If you give him credit for believing in the policies and nominations he helped Bush make and defend, then Rove was wrong on the constitutionally appropriate role of the federal government, wrong on foreign policy, wrong on immigration and wrong on a crucial nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court. In 2000, George W. Bush ran for president not as a conservative, but as a “compassionate conservative.” This was presumably because unadulterated conservatives are not compassionate.
But to take the term “compassionate conservative” seriously, one must assume that a person in political office deserves credit for showing compassion when he employs the coercive power of the state to take money from one person and give it to another.
Weekly Standard editor Fred Barnes coined a more candid, if oxymoronic, description of the Bush-Rove approach to government. In a 2003 commentary in The Wall Street Journal, Barnes said Bush was “a big government conservative.” Big government conservatives, Barnes explained, “simply believe in using what would normally be seen as liberal means — activist government — for conservative ends. And they’re willing to spend more and increase the size of government in the process.”
In fact, conservatives believe the proper end of all federal elected officials is to preserve the limits on government that are spelled out in our Constitution and that protect the God-given rights of individuals against an overreaching state.
It always made me laugh when Progressivists shrieked about Bush being a “right-wing extremist” or other such obvious canards. Whatever else he may have been, he was never even remotely that. Such risible hysteria was just an obvious ploy to keep pushing the supposed “center” Leftward, and had no meaning at all beyond that. And now Rove and pals are going to help them along with that insidious little project.
Too bad riding people on rails has gone out of fashion.
Update! From the People’s Cube’s “News we just don’t have time to write about” section: “Karl Rove puts an end to Tea Party with new ‘Republicans For Democrats’ strategy aimed at losing elections.” Yeah, that about sums it all up.