I’ve admitted President George H. W. Bush wasn’t one of my favorites, although I respected his military service. He failed me on a major issue—he raised our taxes. I never got over it.
President Bill Clinton raised them too, but he’s a Democrat. I have come to expect that sort of thing from his party. They don’t call it ‘Tax and Spend’ for nothing.
Bush 41 talked to Parade, the thin supplement tucked in some Sunday newspapers. Parade usually has some celebrity trivia, a recipe or two, weight loss info and like that. The former president made some remarks that constitute a statement about the Old Guard GOP.
First off he slammed anti-tax conservatives. Big spending Republicans don’t care so much for fiscons. For one thing we raise bloody hell about taxes and those big spenders will slide a tax in through the side door to feed their habit. Example: the recent tax on roll-your-own-cigarette shops—mostly mom and pop concerns that certainly don’t need a tax increase. They put that one in the transportation bill. Not good.
Whoever did the interview made a bizarre statement and Bush responded:
During your presidency you gave in on your “no new taxes” pledge. You’ve been vindicated in many respects for that decision. I wonder how you view the “no new tax” pledge from Grover Norquist that seems to be requisite for GOP political candidates.
GEORGE H. W. BUSH: The rigidity of those pledges is something I don’t like. The circumstances change and you can’t be wedded to some formula by Grover Norquist. It’s—who the hell is Grover Norquist, anyway?
With all due respect, there are two major errors here.
One: No, there has been no vindication. That tax increase didn’t make even one tiny little dent in our deficit—Congress just spent more. The increase was a violation of a commitment made to voters—a verbal contract. “Read my lips: No new taxes.”
Former First Lady Barbara Bush also weighed in. I chuckled when I read what she said, realizing Clinton still has that Southern charm that resonates with women. Mrs. Bush said:
[H]e never said a mean word about anyone. “[My] brother by another mother,” the boys call him. But he’s very nice—I think he thinks of George as the father he never had. Truthfully. I mean that as a compliment.He’s been very thoughtful about calling and he’s a good fellow.
Those two exchanges make a remarkable statement about our political system in general, as well as the Old Guard of our Republican Party.
Hat tip to Newsbusters for the report on Bush’s interview with Parade.
(Commentary by Kay B. Day/July 13, 2012)