Tuesday, February 12, 2008

How did the GOP come to McCain?

Many were surprised with the McCain ascendancy and are trying to explain it somehow. But if you ask me Charles Krauthammer nalied it: it was Bush! And this paragraph is particularly on the money:

Bush muddied the ideological waters of conservatism. It was Bush who teamed with Teddy Kennedy to pass No Child Left Behind, a federal venture into education that would have been anathema to (the early) Reagan. It was Bush who signed the McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform. It was Bush who strongly supported the McCain-Kennedy immigration bill. It was Bush who on his own created a vast new entitlement program, the Medicare drug benefit. And it was Bush who conducted a foreign policy so expansive and, at times, redemptive as to send paleoconservatives like Pat Buchanan and traditional conservatives like George Will into apoplexy and despair (respectively).

Bingo! The word "conservative" has at best a vague meaning and at worst no meaning any more. However, Krauthammer and many of his colleagues can not just wash their hands over this. All these years they gave blank support to everything Bush did in the name of him "keeping people safe", they bear part of the responsibility for the erosion of the movement. If they want to keep any credibility and truly help conservativism they must adress this fact and repudiate their past cheerleading of Bush. But I realize I propably ask too much.

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