Friday, January 16, 2009

Did Bush's "Compassionate Conservatism" Disable Republicanism?

I believe that of all the questions we will ask and answer about Bush's 8 years as President, it is the answer to that question that will begin the healing. In my mind, Bush's entire 2nd term was a miserable failure and endangered America almost as much as the decisive action he took after 9/11 saved it. President Bush was re-elected because he had the resolve and the moral fortitude to risk his legacy to save America from a real and dangerous threat. Sept 2001 until January 2005 were the days when President Bush good for the Republican brand and could have been called a Conservative even though not everything he did was conservative.

But beginning in early 2005, maybe even as early as Inauguration Day, a new and much less decisive President Bush emerged. Throughout the remainder of his days in office, Bush became more liberal and more of a capitulator with every day that pased. From his continued insistence that he and no one else knew what was needed to correct his own administrations shortsightedness on Iraq to the insentience (via Condi Rice) that North Korea could be reasoned with and Iran deterred if Europe united in opposition to their nuclear program, Bush lost sight to the Conservative inside him that caused him to fight the war on terror with such accuracy and passion that the the remaining 7 years on his watch America was not attacked again.

I don't want to spend much more time pondering what went wrong or what could have been, but had Bush practiced just a little fiscal restraint during his first 6 years in office, it is unlikely the Country would be led by Democrats and facing a National Depression.

The Republicans (the party in which I grudgingly admit I am registered to vote) is damaged beyond the ability for it to heal. It is certainly not dead, but in its current form and under current control, it will limp along in minority obscurity for decades to come. The party cannot and will not become a viable player again until it get's back to the roots of Conservatism that ushered in Ronald Reagan and fueled the take back of the House of Representatives in 1994.

Pork barrel spending addicts that practice knee-jerk reactionary governance is how I would describe the Republican Party today. It's amazing how far down the crapper a political party can go in 14 short years.

With every ounce of energy and all the credibility i can muster, I pledge I will work tirelessly to do what little I can from my little corner of the county, to bring back the principles of Reagan and practices of Gingrich to mend our broken party. But in order to remake the party, the current establishment fools that control it need to be thrown out on their ears. From what I can tell from reading the pundits that agree the current leadership got us into this mess, there does not seem to be the level of outrage necessary to kick these jerks off their lofty perch.

I don't have the answers as to what we should do next. I'm frustrated and a little bit depressed in my powerlessness. We have a lot of work to do.

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