May 30, 2005

Bill of Goods

Howard (Mr. Conventional Wisdom) Fineman thinks that voters are turning against the Bush agenda.

Is the wheel turning again with another bold Texan in power? Hard to know, of course, and the Democrats wonÂ’t rise in some mere hydraulic fashion. They need to find vision, ideas and charismatic leaders, and none of them seem to be in great supply. But the line of products-call them Bush Right-suddenly is looking like what marketers call a "mature brand." There are signs of age, strain and overreach, internally and externally.

I think that the real difference between the second term and first term is that Bush has stopped selling a free lunch. Tax cuts pretty much was the sum total of the Bush domestic agenda in the first term. Tax cuts are easy to sell, especially when they are not payed for with cuts in services. Social Security "reform" on the other is really going to screw people. Long as the anti-government conservatism never actually cut any government, Bush could cruse along on personality. The moment anybody thinks that Bush is serious about getting ride of governmentt his folksy charm goes the way of the dodo.

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