I’m often perplexed at the right-wing’s loathing of people like Bill Clinton who did more than most Republican presidents (including Nixon, Bush I, Ford, and arguably Reagan) to further the Conservative agenda. The conservative policy agenda that is.
You see, the observation that the Bush Administration does not have a policy apparatus means that the problems we are having now transcend left-right ideological battles. Most observers have noticed that the Republicans shift what they stand for based on what they want to do at the moment. When they want to defeat an entitlement, they argue for fiscal restraint; when they want a tax cut, they use discredited supply-side arguments.
You simply cannot predict Republican behavior in any scientific way by examining conservative principles. You can, however, predict what they will do if you examine their political and social enemies and their paymasters.
Clinton didn’t always do what his party’s base wanted; quite often the reverse was true. But most of what the man did worked, and looking at the post below about New Orleans state to this day made me think of this.
Even in foreign policy, Clinton’s people were right more than they were wrong. The problem with Clinton was, he thought good policy was good politics. It is with average everyman, but it’s not with the highly involved hate drive groups, like the Christian right, the oil-defense complex (i.e. The Texas Conspiracy), and gun people.
Abortions are good policy; gun control is good policy; carbon reduction is good policy; peace is good policy; etc. Good policy for everyone often angers people with entrenched power or dogmatic ideals.
America is not adrift because Bush has followed conservative policies; it’s because he’s followed none at all.