The George H.W. Bush promise that changed the Republican Party


Presidents give hundreds of speeches. But, for better or worse, we tend to remember a few one-liners. There you go again. I did not have sexual relations with that woman. Major combat operations in Iraq have ended. You know if I had a son, he’d look like Trayvon. For President George H.W. Bush it’s: Read my lips. No new taxes. And the thing about that line is
it’s about so much more than taxes. It’s about the battle for the soul of the Republican Party. A battle that Bush lost. And a battle whose repercussions we’re still living with. Tonight accepting the nomination for president of the United
States – portraying himself during the course of his speech as the guy next door. With your values of hard work, family, sensitive about greed, sensitive about the homeless, sensitive about the need to do better
for women economically, but tough-on-crime, for guns, against taxes, for the environment. He was presiding over a split party. George Bush represented one wing of the party, which was this sort of northeast, patrician, some call it country club
Republican party. These Republicans were wealthy, educated at prestigious universities, and often fairly moderate when it came to economic issues like budgets and taxes – and on social issues like abortion and gay rights. That had certain characteristics that were very different from the Reagan wing. Spurred by the anti-war movement, the legalization of abortion, and the civil rights movement, groups with more conservative beliefs
on race, gender, and culture rallied behind Reagan. All of these come together in a new coalition called the Reagan coalition. George Bush isn’t the one who pulled them together. George Bush was considered a counterfeit conservative by many Reaganites. They didn’t trust him quite frankly. Bush tried to seem less elite, less country
club. He used to talk about how much he liked eating pork rinds. He needed to push a little bit to be culturally acceptable. It wasn’t just the cultural stuff. Bush’s type of economic conservatism differed from his predecessor as well. While Bush focused on pragmatism – balancing budgets without increases to spending. Reagan had a different plan. It was called supply-side economics. That you could slash the amount of money that the federal government got in tax revenue, while at the same time spending more money on the military. This appealed to a larger base of middle-class voters and small and big business owners, and it was a great idea in theory. Well it didn’t – it just didn’t work out that way. Indeed the United States started getting these huge budget deficits. What was George was supposed to do? He never believed in Ronald Reagan’s approach to economics. Voodoo economic policy! It just isn’t going to work. Reagan’s trickle-down economics meant Bush inherited a massive budget deficit from Reagan. Which is why, even though he said, “Read my lips no new taxes.” He had no other alternatives. The handwriting is on the wall for George H.W. Bush as president the United States. He realizes that he is not going to be able to keep that ‘No new taxes’ pledge. I did it because I thought it was right.
And I made a mistake. He recognized he had to put country over
party. Democrats controlled the House and Senate, so Bush teamed up with them to pass a bill to fix the deficit by raising the top tax rate on the wealthy. He had very little support on his own side of the political aisle. His willingness to create a “gentler, kinder nation” did not sit well with right-wing Republicans. Bush’s presidency was characterized by his ability to build bridges and make bipartisan deals. Passing the landmark
1990 Americans with Disabilities Act. Let the shameful wall of exclusion
finally come tumbling down. Which the New York Times called the most sweeping anti-discrimination bill since
the Civil Rights Act. After the Exxon Valdez oil spill off the coast of Alaska, He built another bipartisan coalition to strengthen the Clean Air Act and he signed into law an immigration bill that kept families together, and let more
people into the country. Immigration is not just a link to America’s past, It’s also a bridge to America’s future. Abroad he earned the trust of Soviet
premier Mikhail Gorbachev, and got him to accept a unified Germany. Over a million people here, celebrating a day that they never thought would come. The day in
which Germany became one country again. He was a man who understood diplomacy. He understood that in order to connect with people, who represent other countries, you have to put yourself in their shoes. But his successes abroad didn’t quell cultural and economic discontent stateside. From NBC News: Decision ’92 Election Night These politicians who put themselves out work so hard and then are crushed effectively. The people have spoken and we respect the majesty of the democratic system. The new president of the United States, his wife Hillary and their daughter Chelsea. Bush’s loss led Reaganites to
abandon a moderate bipartisan approach to politics, and the Republican Party has
moved further to the right ever since. They see ’92, they see the collapse of the
Bush presidency, and they know that this is the time for them to make their move. You see that the House going more and more to the right. Political scientists actually measure this. They take individual members of Congress, look at all of the bills that they vote yes and no for, and assign them a score based on
those votes. They get one score for their votes on economic stuff and another for their votes on social issues. Do this for every member, and you get a kind of ideological map of Congress. And that map has been changing since before Bush lost the presidency. If you look at the average ideology scores for both parties over time, Republicans in the House have been getting more conservative more quickly than their Democratic peers have shifted left. It’s true for presidents too. From Eisenhower to George W. Bush, the ideology scores for Republicans get
increasingly conservative while Democrats scores stay roughly consistent over time. I think George H.W. Bush becomes an inflection point for not only the presidency, the generational movements, the last World War II, Greatest Generation president but also they may be the last Republicans of that country-club, Northeast republicanism. In an interview with journalist Mark Updegrove, Bush confirmed that he voted for Hillary
Clinton in 2016. His party had become so unrecognizable in his lifetime, the former president voted for the wife of the man who had beat him 24 years earlier.

