Wednesday | July 17, 2002
Conservatives ganging up on Bush
Sure, there are Coulter-type conservatives that will blindly defend Bush to the end of their days. But, there has been clear and growing unease amongst many intellectual conservatives, displaying a laudable lack of hypocrisy.
Two examples today:
The Weekly Standard's Christopher Caldwell writes:
For decades now, the "small government" Republican Party has been slamming the corrupt conduct of, say, trial lawyers who just suck money out of the economy and put it in their pockets in the name of the ideal of "representing the little guy." When they talk this way, Iím all ears. But, Jesus, this [corporate corruption] is what they have to offer in its place?Caldwell then speculates on the mysterious buyer of Bush's Harken shares, guessing it might be Saudis with ties to the Bin Laden family.
The National Review's Byron York rehashes one of his 1999 articles examining Bush's business record in great detail:
Far more than tales of youthful drinking and carousing, the record of Bush's rise to wealth reveals how he became what he is today. It's a complicated tale of family connections, hard work, and sweet deals, topped off by a taxpayer-subsidized baseball bonanza that may leave some Republicans feeling queasy about how their candidate got rich.The article takes a critical look at Bush's business dealings, even if it does use the words "Bush" and "hard work" in the same sentence.
These writers are critical, in large part, because they think Bush is harming the conservative cause. Bush has boosted the size of government, his crony capitalistic ways is harming the case for unregulated capitalism, etc. But some of that criticism is principled outrage at Bush's lack of character. These writers gave Clinton hell, and are now admirably reluctant to give Bush a pass.