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Thursday, October 27, 2011
Reagan-Bush The Past and Present for the GOP: The Tea Party then and now
Even though the 1980 President Election was a landslide with Ron Reagan whipping President Jimmy Carter. Everything else about that election was fascinating, Senate Republicans winning control of the Senate. For the first time since 1952 and electing Howard Baker as Senate Leader. House Republicans have 190 plus seats for the first time since the early 1970s, even though they were still in the House Minority. Sen. Ted Kennedy taking on an Incumbent President in his own party and getting his head handed to him in the Democratic Primary's. The Republican Primary's that pitted the two top Leaders of the Republican Party against each other. Ron Reagan and George HW Bush, Reagan coming from the Tea Party Faction of the party. Or what would be the Tea Party today. And Reagan making that faction part of the establishment, until George Bush became President in 1989. Bush coming from what I would call the Eisenhower Faction of the party Strong defense, Internationalist Foreign Policy, Fiscally Conservative but not oppose to Tax Hikes to be used for Deficit Reduction.
The 1990 Deficit Reduction Act would indicate that included Budget Cuts as well but its the Tax Hikes that cost him support in the GOP. Which is how he got the Primary Challenge from Pat Buchanan in 1992 which divided the GOP that year and cost them the election. Bush moderate on Social Issues and a big believer in Environmental Protection as well as appointing David Suitor to the Supreme Court. How turned out to be a liberal perhaps as liberal as Justice Stephen Breyer. Again which cost President Bush more support in the GOP, support he couldn't afford to lose. Low turnout for the GOP in 1992 as well as another Fiscal Conservative running for President in Ross Perot.
But 1980 is where at the time the two main factions of the Republican Party came together. And one of the reasons why I believe Ron Reagan nominated George Bush to be his Vice President. Essentially the Tea Party led by Reagan and Bush the Leader of the Establishment Wing. Basically the Northeastern and Midwestern Republicans unlike in 1976 when these two wings were divided. And the Reagan Faction didn't support President Ford for President. Ron Reagan made his whole Presidential Campaign basically about the economy and how weak it was. With all of the people who were unemployed and had a clear plan on how to turn the economy around. With deep across the board Tax Cuts and this wasn't the area that George Bush was comfortable in debating.
George Bush was very knowledgeable about Economic Policy because he was a businessman. Buthe didn't believe in what Reagan was proposing and even labeled the Kemp-Roth plan as it was called. "Voodoo Economics" but knew the the Republican Party was behind Reagan and his Economic Program and that he was on defense. And was going to have to convince the GOP they were wrong about Reagan and his plan. As well as offer an Economic Program of his own. George Bush was fighting uphill the whole way during the 1980 Primary's. Until he became Reagan's Vice Presidential nominee in I believe July or August of 1980 and Reagan also considered former President Gerry Ford as his Vice President. But went with George Bush.
But what we saw in the Republican Party back in 1980, we've seen ever since, they've been the Tax Cut Party ever since. Thats how they get elected and have had so much success with this approach. That even the Democratic Party by in large in favor of Tax Cuts. But targeted Middle Class Tax Cuts, as well as Tax Cuts that encourage hiring. And assistance to Low Income people to get them working and become more Self Sufficient. Pre 1977-78 or so America wasn't a Tax Cut country at least at the National Level. And people like Ron Reagan, Bill Roth, Howard Jarvis and others changed the debate on that. To now we've been a Tax Cut country ever since.
Click on the link of the blog to see a video and clip from the 1980 Reagan-Bush Republican Primary Debate