Former Florida Governor, Jeb Bush, has stated that Ronald Reagan and his father George H. W. Bush would have a difficult time finding a place in today’s Republican Party. Jeb Bush believes that the modern day Republican Party has become ultra-partisan, unwilling to compromise. Even “Reagan would be criticized for doing the things that he did.” After all, as Jeb Bush points out, Reagan agreed to raise taxes numerous times in exchange for spending cuts. As such, Bush argues that Republicans ought to agree to a 10 to 1 ration of spending cuts to tax increases. But, history shows Congress will never agree to spending cuts.
Not only do Bush’s comments repeat Obama’s campaign lies, he fails to identify important historical differences between Reagan’s America and the circumstances Republicans are facing in today’s Obama-nation. During the 1980’s, the nation’s credit score had not been lowered. Congress was not refusing to pass a budget. The national debt was not larger than GDP. Religious liberties were not under assault and the Constitution was not being trampled.
How do Republicans find common ground when Democrats draft a healthcare bill behind closed doors? How do Republicans find common ground when Democrats refuse to pass a budget? How do Republicans find common ground with Obama who runs an annual deficit of 1.1 trillion dollars and considers himself fiscally conservative? How do Republicans find common ground with a President who believes the private sector is doing fine and therefore is not even on the same planet as the rest of us?
Under these circumstances, compromise equates to retreat. After all, if you are on a train which is careening towards a cliff, you don’t compromise with the deranged engineer as he feverously shovels more coal into the boilers, putting on steam. You pull the break and bring things to a screeching halt. If Jeb Bush laments such self-preserving behavior, he has already gone over a cliff of his own.