"Why I Miss George W. Bush" -- Mehdi Hasan in the New York Times, November 30, 2015:
Minorities matter — in general, if not primary, elections. A study commissioned by the Republican National Committee in the wake of Mitt Romney’s 2012 defeat noted how “many minorities wrongly think that Republicans do not like them or want them in the country.” To be sure, Muslims constitute just 1 to 2 percent of voters in the United States, but in 2000, when the presidential election turned on just 537 votes in Florida, more than 46,000 Muslims in that state voted Republican. In the view of the influential conservative activist Grover Norquist, “George W. Bush was elected president of the United States of America because of the Muslim vote.”
Mr. Bush’s foreign policy may have harmed Muslims abroad, but at home he courted Muslim-American voters and refused to lazily conflate Islam with terrorism. Mourning Mr. Bush’s re-election in 2004, the economist John Kenneth Galbraith remarked: “I never thought I would ever long for Ronald Reagan.” I recognize the sentiment, as I listen to the irresponsible Muslim-hating rhetoric of the current crop of candidates.
I never thought I’d say it, but now I long for the Republican Party of George W. Bush.