Peggy Noonan thinks Republicans have a surprise coming from the Bush Administration. In a desperate attempt to reclaim the center of American politics, the Bushies will sell out the Republicans and work in league with the new Democratic majority--especially on immigration. I think she is probably right, but I dont think it surprising.
People usually actually are what they say they are in their most honest moments. I dont think Bush has many dishonest moments. About who he is, as in other things, Bush has not lied. It has been conservatives who have lied to themselves about what Bush is all about. Conservatives are bitterly disappointed but have no right to be so. He is what he is--a good man and a decent man, no doubt. Hes a man with an enormously difficult task and I think, generally speaking, he has done what he could. I find it difficult to assault him because I do not feel betrayed by him. He never promised us a conservative rose garden. Think back to the primaries of 2000 and recall the main reasons why conservatives supported him. Was he considered a pillar of Reagan conservatism then? No, we just thought he was better than most and, more important, that he could win. And, there was always a sense of his strong character and even a stubbornness that we have alternately admired and found irritating.
That is why I was (and am still) so surprised by the conservative over-reaction to the Harriet Miers debacle. What did yall expect? Believe me, Im glad we got Alito. But I still wonder if it wasnt at a very high price.
The thing conservatives need to remember as we approach another big election is that there is still a lot of persuading to do. Its one thing to say that the instincts of the American people are still conservative. That may be true. But that wont be enough to bring forth a conservative golden age.