The great fraud being perpetrated in our political discourse is the concerted attempt by movement conservatives, now that the Bush presidency lay irreversibly in ruins, to repudiate George Bush by claiming that he is not, and never has been, a “real conservative.” This con game is being perpetrated by the very same conservatives who – when his presidency looked to be an epic success – glorified George W. Bush, ensured both of his election victories, depicted him as the heroic Second Coming of Ronald Reagan, and celebrated him as the embodiment of True Conservatism.
I agree with Greenwald. A while ago I pointed that when the first conservatives (Sullivan comes to mind) broke from the Bush camp, movement conservatives started calling them liberals. Once Bush’s approval rating dropped to the point that he was only a burden to the movement, they’ve started calling Bush a liberal. Greenwald does a nice job showing how some of the same people who are claiming that Bush isn’t a real conservative supported the disastrous Bush tax cuts, the disastrous Bush foreign policy choices, the incompetents Bush appointments and much of the other Bush policy debacles. And now they realize that Bush wasn’t a conservative after all. How convenient.
What is really silly is that so many of what Bush has done comes from the Reagan play book. Tax cuts. Deregulation. Having industry insiders run the departments that regulate them. Cozy relationships with industry. Privatizing government functions. I see very little that Bush has done that Reagan wouldn’t have done. Or didn’t try to do.
I’m reminded of this quote:
Those are my principles, and if you don’t like them… well, I have others. – Groucho Marx