Please! No More Bush Presidents

Jeb Bush is considering running for President in 2016. Please spare us. It’s just what the Republicans need. The second Bush barely eked out his 2000 and 2004 wins. It was his policies that created the Obama refrain, “It was Bush’s fault.” And much of it was, although the fault was created long before either Bush got into office. The media will have a field day.

What does Jeb Bush have to offer? He does speak Spanish.

Last month, Jeb Bush said that he would govern like Lyndon Johnson if he were ever elected as President. It would be worse than a Mormon from Massachusetts. I can see the conservative opposition now:

“Jeb Bush said that he will govern like Lyndon Johnson. You remember President Johnson. As Ronald Reagan said, Johnson’s Great Society started a war on poverty, and ‘poverty won.’”

Johnson was a smooth-talking bully. He was the guy who helped pass a law that prohibited churches from speaking out on politics. In addition to his expansion of the federal government, his policies ended up creating a multi-generational poverty class. The once-intact black family has been fragmented and made dependent on the government creating a perpetual voting class.

Tony Lee explained the nature of Jeb Bush’s fascination with President Lyndon Johnson’s governing style:

“He vowed to approach the presidency as ‘master of the Senate,’ as biographer Robert Caro described Johnson.

“‘He went and he cajoled, he begged, he threatened, he loved, he hugged, he did what leaders do, which is they personally get engaged to make something happen,’ Bush said of Johnson. Bush cited Caro’s latest book about Johnson, The Passage of Power, which covers the first part of Johnson’s presidency.”

I would rather he had mentioned Ronald Reagan’s governing style, especially how he took his policy initiatives directly to the people. Reagan didn’t try to smooth talk the Senate. The Democrats hated him and his policies. Reagan told the truth to the people who put him into office. The pressure of the people forced the Senate to act.

The shining and long-term effect of Reagan’s legacy was his stand for truth in the face of opposition from members of his own staff. “Truth before friendship,” as the saying goes.

It was under Reagan that the former Soviet Union began its slide toward collapse without a shot being fired. I’ll take Reagan’s methods any day rather than cajoling and begging the opposition.

It was Reagan’s foreign policy “experts” who wanted him to be more “loving” toward the leader of the Soviet Union. They were the same people who wanted Reagan to remove the line “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!” from his speech at the Brandenburg Gate near the Berlin Wall on June 12, 1987.

Here’s the important part of the story. Even Reagan’s administration officials wanted him to cut the line from his speech because they believed it to be an “outright affront to the Soviet leadership.” Here’s what Peter Robinson, Reagan’s speech writer, says happened:

“[T]he speech was circulated to the State Department and the National Security Council. Both attempted to squelch it. The assistant secretary of state for Eastern European affairs challenged the speech by telephone. A senior member of the National Security Council staff protested the speech in memoranda. The ranking American diplomat in Berlin objected to the speech by cable. The draft was naive, it would raise false hopes. It was clumsy, it was needlessly provocative. State and the NSC submitted their own alternate drafts — my journal records that there were no fewer than seven, including one written by the diplomat in Berlin. In each, the call to tear down the wall was missing.

The Berlin Wall came down, East and West Berlin reunited, and the Soviet Union collapsed. The Eastern Bloc nations regained their sovereignty and borders.

We need another Reagan, not another Lyndon Baines Johnson. Mr. Bush, please spare us another electoral disaster.