Chat With Beltway Boy Fred Barnes
We've just been joined by Fred Barnes who is offering us (in addition to a free copy of his new book Rebel In Chief) his perspective on the leadership of President Bush.
- President Bush is a different kind of President, a different kind of Conservative, and a different kind of Republican.
- Bush is a populist who hates Washington.
- Presidents either govern or lead. Bush 41, Clinton, Carter, and Ford governed. Reagan led.
- Bush Conservatism is the future for Conservatives. Conservatism is less defined by size of government than by an ability to recognize reality such as it is.
Barnes see no feasible return to small government, based on empirical evidence of Conservative revolutions under Reagan and Gingrich (which failed to materially shrink the federal government). Barnes feels this is due to the people demanding grand and broad function to the government, and that the attempts to constrain the supply of government (as was the case in these two Conservative revolutions) did not address this underlying demand. He did note that Bush's ownership society (however insufficiently promoted thus far) may hold some promise toward reducing this demand for government.
Handcrafted by Flip on January 9, 2006 |
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