Steven Taylor is baffled by Ted Rall’s assertion that President Bush is “a right-wing extremist,” given the surprising number of decidedly un-conservative measures he’s taken while in office.

Honestly, I think “radical right winger” is now a code word for “Evangelical Christian.” It’s the only explanation I can come up with, as Bush has in many ways been disappointing for those of us who actually are conservative.

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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. jen says:

    I’ve thought this for years since I’m labelled as both, very often in the same breath.

  2. Paul says:

    Honestly, I think “radical right winger” is now a code word for “Evangelical Christian.”

    Kinda late to the party huh James? (big grin)

    If Bush is a “right-wing extremist,” I’m Shirley Temple.

  3. James Joyner says:


    I guess. 🙂 I think if Bush advocated the same positions without mentioning Jesus so often, he’d be a moderate. This seems to also be true of our relations with the European allies; the religious undertones seem to scare them to death.

  4. Paul says:

    Which is a great irony considering that whole Church of England thing.

    Look- if you take the party away it is hard to tell Bush’s policies from Clinton’s.

    Hell, Clinton gave us welware reform (begrudgingly) and Bush has blown medicare spending for generations. (willingly)

    If you took the names off the policy it really is hard to tell them apart. (sadly)


    The above might be a tad overstated but not by much.

  5. DANEgerus says:

    There is no such thing as ‘RightWing Christian’. Christians believe in tithe(tax), good works, they found schools etc… and these are all ‘group’ eg. Collectivist=Left solutions to social problems. Just what is Individualist=Right about all of that?

    ‘RightWing’ and ‘Conservative’ are just pejoratives to the lefties.

    Consider that the radical agenda of the National Socialist German Workers Party(NAZI’s) ‘changed’ Germany in a political overthrow and yet was and is labeled ‘RightWing’ or ‘Conservative’…

    Just how is the overthrow of a government not change but rather ‘conservative’?

    Just how is the imposition of collectivist ideology of the National Socialists suddenly individualist?


  6. Bryan says:

    Actually, I think Al Gore would be a conservative to Ted Rall.

  7. jen says:

    James, I don’t hear Bush invoke the name of Jesus that much. He speaks very generally of God and faith, rarely does he make specific mention of Jesus.

  8. Matthew says:

    Jen’s right. Bush makes references to faith a lot, but they’re sly more often than overt, and seldom so sectarian as to preclude Judaism or even Islam (not a lot of mention of the big J, no siree). The real “faith-based language” that scares our European friends is Bush’s invocation of “evildoers” (or as Jonah Goldberg might say, “Evil Dewar’s, the official scotch of the Axis of Evil”). After all, what word is more offensive to PoMo Euro sensitivities? (Aside from McDonald’s, I mean . . .)

  9. Hatcher says:

    You miss the obvious…

    it’s clearly because Rall is an utter idiot.