The G.O.P. Is a Mess. It’s Not All Trump’s Fault. – by Peter Suderman – NYT

“. . . Yet it would also be a mistake to pin the party’s problems on Mr. Trump alone. He is not their root cause. Instead, he is an avatar of the party’s pathologies, the culmination of its cynical and shambolic trajectory over the last two decades.

Many of those issues can be traced back to the administration of George W. Bush, which functioned as an enormous political bait and switch. The 43rd president campaigned on humble foreign policy and prudent conservative solutions, but his presidency quickly became oriented almost exclusively around a political defense of the Iraq war.

This meant that domestic policy, and the realm of domestic policy expertise, became an afterthought at best, an opportunity for cynical political maneuvering at worst.But Mr. Bush’s post-Sept. 11 popularity instilled the administration with an arrogance that extended far beyond the war itself. The president’s inner circle became convinced that the Republican Party was destined for years of unbroken political domination; the ambition-spoiling concerns of the “reality-based community” no longer needed to be taken into account.

National security fear-mongering and culture war controversies, especially over same-sex marriage, were employed to rally the base and ensure its loyalty, even as dissatisfaction with Mr. Bush’s governance continued to grow.The Bush presidency, then, was both a failure and a fraud. Instead of foreign policy restraint and modest conservative governance, the Bush administration delivered a pair of endless deficit-financed wars, cynical posturing over social issues, soaring federal spending and, eventually, a large-scale emergency intervention in the economy.”

Well written. George W. Bush is such a nice person, that he got a walk on being a disaster as president.