Bush’s SOTU Leaves Social Conservatives ‘Lifeless,’ ‘Disappointed,’ ‘Shaking Their Heads’

Social conservatives who have been longtime loyalists of President Bush are speaking out in anger about the president’s silence on divisive right-wing issues. Cultural conservatives who have become accustomed to hearing Bush cater rhetorically to their wishes found “little to cheer” in his speech Tuesday night. Some examples below:

In a video address entitled, “A Lifeless State of the Union,” President Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council said, “I believe the president failed to challenge the new majority to advance core family and cultural issues. What will become of the culture of life, the defense of marriage and permanent family-friendly tax policies?” [FRC, 1/24/07]

I think the president left a lot of conservatives shaking their heads” by avoiding the issues atop their agenda, said Bill Lauderback, executive vice president at the American Conservative Union. [WSJ, 1/25/07]

We’re disappointed that he didn’t mention cultural issues at all,” said Rich Lowry, editor of National Review magazine and a summit host. “Everyone realizes that this is a product of his diminished circumstances.” [AP, 1/24/07]

The Wall Street Journal reports the administration has now been forced to defend itself against criticism from the right. “Yesterday morning, the weekly meeting of conservatives that is convened by antitax activist Grover Norquist, a White House ally, was marked by ‘tense exchanges‘ with administration press secretary Tony Snow.”