The Right Opinion

GW Was MIA

By Michael Reagan · Nov. 15, 2012

Democrats have been blaming George W. Bush for the last four years.

Now I think it's time for Republicans to start blaming George W. for the next four years.

For a week we've been pinning last week's debacle on everything from Mitt Romney's moderation to low Republican turnout.

But the most important Republican who didn't turn out to support Romney this fall was George W. Bush.

You can make an honest argument that G.W. was as much to blame as anyone else for our being unable to defeat an incompetent incumbent of historic proportions.

For four years Barack Obama has blamed the Great Recession on G.W. and used his presidency as his excuse for why the economy is taking so long to get fixed.

And where's G.W. been? MIA or AWOL, take your pick.

He didn't show up at the GOP convention. He didn't become an enthusiastic surrogate for Romney in a handful of swing states where a few hundred thousand more Republican voters could have changed history. He didn't stump for senatorial candidates in contested states such as Virginia and Montana.

G.W., the ex-cheerleader, was nowhere to be seen or heard during Romney's campaign. What's worse, he didn't even defend his own economic record. He let the conservatives on talk radio and at Fox News do it.

The trouble is talk radio and Fox only reach about 20 million people during a week — and most of them are already in the conservative Republican choir.

Last I checked, 121 million Americans voted on Election Day. That left us Republicans with 101 million people who still needed to hear our message about who's really to blame for the broken economy of 2008 to 2012.

We griped and moaned and pointed to Obama, but the mainstream liberal media were too busy protecting their hero to fairly tell our side of the story.

The only way conservatives can get the national news media to deliver our message to the American people is to go over the media's heads. And the only people who can do that consistently are ex-presidents of the USA.

Bill Clinton became Obama's best propaganda weapon. When Clinton claimed that no one, not even a super-genius like him, could have solved the economic problem G.W. Bush left Obama within four years, every voter in America heard it.

Even Jimmy Carter was hauled out of mothballs to help the Democrat cause.

The 2012 campaign was all about “the economy, stupid.” Obama blamed G.W. and Republicans. Plus, he had Clinton and Carter bashing G.W.'s record with their bully sticks every day and countering Romney's arguments that Obama was to blame.

We should have had G.W. standing up and saying, “This is bull. I'm tired of this. This is what I did or did not do with the economy as president. The real culprits are Dodd & Frank and four years of Obama's failed policies.”

Instead G.W. stayed quiet, even on the issue of Benghazi. Because he refused to show up and defend himself and his record, the Republican Party had to take arrows for him and we lost our second presidential election in a row.

The question I'd like to ask my fellow conservative Republicans is, if G.W. isn't willing to stand up for his own presidency, why the heck should we?

Copyright ©2012 Michael Reagan

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23 Comments

d.w.hudson in Michigan said:

I sure won't stand up for the Bush presidency. Bush and his idiot republican sycophants made Obama possible if not inevitable. Prescription drug entitlement, Patriot Act 1 and 2, warrantless wire taps, free speech "zones", Iraq, starting the bail-outs, McCain-Feingold, constitutional violations only on a slightly lesser scale than Obama, etc. Republicans in the millions voted AGAINST the Republicans because of Bush. And it was deserved. The elections of '10 proved it, but the Republicans once again refused to accept that the TEA Party and true conservatives were their base. Hence.........'12. Republicans who aren't Republicans are the disease. Democrats are the symptoms.

Thursday, November 15, 2012 at 8:22 AM

George Rogers Clark in Ohio said:

The answer to the last question you posed, Michael, is this: Whether it be George W Bush or George H.W. Bush or any Republican... we should remember your father's maxim of good politics and never speak ill of a fellow Republican. If G.W.B. would not defend himself, we must, because someone has to do it. Mitt Romney had no choice. We had no choice.

I still wear my "I Really Miss Reagan" button from time to time. I also am a big fan of yours. And... I certainly agree true conservatives never got a candidate into the fight. "The New Reagan Revolution" is still underway. We just need to gain some momentum and get a candidate nominated so that all that pent up energy can be expressed at the polls.

Thursday, November 15, 2012 at 8:34 AM

Lee in Phoenix said:

Let's not overlook the annoying habit of Dems to attack and obliterate the reputations and budding careers of anyone who becomes prominent and represents a mere threat of opposition to them. Sarah Palin, Herman Cain, Michele Bachmann are contemporary examples. Hell, they've even gone after Bristol for some reason!

No one has been more thoroughly denigrated GWB, who was branded a liar (and stupid, to boot) within two weeks of his inauguration. After fighting for his integrity for the next eight years the damage could not be completely overcome and thus he probably would have cost Romney more votes than he could have won.

Conservatives have long memories. We're not like liberals who will suck up to the likes of Bill Clinton, whose character makes GWB look like the Pope by comparison.

