Trev never wanted Bush.
George W. Bush that is. If I had been old enough in the 80s I would have wanted George H.W. Bush even less. And in the 50s Sen. Prescott Bush, *even* less. So I guess you could say my estimation of the Bushes improves as younger Bush men move up the ranks. Jeb's even better than Dubya...though not as good as he used to be.
Naturally there are enough Bushes for me to have crushes on a couple of 'em. This one is more for old time's sake. For this one my crush derives maybe 90% from this story and his mugshot.
And squishy as Dubya himself may have been on federal spending and government intervention in education, health care, and free speech (not to mention pushing democracy on reluctant third-worlders instead of righteous annihilation), he was ALL MAN here and even here.
While Trev is as fascinated by the Bush dynasty as anyone, and recognizes that they are as a clan both more politically successful and generally way better looking than the Kennedys, I am not now, nor have I ever been a "Bushie." I never campaigned or worked for Dubya, although he somehow wrangled my grudging, halfhearted vote twice.
So it could only have been through a serendipitous turn of events that Trev found himself knee-deep in Bushie gossip over adult beverages last night - my very own Bushie Beer Summit!
I shall spare identifying details (of course!), but here is what I gleaned...
On the Bush White House and its aftermath:
By the second term, Dubya was easily incensed at suggestions that Vice President Cheney was the real decision-maker in the White House. Sounds like by that point a good way to get the President agree to something was to point out Cheney was for the opposite. Of course this usually involved Cheney wanting to do the more politically *conservative* thing.
The picture I got last night confirmed what I have read about conservative Matt Latimer's disappointing experience as a Bush speech writer. Remember - Bush: "I redefined the Republican Party."
That's right, he did do some redefining and we saw the full effect of Dubya's redefinition of the Republican Party in 2006 and 2008. The ultimate result came earlier this year when the overwhelming Democrat majorities in Congress, including a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate, abolished America's health care system.
Thanks for all the redefining, President Bush!
Incidentally, a Latimer column out just yesterday confirms - from the Cheney perspective - the consensus among Bushie Beer Summit participants that the former Veep was not much of an inside player in the Bush White House. No one seems to think Dubya at all approves of Cheney attacking the new president who Bush says, "deserves [Bush's] silence."
In fact, the supposition among these Bushies was that Cheney backed down because his criticism were proving ineffective. I don't think I agree with that. Cheney has after all gone through another major surgery on his heart this past year.
Parties out of presidential power tend to go non-interventionist in the wilderness. My suspicion is that public figures like Cheney, former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton, and former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton's mustache have helped keep a chunk of Republican voters and Republican-leaning independents committed to strong defense and victory over Islamofascism. Of course the Ft. Hood shooter, failed Christmas Day "crotch-bomber," and failed Times Square bomber have also helped keep this set of issues on the front burner for conservatives.
On the Obama White House:
According to Bushie Beer Summit participants, the Obama Administration West Wing and EEOB are chock full of do-nothing, patronage job-holding lazy ex-activists. Maybe not at the David Axelrod or Valerie Jarrett level, but the bulk of White House staff.
The upshot of White House staff slothfulness and having way too many of them is they work in an echo chamber preoccupied by their own internal rivalries. They neglect their former colleagues in the "Professional Left" until it's time to give them orders.
A lot of folks who didn't get into the Administration helped get Obama elected, and rather than collaborate with them, the Administration regards them as mere foot soldiers. So that insight provided me with some background on recent hippie-punching charges by Leftists and scolding from Vice President Biden.
On the shear size of the Obama White House staff, I haven't seen much out there on that to be honest, except for this dust-up over comparing Laura Bush and Michelle Obama's respective taxpayer-funded entourages. But I think it would be a good idea for someone to compare the size of Obama's White House staff versus George W. Bush's.
The idea that Obama's Administration is teaming with unaccountable White House policy czars, though, is clearly embedded in today's political environment. Criticism of the czar model will only grow more prominent when (at least) a likely new Republican House of Representatives dusts off the concept of Congressional oversight. Most operatives I talk to - including Bushie Beer Summit participants - expect Obama to abandon a legislative strategy for implementing "Change" and turn exclusively to Executive Branch regulatory efforts.
(h/t Phil Kerpen)
So it was an interesting contrast for Trev to be around such insidery folk after 20 months reveling in the Tea Party revival. Constitutional conservatives need allies in the ruling class if we want to make any kind of difference with the new majority (majorities?) coming in next year. We need hacks and bureaucratic knife-fighter types and in some states and districts we do need whoever's electable who will play ball.
I just don't want these people to start thinking they are back in charge. We saw what they did with the Republican Party and the legacy of 1980 and 1994 when they held power. Every American will be paying for their capitulations to Progressivism for decades to come.
Now, how about we re-redefine the Republican Party on November 2nd AND give Pelosi, Reid, and Obama what they've got coming to 'em!