Conservatives Mad at Bush (Finally)

by Hugh

I’m no conservative, but I’ve long said that the people who should be most angry with Bush & Co. (or, better, who are most responsible for Bush & Co.) are the real conservatives in America. They have allowed this president, his administration, and the people behind him to undermine true conservatism in the name of power. It might have been a decent deal while Bush ruled the White House, but the long-term implications for the movement could well be devastating. We’ll see. Anyway:

Last Monday, former Bush White House aide Peter Wehner made a startling statement in an op-ed in The Washington Post. He said that while “the GOP is in bad shape, conservatism is not.”

Nothing could be further from the truth. Conservatism has been badly damaged by Wehner’s former bosses, President Bush and Karl Rove, and others who never understood our movement, who only saw it as a tool to serve the political needs of this administration, never as a framework for governance.

From steel tariffs to prescription drug benefits, to the massive expansion of the police powers of the national government, to bloated transportation and energy bills, to federal mandates to the states on education, to nation-building, Reaganism was not only thrown under a bus by this administration, it also repeatedly ran back and forth over it.

The work of millions of conservatives going back to the 1940s has been sullied and misshapen into something unrecognizable, and Wehner writes as if he was simply an innocent bystander, rather than an active participant in its demise.. [more…]