Thursday, November 15, 2012 at 9:12 AM

p3orion in Midland, Georgia replied:

You'll note though that they never really were able to attach much to Paul Ryan. It may have been a bit early for his national debut (and Lord knows he's still needed on the House Budget Committee) but I'd be happy to think we haven't heard the last of him...

Thursday, November 15, 2012 at 1:01 PM

Dick Belmont in Fergus Falls, MN said:

I disagree 100%. If Bush had campaigned for any Republican it would have added fuel to the fire for the anti Bush people. He wouldn't defend his policies when in office and he would have had to do so if he campaigned. The battle was a no win situation.

Thursday, November 15, 2012 at 9:41 AM

Jim in Alabama said:

Point in case...My commie sister, otherwise a lovely person, still suffers bad BDS (Bush Derangement Syndrome). At the mention of his name she stills blathering about hating him, such a liar, etc. But the kicker was that she seemed actually offended that he hasn't said a political word in years. That perplexed me till I read this. I think Lee might have it right. There remains an insane maniacal hatred for GWB, and they were all chomping at the bit to tap into it. Bush might simply get this, as a practical matter, and have had his fill, thank you, as a visceral preference. Lee's point is seconded..."...probably would have cost Romney more votes than he could have won."

Thursday, November 15, 2012 at 9:45 AM

Cal in So Cal said:

Another point to consider in this discssion: It takes a huge effort to overcome the lamestream media. They will back the viscious attacks from the LIb poliicians and then add their own. Their outright lies and distortions are enormous. Most politicians are loath to do that, especially the timid ones. Down and dirt is the game and few if any can or are willing
to do that. As one wag once said: "It ain't worth the risk." Kinda like getting into a peeing contest with a skunk.

Thursday, November 15, 2012 at 10:47 AM

Gregory in Yakima said:

Will it never end? The obvious reason G.W. Bush did not make an appearance is because he would have done more harm than good. Bush wasn't wanted by conservatives at the convention or on the campaign trail. Michael Reagan is a light weight or he thinks his readers are. "Blaming" is different than placing responsibility where it justly belongs.

Fox may defend G.W. Bush record and that's one symptom of the disconnect between conservative delusions, Fox propaganda and voters. The problem is not that President Obama and the imaginary main stream media liberal cabal pulled the wool over anyone's eyes. The problem for conservatives is that voters remember accurately and place Bush failed policies as the genesis of their present discomfort.

Conservatives have yet to admit their policy and G.W. Bush were the disasters that they obviously are. Responsible people admit their mistakes and make an earnest effort to learn.

Republicans should have led the investigation of conservative policy results and to public announce their honest findings. Instead, they are the ones missing in action.

Thursday, November 15, 2012 at 10:58 AM

Gregory in Yakima said:

Michael Reagan's column are the product of a mediocre intellect. I don't usually read them because banality isn't very interesting. He offers no genuine insights, there is no evolution of thoughts mated to events, just a distribution of nouns and verbs with an occasional adjective.

But this column struck me as particularly stupid. He raises an issue as if saying something makes it so. It doesn't. Checking back over his recent columns I discovered that M. Reagan hadn't mentioned G.W. Bush. He doesn't mention G.W.Bush for the same reasons the Republican Party pretends Bush Jr. never existed: G.W. Bush was and is a political disaster more damaging than the melt down of a nuclear reactor.

Thursday, November 15, 2012 at 11:57 AM

HP in Kalispell, MT said:

Gregory in Yakima,

You may remember accurately but you obviously don't understand what caused the "crash" during The last two years of GW. The blame lies with Carter, Clinton, Reno, Pelosi, Dodd, and Frank. Put down the koolaid and do some research.

Thursday, November 15, 2012 at 11:57 AM

p3orion in Midland, Georgia replied:

You're quite right, but I too believe Bush's presence in the campaign would have done more harm than good, and either way would have improperly drawn attention away from Mitt Romney.

Although George W. Bush was very courageous and proper in his handling of 9-11, and as good as most any president can be in regards to the subsequent wars, economically he was quite moderate at best. The only major economic initiative that he got right was the lowering of tax rates, and he never did beans toward explaining or defending that move, despite the simplicity of doing so: IT INCREASED REVENUES BY GROWING THE ECONOMY. (Seven words, not difficult at all.)

But coming into this election, it was not Bush's place to make these arguments, it was Mitt Romney's. It infuriated me to watch him say NOTHING when obama used phrases like "the policies that got us into this mess" when anyone who's paid attention knows it was long-standing Democrat meddling that led to the real estate meltdown and the subsequent bank problems.

I never quite figured out whether his silence on the issue was because he was afraid to make the argument (instead letting obama frame the debate) or if he on some level, believed it WAS Bush's fault.

I'm convinced that Romney would have made a fine president, because even where was "squishy," the Republicans in the House would have led him in the right direction. But that's not enough for a candidate, especially one who's going up against an incumbent.

