God Rest Ye, Merry Gentlemen - Jars of Clay - listen now

Tuesday, October 18, 2005


For some conservatives it has been a rude awakening. Realizing that W is not nor ever has been a real conservative is hard for them to accept. He's sympathetic to a lot of their causes, but definitely not all of them.

I knew this back in 2000 when he was running for president the first time. I didn't vote for him at any stage of the process then; primary or general election.

So what swayed me over in 2004? He takes the War on Terrorism seriously. It hasn't gone perfectly to be sure, but at least the Bush administration realizes there is a threat. I didn't get that vibe from any of the democratic candidates; most definitely not John Kerry. I tried to find a good reason to vote for Kerry, but on every list of pros and cons I made he kept falling short. Believe me - W didn't exactly fit the bill for me either, but he edged out Learch.

I don't think the Bush team understood that a lot of their support was coming from voters like me. The Harriet Miers brouhaha has totally thrown them for a loop. I don't know why this particular issue has become so hot, but it is definitely the straw that broke the camel's back for true conservatives. For the record I think Miers is a bad choice for two reasons, 1) No experience in constitutional law and 2) her appointment is blatant cronyism (another of Bush's bad habits.)

Bush now finds himself in an awkward position, since he is not capable of admitting that he has made a mistake, he must back a bad nominee with even more gusto. His only hope is for Miers to withdraw her name from consideration. Rest assured, that option has been discussed more than once in the White House.

Do I regret my vote for Bush in 2004? Not in the least. This is not the time for a pacifist internationalist to be President.

Bruce Bartlett has summed up the growing discontent nicely in his article "The Final Straw" at TownHall.com.

The truth that is now dawning on many movement conservatives is that George W. Bush is not one of them and never has been. They were allies for a long time, to be sure, and conservatives used Bush just as he used them. But it now appears that they are headed for divorce. And as with all divorces, the ultimate cause was not the final incident, but the buildup of grievances over a long period that one day could no longer be overlooked, contained or smoothed over.

[ ... ]

Conservative intellectuals have known this for a long time, but looked the other way for various reasons. Some thought the war on terror trumped every other issue. If a few billion dollars had to be wasted to buy the votes needed to win the war, then so be it, many conservatives have argued. Others say that Bush never ran as a conservative in the first place, so there is no betrayal here, only a failure by conservatives to see what he has been all along.

[ ... ]

The Miers nomination has led to some long-overdue soul-searching among conservative intellectuals. For many, the hope of finally turning around the judiciary was worth putting up with all the big government stuff. Thus, Bush's pick of a patently unqualified crony for a critical position on the Supreme Court was the final straw.

Had George W. Bush demonstrated more fealty to conservative principles over the last five years, he might have gotten a pass on Miers. But coming on top of all the big government initiatives he has supported, few in the conservative movement are inclined to give him the benefit of a doubt any longer.


NWJR 10/18/2005 04:47:00 PM  

I'm really having fun watching the Conservatives eat their own on this one.

Go, go, go!

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