We all knew it. Bush 43 tried to define his presidency by bringing new tone to Washington D.C., and called his politics compassionate conservatism. By reaching across the aisle and letting Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.) write the No Child Left Behind in 2001, propping up the U.S. steel industry with tariffs in 2002, and dishing out billions in pork creatively identified as national defense spending, he failed conservatives around the country.
In the end, what did that new tone get us?
Either Bush 43 was not a conservative in 2000 when elected, or he was quickly convinced that his new tone required him to reach across the aisle, reach out to liberals, and compromise. The problem is when he did compromise – better defined as giving up principles here, there and everywhere – he still was attacked.
Bush gained no ground at all during his tenure, it’s quite clear Bush hatred grew exponentially especially after the 2004 election.
Just look at how Bush was treated concerning No Child Left Behind, a law that he signed, but Kennedy wrote. Bush was blamed constantly concerning the legislations failure to improve student performance. Of note is Bill Clinton also blaming Kennedy just after the Senator endorsed his wife’s Democrat rival, Barak Obama.
Ed over at Hot Air has some good analysis as well.
Dick Armey writes in a Wall Street Journal column today what most conservatives understood for the past several years — that “compassionate conservatism” was just another name for Big Government.
I’m not sure Bush went into office with the intention to grow entitlement programs, but that is certainly how it turns out. Ed also provides a video interview with Newt Gingrich – shown below – and provides this recap.
… in the midst of the Bush-bashing, I want to point out something Gingrich says. He states that as long as the government spends multi-trillion dollars every year, lobbyists will gather to get their share, distorting the political process and leading to corruption. The only way to reduce or eliminate the influence of lobbyists in Washington is to reduce the amount of spoils they can grab.
Note, Jim over at RadioViceOnline also picked up on this today and points out an opinion article by Dick Army over at WSJ.