From an otherwise reasonably good New York Times story about the squabbling within the GOP:
Though the election and re-election of Mr. Obama may have radicalized many conservatives, the base's fury has its roots in the two terms of his predecessor, Mr. Bush, whose expansion of Medicare, proposed immigration overhaul and 2008 bank bailout left many conservatives distraught.This is the king of all zombie lies.
"People just saw a party that had wandered away from its soul," said Michael A. Needham, the chief executive of Heritage Action, an offshoot of the Heritage Foundation and perhaps now the most influential lobby group among Congressional Republicans.
The base developed a sense of "fury" against establishment Republicanism during the Bush years? Really? Then why did establishmentarian John McCain and establishmentarian Mitt Romney each get 93% of the Republican vote in their election years? And if Bush profoundly alienated the GOP base, why did he leave office with a 75% approval rating among Republicans (as opposed to a 34% approval rating in the country as a whole)? If years of Tea Party/Ted Cruz/Sarah Palin/Heritage Foundation rhetoric have made the scales fall from Republican base voters' eyes about the big-government sins of Bush, why is his approval rating among Republicans even higher now than it was in January 2009 -- 84%, according to an ABC/Washington Post poll conducted this past April?
As I've said many times on this blog, the notion that voters rejected the GOP for big-spending policies was a lie Republicans started telling us -- and themselves -- shortly after they were blown out in the 2006 midterms, because they refused to admit that Bush's blunders -- Iraq, Katrina, Terri Schiavo, the attempted privatization of Social Security -- were the real reason Democratic voters turned out. Yes, since then Republicans have started to believe their own BS, telling themselves that they reject establishment-style Republicanism because it allows them to imagine that they had nothing to do with Bush's policy failures or -- and this is probably more important to them -- Republicans' losses at the polls in 2006 and 2008 (as well as 2012). But just watch them in 2014 if Lindsey Graham and Mitch McConnell and Thad Cochran and Lamar Alexander survive their primaries. They'll turn out to vote for these supposedly hated RINOs in November, because God knows that allowing Democrats to win would be like signing the country over to Satan.