What Conservatives Can Expect From Bush`s Second Term
President Bush to sound like Woodrow Wilson,"
neoconservative political analyst
Michael Barone in the
Wall Street Journal this week.
Mr. Barone`s advice was no criticism, since he fairly
gushed with toasty sounds about the similarities between
Wilson`s beliefs and Mr. Bush`s "vision of an America
spreading freedom and democracy to new corners of the
And in fact Mr. Barone was correct. Wilson is exactly
who Mr. Bush sounded like in his speech yesterday.
Woodrow Wilson of course was the president who not only
launched America into
World War I to
"make the world safe for democracy" but also
helped forge the disastrous
Treaty of Versailles, which helped spawn the chaos
that led to Nazism in Germany and World War II.
Among Wilson`s other dubious accomplishments were the
creation of the Federal Reserve System, a massive
expansion of federal regulations, the federal income tax
and the rise of what he called "presidential
government" to "get around" the
"congressional government." Why anyone
purporting to represent conservatism of any kind would
invoke Wilson as a positive icon is beyond
Wilson also resembles Mr. Bush in that he campaigned in
1916 election on the slogan, "He kept us out of
war." Then, a few months later, he helped bring us
into war. Like
Wilson, Mr. Bush
is rapidly acquiring a reputation for violating the
commitments of his last presidential campaign. That,
perhaps, is his most notable contribution to American
political history so far.
While not exactly a violation of a campaign promise, Mr.
renewed enthusiasm for amnesty for illegal aliens
can fairly count as a
betrayal. Though he proposed the amnesty
early last year, before the campaign really started,
he dropped it after a less than rousing response from
Congress. He may have mentioned it once or twice during
the campaign, but he has never described it as the
amnesty it actually is.
Only after the election did Secretary of State Colin
Powell, while on a visit to Mexico, say the
plan would be revived.
"In light of the campaign and other things that
were going on, we weren`t able to engage the Congress on
it," Mr. Powell said. "But now that the election
is behind us and the president is looking to his second
term, the president intends to engage Congress on it."
In other words, we couldn`t tell voters what we were
going to do because we would have lost. Now that we
don`t have to pay attention to them any more, we can
speak plainly. Ever since the election Mr. Bush has
repeatedly promised to push his plan through
Plain Speaking Event Number Two is the proposed
constitutional amendment banning homosexual marriage.
Personally, I am not in favor of it and have
written against it in the past, but many
conservatives, especially those who supported the
president, are, and one major reason
they did support him is because he said he was in
favor of it too. Now
Interviewed in the
Washington Post last
week, Mr. Bush said he is
advised by Republican senators that the amendment
can`t possibly pass. Actually, it didn`t pass last year
when it came up in Congress, but the religious right and
its allies want to push it again.
As the Washington Post noted this week, social
conservatives are already grousing about the president`s
apparent lack of interest in pushing it. "Clearly
there is concern," said a spokesman for the
Family Research Council.
Add to concern about the amendment the president`s
appointment of an "abortion rights supporter,"
Kenneth Mehlman, as head of the Republican National
Committee, and Mr. Bush may start having problems with a
large part of his political base. [Bush
Upsets Some Supporters, By Jim VandeHei and
Michael A. Fletcher, January 19, 2005]
Plain Speaking Event Number Three, assuming we don`t
count the appointment of
Alberto Gonzales as attorney general and his
positions on abortion and immigration, is Mr. Gonzales`
recent statement before the Senate Judiciary
Committee that he "he will support reinstating the
federal ban on assault weapons, which Congress allowed
to expire in September."
Since voting blocs like gun owners were at least as
vital to Mr. Bush`s re-election as the religious right
and since the expiration occurred because the president
didn`t oppose it, this too can fairly be counted as a
betrayal of the president`s conservative base.
Is it surprising that Mr. Bush, even before he was
inaugurated for a second term, started betraying the
conservative positions he took during the campaign and
the conservative image he and his handlers so carefully
cultivated? No, it`s not. Some of us knew, even before
he became president at all, that he is a phony-con.
Those who elected and re-elected him have yet to
learn that, but in the next few years, they
will—again—have ample opportunity to do so.
CREATORS SYNDICATE, INC.
Sam Francis [email
him] is a nationally syndicated columnist. A selection
of his columns,
America Extinguished: Mass Immigration And The
Disintegration Of American Culture, is now available
Americans For Immigration Control.
for Sam Francis` website. Click
here to order his monograph,
Ethnopolitics: Immigration, Race, and the American