Earlier on, there's this:
If only we could get social conditions right -- eliminate poverty, teach anger management, restore the ozone, arrest John Ashcroft -- everyone would be holding hands smiley-faced, rocking back and forth to "We Shall Overcome."
Let me run down this list as far as I'm concerned:
- Eliminate poverty: Of course, doing so is to almost everyone's direct economic benefit; people with more money spend more money
- Anger management: Got me there--I don't really care about that
- Restore the ozone: Naw, I'd prefer industrial chemicals to increase skin cancer. Sarcasm aside, protecting the environment is once again a direct benefit to me and my family--and isn't rational self-interest supposed to be the conservative hallmark?
- Arrest John Ashcroft--Not at all, but I wouldn't mind seeing him axed as the self-promoting, lying, fumbling AG he is.
Finally, Krauthammer puzzles over the press buying into Dubya's image:
The most troubling paradox of all, of course, is George W. Bush. Compassionate, yet conservative? Reporters were fooled during the campaign. "Because Bush seemed personally pleasant," explained Slate, "[they] assumed his politics lay near the political center."
That, of course, had nothing to do with the fact that Bush relentlessly promoted the image of a personable centrist during the campaign, mostly by sticking to empty platitudes and avoiding specifics whenever possible. (And yes, the "liberal" press let him get away with it.) I think Bush's true political beliefs have shown during his tenure as President, and I can't fathom him trying to sweep it all back under the "compassionate conserveative" rug when he runs for re-election.