Richard A. Viguerie laments in the Washington Post ("Bush's Base Betrayal") that George Bush hasn't fulfilled his expectations of a "conservative" President.
In 2004, Republican leaders pleaded with conservatives -- particularly religious conservatives -- to register people to vote and help them turn out on Election Day. Those efforts strengthened Republicans in Congress and probably saved the Bush presidency. We were told: Just wait till the second term. Then, the president, freed of concern over reelection and backed by a Republican Congress, would take off the gloves and fight for the conservative agenda. Just wait.It isn't that Bush didn't try to do some of the things that Viguerie-style conservatives desire - it's that he tried and failed. Think Social Security "reform". But I'm not going to argue very hard - there's very little about Bush which is truly conservative, unless you include as conservative his eagerness to subvert personal freedoms in the name of national security or religion.
We're still waiting.
The current relationship between Washington Republicans and the nation's conservatives makes me think of a cheating husband whose wife catches him, and forgives him, time and time again. Then one day he comes home to discover that she has packed her bags and called a cab -- and a divorce lawyer.Try again. Viguerie is in the position of a spouse who, after years of marriage, complains, "My wife is exactly the way she was when I married her, and I knew what she was like when I married her, but I thought she would change."