Ricochet Member Recommended FeedRecommended by R> Members

W vs. Trump: Who Is the Real “Conservative?”

 

There was a long discussion after a Harvard Lunch Club podcast called the “Never Trump Edition” in which the conversation veered into a place I found interesting. There is a notion now on many Ricochet threads that asserts that Donald Trump is the “most conservative president in the White House since Eisenhower.”

So @drlorentz asked this question: “What good did GWB do during his tenure besides being NotGore or NotKerry?” I think that question deserves some exploration.

George W. Bush was definitely not as conservative as Ronald Reagan, but it seems to me that people have forgotten some of the things that he did that were very, very, very conservative.

For example, as the healthcare debate continues with no resolution in sight, I would remind my fellow Ricochet members that Health Savings Accounts came into being during W’s tenure.

How did those work?

Younger people could buy high deductible insurance plans in the healthiest stages of life, while putting aside tax-deferred money in a special account to meet future healthcare needs.

What was the idea there?

Instead of being disconnected from the cost of going to a doctor because of a plan that required a $10 co-pay, these people paid more bills out of their HSAs. This added a free market element to healthcare, which is ultimately what conservatives — per my understanding of what those are — believe is necessary to fix our God awful healthcare mess.

How did HSAs work in the real world?

I will never forget my son breaking his arm while we had a high deductible and a Health Savings Account. When I got the bill, I thought it was ridiculous. I went to our doctor’s office manager to discuss this. I whipped out my HSA card and said I’d clear up the bill right then, but I was paying it all outright, and the bill was too high. Couldn’t we talk about the charges?

She smiled and said, “You’ll pay right now? You know what? It’s your lucky day. We’re having a fire sale on broken arms. How about a 20% discount?”

YES!

So under Bush I got an HSA and more control over my family’s healthcare, whereas Donald Trump calls cuts to Medicaid “mean.”

To be honest, I’m not truly sure what it is Trump likes or doesn’t like about the current proposals for healthcare reform apart from the idea that he wants to sign something, but Bush did help with a conservative initiative there.

One of the things that completely flummoxed me about Obamacare is that it limited HSAs. (Whyyy?) Those would have allowed young people to save for the big costs when they were older, which might have eventually allowed us to think about reforming Medicare.

Do you remember when Trump signed an executive order to end the Johnson Amendment? Do you also remember that this executive order—while applauded for being in the right spirit—was so weak that the ACLU decided not to challenge it?

Well, I remember George W. Bush’s Office of Faith Based and Community Initiatives, which allowed faith-based organizations to have access to federal funds. This is tied to the idea that religious organizations should not be discriminated against simply because the people who work within them wish to serve others because of their devotion to Jesus Christ. (The horror!) Isn’t that pretty conservative?

The first person Bush appointed to lead the OFBCI was none other than Don Willett, a judge who made Trump’s “short list” for the Supreme Court and is well known for how he uses Twitter to communicate with constituents. (I think Trump should take lessons from Don. That Willett feed is fabulous and a great example of how social media can be a positive workaround of the media without getting anyone in trouble.)

The ACLU bothered to sue over Bush’s program.

Speaking of the Supreme Court, one might recall that Bush appointed John Roberts and Samuel Alito.

I know, I know.

People have issues with the Roberts’ ruling on Obamacare, and these objections are principled objections for sure.

But Roberts has had an overall conservative approach to the law. His dissent on Obergefell is absolutely spot on. He is no Kennedy squish, that’s for sure.

Then there’s Samuel Alito. Goodness gracious. He’s almost in the Clarence Thomas camp, and Clarence Thomas? While a George H. W. Bush appointee, he is the most conservative judge on the Supreme Court.

So if Trump gets massive conservative cred for Gorsuch — as he should — we can’t forget Sam. Bush did that. And, uh, if Gore or Kerry had been elected? The court’s balance would look very different today.

Looking at entitlement reform, George W. Bush pushed to privatize Social Security. That was about conservative ideology. It didn’t happen, but Donald Trump has been clear on the fact that he won’t touch this program at all. I’m not sure how Trump gets “more conservative” points on that front.

For those of you who are now screaming about Medicare, I’ll say, yes. W had the Medicare expansion that got senior citizens free drugs. I’ll grant every day that bit of “compassionate conservatism” didn’t end up great, and Bush was horrible with restraining spending.

But isn’t the Medicare expansion kind of equivalent to pushing for more funds to combat opioid addiction? Or let me go a little further.

As an entitlement, how is Trump’s proposal to create paid parent leave ideologically different — or ultimately less expensive — than paying for some seniors’ drugs?

Per the reasoning behind W’s drugs and Trump’s babies, aren’t we kinda on the same “compassion” page when we get right down to it?

Then there’s foreign policy.

I don’t understand the complete amnesia people have about 9/11.

Did we as a people not want to lift W up on our shoulders and start weeping in gratitude when he stood atop the rubble of our buildings and put his arm around the fireman? When he took that megaphone within his own hand and spoke to all of us? Was that not W saying the United States is the greatest country on Earth, and we will not tolerate people attacking us?

Granted, during those years he made plenty of mistakes. I’m not denying this.

Perhaps he was sometimes too Wilsonesque with his speeches about spreading democracy around the world, but didn’t Reagan use some of the same sort of language?

