Why Peter Beinart is Wrong
Peter Beinart of the Daily Beast writes "The younger Bush may be flirting with a run, but for a Republican to seriously compete in 2016, he must publicly distance himself from George W. Bush -- and in five interviews Sunday, Jeb showed he wouldn't do that if he could." Mr. Beinart argues "No Republican will enjoy credibility as a deficit hawk unless he or she acknowledges that George W. Bush squandered the budget surplus he inherited. No Republican will be able to promise foreign-policy competence unless he or she acknowledges the Bush administration's disastrous mismanagement in Afghanistan and Iraq."
Mr. Beinart is obviously continuing with the "Dem Narrative" that Bill Clinton inherited a bad economy from Bush 41. Then came George W. Bush and made a mess that Obama is working so hard to clean up. But the fact is Bush "squandered" the Clinton Surpluses because while Clinton inherited from Bush Sr. an economy producing 225,000 jobs per month thus hiking government revenue, he left Bush Jr. a tech-busted, recessionary economy. In addition, Bush Jr. gave $1 trillion in tax cuts for the poor and middle class, which is more than all Clinton Surpluses combined.
If Dems want to defend Clinton Surpluses on the backs of the poor, that's fine with me.
As for Iraq: After the surge which Obama opposed, Iraq turned out quite alright. By late summer 2008, we lost less than 18 troops per month and the U.S. signed a deal to remove most troops by the end of 2010. Obama's decision to remove all troops seems to be the reason why we are losing the peace.
As for Afghanistan: Under Obama we are losing 31 troops per month vs. only 6.5 per month under Bush. On the money front, Obama spent there in four years almost double the money that Bush spent there in eight years (putting FY2009 fully on Bush's watch).
So no, Mr. Beinart: Not only should the GOP not distance themselves from Bush. To the contrary: They should put his administration in context. They should have used in 2012 the above paragraph to shoot down Obama's ongoing lie of "I am ending the war in Afghanistan;" they should have shot back that 'we had Surpluses for Clinton on the Backs of the Poor.'
Had the GOP debunked the Dem Narrative, they would have perhaps won 2012 in a landslide because so many premises presented by Dems would have been destroyed.