Fred Barnes provides six reasons why “conservatives have turned on Bush.” Along the way, Barnes takes up the question of whether Bush actually is a conservative. He writes:
Bush, of course, is a conservative, but a different kind of conservative. His tax cuts, support for social issues, hawkish position on national security and terrorism, and rejection of the Kyoto protocols make him so. He’s also killed the ABM and Comprehensive Test Ban treaties, kept the United States out of the international criminal court, defied the United Nations, and advocated a shift in power from Washington to individuals through an “ownership society.” On some issues–partial privatization of Social Security is the best example–he is a bolder conservative than Ronald Reagan, the epitome of a conventional conservative.
My view is that Bush is not a conservative when it comes to domestic issues. In a series of posts in 2003 and early 2004, I argued that he’s more of a third way guy. See, for example, here, here (in which I disagree with a piece by Barnes), and here.
However, I’m not one of those conservatives who has turned on Bush. I wholeheartedly support him for the same reason I did when I wrote the above posts — his aggressive prosecution of the war on terror. Besides, do we get a more conservative domestic policy if Bush becomes weaker? I doubt it.