, it’s just the way I was programmed at King Willard’s Royal RomBot Production Facility! I am perfect! I am Nomad!

Dunedainn on June 18, 2012 at 3:54 PM

Translation: I have no argument, so I have to repeat the same idiotic question over and over and over. It’s not my fault, it’s just the way I was programmed at King Willard’s Royal RomBot Production Facility! I am perfect! I am Nomad!

Dunedainn on June 18, 2012 at 3:54 PM

FIFM

Dunedainn on June 18, 2012 at 3:55 PM

Where is your proof?

Read the Romneycare legislation, the mandate is in there for all to see. As for a smoking gun, as you are probably aware Romney sabotaged the hard drives in their computers when he left office.

FloatingRock on June 18, 2012 at 4:19 PM

Will is an idiot.

Never take their memes. Never play defense.

He should have told Snuffy that the Dem party has run off all their independents since 2006. They are full of left wing loons like (rattle off a few crackpots). Then simply say the GOP nominated a liberal northern establishment person that accommodated a Dem controlled congress in MA.

faraway on June 18, 2012 at 4:21 PM

Will: The party that produced four Bush nominations in 20 years is hardly “extreme”

STUPID, YES.
EXTREME, NO.

TeaPartyNation on June 18, 2012 at 4:22 PM

anyone else notice that Will is kind of saying that Reagan was extreme?

unseen on June 18, 2012 at 4:25 PM

Proof? Ever heard of Romneycare? Romney forced the young residence of Mass to buy extremely expensive insurance and healthcare products from Romney’s cronies that donated to his campaign! He was the first far-right corporatist in the nation to do so, not Obama.

And Obamacare is not Marxist or socialist, it’s corporatist like Romneycare.

Romney supported bailing out his cronies on Wall Street, too.

There isn’t a politician in America as far-right as Romney.

FloatingRock on June 18, 2012 at 12:30 PM

Are you FROM Massachusetts??

pastselldate on June 18, 2012 at 4:28 PM

Isn’t that many nominations what Jesse Jackson tried to warn us about when he said stay out the bushes?

platypus on June 18, 2012 at 4:30 PM

Read the Romneycare legislation, the mandate is in there for all to see. As for a smoking gun, as you are probably aware Romney sabotaged the hard drives in their computers when he left office.

FloatingRock on June 18, 2012 at 4:19 PM

Again, where is your proof that Romney did this to benefit the healthcaare companies?

Over and over again, you ignore the main question. You said that Romney did this out of crony capitalism. Prove it!

Over and over again, you ignore the main question. You said that Romney did this out of crony capitalism. Prove it!

Over and over again, you ignore the main question. You said that Romney did this out of crony capitalism. Prove it?

Over and over again, you ignore the main question. You said that Romney did this out of crony capitalism. Prove it?

Over and over again, you ignore the main question. You said that Romney did this out of crony capitalism. Prove it!

Over and over again, you ignore the main question. You said that Romney did this out of crony capitalism. Prove it!

Gladtobehere on June 18, 2012 at 4:31 PM

Is this the same George “FOP” Will that said that we should forget about the Presidential race that OBAMA will win and concentrate on winning Senate and House races for the GOP. He is a male version of Kathy Parker.

Natebo on June 18, 2012 at 5:05 PM

When you are standing way out on the Left fringe, anything right of center is “extreme”.

novaculus on June 18, 2012 at 5:08 PM

Things like this make me laugh– and make me wonder if I’m living on the same planet as these people with claims of “extremism.” Then I remember that I must not be, because Obama’s planet is “doing just fine”! :)
I think young people are going to be huge this year; and unfortunately they’re still leaning toward Obama. It’s going to take plenty of effort to attract young people, but it will be well worth the effort in November!
Also, please check out my latest youtube video :) http://www.youtube.com/user/usabethany.

NextGenerationVoters on June 18, 2012 at 3:15 PM

So long as the GOP continues to embrace anti-gay rhetoric, young people will continue to be turned off by republicans. As long as hate groups such as the AFA and FRC continue to go around claiming that homosexuals are mentally diseased, unhealthy, pedophile perverts, the majority of people 30 and under will vote democrat.

theoddmanout on June 18, 2012 at 5:08 PM

I’d also note your arguments on the subject have a decidedly government granted rights tone to it, with your adamance in referring to explicit Constitutional enumeration, as though it is some kind of requirement, and your characterization that the court “invent” the right to privacy, rather than acknowledging it exists, at least, in some contexts and conditions.

Dusty on June 18, 2012 at 1:27 PM

No, my arguments have a decidedly federalist tone to them. Whatever is not enumerated in the Constitution is left to the states. And I doubt very much the Founders would ever argue sodomy is covered by the 9th Amendment. The 9th really covers a much more rational view of liberty, such as the right to reproduce. Not the right to do whatever you want to define as a liberty as the mood strikes you. And dominigan mentioned it and I eluded to it. The 4th Amendment creates an implied right to privacy. Even in a world in which sodomy was illegal it was incredibly difficult to get caught sodomizing someone.

I know you and others would like to imagine there is some sort of special right to privacy, but we tread an extremely dangerous path in which all kinds of mischief can be created by imagining that fictional rights are granted. SCOTUS invented the so called right to privacy in the 1950s. Where was this right the previous 170 years?

NotCoach on June 18, 2012 at 5:58 PM

Jeb Bush’s comments about the state of the party today, so the nominations from earlier cycles aren’t particularly relevant.

As for whether presidential candidates in the current cycle were extremists, I think we have to define the phrase. When establishing that Rick Perry and Rick Santorum aren’t extremists, it helps to provide a contrast. Who among the Republican Governors and Congressmen is an extremist?

