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Another unhappy Conservative

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Well-known member
Jul 4, 2005
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This is the entire article, but the link is below; my emphasis. I do enjoy seeing Bush bashed by real Conservatives.

It was suggested last week that I turn in my conservative credentials because I thought Michael Brown ought to be fired for the way he bungled the initial response to the Hurricane Katrina disaster.
If hanging on to those credentials means I have to blindly defend everything President Bush does, then, fine, I'll give them up. That's a bigger job than I want.
If being conservative means I have to turn a blind eye to government mismanagement and incompetence just because a Republican is running the show, then I'll take a hike.
Brown, director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, screwed up the response to the New Orleans tragedy. He caught a bad case of the slows. His dawdling and the ineptitude of local and state officials cost lives. Friday, Bush yanked him back to Washington, but the damage was done.
It ought to be OK for conservatives to say that. But the conservative movement's principles have given way to partisanship. The words "conservative" and "Republican" are now interchangeable, and it's more important to protect the party than to hew to core values.
One of those principles for conservatives is that government ought to be as efficient and responsive to customers as private business. What private business would excuse the level of indecisiveness Brown displayed to blind-side the chief executive?
Brown allowed the Katrina mess to bite the boss in the backside, and that's unpardonable. But Bush's initial response was to do what he always does -- stubbornly stand by his man. Loyalty is a terrific quality. But loyalty to incompetence is inexcusable.
Republicans ought to think twice this time before falling in line behind the president in defense of the Katrina response.
The country watched firsthand the images of the suffering people of New Orleans waiting, waiting, waiting for help. Excuse-making and blame-spreading won't mitigate the damage done to Bush, but it will increase the likelihood of the taint covering everyone else in the party.
Bush claims to be a buck-stops-here guy. He can't be that and continue to dodge responsibility for the screw-ups of his administration.
The failure of leadership following Katrina could well cost Republicans the Congress in 2006. Those in the GOP who will face voters next year must be careful about circling the wagons in defense of the president, lest it cost them their seats when the true scope of the Katrina mismanagement unfolds.
Bush will try to spend himself out of this mess, burying the Gulf Coast in federal dollars in hopes the cash will make people forget that while he dawdled, people died.
The fine fiscal conservatives in Washington will rubber-stamp every funding request, without regard that their previous five years of unholy spending has maxed out the nation's credit card, leaving nothing for emergencies.
So forgive me for breaking rank. But I don't see anything particularly conservative in the bumbling going on in Washington. If that's what conservative looks like, count me out.

Nolan Finley is The News' editorial page editor. Reach him at [email protected] or (313) 222-2064. Watch for Nolan Finley on "Am I Right?" at 8:30 p.m. Fridays on Detroit Public Television, Ch. 56.


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