[Also by Hugh McInnish: The Roberts Nomination: Supreme Court or Supreme Ruler?]
I have been much moved this last weekend by the words of two columnists who I greatly respect: Pat Buchanan and Peggy Noonan. Both are former aides to President Reagan and are unapologetic conservatives. They are two sane voices still being distinctly heard over the uproar within our national insane asylum.
In back-to-back columns they say it is time for conservatives to abjure George Bush, to make a clean break from him.
Peggy Noonan wrote:
The president has taken to suggesting that opponents of his immigration bill are unpatriotic—they "don't want to do what's right for America."
I suspect the White House and its allies have turned to name calling because they're defensive, and they're defensive because they know they have produced a big and indecipherable mess of a bill—one that is literally bigger than the Bible, though as someone noted last week, at least we actually had a few years to read the Bible.
Now conservatives and Republicans are going to have to win back their party. They are going to have to break from those who have already broken from them. This will require courage, serious thinking and an ability to do what psychologists used to call letting go. This will be painful, but it's time. It's more than time.[Too Bad | President Bush has torn the conservative coalition asunder, Wall Street Journal, [!]June 1, 2007]
Pat Buchanan wrote:
President Bush has attacked his own loyalists for a lack of patriotism. "If you don't want to do what's right for America," he said of opponents of the Bush-Kennedy immigration bill, "if you want to scare the American people, what you say is the bill's an amnesty bill. That's empty political rhetoric, trying to frighten our citizens."
[Furthermore, Bush's] clandestine drive to merge Mexico, America and Canada in a "Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America"—a North America Union modeled on the European Union —entails the loss of sovereignty and of the republic as we know it.
Bush's attack on the motives and character of conservatives tell us it it is Goldwater-Rockefeller time again…. Conservatives need to declare their independence of Bush and to repudiate Bushism as the philosophy of their movement and party. [For Conservatives, Time To Break With Disastrous Bush Presidency, June 01, 2007]
I pray your indulgence while I foster upon you a dull, but I believe pertinent, paragraph about…me.
I cannot truthfully claim that my conservatism came as a result of an impeccable train of logical reasoning undertaken after I was old enough to think for myself. No, it was congenital. I exited my dear mother's womb with error-free DNA coded for conservatism.
In adulthood these genes have inevitably expressed themselves. I was avid as a Goldwater partisan in 1964. Much later, I twice stood for Congress as a Republican. In the election of 2000, I left my job in the last week and went to the "battleground state" assigned to me by party leaders..
Which state? Florida! You remember—Florida. I claim (obviously just a bit facetiously) that I and the team of which I was the nominal leader got the 600 votes which in the end made George Bush president.
I have impinged on your time with this autobiographical note because I think it's important to establish my CV as an unalloyed, longtime Republican.
I am not a convert, or one who has experienced an epiphany.
I have never been anything but a Republican.
With all the forces of habit that this background exerts on me, it is extremely difficult to turn against George W. Bush. Yet I cannot but agree with Buchanan and Ms. Noonan. I believe that Bush's drive for amnesty for millions of illegal Mexicans, and his parallel plans for a North American Union, are nothing less than insane. And I cannot give my allegiance to this man any longer. On the contrary I feel it my duty to oppose many of the points in his agenda he prizes most.
But there is a problem. We have bid adieu to George Bush and the neoconservatives around him—as well as to his absurd policies. We have left the meeting in disgust, and together with Buchanan, Noonan, and a few others stand outside on the street looking at each other.
So—what now? Neither Pat nor Peggy tells us what to do next. What we need is another Goldwater: A square-jawed, charismatic, popular personality to take charge. But alas! This is not 1964. And we have none.
Dear Lord, send us a leader!