On that front, I think some people say Trump is more conservative than Bush because his rhetoric is more about staying out of other countries. Trump is less neo-con, more paleo-con. (In general, I think that’s true.)

Yet these people go back to Eisenhower as the last “real conservative” before Trump, and I recall Ike meddled quite a bit in the affairs of other countries.

Do people mean something different?

So … Iraq again.

Wasn’t that a stable country when Bush left office? I mean, I kinda thought it was. Afghanistan? Not so much. Iraq?

George W. Bush took the advice of his commanders, which conservatives tend to think is a good thing to do, and pushed for the Surge, right?

Wasn’t it Obama who messed that whole thing up?

Then there’s North Korea.

Isn’t Donald Trump trying to work his way back to the same level of sanctions that Bush had?

Now, let me say, I love me some Mattis, but how is what Trump is doing that different from that which Bush did?

Some say Trump is “stronger” as people believe he’ll use force when necessary.

But people clearly thought Bush would use the military to do things. He did! People called him a “cowboy” in the press, which I always thought was funny because — well — who doesn’t like John Wayne?

So Bush made mistakes, but he also communicated strength.

By the way, George W. Bush was pretty popular as far as members of the military go. If anything, he’s become more popular with them because of how he has treated the men and women who have served. And, while Dan Rather may have derided Bush’s service, there is a bit of cachet in the fact that the man could pilot a plane. (As a sidenote, George H. W. Bush’s service cannot be derided at all, and I think that normally gets a bit of respect from conservatives.)

Then there was Iran.

Bush was pretty unequivocal about the Iranian regime being part of an axis of evil. Didn’t his policies help set up the Green Revolution, which — again — Obama squandered? (How is that Bush’s fault?)

Per Russia, after he got over gazing into eyes and thinking he knew “Putin’s heart” — Good Lord! — Bush had the sense to start lining up deals to increase our missile defense shield.

Isn’t that what Trump is doing now? Reviving what Bush had already done in Poland?

Look. I’m not trying to take away anything from Donald Trump in this post, but I don’t understand why so many people here sound like they work for the New York Times when talking about W.

Bush was more moderate than Reagan, more conservative than his father.

I’ll have to wait and see if Trump is “more conservative” than Bush. However, I think I’ve shown Bush was more than “Not Gore” or “Not Kerry” in ways that were more substantive than just being polite.

I hope I have anyway.

I’ve got a soft spot in my heart for W, and I don’t think his legacy in the pantheon of American presidents is anywhere close to being understood.

As for Trump?

He’s just started. We have a long way to go to understand the real impact of either of these men.

Published in Politics
This post was promoted to the Main Feed by a Ricochet Editor at the recommendation of Ricochet members. Like this post? Want to comment? Join Ricochet’s growing community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.

Members have made 195 comments.

  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. 4
  5. 5
  6. 6
  7. 7
  1. Profile photo of outlaws6688 Coolidge

    Amnesty. That is enough for me to discredit his conservative bonafides.

    • #1
    • July 15, 2017 at 10:59 am
    • Like4 likes
  2. Profile photo of Lois Lane Coolidge
    Lois Lane Post author

    outlaws6688 (View Comment):
    Tried to pass amnesty.

    Didn’t he end “catch and release” while upping border security and talking about the importance of the law?

    He did have a guest worker program initiative. Is that amnesty?

    I guess you can argue that, but immigration is one issue.

    Is the only thing that defines being “conservative” one’s stance on immigration?

    I guess per that prism I can see how Eisenhower was then the last “conservative” president because of Operation Wetback, which was done in cooperation with Mexico. However, if we are looking at mass deportations as the thing that defines a president as being “conservative,” we’d then have to say FDR was a “conservative” because homeboy rounded up quite a few Mexican immigrants AND Mexican-American citizens and deported them during the Great Depression.

    Was FDR a “conservative”?

    I’ve never heard anyone argue that position, so we either need more robust criteria than “immigration” to define conservatism, or we need a new word.

    • #2
    • July 15, 2017 at 11:13 am
    • Like8 likes
  3. Profile photo of Randy Weivoda Thatcher

    Lois Lane: Looking at entitlement reform, George W. Bush pushed to privatize Social Security.

    Actually, Bush was just proposing that people be allowed to designate a small portion of their Social Security withholding into their chosen private-market investments. I don’t remember the exact amount but it was like 5% or less, just to run the experiment and see how it worked. And it would have been an opt-in program, so people who trust the federal government more than Wall Street wouldn’t be affected at all. I thought it was a sound idea, but the press made it sound like Bush was going to take all of everyone’s Social Security money and turn it over to Wall Street villains to buy new yachts with.

    Lois Lane: For those of you who are now screaming about Medicare, I’ll say, yes. W had the Medicare expansion that got senior citizens free drugs. I’ll grant every day that bit of “compassionate conservatism” didn’t end up great, and Bush was horrible with restraining spending.

    Yeah, the runaway spending was my biggest disappointment with the Bush years. I totally expected it under Obama, but I naively expected better from a Republican administration.

    • #3
    • July 15, 2017 at 11:15 am
    • Like7 likes
  4. Profile photo of Hoyacon Member

    Bush was insufficiently confrontational. Trump may be too confrontational. That’s what I got.

    • #4
    • July 15, 2017 at 11:16 am
    • Like8 likes
  5. Profile photo of outlaws6688 Coolidge

    Lois Lane (View Comment):

    outlaws6688 (View Comment):
    Tried to pass amnesty.

