June 22, 2007

OUR THATCHERITE (via Kevin Whited):

Making the Bush Mistake All Over Again (Jennifer Rubin, 6/24/07, NY Observer)

The party faithful convinced themselves that he would remain true to conservative principles despite the irksome references to “compassionate conservatism”—an overt dig at the conservatism many of his supporters believed needed no modifier. [...]

Yes, President Bush cut taxes. But he also added Medicare Part D, the largest entitlement expansion in a generation, federalized K-12 education with “No Child Left Behind” and failed to veto a single spending bill. From the perspective of fiscal conservatives, this was a record worthy of, well, Al Gore or John Kerry.

Then of course there was “nation building.” During the pre-campaign tutorials and the 2000 campaign, he seemed to have mastered the notion that America doesn’t do well imposing itself on other cultures. That opposition to foreign adventures vanished after 9/11, when his administration immediately set about planning to democratize the Middle East by remaking Iraq.

And the worst insult of all, from conservatives’ viewpoint, was that the President eventually had the nerve to train his sights directly on them. As he pursued immigration—an endeavor that angered a large segment of the conservative base—the President and his surrogates began talking about his conservative critics with the same disdainful language he had previously reserved for Democrats.

According to the administration, the critics did not have the country’s interests at heart and were racist and ignorant.

She's got his obit right--tax cuts, HSAs, school vouchers, democratizing the Middle East, immigration amnesty--just the conclusion wrong. Those five items plus his pro-Life legacy, takeover of the courts, and forging of the Axis of Good (most importantly the alliance with India) will be why he's viewed as one of the few historically significant presidents twenty years from now. And all the nattering nabobs of nativism will swear they were with him every step of the way, just as they slunk back to Reagan's side when History judged him a success, rather than the failure they portrayed while he was in office.

Posted by Orrin Judd at June 22, 2007 12:10 PM

The same could have been said about McKinley until the USS Maine, and the pressure of his
War Cabinet, headed by Teddy Roosevelt, drove
us into Havana, San Juan Hill & Manila, another
intersurgency in which the opponents ( Bryan
then, like Kerry now; Reed than, like Reid & Pelosi flipflopped for political purposes)

Posted by: narciso at June 22, 2007 10:09 PM