Allahpundit linked to this a few days ago, but it’s worth another look. Newsmax TV caught up with former Governor Jeb Bush, who retired in Florida after his last term with approval ratings in the mid-60s. Unlike other national organizations, Bush has tried to stay out of the primary fight that has erupted between his successor, Charlie Crist — “the nicest man I have met in politics” — and Marco Rubio for the US Senate. However, Bush can’t help but question Crist’s campaigning for Obama on behalf of the Porkulus plan that was less about job creation and more about Democratic social engineering, calling it “unforgivable” — and it’s important to understand why (via The Right Scoop):
Bush gets more to the heart of the issue here than do most. A year ago, the problem wasn’t that Republicans refused to spend money in an attempt to stimulate the economy. Most of the Republican caucuses in both chambers of Congress wanted to take some sort of action, mostly in order to be seen as doing something about the private-sector meltdown. As Bush says in this clip, they wanted to rely on broad-based tax cuts and some targeted spending, and almost certainly do it at a lower cost than the Democrats.
Democrats, though, wanted to lock Republicans out of the process and still claim bipartisanship. Republicans like Crist (and Olympia Snowe, Susan Collins, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and then-Republican Arlen Specter) gave them the political cover to make that claim. The result? Congress passed a so-called stimulus that consisted almost entirely of the liberal wish-list of programs built up over the last 15 years — and America lost over 3 million jobs in 2009 after its passage.
Had Republicans held firm, that bill would have gone back to the drafting board and the country wouldn’t have spent $865 billion on a wasted effort. Had Democrats actually worked with Republicans, we would have had a flawed but at least somewhat effective bill and ownership across the political spectrum of American economic policy. Instead, Republicans like Crist enabled a catastrophic failure, mainly as a way to build themselves up by attempting to ride Obama’s coattails for a while. That’s what is unforgivable about his support for Porkulus.