About the author

Comments

  1. How did the Republicans go from the party of Abraham Lincoln to Donald Trump today?
    Watch our history of the GOP: http://bit.ly/2IeZYlS

  2. I probably would've voted for Bush 41 in '88 and '92. I voted for McCain in '08, my first election.

    I do not ever see me voting for another Republican for the rest of my life.

  3. I was born 2 years after his presidency terminated, and I’m learning a lot about him now. He is a republican and moderate conservative that I deeply admire and respect. I’m more liberal and centrist, but he was a man with true values. I could have really gotten behind his pragmatic approach.

  4. That George Bush voted for clinton tells you everything you need to know about how terrible a two party lesser evil system is.

  5. So I have two views on this.
    One, I'm glad the Republican party is no longer that NE party of country club members. Though an independent, I align more with the repubs and Trump, though I am unsure what happens when he is out.
    Second, Bush helped with the murder of JFK, there I said it.

  6. If one of the current Democrats beats trump they will have to remake this graph and edit "Obama can be seen as the last moderate Democrat president"

  7. His son turned out to be a war monger. Killed millions of people by starving them and bombing them.

  8. I said he was lying at the time, because I understood his mentality was all about winning — damn everything else. That mentality has taken over the party and Republican victories are more clearly at the expense of our nation.

  9. That isn't what supply side economics is, increased government spending on the military is demand side, supply side is about reducing regulations on industry and increasing the productive capability of an economy, its just that Vox is left wing so won't want you to like conservative economics.

  10. This clip is so full of flaws, it's tough to know where to begin. One point that is made: Reagan's "trickle-down" (a non-existent economic theory, by the way, that Reagan nor any other conservative has ever argued for) policy created massive deficits. This is not true. The deficits were created by a major defense buildup during the 80's and by Reagan's unwillingness/inability to veto/control ever-expanding spending on social programs by the Democratic congress.

    By the same token, HW Bush wasn't "forced" to "put country" over party during the 1990 Budget Reconciliation bill. He could've easily vetoed any number of the Democratic spending bills to hold spending in line to balance the budget. He didn't have the guts to do this and caved instead by increasing taxes. This is what killed his re-election chances.

  11. "Reagan's theory was called supply side economics. That you could slash the amount of money that the federal government got in tax revenue, while at the same time spending more money on the military."

    This is not supply-side economics at all. No supply-side economist would EVER define the theory in this way or agree that this is the way to do things. Please stop strawmanning conservative economic theories to fit a pro-Democratic narrative.

    Supply-side economics is instead the theory that if you tax producers less, they'll produce more stuff. If you allow the rich to keep more of what they earn, this increases their potential returns on saving, work, and investment. This incentivizes capital formation, as their savings lead to increased investment into the economy's capital structure and factors of production. This boosts the supply of goods and services available to consumers. Hence "supply-side" theory. It has nothing to do with military spending or with Reagan's unwillingness or inability to veto Democratic spending bills.

  12. The democrats have also changed, but they are going further left while the republicans are going further right.

    At this point both parties are garbage.

  13. I think today we are able to say that the Democratic party has moved further to the left much more quickly. Their whole ideology is much more left wing and progressive than it was in maybe 1990. As Republicans take a more right wing stance, Democrats are taking a more left wing stance at the same pace.

