Politico's Craig Shirley posts this question:
In order to save its ideology, should the conservative movement declare its independence from the Bush administration and the GOP?
Um...yes? Well, at least to the first part. How much evidence do conservatives need that Bush has done a terrible job?
He's not a Republican in Name Only, because the party has never been made up of only conservatives. Shirley asks rhetorically:
Some may argue a breakup is premature, citing President Bush’s prosecution of the war on terror, enactment of tax cuts and the appointments of Samuel Alito and John Roberts to the Supreme Court.
Let's not forget Bush has solid conservative credentials on some things, mostly social issues and tax cuts. But cutting taxes while simultaneously increasing spending significantly is a disastrous combination, and not conservative. It was a flaw Ronald Reagan shared, by the way, though not to Bush's degree.
It would be electoral suicide for most Republicans to not divorce themselves from Bush, and I'm surprised it hasn't been more noticeable. And though I don't agree that a simple back-to-basics approach to conservatism is the right answer for the party, if the GOP doesn't drastically change how it operates, it is doomed for a sustained period of relative obscurity.