G. H.W. Bush took over in 1988 and junior followed closely in his daddy’s footsteps, talking conservative while electioneering but making a mockery of both fiscal and moral conservatism in practice.
Conservatives who actually paid more than lip service to the cause – Pat Buchanan is the best example – publicly excoriated both Bushes for their alleged apostasy, but were drowned out by sycophants for not being “team players.”
As the Bush train rushed towards the cliff, all those who saw the obvious consequences of dangerously unbalanced budgets, excessive bi-partisanship, an absence of moral leadership and unjustified seemingly endless war were mocked as prophets of doom. Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and other pseudo-conservatives always came up with a rationalization for every Bush action. The neo-conservatives now ran the show, and forcing democracy, an oxymoronic concept, on the rest of the world somehow became a “conservative” virtue.
Couple that with an economy whose foundation was and remains a very shaky paper mache of credit and you have an anything-is-possible scenario
This dangerous political vacuum was filled by Barrack Hussein Obama, who outspent John McCain four to one to finally put the no-longer-conservative GOP out of its self-inflicted misery. The fact that the supposed torchbearer John McCain’s personal first choice for V.P. was the ultra-liberal Democrat Joe Lieberman speaks volumes about how out of touch the leadership had drifted.
So, what now? From the bitter ashes of defeat, we can return to the back-bench behavior the GOP is truly best at: constant criticism of what the Democratic majority will now do, with a boy-things-would-be-so-much-better-if-we-were-in-charge self-righteousness that will of course ignore the reality of what-we-did-when-we-were-in-charge truth.
For Nevada, we should be in good shape for federal handouts now that Harry Reid is the clear majority leader. “Leader” and Harry Reid do not go together well; in truth, Reid is a masterful politician but certainly not a “let’s take the bull by the horns” ideologically driven type.
In the long run having Reid in charge will be a blessing in disguise. Talk is cheap, and now how they truly perform will be the real litmus test. To honor their promises they must balance our fiscal books, rescue Social Security and Medicare, pull us honorably out of Iraq, cut our defense budget, catch Osama Bin Laden, give tax breaks to somewhere between 50 and 95 percent of Americans, raise enough income from the other 5 percent to do it all, create enough new energy to replace coal and oil, rebuild the American auto industry, cut unemployment, raise wages, stop global warming, unionize our workforce, pay off homeowners’ mortgages, socialize health care without harming quality, solve the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, grant amnesty to illegals, restore our manufacturing base, return all those jobs lost overseas, spread the wealth without killing the goose, improve educational test scores and, while they’re at it, perhaps figure out a way to make Ira Hansen taller and put hair back on my head. And they have Harry Reid, Barry Obama and Nancy Pelosi there to lead the troops.
Hmmmm. Enjoy the euphoria while it lasts. Something tells me this will be a short honeymoon.
Ira Hansen is a lifelong resident of Sparks and owner of Ira Hansen and Sons Plumbing.