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Last night, Donald Trump held a large rally in Georgia. As RedState reported, he seemed to confirm a 2024 run while also plugging Stacey Abrams for governor, because of his personal vendetta against Brian Kemp. I’m not sure how fluffing crazed Democrats out of spite helps save the country, but I digress.
Liz Cheney apparently didn’t take too kindly to some of the things said and responded today with a snarky tweet aimed directly at Trump. And while this normally wouldn’t be newsworthy on its own, I have some thoughts about this kind of thinking among the GOP establishment.
You’ve probably noticed over the last month that some Republicans have rekindled their love affair with George W. Bush in response to the backlash he received for comments he made on 9/11. Of course, Bush’s comments were indeed dumb and played into a false leftist narrative that “domestic terrorists” are somehow equivalent to jihadists that killed 3,000 people. As the rule goes, if you ever want to compare something to 9/11, just don’t.
But to respond to Cheney, you know what I don’t like? I don’t like presidents who win a second term and are such absolute disasters that it pushes the entire country into a leftwing abyss that we still haven’t recovered from — and probably never truly will, if I’m being honest. Bush had every chance to be a unifying, successful president. In fact, no president in modern history had a better setup than he did following 9/11, a period in which social cohesion was as strong as it had been since World War II. He also didn’t have every bureaucracy in the government working to destroy him.
Yet, Bush threw it all away on badly managed wars, subpar economic policy, entitlement expansion, illegal immigration, and a naive, self-destructive view of decorum. Republicans of all stripes went to bat for the former president, but he never went to bat for himself, and he certainly never went to bat for the people who supported him. The idea that he’s some kind of ideal among the GOP is not just laughable, it’s insulting, and it shows how out of touch Cheney is.
Here’s the reality: For all the consternation over Donald Trump, there would not have been a President Trump without George W. Bush, because there wouldn’t have been a need for him. Heck, there wouldn’t have been a Barack Obama without him either. People like to point to Trump losing Congress while in office as evidence he was the low point for the GOP. Like Cheney did here, they brag that Bush won a second term as proof of his success. But the reality is that the effects of Bush’s failures went much deeper than the results of an election cycle or two. His incompetence fundamentally changed the core dynamics of the country in a way that we may never recover from.
To me, that’s far more important than arguments over mean tweets and leaked phone calls. Republicans are never going back to the Bush era, and we can all be thankful for that. For her part, Cheney’s tone-deafness is only digging her political grave deeper, and she deserves what’s coming.