Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Bush's "Conservatism"

From Goldberg's LA Times column:

Bush's brand of conservatism was always a controversial innovation on the right. Recall that in 2000 he promised to be a "different kind of Republican," and he kept his word. His partner in passing the No Child Left Behind Act was liberal Massachusetts Sen. Ted Kennedy. Bush's prescription drug benefit -- the largest expansion of entitlements since the Great Society -- was hugely controversial on the right. He signed the McCain-Feingold bill to the dismay of many Republicans who'd spent years denouncing campaign-finance "reform" as an assault on freedom of speech. The fight over his immigration plan nearly tore the conservative movement apart.

And Bush admitted as much [compassion=large gov’t programs]. In an interview with the Weekly Standard's Fred Barnes, Bush explained that he rejected William F. Buckley's brand of anti-government conservatism. Conservatives had to "lead" and to be "activist," he said. In 2003, Bush proclaimed that when "somebody hurts" government has to "move." This wasn't a philosophy of government as much as gooey marketing posing as principle. Ronald Reagan would have spontaneously burst into flames if he'd uttered such sentiments.


Stephanie said...

Of course it wasn't only Bush. There was a Republican Congress working right along with him. I know you know. But I see alot of history rewriting going on about how it was just a Bush thing. It's the party's plan for 2010 to proclaim it was just a Bush thing (pay no attention to those Republicans behind the Bush).

Scooter said...

Of course you’re right. I didn’t mean to point my finger solely at the President. My thought is that the right has lost its bearings. No, I take that back. Republicans as a national party have lost their bearings. Spending hawks—oh boy, defense hawks—better, tax—better and regulation hawks—would have said better until the last 50 days or so, judicial restraint—never really had much stomach for a fight here.

I hear it and read about it from the right wing but don’t see many, if any, of my elected political heroes doing anything about it.

I know you have said something to the effect of: They are not who you think they are. I know who they are. They are not who I want them to be.

Stephanie said...

Ah. Got it. One more thing, though: they're also not who they say they are.