Tuesday, December 30, 2003

Cracks in Bush Support Among 'Hard Right'

The Washington Times, which ought to know, was reporting today some major dissatisfaction with Prez Bush among some conservatives, including direct-mail guru Richard Viguerie. Viguerie was quoted: "I'm beginning, for the first time, [to hear] people talk about 'it would not be the worst thing in the world if Howard Dean were president,' because the size of government would stay still rather than increase 50 percent under a second Bush administration."

This is major, folks.

In the same article, Pat Buchanan is also quoted: "President Bush is an active war leader, which gives him a measure of immunity from conservative defections. But his spending is making his father look like Barry Goldwater, and my view is that domestic social spending is exploding. He's not vetoed a single bill, he has gone south on affirmative action. And I think he's gone AWOL on social and cultural issues."

Another key paragraph: "Public signs of discontent inside the Beltway include scathing critiques from the American Conservative Union's new online journal and from the Cato Institute's president, Edward H. Crane, who writes in the current institute newsletter that Mr. Bush is responsible for the "philosophical collapse of the GOP."

Those deficit-spending chickens are beginning to fly home to roost in this administration. The War in Iraq, the huge boondoggle of a Medicare bill.... And Bush's attempts to straddle issues like gay marriage ("it's awful, evil, and the end of civilization, but really, gosh, gee, individual states should get to decide") may end up discouraging his most loyal troops not to work all that hard for him next year.

Maybe, just maybe there's a little sunlight streaming through these cracks in the Hard Right.

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