    Didn’t he end “catch and release” while upping border security and talking about the importance of the law?

    He did have a guest worker program initiative. Is that amnesty?

    I guess you can argue that, but immigration is one issue.

    Is the only thing that defines being “conservative” one’s stance on immigration?

    I guess per that prism I can see how Eisenhower was then the last “conservative” president because of Operation Wetback, which was done in cooperation with Mexico. However, if we are looking at mass deportations as the thing that defines a president as being “conservative,” we’d then have to say FDR was a “conservative” because homeboy rounded up quite a few Mexican immigrants AND Mexican-American citizens and deported them during the Great Depression.

    Was FDR a “conservative”?

    I’ve never heard anyone argue that position, so we either need more robust criteria than “immigration” to define conservatism, or we need a new word.

    George Bush tried to grant amnesty to 12 million illegals with the immigration reform act of 2007 and color me skeptical that any enforcement from that bill would have taken place. Only 27% of the right really cares about immigration and I guess to the other 73%, it is conservative to reward those that break the law. I have said this many times, but to the 27% you cannot be conservative and try and pass amnesty.

    • #5
    • July 15, 2017 at 11:20 am
    • Like4 likes
  6. Profile photo of Lois Lane Coolidge
    Lois Lane Post author

    outlaws6688 (View Comment):

    Lois Lane (View Comment):

    outlaws6688 (View Comment):
    Tried to pass amnesty.

    Didn’t he end “catch and release” while upping border security and talking about the importance of the law?

    He did have a guest worker program initiative. Is that amnesty?

    I guess you can argue that, but immigration is one issue.

    Is the only thing that defines being “conservative” one’s stance on immigration?

    I guess per that prism I can see how Eisenhower was then the last “conservative” president because of Operation Wetback, which was done in cooperation with Mexico. However, if we are looking at mass deportations as the thing that defines a president as being “conservative,” we’d then have to say FDR was a “conservative” because homeboy rounded up quite a few Mexican immigrants AND Mexican-American citizens and deported them during the Great Depression.

    Was FDR a “conservative”?

    I’ve never heard anyone argue that position, so we either need more robust criteria than “immigration” to define conservatism, or we need a new word.

    George Bush tried to grant amnesty to 12 million illegals with the immigration reform act of 2007 and color me sceptical that any enforcement from that bill would have taken place. Only 27% of the right really cares about immigration and I guess to the other 73%, it is conservative to reward those that break the law. I have said this many times, but to the 27% you cannot be conservative and try and pass amnesty.

    Soooo… I’d have to go back and re-read the proposal, to be honest.

    I don’t think the Guest Worker Program in my mind was blanket amnesty then or now.

    But okay.

    If one issue alone is the way that people want to define what makes a leader “conservative,” then the term needs to change because I think it means a lot more to many other people using it.

    Also, if immigration alone indicates “conservatism”, you have to redefine a lot of folks like… FDR.

    Again, that dude was con-serve-a-tive if we only care about immigration.

    • #6
    • July 15, 2017 at 11:25 am
    • Like6 likes
  7. Profile photo of Lois Lane Coolidge
    Lois Lane Post author

    Hoyacon (View Comment):
    Bush was insufficiently confrontational. Trump may be too confrontational. That’s what I got.

    Yep. Bush’s record was that of a pacifist. 🙂

    I think the Trump=conservative thing comes down to immigration, but I think this is a bit narrow. (To me the term means more.)

    • #7
    • July 15, 2017 at 11:27 am
    • Like3 likes
  8. Profile photo of Lois Lane Coolidge
    Lois Lane Post author

    Randy Weivoda (View Comment):

    Lois Lane: Looking at entitlement reform, George W. Bush pushed to privatize Social Security.

    Actually, Bush was just proposing that people be allowed to designate a small portion of their Social Security withholding into their chosen private-market investments. I don’t remember the exact amount but it was like 5% or less, just to run the experiment and see how it worked. And it would have been an opt-in program, so people who trust the federal government more than Wall Street wouldn’t be affected at all. I thought it was a sound idea, but the press made it sound like Bush was going to take all of everyone’s Social Security money and turn it over to Wall Street villains to buy new yachts with.

    Lois Lane: For those of you who are now screaming about Medicare, I’ll say, yes. W had the Medicare expansion that got senior citizens free drugs. I’ll grant every day that bit of “compassionate conservatism” didn’t end up great, and Bush was horrible with restraining spending.

    Yeah, the runaway spending was my biggest disappointment with the Bush years. I totally expected it under Obama, but I naively expected better from a Republican administration.

    On the first point, he made a move. I give him credit for this, though you’re absolutely right. I don’t want to overstate the case.

    On the second point, totally fair. I’m with you there entirely. Bush spent too much money, and it wasn’t all about the wars overseas.

    • #8
    • July 15, 2017 at 11:29 am
    • Like3 likes
  9. Profile photo of outlaws6688 Coolidge

    Lois Lane (View Comment):

    outlaws6688 (View Comment):

    Lois Lane (View Comment):

    outlaws6688 (View Comment):
    Tried to pass amnesty.

    Didn’t he end “catch and release” while upping border security and talking about the importance of the law?

    He did have a guest worker program initiative. Is that amnesty?

