I want to post on a subject already addressed well by Paul Rahe and try to keep this discussion going, as I do believe it's important.
Mark Levin, like some of the rest of us, has not been too happy about the vitriol from the right directed against Sarah Palin and he explained why in this Facebook post. In that post he cited the criticism of certain people, including Karl Rove, David Frum, and Peter Wehner, all of whom worked in some capacity for George W. Bush. Mark made this assertion, “Bush’s record, at best, is marginally conservative, and depending on the issue, worse. ... If necessary, and if challenged, I will take the time to lay out the case in all its particulars, as well as other non-conservative Bush policies and statements. No Republican president is perfect, of course, but certainly some are more perfect that others, if you will.”
Pete responded to Mark's challenge in Contentions and offered a side-by-side comparison of the relative conservatism of Reagan and Bush, issue by issue. Peter concludes, "Bush’s record, based on objective conservative yardsticks, stacks up quite well against Reagan’s."
Mark has since responded with this thorough Facebook post. Mark said, "Comparing Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush is like comparing Margaret Thatcher and John Major."
Many other conservatives have weighed in on the matter, obviously believing it relevant to the larger question of the proper direction the GOP should take today. Jeffrey Lord posted his view on the American Spectator blog. Terry Jeffrey weighed in at CNS News. Dan Riehl comments on it in his Riehl World View blog. And Hugh Hewitt says on his blog, "Two of the most serious thinkers on the right are Mark Levin and Pete Wehner. Both have served inside and outside of the highest levels of government and both are dedicated conservatives. Thus their ongoing exchange should be read closely and passed on to everyone concerned not just with the past of conservatism, but its future."
Peter Wehner is a brilliant, thoughtful and fine man and a good friend, and he has made his case about as well as I believe it can be made. But I think the overwhelming evidence is in my buddy Mark Levin's favor and he has made a compelling case. I doubt that many conservatives have any doubt that Reagan was easily more conservative than Bush, but Peter does a good job defending him.
At any rate, this debate is worth having, as is the debate over the ongoing assault from establishment conservatives on Sarah Palin.
I just thought if you were unaware of this debate --- and didn't see Paul Rahe's excellent post on it, you would be interested in reading about it, and possibly sharing your comments. By now Peter may have counter-responded. If so, I'll try to update with a link.
Update: Here's another interesting piece on the subject by Daniel Mitchell.