Ed Driscoll

Say What?

Matt Drudge links to this article titled “Desire to beat Bush masks deep divisions within Democratic Party“. I think the basic premise is true. (How can it not be? The modern Democratic Party is effectively a party of smaller splinter groups with little in common. The environmental far left are stasists, whereas building is the bread and butter of unions. Most Democrats are pro-abortion and pro-gay marriage, but many African-Americans are neither.) But this sentence sounds almost the reverse of how Bush has governed:

Bush faced the same problem after running in 2000 as a centrist, then governing as a hard-line partisan.

Bush won the nomination because he was seen as more conservative than John McCain. But in an effort to reduce the number of moderate issues that a Democrat could run on, Bush has risked alienating his conservative base. He signed McCain’s arguably unconstitutional Campaign Finance Reform bill. He introduced big budget education bills and spent more on AIDS in Africa than any other of his predecessors. He proposed Kennedy-esque manned space bills.

Bush came closest to alienating his conservative base with his squishy immigration bill at the start of the year.

No doubt, Bush has done a number of things which has pleased his conservative base: lowering taxes, aggressively pursuing the war on terrorism, trying to block gay marriage. But as Jonathan Rauch noted in his insightful article last year titled, “The Accidental Radical“, there are far too many centrist initiatives in Bush’s first term for an objective writer to say he’s “governing as a hard-line partisan”.