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Shows my age, I suppose, but the situation amongst the Establishment "Conservative" Commentary community as the Bush Amnesty/Immigration Surge Act gets closer to passing is becoming reminiscent of watching the fall of Saigon. There goes Charles Krauthammer (or Yankhammer), clinging to a helicopter's skids. Here are NRO's Frum and Goldberg, scrambling for cover.
For VDARE.com, used to being lonely and ignored, the situation is odd. We are still ignored of course, but the most astonishing people have crowded into our space and are occupying our intellectual furniture.
It is not too early to ask, how did the Bush disaster occur? Peter Brimelow advanced his views last November. And ParaPundit is thinking about it too, with a kind reference to us: 2007 June 03 Sunday Conservative Commentators Failed To See Bush Clearly
In reaction to Peggy Noonan's column arguing Bush has betrayed and abandoned conservatives on immigration and other topics and they should treat him likewise, Rod Dreher points out that conservatives (at least those who supported Bush for years) bear a lot of responsibility for the failed Presidency of George W. Bush. I gotta agree.
"I've got no strong objection to Noonan's analysis, and indeed I'm thrilled to see it. But it seems to me that we conservatives need to avoid falling into a historical revisionism that allows us to portray ourselves as passive victims of a feckless president. Not saying she does this, but I think as the last wheel comes off this presidency, and the GOP comes to grips with what this presidency has meant for the Republican Party and the conservative movement, there will be a strong temptation to resist owning up to our own complicity. Success has a thousand fathers, after all, and failure is an orphan. This failure is not President Bush's alone. The Republican Party owns it. The conservative movement, with some exceptions, owns it".
Para Pundit comments:
Note that the exception Dreher links to is The American Conservative. Yes, the AmCon guys definitely did not drink the Bush Kool-Aid. Whereas the National Review folks drank it in large quantities and cried for more. The list of conservative commentators who supported Bush through thick and think is quite long. I'm going to discount many of their views in the future...
At this point I'd like to know: Who called Bush correctly early on? Who on the Right quickly figured out Bush's weaknesses and came to see his Presidency in a negative light? These are the people to pay attention to on other subjects. They have better track records in figuring out what really is. Of course, you can find people on the Left who saw Bush as terrible. But most of them would have done so regardless just based on a President's being a Republican. It is more useful to look at which commentators see someone clearly when they do not have partisan motives. So who saw Bush clearly? I'm thinking Greg Cochran, Lawrence Auster, Steve Sailer and some of the VDare writers.
Thanks, Para Pundit. (We're investigating which VDARE.com writers ever liked Bush.)