Ultima Thule

In ancient times the northernmost region of the habitable world - hence, any distant, unknown or mysterious land.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Peggy Noonan favors terms limits for the SC

By Aussiegirl

Peggy Noonan articulates the deep dark thought that has plunged the conservative movement into a tailspin -- the scales are falling from our eyes and we behold perhaps, a president who is not a conservative, and who has given up all pretense of pretending he's one. Bush has rarely, if ever, expressed anger or irritation at the daily bludgeonings he gets from democrats and the media. On the contrary, he bends over backwards to accomodate them and to appease them. No such deference has ever come the way of his conservative base. Bush dismissed the Swiftvets even when they probably gave him the edge in the election. He denounced the Minutemen border patrol as vigilantes, when in reality they are the equivalent of a neighorhood watch committee. He signed campaign finance reform, even while pronouncing it unconstitutional. Instance after instance comes to mind when Bush was unafraid, and even eager to distance himself from the conservative movement. He needlessly waded into the Bill Bennet controversy and worsened the situation for an old warrior who is a staunch defender of the president.

Is George Bush trying to tell us something? Peggy is right, this is history in the making, and I believe that George Bush is presiding over the demise of the Reagan Republican party, something he has been signalling since the beginning, but something we refused or did not want to see. "Compassionate conservatism" by any other name is Big Government Liberalism, with a sop in lower taxes.

OpinionJournal - Peggy Noonan

The headline lately is that conservatives are stiffing the president. They're in uproar over Ms. Miers, in rebellion over spending, critical over cronyism. But the real story continues to be that the president feels so free to stiff conservatives. The White House is not full of stupid people. They knew conservatives would be disappointed that the president chose his lawyer for the high court. They knew conservatives would eventually awaken over spending. They knew someone would tag them on putting friends in high places. They knew conservatives would not like the big-government impulses revealed in the response to Hurricane Katrina. The headline is not that this White House endlessly bows to the right but that it is not at all afraid of the right. Why? This strikes me as the most interesting question.

Here are some maybes. Maybe the president has simply concluded he has no more elections to face and no longer needs his own troops to wage the ground war and contribute money. Maybe with no more elections to face he's indulging a desire to show them who's boss. Maybe he has concluded he has a deep and unwavering strain of support within the party that, come what may, will stick with him no matter what. Maybe he isn't all that conservative a fellow, or at least all that conservative in the old, usual ways, and has been waiting for someone to notice. Maybe he has decided the era of hoping for small government is over. Maybe he is a big-government Republican who has a shrewder and more deeply informed sense of the right than his father did, but who ultimately sees the right not as a thing he is of but a thing he must appease, defy, please or manipulate. Maybe after five years he is fully revealing himself. Maybe he is unveiling a new path that he has not fully articulated--he'll call the shots from his gut and leave the commentary to the eggheads. Maybe he's totally blowing it with his base, and in so doing endangering the present meaning and future prospects of his party.

Whatever the answer, history is being revealed here by the administration every day, and it's big history, not small.


At 7:00 PM, Blogger Timothy Birdnow said...

Yep, I think Peggy has nailed it.

At 7:49 PM, Blogger TJ Willms said...

Here’s my humble attempt at summarizing the first five years of “compassionate conservatism.”

Moments of unbridled hope and optimism for the future, followed almost immediately by bewildering decisions that lead straight to crushing disappointment.

At 10:40 PM, Blogger Aussiegirl said...

"Moments of unbridled hope and optimism for the future, followed almost immediately by bewildering decisions that lead straight to crushing disappointment."

Hilarious!! And sadly true!!
Thanks for stating it so perfectly -- Aussie

At 7:02 AM, Anonymous rod stanton said...

It seems to me that Bush made a very shape turn to the left in early Mar or late Feb. He has been a big government liberal the last 7 months. Sometimes even to the left of the man he beat last year. The Katrina speech is an example, Solutions: more and bigger government, more quotas.

My question is why did he become such a far left liberal?


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