    I guess you can argue that, but immigration is one issue.

    Is the only thing that defines being “conservative” one’s stance on immigration?

    I guess per that prism I can see how Eisenhower was then the last “conservative” president because of Operation Wetback, which was done in cooperation with Mexico. However, if we are looking at mass deportations as the thing that defines a president as being “conservative,” we’d then have to say FDR was a “conservative” because homeboy rounded up quite a few Mexican immigrants AND Mexican-American citizens and deported them during the Great Depression.

    Was FDR a “conservative”?

    I’ve never heard anyone argue that position, so we either need more robust criteria than “immigration” to define conservatism, or we need a new word.

    George Bush tried to grant amnesty to 12 million illegals with the immigration reform act of 2007 and color me sceptical that any enforcement from that bill would have taken place. Only 27% of the right really cares about immigration and I guess to the other 73%, it is conservative to reward those that break the law. I have said this many times, but to the 27% you cannot be conservative and try and pass amnesty.

    Soooo… I’d have to go back and re-read the proposal, to be honest.

    I don’t think the Guest Worker Program in my mind was blanket amnesty then or now.

    But okay.

    If one issue alone is the way that people want to define what makes a leader “conservative,” then the term needs to change because I think it means a lot more to many other people using it.

    Also, if immigration alone indicates “conservatism”, you have to redefine a lot of folks like… FDR.

    Again, that dude was con-serve-a-tive if we only care about immigration.

    I guess where I sit, immigration is the gateway issue. Meaning my support for anyone on the right is predicated first by this issue. If they pass, then I will evaluate the rest of the issues and decide accordingly, if they don’t, they will not get my support. Would I have voted for FDR because of immigration? He would have passed the first hurdle, but no I would not have voted for him because he was such a leftist on the rest. Thanks for the discussion.

    • #9
    • July 15, 2017 at 11:32 am
    • Like4 likes
  10. Profile photo of Quake Voter Thatcher

    Long overdue thoughtful conversation.

    First impressions: You are very fair, but are perhaps overstating the impact of one program (HSA) which had a very modest impact and another (faith initiatives) which was a bitter failure. A fuller picture of the Alito pick should concede that Bush’s first choice, Harriet Miers, was an embarrassment.

    And while we agree that Roberts has a sounder conservative framework than Kennedy, Roberts flinched and feared actually acting on those convictions while the squishy Kennedy was stalwart on central questions of federalism and powers of the state over individuals. Bitter but true.

    On the positive side, I think you overlooked Bush’s tax cuts, the reason God put Republicans on earth. They even provided a minor win ten years later when Obama was forced to extend them in large part.

    In fairness, drlorentz’s point about Bush was one minor point within a pretty masterful set of comments he shared over a couple of days (I on the other hand had a hammer and saw nothing but nails!).

    • #10
    • July 15, 2017 at 11:35 am
    • Like1 like
  11. Profile photo of Lois Lane Coolidge
    Lois Lane Post author

    outlaws6688 (View Comment):
    I guess where I sit, immigration is the gateway issue. Meaning my support for anyone on the right is predicated first by this issue. If they pass, then I will evaluate the rest of the issues and decide accordingly, if they don’t, they will not get my support. Would I have voted for FDR because of immigration? He would have passed the first hurdle, but no I would not have voted for him because he was such a leftist on the rest. Thanks for the discussion.

    Okay, @outlaws6688. I think that’s an honest description of where you sit, so thank you.

    I think things like the Supreme Court are as important as immigration, but I can respect your clarity.

    • #11
    • July 15, 2017 at 11:47 am
    • Like4 likes
  12. Profile photo of drlorentz Member

    Lois Lane: For example, as the healthcare debate continues with no resolution in sight, I would remind my fellow Ricochet members that Health Savings Accounts came into being during W’s tenure.

    More than cancelled by GWB’s promotion of Medicare D.

    Lois Lane: Speaking of the Supreme Court, one might recall that Bush appointed John Roberts and Samuel Alito.

    Fair enough, caveats about Justice Roberts aside.

    Lois Lane: George W. Bush pushed to privatize Social Security. That was about conservative ideology. It didn’t happen, but Donald Trump has been clear on the fact that he won’t touch this program at all. I’m not sure how Trump gets “more conservative” points on that front.

    Failure don’t count. Trump pushed for a wall, yet all we hear is how he has not done it yet. And that’s after a mere six months. GWB had eight years. Social Security reform is a loser issue. Trump is smarter than Bush in recognizing this. Anyway, the final result is the same: no reform. Bush had better intentions? The road to hell is paved with ’em.

    Lois Lane: Was that not GWB saying the United States is the greatest country on Earth, and we will not tolerate people attacking us?

    He made a good speech after 9/11. That’s talk, not policy, though still praiseworthy. Trump did a better job of it Poland.

    I’m not going to go down the line to address the remaining points. I concede that GWB did some good things along with the many bad things that were documented elsewhere. He is a nice man who means well. The purpose of my question was not rhetorical, to imply that he had no worthy achievements. On the contrary, the purpose was to elicit the list of his accomplishments to show just how few and weak they were after eight years in office, half of which were years that the Republicans also controlled both houses of Congress.

    The only reason that either president Bush even comes up in these discussions is that these individuals, while not especially conservative (for Republicans) were never subjected to attacks from within the ranks of conservatives to the degree that our current president is. Of course they were criticized, just not with the same venom.

