Thursday, October 20, 2005


The first sentence from Sidney Blumenthal's column today tells you that he's not really analyzing the policies of the Bush Administration, but just spouting. "President Bush is the most conservative president in modern times". This is true if you believe modern times began in 1990, but for anyone who believes modern times preceded Gulf War I, this statement is false. Ronald Reagan was a much more conservative President. Truman was more conservative.

President Bush is not a conservative. He's more of a radical than a conservative. His foreign policy is Wilsonian and his spending habits are Johnsonian (that's Lyndon, not Andrew). He has made little effort to decentralize power from Washington. He has demonstrated zero interest in rolling back the federal government's role in the economy and social life of the country. Other than the tax cut, what has Bush done - done, not just talked about or hinted at - that is in line with conservatives' ambitions?

Blumenthal says that "Bush has followed the religious right's line on stem-cell research, abortion and creationism". Again, Bush has talked the talk that social conservatives want to hear, but so far he has not really walked the walk. Not consistently and not with any conviction. Blumenthal says that conservatives have turned on Bush because he "stumbled upon a dirty little secret of conservatism: the public supports conservative presidents so long as they leave alone the liberal programmes that benefit them". Now he's crossed the line into pure fantasy.

Anyone interested in serious political analysis can see that this is not true, but that doesn't matter to Blumenthal. I'm convinced he works for free because no editor worth his salt would publish such fluff except when he has those desperately empty column inches as the deadline approaches. Blumenthal serves up five-year old campaign jargon as if it bears a relationship to today's reality and still manages to get published.