Obviously, the American electorate is willing to believe anything that is said with conviction, whether true or a line of complete Democrat bullshit. Next time, we need someone who not only believes in Republican ideals and principles, but is willing and able to explain them to the American people. THAT was Ronald Reagan's talent. We just have to hope his was not a once-in-a-lifetime gift.

Thursday, November 15, 2012 at 1:16 PM

Gregory in Yakima said:

HP...Political beliefs blind, political delusions destroy. Trying to shift Republican responsibility hasn't worked to their benefit, quite the contrary so keep it up. I love it when conservatives continue shooting themselves in both feet.

Thursday, November 15, 2012 at 12:20 PM

countrygirl in Texas replied:

Gregory,
Would you please explain the difference between conservatism and whatever it is that you practice?

Thursday, November 15, 2012 at 2:52 PM

Wayne in Hinesville, GA replied:

Country Girl, I can try to answer that one for you. Gregory believes we owe the poor and lazy a living and we shouldn't complain about it. Also, the Constitution has become a "living" document that must evolve over time. It is strange to me it worked quite well until the Demorats decided that hard work, being honest, taking responsibility, trying to lvie a moral life, and living with the choices you make. George W. Bush didn't do as much harm to the Constitution as the jusicial side of the house has done. Liberals will continue to call Bush a liar, war criminal, and stupid and totally ingnore the lies, incompetence, and class warfare of their Messiah. They harp on the Republican party being the party of "angry old white men" but call us racists if we say the Demorat party is made up of Blacks, Hispanics, Asians, Union workers, those on the dole, and government workers. They also frown upon us being openly patriotic because for some reason that is a bad thing in their eyes. Odumbo wants to change the Star Spangled Banner because it is too war-like. Look at the number of incidents where someone flying the flag has caused a flap. Your wasting your time trying to reason with these people. They"ll never get it!

Thursday, November 15, 2012 at 3:40 PM

Abu Nudnik in Toronto replied:

Why feed trolls, countrygirl? That's how they feed, like out of control government expenditures. Like a credit card you never have to pay. A feeling of power. Such are trolls. They should be starved just as governments should. It goes to their heads.

Thursday, November 15, 2012 at 7:32 PM

Tod the tool guy in brooklyn ny said:

My brother-in law was a life-long Conservative who voted Goldwater, Reagan, GHW Bush, but never thought POTUS 43 conservative enough. The 2016 candidate will need to be hard right wing, like me.

Thursday, November 15, 2012 at 5:28 PM

Gregory in Yakima said:

countrygirl...my fascination is arguments made without regard to fact or reason. Often those arguments are started by people who know or should know better. The Tea Party/Patriot Post kids get my attention because they're extremely critical without benefit of critical thinking.

Look at this article by Michael Reagan for example. It's phony and clever in the premise or conclusion. He wastes the time of his readers and by doing so he disrespects them. More than a week after the election he decides to blame G.W. Bush for not supporting Romney or the Party. Man that's rich.

On one hand he blames G.W. Bush and on the other he defends Bush disastrous terms with anecdotes that don't pass the smell test. If Michael Reagan had another last name he would not be in the same line of work. He's still exploiting the father he never really got along with. Just FYI...my stepson went to the same school (later decade) in Rolling Hills Ca. where the Reagan kids went. The kids were well thought of but Nancy and Ron were absentee parents and did not leave a good impression on the faculty. Maybe Michael should exploit his name...he didn't get much else.

Thursday, November 15, 2012 at 5:44 PM

Robinius in Broomfield, Colorado replied:

I'm not going to bother reading Gregory in Yakima anymore. He wastes the time of his readers and by doing so he disrespects them.

Thursday, November 15, 2012 at 11:46 PM

Craig in Cleveland, TN said:

I have to disagree. Goerge Bush has been attacked repeatedly by democrats for 12yrs. His campaigning would have hurt Romney more than his sitting out and being quiet. He is a lot more respectable for letting others have their time. He did his service and is keeping to himself. I would rather have that than a president who can't just simply accept that is time ended in 2001 and move on.

Thursday, November 15, 2012 at 9:51 PM

Robinius in Broomfield, Colorado said:

Did the GOP ask George W. Bush to do anything? How can you blame him if no one invited him to participate? I know the Dems blame GW. This is the first conservative to blame him that I have seen. Evidently the dems didn't do a good enough job of ripping him up so we've got to finish the job ourselves.

Thursday, November 15, 2012 at 11:41 PM

Jim G in Oklahoma said:

I think Mike Pence may very well be our man. He just won the governorship of Indiana, so we'll see how he performs there, but his performance in Congress was on point. And, I was certainly impressed with his Hillsdale College speech - printed here in a 2010 issue of Imprimus https://www.hillsdale.edu/news/imprimis/archive/issue.asp?year=2010&month=10

Friday, November 16, 2012 at 3:51 PM