Dodd Harris is thinking of voting that way because Bush isn’t conservative enough for him. Like the Libertarians are more conservative than Bush?! Like the Democrats who will win if too many Bush voters wander off the reservation are more conservative than Bush?!

>sigh< Blankley’s piece couldn’t be better timed.

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2004, ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Dodd says:

    It’s not that they’ll be more conservative. It’s Bush’s failure to stand up for limited government and free markets that’s got me so irritated. If we’re to get Democrat policy, we may as well have a Democrat so they can take the blame for it (and the attendant deficits). He’s been great on national security and pretty good on the judiciary. Add in the domestic policy, though, and his Administration is looking positively Nixonian.

    I realize he’s got a tenuous situation, what with the size of the GOP majorities in Congress, but he backed off of the House Medicare reform that included a lot of the free-market reforms in his own proposal within moments of the Senate indicating they would strip them out. A little leadership might help preserve them. And that’s just the most recent such example – federalizing airport security was another, especially annoying one; plus the steel tariffs; that education bill Teddy Kennedy loves so much; the US$190 billion farm subsidy bill… the list goes on. He’s headed for the first veto-less Presidential term since (IIRC) John Quincy Adams. Had he even threatened a veto, we could have gotten in better bills on every one one of those issues.

    I don’t like being taken for granted. I think we, as his base, need to pull him back to the Right. For all the effort the Left spends suggesting that his approval ratings are dropping because of Iraq-related issues, if he realizes that at least part of it is that he’s alientating us, he’ll at least stop trying to pander to center-left voters who are unlikely to vote for him anyway.

    Does that make sense?

  2. James Joyner says:


    I’m with ya. Bush has been disappointing in a lot of areas, most notably free trade.

    I think he *had* to go with the airport security business, as much as I hate it, because the Democrats would have killed him on it. To Joe Public, having idiots on the federal payroll rather than the previous idiots in civilian clothes–even though, in most cases, it’s the same exact idiots–in charge of airport security is a great idea.

    The farm subsidy is another one where, unfortunately, principle gets outweighed by practical politics. It’s the collective action problem: 270 million paying an exta buck a gallon for milk care a lot less than 15 million getting their subsidy taken away. (Numbers completely made up.) This is high risk, no reward.

    Steel tarrifs I hate and think of dubious political value. The education bill had some good stuff in it plus a lot of pork. I’m not sure the trade-off was worth it.

  3. Meezer says:

    I have a serious question for Republicans who want to “open Bush’s eyes” or however they choose to phrase it:
    What will the Democrats do about the WoT if they get in? *They* don’t seem interested in telling me, so do all you smart politicos have any ideas? I think we need to be prepared, just in case.

    As far as Bush’s domestic policies, I am certainly disaapointed in some of them. BUT, passionate though I may be about (for just one) education reform, I find that my activism tends to be more effective if I am not blown up. So I can’t help but weight the issues differently than I did pre-9/11.

  4. Matthew says:

    To build on what Meezer wrote, the Libertarian Party doesn’t believe in prosecuting the War on Terror internationally. They opposed the war with Iraq outright and demand cuts in military spending that would’ve made the war against the Taliban impossible. Any conservative who says they’ll vote LP instead of for the GOP is endorsing isolationism. I’ll take muddling through over Feckless Fortress America any day.

  5. Dodd says:

    I disagree. Such a sweeping statement is unwise: There are a sizable number of libertarians that understands the need for an aggressive response to international terrorism.

    I read Blankley’s article. Saving the paleos Buchanan sets to foaming at the mouth, he captured my complaints quite well. And, in a roundabout way, reiterated my point: Bush cannot safely ignore his right flank. I will not vote LP if the race looks so close that my state’s electoral college votes are vital (doubtful, Bush won my state by 8% in 2000 and will easily manage double digits next year) since, I agree, none of the donkeys can be trusted to keep us safe.

    But I think we need to remind him in no uncertain terms that he should not assume we’re in his pocket no matter what he does. This constant “I’ll sign whatever Congress passes” nonsense has to stop.