Peggy Noonan: GOP Hasn't Grappled With Major Failures Of The Bush Era

What's that they say about blind squirrels again? Here's Nooners, talking about what ails the GOP this morning on "This Week."

1 year ago by David
up

What's that they say about blind squirrels again? Here's Nooners, talking about what ails the GOP this morning on "This Week."

NOONAN: You know, I tend to think that the go GOP's central problems have to do with things we don't talk all that much about. One is what happened in 2008 and the continuing repercussions of the crash. The repercussions where the party stands, what its positions are on how to create growth, that is becoming in part within the party, a rising disagreement -- not disagreement, but a rising difference of emphasis between those who are saying the way we have to go is growth right now and those who are saying we've got to handle this debt and deficit thing. They're sort of different approaches.

Another is that I think the Republican Party has to make clear what its foreign policy is. It has had two wars for the past 12 years, people are still settling in and thinking -- I mean, the voters have said, we don't like that. We're not for that.
The Republican Party has to make clear what it stands for and it's going to have to have a little bit of debate to get there.

So I think those two big things, and the policies that spring from them, will make all of the difference and so will an eventual compelling presidential candidate, somebody who is involved right now is going to work his way through. At the end of the day, it is the candidates who resolve a lot of unresolved things by taking a stand and speaking for forcefully for it.

Exactly right.

"Those two big things" -- the Iraq War and the Great Recession are indeed the two major reasons the Democratic Party swept into power 2006 and 2008, and they both loomed large in 2012. The problem for Republicans is they seem to be in complete denial about this. They're still insisting George W. Bush was a great president, that we "won" in Iraq, and that Barney Frank and irresponsible minorities caused the crash.

Do you ever hear Mitt Romney, Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio or Paul Ryan say the Iraq War or the radical financial deregulation of Wall Street were mistakes? No, you haven't. And as long as the official domestic policy of the Republican Party is tax cuts and deregulation and the party's official foreign policy is neoconservative, you won't.

Even if the Republicans decide to adopt less hateful policies towards immigration and gay marriage, they're still, at the end of the day, going to have to come to terms with the Bush administration. And that's something to date they've refused to do.

(h/t David of VideoCafe)

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