Karl Rove: Bush was right where it mattered

Another amazing analysis by Karl Rove from the Wall Street Journal 1-22-09. Below are the highlights.

…Mr. Bush was right about Iraq. The world is safer without Saddam Hussein in power. And the former president was right to change strategy and surge more U.S. troops.
A legion of critics (including President Barack Obama) claimed it couldn’t work. They were wrong. Iraq is now on the mend, the war is on the path to victory, al Qaeda has been dealt a humiliating defeat, and a democracy in the heart of the Arab world is emerging. The success of Mr. Bush’s surge made it possible for President Obama to warn terrorists on Tuesday “you cannot outlast us.”

Mr. Bush was right to establish a doctrine that holds those who harbor, train and support terrorists as responsible as the terrorists themselves. He was right to take the war on terror abroad instead of waiting until dangers fully materialize here at home. He was right to strengthen the military and intelligence and to create the new tools to monitor the communications of terrorists, freeze their assets, foil their plots, and kill and capture their operators…

Mr. Bush was right to be a unilateralist when it came to combating AIDS in Africa. While world leaders dithered, his President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief initiative brought lifesaving antiretroviral drugs to millions of Africans.

At home, Mr. Bush cut income taxes for every American who pays taxes. He also cut taxes on capital, investment and savings. The result was 52 months of growth and the strongest economy of any developed country.

Mr. Bush was right to match tax cuts with spending restraint. This is a source of dispute, especially among conservatives, but the record is there to see. Bill Clinton’s last budget increased domestic nonsecurity discretionary spending by 16%. Mr. Bush cut that to 6.2% growth in his first budget, 5.5% in his second, 4.3% in his third, 2.2% in his fourth, and then below inflation, on average, since. That isn’t the sum total of the fiscal record, of course –but it’s a key part of it.

He was right to have modernized Medicare with prescription drug benefits provided through competition, not delivered by government. The program is costing 40% less than projected because market forces dominate and people — not government — are making the decisions.

Mr. Bush was right to pass No Child Left Behind (NCLB), requiring states to set up tough accountability systems that measure every child’s progress at school. As a result, reading and math scores have risen more in the last five years since NCLB than in the prior 28 years.

He was right to stand for a culture of life. And he was right to appoint conservative judges who strictly interpret the Constitution.

And Mr. Bush, a man of core decency and integrity, was right not to reply in kind when Democratic leaders called him a liar and a loser. The price of trying to change the tone in Washington was to be often pummeled by lesser men. Few presidents had as many challenges arise during their eight years, had as many tough calls to make in such a partisan-charged environment, or had to act in the face of such hostile media and elite opinion….

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  • True Conservative

    Oh man, I’m sure I’ll get flamed for this, but this “analysis” is hilarious. Maybe it should be titled “Bush looks good on paper.”

    “Mr. Bush cut [nonsecurity discretionary spending]…” And all the money wasted with redundant Homeland Security BS? Would have been so much cheaper to bolster our existing defenses, but thank goodness we have a cabinet-level department in charge of making us take our shoes off. Rove has to qualify what cuts were made because he is unable to simply say that Bush cut discretionary spending. And I don’t care if it’s vital (it is); you can’t call yourself a conservative and judge your spending habits based on Bill Clinton’s.

    “As a result, reading and math scores have risen more in the last five years” Great — test scores are up, and our kids are dumber than ever. Here’s hoping that there’s a market for filling out multiple-choice exams in the new economy. This program pushed actual job training out of our schools, like auto shop and other trade courses. The next generation is going to have virtually no skilled laborers.

    Hwy, some of these items are dead-on, but in some places Mr. Rove is really reaching.

  • Scott Jorgensen

    Worst President Ever. Good riddance.

    • Josh Reynolds

      Maybe not quite worst ever, but good gawd enough already. Karl shut up and quit mentioning his name, it gives me a case of the boils.

  • dartagnan

    When has Turdblossom Rove ever been right about ANYTHING? He will go down in history as the enabler of The Worst President of All Time. Rove is a hemorrhoid on the butt of the body politic.

    • Josh Reynolds

      Actually Rove will go down as being the ultimate genious for getting this guy elected 4 times.

    • Rupert in Springfield

      Nice take on Paul Begalas comment in referring to Rahm Emanual as a cross between a hemmeroid and a toothach when BO named Rahm as COS.

  • dartagnan

    “At home, Mr. Bush cut income taxes for every American who pays taxes.”

    Then how come mine went UP every year of Bush’s presidency? This statement is a damn lie, which is not surprising seeing that it emanates from the mother-lode of lies, Karl Rove’s mouth.

    • Rupert in Springfield

      Ok, so if your taxes went up, and I am sure that it isn’t because your financial situation changed then are you now ready to say that the Democrats all lied about Bush’s tax cuts being responsible for part of the deficit?

      Cant have it both ways, tax cuts that supposedly never were, could not have contributed to the deficit as Democrats loved to claim.

      Since Obama seems set to continue the Bush tax cuts, I am quite sure we will hear you ranting about Obama being a liar in short order.

      Actually, since Obama ran on ending the Bush tax cuts and now says he isn’t going to, shouldn’t we be hearing you calling him Obama a liar right now?

    • dean

      Its because your taxable income increased. ALL tax rates as well as the rate at which you pay at, decreased dramatically. If you paid more in taxes, its because you made more money.