    I put this difference down to two causes:

    1. The justified fear before the election that Trump would turn out to be a crypto-leftist (given his previous affiliations) or simply cave into the Left.
    2. Trump’s vulgarity.

    To the first point, it’s time to get over the fear, at least provisionally. Actions speak louder than words; so far the actions are mostly right (and Right). Give the benefit of the doubt based on the record so far. On the second, people may reasonably disagree. My view is that policy is far more important than tone and his checkered past. I don’t have to like the guy as long as he does the right things.

    • #12
    • July 15, 2017 at 11:47 am
    • Like12 likes
  13. Profile photo of Lois Lane Coolidge
    Lois Lane Post author

    Quake Voter (View Comment):
    Long overdue thoughtful conversation.

    First impressions: You are very fair, but are perhaps overstating the impact of one program (HSA) which had a very modest impact and another (faith initiatives) which was a bitter failure. A fuller picture of the Alito pick should concede that Bush’s first choice, Harriet Miers, was an embarrassment.

    And while we agree that Roberts has a sounder conservative framework than Kennedy, Roberts flinched and feared actually acting on those convictions while the squishy Kennedy was stalwart on central questions of federalism and powers of the state over individuals. Bitter but true.

    On the positive side, I think you overlooked Bush’s tax cuts, the reason God put Republicans on earth. They even provided a minor win ten years later when Obama was forced to extend them in large part.

    In fairness, drlorentz’s point about Bush was one minor point within a pretty masterful set of comments he shared over a couple of days (I on the other hand had a hammer and saw nothing but nails!).

    Thanks for reminding me about the tax cuts!!! I meant to put that in the main body but wrote the thing kind of off the top of my head…. Yeah. That was no small thing either. That was giant.

    Instead I guess I started with the HSA thing because Healthcare is forefront at the moment. I was also personally impacted by an HSA, saw the innovation as brilliant, and was thus a big fan.

    To criticize Bush’s first choice is totally fair. (I almost put her in the article.) But then I tried to stick more with what Bush ever did that was substantive…. Not just “Not Gore or Not Kerry.” I conceded the thing about Roberts, but he is far, far, far more “conservative” than anything Gore or Kerry would have put on the court. That would have changed the whole dynamic of 2016. People who wanted to “save” the court with Trump wouldn’t have had anything to “save.” And Alito. you can’t really fault him in the same way as Roberts. Alito’s as good as Gorsuch. I mean, goodness. Gorsuch clerked for Kennedy. While I think he’s awesome, at this stage of the game, everyone love, love, loved Roberts, too, right? (I also think Roberts thought the Obamacare fix would come politically. He miscalculated because politics should not have been part of his thinking….)

    As for @drlorentz having a longer context for many other points… I suppose I plucked out the one that I thought hadn’t been conversed to death.

    While it’s absolutely fair to criticize W–we should criticize every president when they make bad moves–I don’t think he’s treated very fairly in retrospect.

    • #13
    • July 15, 2017 at 11:56 am
    • Like2 likes
  14. Profile photo of Hoyacon Member

    Lois Lane (View Comment):

    Hoyacon (View Comment):
    Bush was insufficiently confrontational. Trump may be too confrontational. That’s what I got.

    Yep. Bush’s record was that of a pacifist. 🙂

    I think the Trump=conservative thing comes down to immigration, but I think this is a bit narrow. (To me the term means more.)

    Bush defended his agenda poorly. Whether that was Rove or not, I don’t know, but it’s probably the most notable non-policy aspect of his presidency.

    He also did not go out of his way to limit the size of government, and, in fact, was far from a cost-cutter (e.g., prescription drug benefit).

    Some of his more preferable stands identify him as a Republican, but it’s a leap to consider him a conservative.

    • #14
    • July 15, 2017 at 12:00 pm
    • Like7 likes
  15. Profile photo of drlorentz Member

    While I was writing my comment (slow writer), a bunch of comments were posted. Without referring to a specific one, let me clarify a point about immigration (illegal and legal, including refugees). There’s a case to be made (viz. Mark Steyn, John Derbyshire, a few Brits) that this is central because demographic changes will make all others issues moot. I’m not thoroughly convinced but it’s a point worthy of consideration.

    Say what you will about Trump but he sure threw the Overton Window wide open on immigration. All other Republicans were afraid to be called racists, bigots, Islamophobes, what have you. Of course, this counts for nothing among the open-borders crowd but I assume some anit-Trump are not in that camp.

    • #15
    • July 15, 2017 at 12:05 pm
    • Like8 likes
  16. Profile photo of drlorentz Member

    Lois Lane (View Comment):
    Not just “Not Gore or Not Kerry.” I conceded the thing about Roberts, but he is far, far, far more “conservative” than anything Gore or Kerry would have put on the court.

    Point of order. Those Court appointments fall firmly in the NotGore NotKerry category. I thought the purpose of your post was to answer my question.

    • #16
    • July 15, 2017 at 12:08 pm
    • LikeLike
  17. Profile photo of Lois Lane Coolidge
    Lois Lane Post author

    drlorentz (View Comment):
    The only reason that either president Bush even comes up in these discussions is that these individuals, while not especially conservative (for Republicans) were never subjected to attacks from within the ranks of conservatives to the degree that our current president is. Of course they were criticized, just not with the same venom.

    I put this difference down to two causes:

    1. The justified fear before the election that Trump would turn out to be a crypto-leftist (given his previous affiliations) or simply cave into the Left.
    2. Trump’s vulgarity.

    To the first point, it’s time to get over the fear, at least provisionally. Actions speak louder than words; so far the actions are mostly right (and Right). Give the benefit of the doubt based on the record so far. On the second, people may reasonably disagree. My view is that policy is far more important than tone and his checkered past. I don’t have to like the guy as long as he does the right things.

    First, you overstate how much Republicans “controlled” Congress during the Bush years, but okay, doc. I get it. You’re using W to make rhetorical points.

    This is kinda why I wanted to take that more seriously and look at W’s big record. As @quakevoter pointed out, I even forgot to include some really important things!

    So I guess my point is that I don’t think that Trump’s record is “more conservative” at the moment than W’s. It may end up being so. Sure! But he hasn’t been there long enough for me to know.

    As for substance versus style…

    Let’s talk about that one for just a second.

    I could make this into its own post, too, but I want to present an idea to you.

    The media cannot create policy, right? The media deals–often dishonestly–in rhetoric. The media loves inflamed rhetoric and often stirs the pot.

    Does the media impact the country?

    This really hit home for me with the ABC classification of ADF as a “hate group.” Talk about Fake News!!!!

    While you and I would probably not take ABC seriously–and ABC certainly can’t round up ADF lawyers and do something befitting “hate groups” to them–can we agree that lots of people take ABC seriously? A lot of people have no idea what this group even is?

    This means that rhetoric matters.

    I want Trump to use rhetoric that can be taken more seriously so that–in the longer run–he can do more conservative things without getting dismissed as having no credibility… like ABC.

    Is that fair?

    • #17
    • July 15, 2017 at 12:11 pm
    • LikeLike
  18. Profile photo of DocJay Member

    HSA’s weren’t allowed to pay my concierge retainer fees because of insurance industry lobbying to prevent private medicine outside their domain. They also had patients coming to me to give them fake bills to get their money out and if I didn’t lie for them I was an a-hole.

    Medicare part D and everything else medical associated with W was crony insider capitalism. He’s no conservative in my industry. His failures are part of the reason we got O care and our crash to single payer socialism.

    The writing was on the wall for failure in health care and W let special interests determine the courses of action.

    I don’t think Trump is a conservative person either but does some things with great/good end results.

    That doesn’t matter though to me. We will never see two things in the white house again( elected that is). One is a wear it on his sleeve religious person and the other is a staunch conservative. Our country has moved past those determinants as relevant.

    • #18
    • July 15, 2017 at 12:13 pm
    • Like7 likes
  19. Profile photo of outlaws6688 Coolidge

    Lois Lane (View Comment):

    drlorentz (View Comment):
    The only reason that either president Bush even comes up in these discussions is that these individuals, while not especially conservative (for Republicans) were never subjected to attacks from within the ranks of conservatives to the degree that our current president is. Of course they were criticized, just not with the same venom.

    I put this difference down to two causes:

    1. The justified fear before the election that Trump would turn out to be a crypto-leftist (given his previous affiliations) or simply cave into the Left.
    2. Trump’s vulgarity.

    To the first point, it’s time to get over the fear, at least provisionally. Actions speak louder than words; so far the actions are mostly right (and Right). Give the benefit of the doubt based on the record so far. On the second, people may reasonably disagree. My view is that policy is far more important than tone and his checkered past. I don’t have to like the guy as long as he does the right things.

    First, you overstate how much Republicans “controlled” Congress during the Bush years, but okay, doc. I get it. You’re using W to make rhetorical points.

    This is kinda why I wanted to take that more seriously and look at W’s big record. As @quakevoter pointed out, I even forgot to include some really important things!

    So I guess my point is that I don’t think that Trump’s record is “more conservative” at the moment than W’s. It may end up being so. Sure! But he hasn’t been there long enough for me to know.

    As for substance versus style…

    Let’s talk about that one for just a second.

    I could make this into its own post, too, but I want to present an idea to you.

    The media cannot create policy, right? The media deals–often dishonestly–in rhetoric. The media loves inflamed rhetoric and often stirs the pot.

    Does the media impact the country?

    This really hit home for me with the ABC classification of ADF as a “hate group.” Talk about Fake News!!!!

    While you and I would probably not take ABC seriously–and ABC certainly can’t round up ADF lawyers and do something befitting “hate groups” to them–can we agree that lots of people take ABC seriously? A lot of people have no idea what this group even is?

    This means that rhetoric matters.

    I want Trump to use rhetoric that can be taken more seriously so that–in the longer run–he can do more conservative things without getting dismissed as having no credibility… like ABC.

    Is that fair?

    As opposed to Bush just letting the media walk all over him?

    • #19
    • July 15, 2017 at 12:13 pm
    • Like2 likes
  20. Profile photo of Lois Lane Coolidge
    Lois Lane Post author

    Hoyacon (View Comment):
    Bush defended his agenda poorly. Whether that was Rove or not, I don’t know, but it’s probably the most notable non-policy aspect of his presidency.

    He also did not go out of his way to limit the size of government, and, in fact, was far from a cost-cutter (e.g., prescription drug benefit).