  14. At 4:23, where the F did I miss the part where Bush said "illegal immigration"? Does vox think their average viewer is slow in brain power? Once again not specifying legal and illegal

  15. George H Bush…when the globalists started gaining power with their selling out of American prosperity and sovereignty and getting filthy rich doing it and it continued till Trump

  16. In other words, right-wing neocons have gone batshit and continue to vote against their own self interest and fail to compromise on anything whatsoever.

  17. 6:23 JFK to the left of Johnson and Obama, and almost as far left as Carter? Someone's gonna have to explain that to me.

  18. Lot of parallels between William H. Taft and George H. Bush now that I think about it, including that of the 1912 and 1992 presidential elections…

  19. I'm pretty sure I saw somewhere that the current crop of dems are even further left than to Obama than Obama was to the GOP.

  20. Let’s be real, both parties have moved too far to their sides to reach out to the moderates, largest voting class in America

  21. This video beautifully illustrates why I voted for Bush in 1988 & 1992 and why I no longer vote Republican for President. I voted for Dubya in 2000 and ended up with voters remorse. 😪

  22. "Republicans have moved further right" – Oh yeah! back to Reagan territory which is SOOOO further right than they already were….

  23. The graphs showing the ideological shifts go until 2014. Just saying that a lot of things have changed, on BOTH sides.

  24. Interesting vid but y’all are dead wrong in saying the Democratic Party has either remained stagnant or moved to the left. They have moved further and further right since the 70s.

  25. Ronald Reagan was the worst president in recent memory. He began the destruction of the Republican Party and Newt Gingrich finished it off.

  26. I was a child when Bush 41 was president. While he was not as fun to listen to as Reagan, he always sounded so honest and thoughtful. And when he needed to break his promise about the taxes, he said he was sorry to do so, but that it was necessary. Only a great man can admit that he’s wrong. POTUS 45 would never admit he’s wrong. Not even after telling more lies and breaking more promises in a day, than president Bush did in four years. H.W.Bush will climb in the presidential rankings, history will see all the great things he did. Not only for the US, but for the whole world.
    May he rest in peace!

  27. We need more compromising moderates on both sides. We see the kind of stalemate that partisan stubbornness causes in today's administration. Let's bring back people who don't care about party lines.

  28. Black people perhaps would have been slaves into the early 1900s if Lincoln and the Republican party would not have challenged and defeated those evil Democrats

  29. Wow a republican who cared about Disabled people and the environment….look at the state of the party now they're disgraceful

  30. All these years and all this talk and the bottom line is, George Bush was executed. The President is the Commander in chief, even over the military. The military in our country has been watching for many years, and I think they have been planning for many years. JFK was assassinated and so was his brother. I think our government has been hiding JFK Jr. for many years waiting for the right moment in time. 2020 is just around the corner, I think President Donald Trump is going to have a very big party for Christmas, and he is going to have a very special guest of honor. Our military spent a lot of money to keep Guantanamo Bay open for business. Merry Christmas to all.🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸

  31. Remember when the Reagan GOP was educated and didn't believe in complete lies by a politician and didn't use whataboutism as a weapon, instead arguing with logic? Pepperidge Farm remembers. Remember when the GOP put country over party? Pepperidge Farm remembers.

  32. Where is the independent/libertarian political party when you need it? This excessive political polarization of republicans focusing the support on companies and democrats focusing their support of socialism, where can we have true freedom in this country?

  33. The Republican party is creeping closer to mainstreaming the far right every day. I mean, Eisenhower kept the 90% top nominal tax rate and feared the Military Industrial Complex, two things liberals are more likely to agree with than conservatives.

  34. This is ridiculous logic. Even if frequency of conservative bills increases, it’s difficult to know what the impact of those bills are without seeing the bills. That is, the rate of increased conservative or liberal bills doesn’t seem to inform what the overall ideological shift has been in the county- which even by taking LGBTQ representation in media for the past 10 years, and the decrease in religious identification among Americans, should be pretty easy to prove as producing much more of a trend towards liberalizing social norms. Economically, if the government has expanded in its social services to citizens, since Bush, then the overall trend would be towards one party’s impact. Add to that the impact through executive orders on the amount of specialized care the government gives, and we have another impact on the economic and social life of the US

  35. That's totally wrong, the Democrats have moved dramatically to the left, (Sanders, Warren) progressive politicians have ideas that would have been unheard of 20 years ago. While the Republicans have slightly moved to the centre.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *