Bush is not a conservative

This week’s Right Hook takes a departure from its normal routine for a brief interlude.

I’ve been playing with the idea of starting a Web log if for no other reason than to comment on things that don’t merit a full-blown column and because weekly deadlines make it so sometimes even I can’t remember what I was venting about when I wrote a piece.

Anyway, as part of my research, I’ve been lurking around a number of other blogs trying to get a feel for what I’d like mine eventually to look like.

Your host has been commented about or linked on occasion in both agreeing and dissenting blogs. Typically, I get a head’s up from someone who read the aforementioned blogs, or I’ll stumble across them with a well-timed search.

In one instance, your never-humble host was referred to as a “Bush conservative.” Now, the nice thing about opinions is that everyone has the right to be wrong.

So let’s get some things straight: Your host is a died-in-the-wool, genuine, bona fide conservative. As such, I am both for and against many of those things you’d associate a Republican conservative to be for or against. For example, I’m against abortion, I’m pro-business, I don’t believe an illegal alien is an “undocumented worker,” I despise taxes, and you can take my gun from my cold, dead hand. In short, there are no gray areas with me, and as you’d expect, I’m not crazy about crying, liberal weenies who disagree. In other words, next to me, conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh is a Democrat.

In my opinion, an “independent” or a “moderate” is someone who hasn’t thought long or hard enough about an issue or doesn’t have the courage in their convictions to make a principled stand. In short, ideologically lacking.

Now this doesn’t mean I’m ipso facto against the environment or think corporations should be given carte blanche to run amok, either. And finally, if you want a really good look at what liberal Democrats are about, take a look to the People’s Republic of California, where a man can’t be fired for wearing a dress to work. Or more specifically, you can’t fire someone for dressing consistent with his or her gender identity. I mean are you kidding me? What kind of fruit loop dreams this stuff up?

My point is that while George W. Bush is a Republican, he is no more a conservative than Bill Clinton was a liberal. He wasn’t. Bill Clinton was a populist. He knew how to placate his party’s base of voters and still get something done. And the only reason Clinton got the chance was in large part because Bush the Elder broke his “read my lips, no new taxes” promise to his base and promptly got himself shown the door.

But George W. Bush has outspent even punch-drunk Democrats—which sort of blows the limited government theory most conservatives subscribe to. And George W. Bush added the Department of Homeland Security and then shuffled up various governmental agencies into it—which sort of blows the smaller government theory most conservatives subscribe to.

And George W. Bush is nation-building in both Iraq and Afghanistan—which sort of blows the “the United States is not the world’s police officer” theory most conservatives also subscribe to.

The reality is that George W. Bush’s policies, ostensibly developed under the auspices of Karl “The Architect” Rove, prove only that Bush was re-elected despite Karl Rove, not because of him. They certainly prove he isn’t a conservative.