George H. W. Bush was elected president in 1988 to fulfill the hope and the expectations of a third Reagan term. During that campaign, it appeared that he had learned well the lessons of the Reagan administration. The same guy who, when he first ran for the WH in 1980, termed Reagan’s supply-side influenced plans as “voodoo” economics, delivered a superb acceptance speech at the 1988 GOP convention.
In what has become know as the “thousand points of light” speech, Bush came out strongly in favor of capital punishment, gun rights, and prayer in schools. He also expressed a strong pro-life position. And it ended with the famous ( or if you prefer “infamous”) pledge:
Read my lips: No new Taxes!
And then, GHWB went to Washington, jumped “Inside the Beltway” and completely caved to Democrat demands that he increase revenues. He broke his pledge.
Despite leading the US to victory in the first Gulf war, and the soaring popular approval it generated (89% in the polls), GHWB lost the 1992 election. The economy was in trouble (think those higher taxes had any impact?) and Ross Perot emerged, waving his charts and graphs, and received enough likely GOP votes to throw the election (by a plurality ) to a pair of pissants from Arkansas..who have continued to plague America to this day.
But how does Jeb factor into this narrative?
Well, every GOP candidate for the 2016 nomination has signed Grover Norquist’s “No New Taxes” pledge….everyone that is, except…Jeb.
Yes, amazingly, even Trump has signed it, in 2011. (I assume that Trump hasn’t as yet changed his mind, as he has done on Obamacare, amnesty, abortion, etc….)
But Jeb…nope. It’s not his thing. Instead, he reminds voters that he served two very successful terms as governor of Florida (true) where he did in fact reduce taxes ( true) and reduce the size of the state government ( also true)
But Jeb won’t sign no stinkin’ pledge…instead, we’ll just have to take his word for it..that he won’t raise taxes.
Jeb is struggling to maintain, if not regain, credibility with the GOP base..given his prior support for amnesty and Common Core; both of which are anathema to conservatives. So one would think he’d jump at the chance to demonstrate his conservative bona fides; that it’s a no-brainer that he’d do ANYTHING that would reassure them.
So here we have Jeb, who witnessed first-hand his dad’s defeat in 1992, who heard his dad say over and over that “breaking his pledge, and raising taxes, was the biggest mistake of his life,”…..well, Jeb obviously doesn’t get it.
You’d think that his dad might have slapped him upside the head, and said something like “Son, don’t be stupid. Sign the damn thing. Learn from my mistake.”
So then, there’s only one possible explanation: GHWB must have dropped Jeb on his head as a child…