... although he did say that this post wasn't about why consevatives shouldn't vote Bush. (That's exactly what it's about.) Spoons explains why the NEA thing bugs him so bad:
The thing that bugs me about this, though, is what it says about how Bush sees his base. He knows that conservatives will be incensed by this. He knows that we don't think the government should be involved in funding art, not least when it's things like "Piss Christ." He knows we'll be livid.
And he doesn't care.
Bush has made the political calculation, as he has throughout his entire presidency, that he doesn't have to worry about conservatives, and can safely pursue any policy that stands a chance of attracting moderate and liberal voters. He calculates (probably correctly), that conservatives will overwhelmingly support him, no matter what, because "where are they gonna go?"
Of course, this is why I'm so vexed by conservatives who advance similar arguments to justify their continued support for Bush. If these conservatives mean what they say; namely, that they must vote for Bush because of the War on (Some) Terror, then doesn't that validate the Bush's entire strategy in running to the left? And if Bush must be supported no matter what, then what is to prevent him, and the Republicans who'll seek to follow in his footsteps, from governing further and further to the left as time goes on?
This is very valid criticsim. It's something that worries me to, but I'm not sure I know what the solution is. Although, I'm beginning to formulate a theory. I trust Bush to defend our country, but his domestic agenda is horrible. I don't trust any of the leading Democrats with defense and they're domestic agendas are all worse.
However, traditionally divided government actually seems to work pretty well. (i.e., not at all) I'm starting to think that what we really need is a Republican President, a Republican Senate (so judges will actually, you know, get confirmed before they die), and a Democratic House. Basically, I'm rooting for gridlock. Granted, gridlock isn't a perfect solution and it's sometimes a really big disaster (It's almost always uglier than just about anything.), but it's the best solution I've got.
There is, however, a problem with that. If I vote based on the above preferences, that will require voting against a candidate I actually like. Voting against my Republican Congressman who I think is doing a decent job because Bush is so horrible on domestic policy is bad enough. Doing it while voting for Bush is just too weird.