Bushism: The Highest Form of Conservatism


Only the Leninist cool kids will get the title, but it’s still true. At any rate, here’s Ryan Avent on the leader of the free world:

[Bush] very easily could have asked Congress to send him a stimulus bill, even a modest one, amid an intensification of what will likely be the worst recession in thirty years, if not longer. It would have made a difference. It would have made the season a little more bearable for the growing numbers of unemployed, and it would have made Obama’s task a little less daunting.

Instead, he’s spending his waning days weakening environmental rules, helping his cronies get jobs in the professional bureacracy, and preparing his pardons. What a stupid, despicable man. History can’t judge him too cruelly.

It’s true and it’s important and it’s also true and important to note that while Bush has deviated from conservative thought in some respects, he’s been despicable precisely insofar as he’s tended to represent the apogee of contemporary conservatism. There being no further point to running a sham policy operation for political purposes, Bush has just stopped even bothering to run a sham policy operation. There’s basically just nothing doing in the movement-controlled elements of the administration and the congress except a continuing effort — one that, I might add, may well prove successful over the long run — to put the survival of the human race at risk in order to advance the short-term financial interests of polluters. No effort to help shelter the poor from the worst consequences of the recession. No nothing.

And no complaints about it from the right! His indifference to the well-being of the vulnerable is their indifference.