Rather, Bush’s numbers are low because conservatives are finding increasingly less to approve of and increasingly more to disapprove of. The National Review’s Jonah Goldberg takes issue with the left’s comparison of Bush to Nixon because the elements to which they draw similarities are actually quite dissimilar. Goldberg asserts here, however, that Bush does have other more striking similarities to Nixon, whom he classes as “the last of the New Deal-era liberal presidents.”
“… at the philosophical level, he [Bush] shares the Nixonians' supreme confidence in the power of the state. Bush rejects limited government and many of the philosophical assumptions that underlie that position. He favors instead strong government. He believes, as he said in 2003, that when "somebody hurts, government has got to move." His compassionate conservatism shares with Nixon's moderate Republicanism a core faith that not only can the government love you, but it should spend money to prove its love. Beyond that, there seems to be no core set of principles that define Bush's approach, and therefore, much like Nixon, no clearly communicable message that explains why he does things other than political calculation and expediency.”Goldberg argues that Bush’s tactics run contrary to most of the GOP’s base. “Today, Reaganite conservatives make up a majority of the Republican party.” Goldberg opines, “If Bush held the Reaganite line on liberty at home the way he does on liberty abroad, he'd be in a lot better shape.”
That’s wishful thinking. Bush is what he is. The zebra’s not going to change his stripes at this point. Unless he has an epiphany similar to the conversion that caused him to give up booze, he’s not going to suddenly become a small government activist.
Liberals count the days to the end of Bush’s second term and dream about impeachment. Interestingly, many conservatives look forward to the end of bush’s second term as well, but wonder what will come next and what will be left of the GOP by 2008. Conservatives put up with Bush because he at least has some semblance of toughness with regard to national security. The Democrats simply have no credibility on this issue whatever.
On an interesting side note, American scholar Shelby Steele offers his very politically incorrect proposition of why the U.S. (and the West in general) finds itself incapable of actually prosecuting the War on Terror in a decisive manner. He also links this to our inability to control immigration along our southern border.
Peggy Noonan contends here that the institution of the presidency is in trouble. The job has gotten “too big, too complicated, too crucial, too many-fronted, too . . . impossible.” If her thesis is correct, “that the wheels are off the trolley and the trolley's off the tracks, and … that there is nothing [we] can do about it,” then it won’t matter so much who the next president is. And that’s a scary thought.