BUSH AND THE BASE, II
Stephen Green continues to be annoyed with Bush’s profligate spending and pandering:
Bush’s father tried these same stunts in 1992, and it got him laughed at by the Democrats in Congress, and essentially zero votes from Democrats in the election that year.
He was seen as a fool to be taken advantage of by the other side, and as a fool, period, by the voters. And we all know how he fared in the election — he’d so alienated his base that many Republicans either stayed home or voted for Perot.
There’s no Perot this time around (or at least not yet), but you can bet that if Bush doesn’t change his ways, more than a few voters will simply sit on their asses come Election Day.
I agree that these tactics are unlikely to convert any true liberals. But, honestly, I’m not sure how much of a “base” true fiscal conservatives are. Especially when the likely opponents–Kerry? Edwards?–are likely to be even more irresponsible.
The two constituencies that most matter to Bush are people like who put security #1 and the social conservatives. Bush has done a damned good job at keeping both happy. His dad, by contrast, was cutting the defense budget, raising taxes, and appointing milquetoast judges.