For some years, it’s been difficult for conservatives to figure out when to stand with President Bush and when to draw distinctions. On judicial appointments, executive privilege, the War on Terror, and most social and ‘values’ issues, conservatives have seen Bush as an ally. On Iraq, entitlement programs, spending (until recently, at least) and immigration, they’ve at least sought to put some ‘daylight’ between themselves and the President.
But it’s starting to look as if the immigration fight has become the straw that broke the camel’s back. Conservatives oppose the White House on the substance and deeply resent the charges of nativism and ignorance coming from Bush’s team. Now Mitt Romney has apparently decided that it’s time to begin the process of disowning the President:
I agree with this assessment, but, did people not believe him on immigration in 2000 and 2004? Are conservatives so angry that Bush is trying to govern on what he campaigned on? Isn’t that bizarre?
And isn’t Congress really the cause of the spending problem? I mean, the President could have vetoed the transportation bill, but didn’t Congress write a bill with 15k earmarks or so in it?
And when did increasing executive power become a conservative rallying cry? I mean, I remember the Ayn Randites and the radical libertarians. I remember the various Christian groups. I don’t remember the study groups on increasing executive power.
If IP is right, and I think that he has a correct diagnosis of the symptoms, isn’t the real problem the underlying disease? Is that a movement we want?