      In reality, I find it hard to believe a flat-liner like you actually made more money and therefore paid more in taxes. Its basic taxes 101. Just think how much money you would have made if you had even a slight bit of intellect. My guess is your get the Earned Income Tax credit…

      Oh wait, you must have looked at your Oregon form 40 or your Mult Co. ITAX. Then yes, you are right. The state and county did squeeze you for a higher tax liability. Your Fed rate decreased.

      Or maybe your tax preparer took you for a ride.

      • dean

        I…the real and true dean…did not write the above post. There is an imposter dean among us. Go figure.

        • Rupert in Springfield

          Ok, I was really wondering there. Dean not towing the party line? Impossible, Napoleon is always right!

          • dean

            Imagine how you will feel if another Rupert in Springfield shows up here. What are the odds?

      • Eddie

        It very well may have been higher state or local taxes.

        When assistance to states stops coming, the states are forced to choose between cutting services or raising their own taxes. This is the crux of the Bush tax cuts: Bush can say that he lowered your taxes, WHICH IS TRUE! (Mine were certainly lowered!) Then, of course, discretionary spending isn’t reined in and the states end up raising taxes or services raise fees (i.e: community college rates are what hit me) and at the end of the day, more money comes out of your wallet.

        And the Rove test of for some reason NOT counting discretionary spending related to security is bizarre… like that somehow doesn’t cost money if it’s security-related. Vital, yes… but it STILL costs money.

      • dartagnan

        “In reality, I find it hard to believe a flat-liner like you actually made more money and therefore paid more in taxes”

        You know an awful lot about me for somebody who knows absolutely nothing about me.

        “Oh wait, you must have looked at your Oregon form 40 or your Mult Co. ITAX.”

        I was talking about federal income tax, not Oregon income tax. And I don’t even live in Multnomah County. Since you know all about me, how come you didn’t know that?

        • dean

          You got me. I don’t know any more about you than what you originally put in this post. Maybe your Lars Larson. Maybe Sam Adams. And don’t get all bent out of shape dartagnan. i could not think of any other reason why you said you paid more in taxes (aside from a higher tax liability) because your federal tax rate went down. Just as it did for everybody. I had to dig deeper.

          Be thankful you don’t live in Mult. County.

          Eddie you are right too. When the Feds cut spending that was dedicated to States, then locally, they in turn raise pricing be it taxes, user fees, permits etc. College tuition increases is always going to happen so hang in there…

          That doesn’t even address the fact that we’ve lost our sovereignty in so many ways because we are held at gunpoint to pay discretionary dollars for Federal matching funds. Who wouldn’t take a $5b program and only have to pay $1b at the local level? Even though we as a state sent the $4b in to Washington in the first place. Because the Feds have us at gunpoint, our discretionary funds are squeezed.

          It would be nice to get rid of all of them and start over. My vote is for Dartagnan as he seems pretty fiery. Not sure of the root of his madness, or why is Federal taxes increased if his income was steady, but he has my vote…

          • Rupert in Springfield

            Dean – I see you aren’t going to defend your statement that Bush lied. I didn’t think you could. When asked for hard evidence that Bush lied, or anything to explain why he chose to act in a way totally inconsistent with a liar, liberals always, and I mean always, back down.

            At any rate, that’s fine, that was not actually my point.

            I have accused you a thousand times before of never thinking through your argument two steps ahead, and this is a classic example. I didn’t think you would see the trap.

            I will hold you to your judgment of Bush the next time someone smears you.

            You will note that I have never chimed in when someone, and there are many, have questioned certain tax aspects of whatever business you run. You say you run it honestly, I have no evidence to the contrary, and thus I accept such a thing on face value.

            However, I think its about time the same standard you apply to others be applied to you. If lots of people say it, based upon their impressions rather than any actual facts presented, its as good as true. Even if your behaviour is entirely inconsistent with being a tax cheat, as Bush’s behaviour is entirely inconsistent with lying about WMD’s that doesn’t matter, you did it and that’s it.

            With that in mind, you might want to think about your indignation when someone questions you. Or accuses you of running some tax scam.

            Odd, I seem to recall you asking for proof, not impressions, in that context, You seem to hold the burden of proof quite high when applied to you, yet when it comes to Bush you throw around far more serious charges with reckless abandon.

            I don’t care if you admit you are wrong to do so. We both know you are incapable of ever admitting you were wrong.

            Maybe you should stop your partisan BS for just one second and think about that.

            I doubt you will, liberals tend to be non introspective, dull witted. Judgmental of others, never of themselves.

            Get back to me would you? It would be nice to see you treat others as you would have them treat you.

            So let’s hear your clever answer. Lets hear why you feel any righteous indignation when someone accuses you of running a tax scam. Lets see if you can be the one liberal out there who can take it as well as dish it out. I doubt you can. I think you will fold, insisting somehow you have the right to accuse but not to be accused by the same standard by which you judge others.

          • dean

            Rupert…you are asking the wrong Dean to respond to your question. This is getting confusing. From now on I’ll use Dean A to help.

            I answered your question about Bush. He said the evidence showed there was “no doubt” that Saddam had WMDs and was in cahoots with al queda. That was either a lie or willful ignorance, since there clearly were doubts all around. You just don’t accept this interpretation from me. But there it is.

            Beyond that…the rest is a strange and incomprehensible rant. It actually does not sound like the real Rupert from Springfield, who usually writes more coherently. Is this an imposter Rupert responding to an imposter dean? What next?

  • Viggy

    karl rove. you are so biased it makes me sick