    Some of his more preferable stands identify him as a Republican, but it’s a leap to consider him a conservative.

    I won’t argue with the first. I agree. I wish he had been more assertive in his defense. I can’t say that look like how Donald Trump works, but I will say you are right here.

    Absolutely right about Number 2.

    I think that some of the things I point out are very conservative in nature. His tax cuts were also conservative, especially his approach to the death tax.

    I don’t see a lot that makes Trump more conservative anyway. At least not yet.

    Maybe he will be. I just think we aren’t giving W much credit for anything, which is unfair in my mind.

    • #20
    • July 15, 2017 at 12:14 pm
    • Like2 likes
  21. Profile photo of Umbra Fractus Coolidge

    Lois Lane:Then there’s Samuel Alito. Goodness gracious. He’s almost in the Clarence Thomas camp, and Clarence Thomas? While a Reagan appointee, he is the most conservative judge on the Supreme Court.

    Actually you can thank W’s father for Justice Thomas.

    • #21
    • July 15, 2017 at 12:16 pm
    • Like2 likes
  22. Profile photo of drlorentz Member

    Lois Lane (View Comment):
    First, you overstate how much Republicans “controlled” Congress during the Bush years, but okay, doc. I get it. You’re using W to make rhetorical points.

    Hold it right there, Ms. Lane. I stated a fact. Here’s the evidence. My statement was precise and correct.

    Please retract your comment.

    • #22
    • July 15, 2017 at 12:17 pm
    • Like1 like
  23. Profile photo of outlaws6688 Coolidge

    Lois Lane (View Comment):

    Hoyacon (View Comment):
    Bush defended his agenda poorly. Whether that was Rove or not, I don’t know, but it’s probably the most notable non-policy aspect of his presidency.

    He also did not go out of his way to limit the size of government, and, in fact, was far from a cost-cutter (e.g., prescription drug benefit).

    Some of his more preferable stands identify him as a Republican, but it’s a leap to consider him a conservative.

    I won’t argue with the first. I agree. I wish he had been more assertive in his defense. I can’t say that look like how Donald Trump works, but I will say you are right here.

    Absolutely right about Number 2.

    I think that some of the things I point out are very conservative in nature. His tax cuts were also conservative, especially his approach to the death tax.

    I don’t see a lot that makes Trump more conservative anyway. At least not yet.

    Maybe he will be. I just think we aren’t giving W much credit for anything, which is unfair in my mind.

    You are right that it is too early to judge Trump as a Conservative. We will have to wait and see although so far I don’t have many complaints. George Bush on the other hand, enacted too many leftist agendas, and for me they far outweigh the conservative actions he took.

    • #23
    • July 15, 2017 at 12:19 pm
    • Like3 likes
  24. Profile photo of drlorentz Member

    Lois Lane (View Comment):
    So I guess my point is that I don’t think that Trump’s record is “more conservative” at the moment than W’s.

    How about in the first six months? You are comparing eight years to six months: apples and oranges.

    • #24
    • July 15, 2017 at 12:19 pm
    • Like1 like
  25. Profile photo of Lois Lane Coolidge
    Lois Lane Post author

    DocJay (View Comment):
    HSA’s weren’t allowed to pay my concierge retainer fees because of insurance industry lobbying to prevent private medicine outside their domain. They also had patients coming to me to give them fake bills to get their money out and if I didn’t lie for them I was an a-hole.

    Medicare part D and everything else medical associated with W was crony insider capitalism. He’s no conservative in my industry. His failures are part of the reason we got O care and our crash to single payer socialism.

    The writing was on the wall for failure in health care and W let special interests determine the courses of action.

    I don’t think Trump is a conservative person either but does some things with great/good end results.

    That doesn’t matter though to me. We will never see two things in the white house again( elected that is). One is a wear it on his sleeve religious person and the other is a staunch conservative. Our country has moved past those determinants as relevant.

    That’s interesting about concierge fees, @docjay. Your patients who wanted you to lie sound like the a-holes in that scenario. I thought most concierge models divorced themselves from insurance entirely? I guess there are lots of models? All I can tell you is that HSAs helped me a lot, and I think they are conservative in nature.

    I don’t see Trump as very “conservative” either, which is why I don’t know what his legacy will be. I’m fine with him taking steps in good directions. I like good directions. It’s just… he’s often framed on Ricochet via the superlative “most conservative,” and I thought that was worth exploring.

    • #25
    • July 15, 2017 at 12:19 pm
    • Like1 like
  26. Profile photo of DocJay Member

    One of my patients was in the room when T Boone Pickens and W had a discussion about who was going to be the next Texas governor. Obviously Bush won the day. My patient, a very very smart man with pictures of him and most every president since Nixon on his wall, feels to this day you couldn’t have had two bigger morons talking policy than Pickens and Bush.

    Of the dozen people I know that have had to do business with Trump only a couple like him and most have disdain.

    I think you are comparing idiots Lois, neither of whom qualifies as a conservative.

    I’m still going to root for the current idiot to do something good just as I rooted for Bush.

    • #26
    • July 15, 2017 at 12:21 pm
    • Like6 likes
  27. Profile photo of outlaws6688 Coolidge

    Lois Lane (View Comment):

    DocJay (View Comment):
    HSA’s weren’t allowed to pay my concierge retainer fees because of insurance industry lobbying to prevent private medicine outside their domain. They also had patients coming to me to give them fake bills to get their money out and if I didn’t lie for them I was an a-hole.

