In the ultimate final repudiation of the conservative movement, President Bush is leaving a $473 billion deficit - except that it is really at least $553 billion, since the Iraq and Afghanstan wars will cost at least $80 billion and, in the zany world of government accounting, those are not included.
Shortly after his first election, an editorial article in the Wall St. Journal called him a "big government conservative". I wish I could remember who wrote the piece. It stands out in my memory because there really isn't such a thing. Going back to the founding fathers, conservative thought has centered on small government; indeed, there were serious debates about maintaining a standing army because the risk to a republic was too high.
When President Lyndon Johnson supported the war in Viet Nam and the Great Society social programs, we called it guns and butter, and argued vehemently against it. Now that a so-called conservative has supported the exact same policy, our voices were muted.
Many conservatives will recoil at the thought, but we should have raised taxes to pay for the war. If we are going to ask young men and women to die for us, we can stand up for the money.
The Republicans must wander in the wilderness for a few more years while they regain some orthodoxy instead of being some kind of ersatz sad imitation of the Democrats.