IS BUSH A CONSERVATIVE?
By Tom DeWeese
What they see is a White House that --
It is a White House so seriously out of tune with its political base one wonders how it can think it will be re-elected.
These are just a few examples of how totally off the rails the Republican train has become in the eyes of its own Party members. Many of its leaders, meeting in Philadelphia in early February, spent a behind-doors session grilling Karl Rove, President Bush’s political advisor, telling him “our constituents are upset.” At an earlier gathering of GOP big whigs, the former chairman of the Party, Haley Barbour, warned them that the November election was going to be close. Just to make sure they understood what he was telling them, he repeated himself.
A President and a Party get elected and reelected based as much on what they are for as what they are against. A lot of Republicans and independents who lean in their direction are against Big Government and Big Spending. Since 2000, that is all the Bush administration has given them, and many are in a state of insurrection, desperately trying to get the White House to understand this is not what they voted for.
Does the White House need to be reminded how narrow their last victory was? Do they need to be reminded that they are in office only because the U.S. Supreme Court gave them an Electoral College victory, not a victory by the popular vote?
Instead, the entire tone of the White House since taking office has been one of hubris and secrecy. Were it not for 9-11, this President would have long since been abandoned by his constituency and, even with that awful event and all it portends for national security, it may not be enough for a second term.
Still, the White House argues that the economy is on the rebound and, if one looks at events on Wall Street, housing sales and other economic indicators, such a case can be made, but what is being ignored is the huge debt Americans, old and young, have individually as they struggle to --
Also being ignored are the difficulties Americans face as --
Ordinary people who vote are asking themselves if this White House understands or cares about their problems.
If the economy, despite all the talk of its health and growth, isn’t enough to still the fears of Americans, the sorry condition of the nation’s educational system and misguided, ineffective policies and programs intended to improve the system hit every home where there are children passing through the educational system. The Bush administration signed off on “Leave No Child Behind,” a huge Statist plan for centralized control of the public schools by the national government -- a program designed by arch-Liberal, U.S. Senator Teddy Kennedy, a program which is now being criticized for its one-size-fits-all mandate that requires the same tests for urban or rural schools, large or small. Most school administrators and teachers, joined by a growing chorus of citizens saddled with huge property taxes, do not deem this program appropriate to the need for reforming an educational system that fails to provide adequate instruction in even the most basic skills.
Worse yet, the Bush administration is now sponsoring a United Nations curriculum designed to deny the sovereignty of the United States of America, teaching a “citizen of the world” philosophy. In another social area, schools continue to ignore an “abstinence” message in favor of lessons in sexuality that grant equality to all forms of sex, normal and abnormal, inside and outside of marriage. The use of drugs like Ritalin to control children continues unabated. Schools are no longer safe zones, and even the daily pledge of allegiance is disputed in the courts.
While most Americans grasp the need to fight the worldwide Islamic Jihad threatening our nation and the West, concerns about unrealistic schemes for "nation-building" in Afghanistan and Iraq will continue to worry them, despite our evident successes in regime change in those countries..
In a nation that remains sharply divided, the Republican Party and the White House, however, have abandoned the very principles that drew people increasingly to its ranks. Half or more of all Americans no longer even bother to vote and, if disaffected Republicans and Independents stay home on Election Day in November, George W. Bush will become, as his father before him, a one-term President.
Are there any differences between the Republican Party and the Democratic Party? Yes, but the line has been so blurred by the policies and actions of the White House, and a rising tide of distress is being expressed from within the Republican Party and may well be reflected in a new administration in January, 2005, one that will win because too many are asking: “Is Bush listening? Is Bush a Conservative?”
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