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Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Is It Just Bush?

Good question:

Is the US just tired of Bush, or have conservatives had it?, by Michael Tomasky, Commentary, Comment is Free: ...Let me offer what I think is the most important undercurrent question of next year's election: have Americans tired of conservatism, or have they merely tired of corrupt and incompetent conservatism? ...

Americans have now experienced a conservative government failing them. But what lesson will they take? That conservatism itself is exhausted and without answers to the problems that confront American and the world today? Or will they conclude that the problem hasn't been conservatism per se, just Bush...? ...

Conservatives will do their best to convince us it's just Bush, it's not the movement itself that is at fault, but the Iraq war and other failures such as the push to privatize Social Security and eliminate the estate tax came with the full support and approval of conservatives. The bills the Republican congress sent to Bush that increased spending while cutting taxes were certainly not Bush acting alone. And I don't recall conservatives objecting when the administration rewarded political allies with positions within the administration or by awarding them government contracts, a key part of the administration's collapse when events like Katrina and Iraq revealed the consequences of such patronage. It's hard to deny that the Bush administration suffers from competency problems, and part of the article linked above says Republican candidates are attempting to exploit that to their advantage, but I don't think it's Bush alone that is the problem. For the most part, he has been faithful to the conservative movement and, when Republicans had a majority, rubber stamped whatever congress sent his way.

So my answer is all of the above, that it's both not one or the other. Bush certainly hasn't helped the conservative movement, but the policies and the less than desirable results that have followed in Iraq and elsewhere cannot be attributed to Bush acting outside of core conservative principles.

    Posted by on Tuesday, October 23, 2007 at 12:15 AM in Economics, Politics | Permalink  TrackBack (0)  Comments (47)

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