One lesson future GOP candidates for president should learn from George Bush's experience is that trying to be moderate and leaning to the center does nothing to moderate criticism from the Left. Bush's compassionate conservatism, high spending on education and the prescription drug plan should have endeared him to centrists but it did not. All it did was depress his core Republican constituency and prevent them from rallying to his defense. The way an American president has his approval ratings fall into the 30s is not by antagonizing the other party alone, but by losing both independents and also the enthusiasm of his own supporters. There is no way for a Republican ever to succeed as a centrist because the Democratic Party has become so extremely leftist.
The hypocrisy of the Left in giving tacit approval to Obama after savaging Bush is highlighted in this column in Politico by Joe Scarborough entitled: "The hypocrisy of the left."
I love it - comparing Code Pink to Jim and Tammy Faye. Perfect!
Self-righteousness is a dangerous vice. It breeds arrogance and moral blind spots for those who come to believe they are superior to those who share different worldviews.
Televangelists have fallen prey to this feeling of superiority, until the time they are caught crawling on the ground outside a hooker’s hotel room. Politicians have also wallowed in the grandiosity of their moralistic worldview, until they too fall prey to the hypocrisy that eventually snags all self-righteous moralizers.For a decade now, we have been told of George W. Bush’s and Dick Cheney’s moral failings. They have been regularly compared to Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin, Benito Mussolini and every other tyrant of the past century. Bush has been damned by the ministers of the far left as a war criminal, a fascist and a Nazi when labeling his policies as overly ideological and deeply flawed would have sufficed.
But that was never enough for the carnival barkers on cable news or the blogosphere. For the American left, Bush had to be condemned as an immoral beast who killed women and children to get his bloody hands on Iraqi oil.
That extremism required that the Bush years be filled with images of CODEPINK protesting on Capitol Hill, anti-war activists clogging the streets of New York City and left-wing commentators beating their chests with the self-righteous indignation of Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker.
But in the morally murky afterglow of the Obama years, the certainty of these secular saints has melted away.
President Barack Obama bowed to his generals’ demands by tripling troops in an unending war. CODEPINK did nothing.
Obama backed down on Guantanamo Bay. Anti-war protesters stayed at home.
America invaded its third Muslim country in a decade. The American left meekly went along. Without the slightest hint of irony, liberals defended the president’s indefensible position by returning again to a pose of moral certainty.
Democrats streamed to the floors of the House and Senate to praise the president for invading Libya. It was, after all, a moral mission that would stop the slaughter of innocent civilians. Whether protesting for peace or calling for war, these liberals once again convinced themselves of the moral superiority of their positions.
In the second part of the column Scarborough compares the invasion of Iraq to the bombing of Lybia. Iraq was far more justified, far more beneficial to the entire Middle East and far more well-considered. Even if the execution was not perfect, the general goal was clear and the purpose was far more noble. Scarborough writes:
How can the left call for the ouster of Muammar Qadhafi for the sin of killing hundreds of Libyans when it opposed the war waged against Saddam Hussein? During Saddam’s two decades in Iraq, he killed more Muslims than anyone in history and used chemical weapons against his own people and neighboring states.
With the help of his equally despicable sons, Uday and Qusay, Saddam devastated Iraq, terrorized his people and destroyed that country’s environment. By the time American troops deposed him in 2003, Saddam had killed at least 300,000 of his own people — and human rights groups say that tally does not even include the million-plus casualties his invasion of Iran caused.No, George W. Bush was not perfect. But he was not Hitler either. I think an awful lot of Americans felt safer when he was in the White House than they do now. I know that as a Canadian I think the world is a more dangerous place with the current occupant of the White House. The Left does not recognize that and by not recognizing it they are demonstrating that they are hypocritical and their criticism of Bush should be dismissed as partisanship and sophistry.