Randy Barnett posts in NRO’s Corner: It seems to ordinary folks like my Dad that Bush has completely abandoned all conservative/libertarian principles on the domestic front. If the White House does not wake up and realize the damage it has already done by triangulating, it will indeed undercut Bush’s chance to survive to fight the war in a second term. Any single transgression can be explained away but the sum total cannot. For example, the problem with the campaign-finance bill is not that it was a bad bill. It is that it was unconstitutional and Bush ran against the bill–then flipped. The problem with the education bill is not just that it was written by Ted Kennedy, but that it abandoned the principles of reform that the President campaigned on–then flipped. Ditto the prescription-drug bill–another flip. “Compromised” away were the principles that made candidate Bush better than Al Gore for many who voted for him.
I am not sure what the White House can do about this at this late date. Complaining about conservative/libertarian complaints will not get it done. Ask Bush I. Conservative/libertarian pundits are merely the messenger.
There is, of course, the official Republican Party response. Put your hands over your ears and chant “Na na na, Kerry is worse.” I don’t find that the least bit convincing. If worry about the undeclared and unconstitutional war is your only hang-up, remember that plenty of Democratic presidents have won wars too. Kerry even voted for it. I still believe Bush will win, however, thanks to the Massachusetts court and the “marriage” issue.