Center for Social Theory and Comparative History
Bush's America - Rhetoric and Realities
- Author(s): Caldwell, Christopher
- Lind, Michael
- et al.
Christopher Caldwell argues that President George W. Bush inherited many problems from the Clinton years. President Bush was similar to his predecessor as a baby-boomer, his amiability, and his solipicism. However, the Bush administration did make policy choices from a significantly different ideological base. Caldwell considers how and why policy determinations were made in economic matters and tax cuts, the re-invasion of Iraq, civil liberties and international relations. He summarizes with a first draft on the Bush legacy.
Michael Lind maintains that President George W. Bush’s tenure in office marked the end of the conservative movement in US politics. He outlines the history of the conservative movement from Goldwater’s presidential run in 1964 to 2008. The administration’s failure to privatize Social Security, rolling back the New Deal, marked conservatism’s limits for the US electorate. Moreover, the president’s foreign policy was too much of a departure from liberal internationalism or Kissingerian realism for broad public support as were proposed immigration policy and reductions of civil liberties. As a result, the former consensus within the Republican Party has been shattered.
The accompanying audio files provide the complete recording of the two talks.