From The Nation: Interviews with an array of conservative thinkers and policy-makers reveal a rising disquiet on these matters among people who have spent most of their lives proudly identifying with the Republican Party and the philosophy for which they’ve long assumed it stood. At the root of their discomfort is a feeling not that the Bush Administration is too conservative but that it has forsaken the guiding principles of conservatism–prudence, caution, restraint–to pursue an agenda that is messianic and radical. To these dissenters, it is an agenda that seems less a fulfillment of classic conservative principles than an exercise in hubris reminiscent of the ideological excesses of another era, the 1960s, only with the shoe on the other party’s foot.
You won’t often hear me praising The Nation, but this article by Eyel Press, entitled “Even Conservatives Are Wondering: Is Bush One of Us?” is one well worth reading. I tend to be an early bird and left the GOP years ago, and I fully expect many, many Republicans to join me in exiting the party as it transforms itself into a ruling strong government institution.
It is not uncommon that one’s opponents have a clearer view of one than one does oneself. This article should seriously trouble anyone who still clings to the hope that the president is a conservative. The problem isn’t just that the administration’s agenda is messianic and radical, but that it is a left-leaning messianic and radical agenda. The fact that much of the left doesn’t recognize this only demonstrates how deeply stupid most of it is.