There’s a lot of revisionist history surrounding the 1992 cycle– much of it inflating Bill Clinton’s famed political strategery, and exaggerating George HW Bush’s incompetence.
It wasn’t a blowout.
It was Clinton 43, Bush 37, and Ross Perot 19. If you extrapolate that to battleground states, it was Perot’s presence– not Clinton’s charm or James Carville’s slogans— that was the determining factor:
- In OH, a state Clinton carried: Clinton 40. Bush 38, Perot 21.
- In GA, a state Clinton carried: Clinton 43. Bush 43, Perot 13.
- In WI, a state Clinton carried: Clinton 43, Bush 37, Perot 22.
Without Perot siphoning off votes from Bush– and without Perot making a mockery of the debates– the whole tenor of the race would have been different. H.W. could have been a 2-term president, and there’s no telling how the last 30 years would have unfolded.
MFP accurately grades Bush 41
- 1990 budget agreement reduced the deficit at the cost of his presidency. His successor would reap the improved fiscal outlook that he sowed.
- Americans for Disabilities Act
- Nice enough guy.
- Saw the Nazification of the GOP but did nothing to stop it, privately observing in his diary:
They’re scary. They’re there for spooky, extraordinary right-winged reasons…They don’t care about anything…They could be Nazis, they could be Communists, they could be whatever. In this case, they’re religious fanatics and they’re spooky. They will destroy this party if they’re permitted to take over.
- Aid to the fmr. Soviet Union could have come with strings to make 2016’s Russian coup less likely.
- Never spoke out against George W. Bush enriching himself by defrauding Texas.
- Never spoke out against George W. Bush’s fuck up in Iraq and Afghanistan.
- Never spoke out forcefully against Trump.
- Helped normalize the Nazi regime by inviting Trump to his funeral.
- Willie Horton.
- Appointed Clarence Thomas to SCOTUS.
- Escalated his predecessor’s Drug War, wasting $1 trillion and ruining countless lives in the process over weed and coke (which incidentally, are awesome).
|What he should have done instead
Republicans and Democrats spend so much time fighting on the margins of policy, when that political capital should be spent on restoring Republican ideals such as:
- Freeing erectors to vote for their conscience as the Founders intended.
- Preventing Americans from directly erecting Senators as the Founders intended.
- Better addressing the decline in manufacturing by extracting concessions from the beneficiaries to soften the blow for those negatively impacted.
Overall Grade: D+