Administration Skips Bush Bash Fest
Dana Milbank writes that, “If the ancient political wisdom is correct that a charge unanswered is a charge agreed to, the Bush White House pleaded guilty yesterday at the Cato Institute to some extraordinary allegations.”
Apparently, the libertarian Cato Institute, which Milbank admits has “always been the odd men out of the Bush coalition,” invited Bruce Bartlett, who is hawking a new book entitled, Impostor: How George W. Bush Bankrupted America and Betrayed the Reagan Legacy and Kerry supporter Andrew Sullivan, author of the forthcoming The Conservative Soul: How We Lost It; How to Get It Back to give a talk. When they invited “a few members of the Bush economic team,” none took them up on the offer.
Shocking. Why, exactly, would one expect otherwise? What would they have to gain by coming to a hostile forum that would otherwise be virtually ignored (save for this odd A2 placement in the Post)?
It appears to have been the right move. Bartlett “called the administration ‘unconscionable,’ ‘irresponsible,’ ‘vindictive’ and ‘inept.’ Sullivan “called Bush ‘reckless’ and ‘a socialist,’ and accused him of betraying ‘almost every principle conservatism has ever stood for.'” This is a forum that senior White House officials were supposed to dignify with their presence?
Update: Ed Morrissey agrees and is “not sure why Milbank expresses such surprise” or “why the Post headlines this event as a ‘conservative forum.'”