    Medicare part D and everything else medical associated with W was crony insider capitalism. He’s no conservative in my industry. His failures are part of the reason we got O care and our crash to single payer socialism.

    The writing was on the wall for failure in health care and W let special interests determine the courses of action.

    I don’t think Trump is a conservative person either but does some things with great/good end results.

    That doesn’t matter though to me. We will never see two things in the white house again( elected that is). One is a wear it on his sleeve religious person and the other is a staunch conservative. Our country has moved past those determinants as relevant.

    That’s interesting about concierge fees, @docjay. Your patients who wanted you to lie sound like the a-holes in that scenario. I thought most concierge models divorced themselves from insurance entirely? I guess there are lots of models? All I can tell you is that HSAs helped me a lot, and I think they are conservative in nature.

    I don’t see Trump as very “conservative” either, which is why I don’t know what his legacy will be. I’m fine with him taking steps in good directions. I like good directions. It’s just… he’s often framed on Ricochet via the superlative “most conservative,” and I thought that was worth exploring.

    No he is framed on Ricochet as so far, he hasn’t enacted anything not Conservative.

    • #27
    • July 15, 2017 at 12:23 pm
    • LikeLike
  28. Profile photo of Lois Lane Coolidge
    Lois Lane Post author

    drlorentz (View Comment):

    Lois Lane (View Comment):
    First, you overstate how much Republicans “controlled” Congress during the Bush years, but okay, doc. I get it. You’re using W to make rhetorical points.

    Hold it right there, Ms. Lane. I stated a fact. Here’s the evidence. My statement was precise and correct.

    Please retract your comment.

    I meant that you “overstate your case” because, if you recall, that “majority” in the Senate was based on the VP. That’s not a very strong majority. It’s nothing like Obama’s situation when he first entered the White House. That’s all I meant.

    If you want me to say your statement was correct, 1000%. If you want me to say your statement was precise?

    I just think it’s a little more complicated per how our system works.

    Btw, Donald Trump has a little of the Bush issue now. Some of his detractors are a bit unfair to him when they think about the O years and say “Trump controls everything now so he should do as much.”

    Not all majorities are created equal.

    • #28
    • July 15, 2017 at 12:25 pm
    • Like1 like
  29. Profile photo of Lois Lane Coolidge
    Lois Lane Post author

    outlaws6688 (View Comment):

    Lois Lane (View Comment):

    Hoyacon (View Comment):
    Bush defended his agenda poorly. Whether that was Rove or not, I don’t know, but it’s probably the most notable non-policy aspect of his presidency.

    He also did not go out of his way to limit the size of government, and, in fact, was far from a cost-cutter (e.g., prescription drug benefit).

    Some of his more preferable stands identify him as a Republican, but it’s a leap to consider him a conservative.

    I won’t argue with the first. I agree. I wish he had been more assertive in his defense. I can’t say that look like how Donald Trump works, but I will say you are right here.

    Absolutely right about Number 2.

    I think that some of the things I point out are very conservative in nature. His tax cuts were also conservative, especially his approach to the death tax.

    I don’t see a lot that makes Trump more conservative anyway. At least not yet.

    Maybe he will be. I just think we aren’t giving W much credit for anything, which is unfair in my mind.

    You are right that it is too early to judge Trump as a Conservative. We will have to wait and see although so far I don’t have many complaints. George Bush on the other hand, enacted too many leftist agendas, and for me they far outweigh the conservative actions he took.

    See comment #24.

    • #29
    • July 15, 2017 at 12:26 pm
    • LikeLike
  30. Profile photo of DocJay Member

    Lois Lane (View Comment):

    DocJay (View Comment):
    HSA’s weren’t allowed to pay my concierge retainer fees because of insurance industry lobbying to prevent private medicine outside their domain. They also had patients coming to me to give them fake bills to get their money out and if I didn’t lie for them I was an a-hole.

    Medicare part D and everything else medical associated with W was crony insider capitalism. He’s no conservative in my industry. His failures are part of the reason we got O care and our crash to single payer socialism.

    The writing was on the wall for failure in health care and W let special interests determine the courses of action.

    I don’t think Trump is a conservative person either but does some things with great/good end results.

    That doesn’t matter though to me. We will never see two things in the white house again( elected that is). One is a wear it on his sleeve religious person and the other is a staunch conservative. Our country has moved past those determinants as relevant.

    That’s interesting about concierge fees, @docjay. Your patients who wanted you to lie sound like the a-holes in that scenario. I thought most concierge models divorced themselves from insurance entirely? I guess there are lots of models? All I can tell you is that HSAs helped me a lot, and I think they are conservative in nature.

    I don’t see Trump as very “conservative” either, which is why I don’t know what his legacy will be. I’m fine with him taking steps in good directions. I like good directions. It’s just… he’s often framed on Ricochet via the superlative “most conservative,” and I thought that was worth exploring.

    I expect in their mind they’re either trying to get under someone’s skin or maybe their metrics are quite different than yours.

    HSA’s could be made much better but yes they are conservative. It doesn’t matter though. The medical system pooch is screwed.

    • #30
    • July 15, 2017 at 12:26 pm
    • Like1 like
  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. 4
  5. 5
  6. 6
  7. 7