Adrian Wooldridge Is... the Vicar of Bray!: Hoisted from the Archives

Hoisted from the Archives: Adrian Wooldridge Is... the Vicar of Bray!:

"The Illustrious House of Hannover,
And Protestant succession,
To these I lustily will swear,
Whilst they can keep possession:
For in my Faith, and Loyalty,
I never once will faulter,
But George, my lawful king shall be,
Except the Times shou'd alter."

Adrian Wooldridge, October 27, 2004: "[Bush's] presidency has been momentous--two terms rolled into one, by any decent reckoning... transformed American policy... transformed American conservatism.... No Republican president has devoted so much attention to this 'right nation' within America.... The past four years have arguably brought more dramatic changes to conservative America than to America as a whole.... The most surprising change has been the rise of 'big government conservatism.'.... The massive growth in the state during this presidency... is a deliberate strategy.... Before Mr. Bush, conservatives had assumed that the only way to win the battle against what Michael Barone has dubbed 'soft America' was to shrink government. Mr. Bush has pioneered a different strategy—to 'harden' government itself. Mr. Bush... has shifted power dramatically in favor of social conservatives.... A quarter of voters are born-again Christians--and Karl Rove blames his boss's failure to win a resounding victory in 2000 on the failure of four million of these voters to turn up at the polls.... Mr. Bush's boldest contribution to reinventing conservatism—foreign policy... the radicalism of America's post-Sept. 11 foreign policy.... Mr. Bush has applied his doctrine of spreading democracy to an area of the world where the Reaganites feared to tread.... Yet there is one area where Mr. Bush has exceeded the expectations of everybody on the right—party building. He is arguably the greatest Republican party builder since William McKinley..."

Adrian Wooldridge, January 15, 2009: "[Bush] leaves the White House as one of the least popular and most divisive presidents in American history... approval rating... stuck in the 20s... the most catastrophic collapse in America’s reputation... deep recession.... Bush family name... now so tainted that Jeb, George’s younger brother, recently decided not to run for the Senate.... Bush’s presidency was also poisoned by his own ambition. Mr Bruni’s 'timeless fraternity boy' wanted to be a great president... hated anything that was 'small ball'.... Facets of Mr Bush’s personality mixed with his vaulting ambition to undermine his presidency. Mr Bush is what the British call an inverted snob. A scion of one of America’s most powerful families, he is a devotee of sunbelt populism; a product of Yale and Harvard Business School, he is a scourge of eggheads.... He also styled himself, much like Reagan, as a decider rather than a details man; many people who met him were astonished by what they described as his 'lack of inquisitiveness' and his general 'passivity'.... The fruit of all this can be seen in... partisanship, politicisation and incompetence. Mr Bush was the most partisan president in living memory.... Alberto Gonzales... only the most visible of an army of over-promoted, ideologically vetted homunculi.... The Iraq war was a case study of what happens when politicisation is mixed with incompetence.... A president who laboured to produce Republican hegemony ended up dramatically weakening the Republican Party.... A president who believed that America’s global supremacy was guaranteed by America’s unrivalled military power ended up demonstrating the limits of both.... Economic legacy is littered with wasted opportunity, bad judgments and politicised policy.... Good policy repeatedly took a back seat to Mr Bush’s overweening political ambition. Both the country and, ultimately, the Republican Party are left the worse for it..."

#journamalism #hoistedfromteharchives #smackdown