The problem with politics

One of the problems in politics is that people feel free to say whatever is politically expedient at the moment.

Tom Pauken is a good example. In a series of articles (promoting his new book) in the Texas Tribune, Pauken takes aim at George W. Bush. Pauken whines that “George W. Bush Was No Ronald Reagan,” complains about being “Bamboozled by the Establishment,” and rails against “Big Government Conservatism.”

Arrogance is easy. I cut back on exercising it so generously from behind the classroom podium over a decade ago. I accepted that it’s easy to pretend to be smarter than the president if you are sniping from the wings. A little modesty doesn’t hurt and it’s easy to rail against a president when you know that you’re of so little consequence that you’ll never see you ideas turn into action. There’s always room in America for criticism. However, some is so self serving and pitiful that it shouldn’t pass without comment.

Like many Americans, I’ve grown weary of those people who loudly proclaim that it’s completely unacceptable when the president’s agreement with them is anything less than complete and enthusiastic. Most us have outgrown throwing a tantrum if we don’t get exactly what we want. Quit the constant crying. Our constitutional arrangement requires compromises. If anything, the fact that Pauken doesn’t understand that Reagan made compromises is telling.

The fact of the matter is the approval for George W. Bush was high among Republicans until the economy started down.  Approval for Bush among Republicans generally stayed above 80% into his second term. Anyone interested in looking at this data can Gallup’s Presidential Job Approval Center. Most Republicans were happy–then. The complaints are more common now that it’s politically convenient.

Anyone wanting to see an intelligent comparison of George W. Bush and Ronald Reagan can read an excellent book, Reagan’s Disciple: George W. Bush’s Troubled Quest for a Presidential Legacy, by Lou and Carl Cannon. Lou Cannon is author of Governor Reagan His Rise To Power and President Reagan The Role Of A Lifetime. Lou Cannon was a reporter in California who followed Reagan to DC. His son Carl also went into journalism and has done some excellent writing for National Journal, Readers Digest, and a variety of other newspapers and magazines. Carl has authored or co-authored several books including Boy Genius: Karl Rove, the Architect of George W. Bush’s Remarkable Political Triumphs and The Pursuit of Happiness in Times of War. Together, these two authors bring together decades of research and experience.

Or, you could read the self-serving crap dished up by Pauken.

Personally, I think Bush deserves better (his father deserves even better).


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