Back when the dispute among the Right over the nomination of Harriet Miers to the Supreme Court was hot and nasty, I observed that some people’s avowed support for President Bush seemed to be a bit more frail and weak than they claimed. The response to that was varied, including a number of personal insults about me being a “robot” or “bootlicker”. While the issue passed, and a nominee acceptable to all Conservatives was named after Miers’ withdrawal, I continued to wonder how well Conservative support would stick by the man most responsible for the present GOP Majority, and the first man since Reagan to not wilt under the pressures or enticements to forfeit the promises made to the American People.
I received an e-mail Thursday night, which I find representative of that facade-only Conservatism. I leave off the writer’s name, but the text was as follows:
“I think George Bush has lost control of the ship. He seems paralyzed to make any tough decisions - about anything - is unable to tell us anything without reading from someone else's prepared scripts. He is unable to tell us which direction we are heading as we are heading nowhere now except in circles. He has forsaken whatever conservative agenda that was promised to get him elected. His cardboard press secretary is no better. Why anyone shows up at those press conferences is beyond me.
“Seems to me he is like Captain Queeg juggling his marbles petrified to do anything .More honesty - if this were baseball - a relief pitcher would be would be in with Bush being able to be charged with a loss and not with a win.
“Hey - if he can't or won't steer the ship - better he get the hell out of the way. I would rather go down swinging than be led to the ovens again by inaction. What happened to the Guy that stood on the rubble in New York - seems we lost him.”
I replied as follows:
“Having a bad day? I read your message, but I cannot say that I see the analogies as valid. First, "paralyzed" is hardly accurate. Bush is getting out and making appearances and delivering statements, and even if some less-than-focused Republicans are hurting vital work like ANWR and screwing around with the Budget, the President himself is doing his job, same as he always does.
“I would have to disagree with your choice of comparisons as valid in any way. Bush's selection of Alito, his support for drilling in ANWR, and other key points of focus are as conservative as anyone could ask - if turncoats in Congress will not pass the proposals into law, it hardly means that the President did not care. As for Captain Queeg (who never actually held that rank - remember part of the thing was that Queeg looked so desperately to be promoted to Commander?), he was a mentally unbalanced bully, hardly an apt description of George W. Bush.
“I understand that you would like a grand gesture from Dubs, but remember - the "show on demand" President was Clinton. Dubya does things because he is doing the job. What he said on the rubble in New York was unscripted, and he meant every syllable of what he said. That's what made the difference. George W. Bush, whatever you think of his elocution, never says something unless he means it, and he is not one to grandstand, even when Conservatives think that will help.
“What I am saying is this - the George W. Bush we have now, is exactly the one we have always had. He's maddening at times, because he will not say what you want him to say, and he will not make a gesture just for points. The same George W. Bush who annoyed Conservatives by not threatening China in the plane collision incident in 2001, was the same President who had no trouble sending troops into Afghanistan and Iraq. The same Dubya who nominated Harriet Miers to the United States Supreme Court also nominated Samuel Alito and John Roberts, and for the same reason in each case; he honestly believed in his nominee, and thought they were the right choice. The same Dubya who refused to get outraged at the slander from Kerry's campaign last year, also refused to fire or punish Cheney, Rumsfeld, or any other Administration member who was attacked simply for doing their job well. The man is who he is, and on the whole we are truly blessed to have him at the helm, a man unwilling to panic or be sweet-talked, and a man whose perspective goes a bit further than any other politician on the horizon right now.
“Instead of suggesting that Bush is somehow not the right man to have in charge, for myself I am hoping and praying that we can somehow find a man or woman to continue his leadership past 2008.”
This was not the first, nor sadly will it be the last, that I hear of someone whose confidence drives his mind and heart. It occurs to me that, call me what you will for saying so, that if Conservatives want to make something of our majority, we need to make plain that we stand behind our President, and that if they want to be part of the future, they must follow the leader of the movement, not pretend to grandeur themselves for the sake of expediency or a quick moment of attention from the MSM.
This is a gut-check call for the nation. If the Liberals can sell the idea that Conservatives are not committed to their ideals, the people who swing the elections will start believing in “moderate” Democrats again. The closest thing we have to a Conservative leader with the vision and backbone to get the job done, is President Bush. It’s time for us to show we have not forgotten that, or that we have confused his rivals (McCain, Specter, et al) for leadership.
I support the President. Where do you stand?