Conservatives just finished their annual liberal bashing meeting in Washington, only this year the target of their outrage was not Barack Obama ( although he took a few hits from Rush Limbaugh). Rather it was George W. Bush, who became the source of their grumbling and second-guessing. Not content to wait for history to make its judgments about # 43, the likes of Newt Gingrich, Michelle Malkin, and Mike Huckabee tore into the former president.
The W. may be back in Texas cutting brush, but his ears must have been ringing as his once close allies on the right blamed him for abandoning conservative principles, in particular big spending, pork barrel programs, huge debts and God-forbid big government. As Newt Gingrich whined, ” We didn’t get real change. We got big spending under Bush.”
Conservatives have a nasty habit of destroying their movement from within as right wing ideologues demand doctrinal purity and do not hesitate to call out those who stray from the Rush Limbaugh playbook. It has now dawned on the conservatives that they are on life support with their influence in Washington and in the country at rock bottom, and so they spend their time engaging in the fine art of scapegoating. It’s not a pretty picture.
Even more distressing is that the right is not above slamming John McCain, war hero, staunch conservative and man of principle. According to these true believers, McCain not only lost to Obama, but he also dared to move to the center on some issues such as immigration reform. Conservatives, you see, abhor the middle, since moderation is a sign of weakness not pragmatism.
What bothers the conservatives even more is that they really don’t have a voice out there that can challenge the Obama movement – Bobby Jindal is a laughing stock, Sarah Palin has used up her two months of fame, and Mike Huckabee is playing his steel guitar on Fox. There is Mitt Romney, there is always Mitt Romney, but right now he is back in California working to make Ebay’s Meg Whitman Governor and lying low.
Expect more of this right -wing lamenting over what should have been with George W. Bush playing the part of persona non grata. You know the conservatives are in deep trouble when they spend most of their time in the past instead of presenting a new conservative agenda, one that goes beyond the stale praise for tax cuts.