Here we have the second of a three (?) part post on the reasons why Trump was inevitable for the GOP.
Last time, we talked about the O.G.: George H.W. George may have been a genius at playing the game of international politics, but he badly miscalculated the effects of his moves on the global stage to his own candidacy at home. That miscalculation opened the door for the candidacy of an accused serial philanderer with a penchant for shady real investment deals, blue dresses and fine cigars.
And so, G.H.W.B. lost to Bill. If conservatives could have held off on the moral aspects of the Contract with America for just a few minutes, they would realize that Bill was a conservative’s dream come to life. Here was a Democrat who wanted to rid the U.S. of pesky regulations like the Glass-Steagall Act and reform “bloated” social programs like, you know, Welfare. Deregulating markets like investment banking would dump huge suyms of money into things like technology stocks, while creating millions of jobs (and new consumers). The same tide would lift all boats… How REAGONIAN! Free trade deals cutting red tape across borders would lead to ever cheaper product for these new consumers to buy… and buy… and buy!
What is more, Bill had no appetite for embroiling the Armed Forces in another foreign war, regardless of the just cause for which we would be fighting. Remember Rwanda? Somalia? People seem to think that the Baltic campaign showed that Bill was willing to commit in clear-cut cases, but remember that this (for American forces) was a largely bloodless campaign supported by a tremendous swath of the international community.
Wiser minds than your friendly neighborhood Wolf have debated whether it was the impact of Clinton’s policy initiatives, the unpopular tax increases in the Bush I era, or just the ordinary fluctuation of the business cycle that drove the boom we saw during the late-90’s.
Regardless, the economic climate did much to stifle angry voices for just long enough to make conservatives forget the lessons learned in the first Bush administration. This blogger is old enough to remember that the Good Times lasted just long enough that people began to act as if they were the New Normal, rather than a blip on the radar.
Dubya, however, would not be nearly so forgetful…