I think you could certainly make the argument that Santorum, Perry and Gingrich hold positions that aren’t held by a majority of Americans.

Rick Santorum is very socially conservative, against abortion even when the mother’s life is in danger.
Rick Perry’s views on repealing the seventeenth amendment may be popular here, but it’s something that the majority of the populace would disagree with him on.
Newt Gingrich has expressed his fear that his grandchildren will inherit a world run by radical Islamists.

I have no objection with the people who agree with his positions. But they should realize that these aren’t the most mainstream views.

Mister Mets on June 18, 2012 at 6:04 PM

No, my arguments have a decidedly federalist tone to them. Whatever is not enumerated in the Constitution is left to the states. And I doubt very much the Founders would ever argue sodomy is covered by the 9th Amendment. The 9th really covers a much more rational view of liberty, such as the right to reproduce. Not the right to do whatever you want to define as a liberty as the mood strikes you. And dominigan mentioned it and I eluded to it. The 4th Amendment creates an implied right to privacy. Even in a world in which sodomy was illegal it was incredibly difficult to get caught sodomizing someone.

I know you and others would like to imagine there is some sort of special right to privacy, but we tread an extremely dangerous path in which all kinds of mischief can be created by imagining that fictional rights are granted. SCOTUS invented the so called right to privacy in the 1950s. Where was this right the previous 170 years?

NotCoach on June 18, 2012 at 5:58 PM

I find it quite revealing how you say that you believe that the 9th amendment isn’t supposed to used to defend sodomy (Homosexuality), but rather it should be used to defend a more “rational” view of liberty such as the right to “reproduce” (Heterosexuality).

Surely you wouldn’t oppose Lawrence V. Texas because you believe that it encourages the normalization of homosexuality, or because you believe that there is a logical, sound reason as to why people would want to ban sodomy, would you?

theoddmanout on June 18, 2012 at 6:09 PM

….. how did this thread turn into discussing gays and pedophiles??????

pastselldate on June 18, 2012 at 6:20 PM

Proof? Ever heard of Romneycare? Romney forced the young residence of Mass to buy extremely expensive insurance and healthcare products from Romney’s cronies that donated to his campaign! He was the first far-right corporatist in the nation to do so, not Obama.

And Obamacare is not Marxist or socialist, it’s corporatist like Romneycare.

Romney supported bailing out his cronies on Wall Street, too.

There isn’t a politician in America as far-right as Romney.

FloatingRock on June 18, 2012 at 12:30 PM

FloatingRock — Are you from Massachusetts?? Not sure what you mean by health care products from Romney’s cronies??

pastselldate on June 18, 2012 at 6:22 PM

Surely you wouldn’t oppose Lawrence V. Texas because you believe that it encourages the normalization of homosexuality, or because you believe that there is a logical, sound reason as to why people would want to ban sodomy, would you?

theoddmanout on June 18, 2012 at 6:09 PM

I oppose Lawrence because it builds upon a fictitious right. I oppose all rulings in this vein, including Griswold. I have already stated I have no use for sodomy laws as a political matter.

NotCoach on June 18, 2012 at 6:37 PM

You mean like the Obama/Romneycare mandate?

FloatingRock on June 18, 2012 at 1:54 PM

You’re a tool and if you cannot see the difference between Obamacare and the plan in the STATE of Massachusetts you’re even dimmer than you appear.

CW on June 18, 2012 at 6:56 PM

Republicans didn’t nominate a moderate like Palin, they nominated a far-right corporatist that invented Obamacare and supported crony bailouts.

FloatingRock on June 18, 2012 at 2:41 PM

You and George Will are making the same mistake. The GOP didn’t want to elect Romney. Look at the polls in every major state early in the primary process. Romney was clearly losing in nearly every one until his campaign went in and bought the nomination. Freedom of speech and democracy at its finest according to the Supremes.

bayam on June 18, 2012 at 8:14 PM

You and George Will are making the same mistake. The GOP didn’t want to elect Romney. Look at the polls in every major state early in the primary process. Romney was clearly losing in nearly every one until his campaign went in and bought the nomination. Freedom of speech and democracy at its finest according to the Supremes.

bayam on June 18, 2012 at 8:14 PM

Early in the primary process, people didn’t KNOW the candidates very well so the polls were all over the place. But now, the GOP absolutely WILL vote for Romney — just to get Obama out of office.

pastselldate on June 18, 2012 at 8:32 PM

Bush, Bush, Dole, Bush, Bush, McCain, Romney

RINO, RINO, RINO, RINO, RINO, RINO and RINO. Sigh.

What in the world does it take to nominate a Conservative around here?

Theophile on June 18, 2012 at 10:37 PM

Early in the primary process, people didn’t KNOW the candidates very well so the polls were all over the place. But now, the GOP voters absolutely WILL vote for Romney — just to get Obama out of office.

pastselldate on June 18, 2012 at 8:32 PM

With that one minor correction extant, you’d better hope you’re right, Butch. The voters may not buy the bullshit Ye Grand Ole Party is peddling this time around.

gryphon202 on June 18, 2012 at 10:40 PM

RINO, RINO, RINO, RINO, RINO, RINO and RINO. Sigh.

What in the world does it take to nominate a Conservative around here?

Theophile on June 18, 2012 at 10:37 PM

I guess the same thing it took to nominate an abolitionist back in 1860.

gryphon202 on June 18, 2012 at 10:43 PM

Sadly, I agree with Will. But I do not see this as a positive.

insidiator on June 20, 2012 at 7:46 AM

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