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Like father, like son? Not so much in Bush dynasty

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George Herbert Walker Bush and George W. Bush had only so much in common as presidents. They shared one big thing besides name, family and party, though. They were both conservatives for their time.
WASHINGTON — George Herbert Walker Bush and George W. Bush had only so much in common as presidents. They shared one big thing besides name, family and party, though. They were both conservatives for their time.
Very different times.
Bush the father was a Republican who could carve a moderate path here and there without a crushing response from the right — think immigration liberalization, for example. “I’m a conservative,” he once said. “But I’m not a nut about it.”
His was an era of stepping back from the prospect of doomsday, with the collapse of the Soviet Union, and a far more limited threat emerging with Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait — soon reversed. Not at all like the searing crucible of 9/11 that came early to his son.
A look at the father and son presidencies through the prism of policy, crisis and family:
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AT HOME
“Read my lips,” the elder Bush notoriously said, promising no new taxes. That turned out to be mere lip service to the right when he broke that pledge and paid a political price.
Bush the father — the former ambassador, vice president and patrician Republican — may have been largely in step with the tempered conservatism of his era in other respects, but that tax increase was a stretch even then. A striking compromise with Democrats, it’s an approach out of step with today’s GOP, where holding hard and tight to conservative ideology has been valued above all else.
He also signed the Americans with Disabilities Act, an expansion of civil rights and the government’s power in the private and public workplace. In doing so, he sided with liberal Democrats as well as centrist Republicans, resisted stiff pressure from business and declared: “Let the shameful wall of exclusion finally come tumbling down.

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