Tuesday, October 11

"BUSHISM IS NOT CONSERVATISM"

If my previous post resonated with you, then may I suggest you read this piece by W. James Antle III, published at "Intellectual Conservative.com" and from which I've taken the following excerpts:

For the first time in his presidency, George W. Bush faces a widespread conservative revolt. Nothing he has done before -- not McCain-Feingold, not steel tariffs, not his failure to veto excessive spending, not even last year’s proposed amnesty for illegal immigrants -- has provoked as hostile a reaction on the right as the nomination of Harriet Miers to the Supreme Court.

Yet if Bush is becoming a lame duck, it signals an opportunity rather than an ending for conservatives. It is time to contemplate life after Bush and to rethink our movement’s independent identity.

The president’s failures share a common root: the belief that big-government means can serve conservative ends. This error central to Bush’s politics. His presidential bid was being planned in Austin during the Gingrich meltdown, when it seemed that voters had recoiled from the most aggressive Republican assault against big government since Barry Goldwater’s 1964 campaign. Aping Bill Clinton rather than Gingrich, Bush boosters ambitiously decided to try their own hand at a Third Way.

Bushism threatens to discredit conservatism by undoing its reputation for fiscal soundness and foreign-policy realism. Many voters see profligacy rather than budgetary discipline, secrecy rather than accountability, cronyism and fealty to business interests rather than a principled defense of free markets and a foreign policy that looks more like Wilsonianism than Reaganism.

Bushism is not conservatism. Making this fact clear is a more worthwhile project than reflexively defending the president. The time has come to let the White House staff do its job and for us to do ours, a task that will considerably outlast the Bush presidency.


Read the entire column. The only criticism of President Bush made by Mr. Antle where I part company with the author is in his condemnation of the GWOT and the Bush administration's foreign policy, for I do support the global war on terror and do believe that the terrorist threat must be met. And I firmly believe that our nation cannot retreat from its terrible realities and the grave conseqences were we to do otherwise. Indeed, I applaud the president for staying the course and only wish that he were a far better and more frequent communicator in making the case for perseverance.