Kevin Baker, responding to someone questioning the seemingly spontaneous nature of the Tea Party Movment, in the comments over at Uncle’s:
Thatâ€™s easy: Bushâ€™s â€œBailoutâ€ of $700 billion in TARP funds, followed by Obamaâ€™s â€œBailout Expansionâ€ of something on the order of an addition a trillion, with more to come. The demands that come along with this money, whether it goes to banks, auto manufacturers or state treasuries, looks like the Federal government essentially seizing control of anything and everything.
All this happened FAST.
And our normally somnolent population finally woke the hell up.
I sure hope he’s right, but suspect he is.Â For those of us who believed in smaller and less intrusive government, we suffered through an abusive relationship with the Bush Administration for eight years.Â Obama was just the straw that broke the camel’s back.Â This is not the change we were looking for.
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Actually, a lot of the willingness to tolerate Bush’s spending spree had one simple reason: gun rights.
Ironically, Bush wasn’t really that pro-gun; he supported (weakly) the AWB, and he screwed us on the implementation of armed pilots.
However, Clinton and Gore had made gun control the centerpiece of their administration strategy, and had pursued it even after the disastrous 1994 election. They supported just about every extreme gun control bill that went through Congress, and even tried to sue gun manufacturers in order to get their agenda through the court system.
They created such a huge backlash, in fact, that the gun rights movement ended up far more powerful than before. That, combined with the underlying reluctance of voters to restrict the rights of their fellow citizens, led to major gains by the 2A movement in the ’00s. Although Bush wasn’t a strong gun rights supporter, he did not, like Clinton, make gun control an emphasis of his administration, so the “strong horse,” the 2A side, carried the day.
Because gun rights were advancing with either the tacit support or at least the benevolent neutrality of the Bush administration, many conservatives tended to think of his big-spending ways as no more than a somewhat embarrassing idiosyncrasy, and were happy to accept the gains on the issue that had seemed lost as recently as 1999.
Of course, the stock market crash in 2008, and the bank and auto bailouts, put things in a new light. It was hard to get exercised by ten billion here and ten billion there…but a trillion dollars is real money!
I have to agree with Ken to the extent that I as a conservative tolerated (for lack of a better term) President Bush’s overly zealous spending habits because he was good on guns (compared to the previous occupant of 1600 Penn. Ave) and he took steps to keep this country safe from a second terrorist attack for seven years. I did not agree with President Bush on issues like illegal immigration and spending but those took a back seat to the ones that really mattered to me at the time.
Now, we have a president that opposes the individual right to keep and bear arms, is likely to find common ground with the Mexican President during his trip this week to try and shove illegal immigration down our throats again, and a guy who knows no boundaries in spending taxpayer money. In short, he has no redeeming public policy qualities as far as I am concerned. For me, the camel’s back was broken on November 5th.
“I’ve abandoned free-market principles to save the free-market system,” Bush told CNN television
That might have helped to kickstart things as well.
I think Ken has hit the nail on the head. If it wasn’t for Gun Rights, I wouldn’t have voted in my first election in 2000, which was where my interest in politics started at. If John Kerry had been pro-gun or even neutral on the subject, he probably would have won in 2004.
I was booing Bush as loud as anyone 2006-2008, and if he had been able to run again and was foolish enough to run, he would have lost my vote. I think he was just showing his true colors at that point, or perhaps he’d just been beaten down so badly by the Leftists that he gave in to torture and signed their confession. But just because Bush did it does not mean that Republicans, Libertarians, and Conservatives supported him when he did it. Bush was not Regan and even Regan made mistakes.
It’ll be interesting to see if we’re able to work within the system and vote in ‘better’ people next year.
My faith in both parties is low. As a one issue voter, if given a choice after my one issue is satisfied, I won’t first look for a D or R after the candidate’s name.
How does a fiscal Conservative, social Liberal person vote?
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