Did we misunderestimate him again?
One of the classic debates between liberals and conservatives is over the size and influence of the federal government. Conservatives, by and large, agitate for the states to retain most of the power, while liberals tend towards a more powerful central government.
President Bush has, during his first term, spent like a sailor, with "No Child Left Behind" and the Prescription drug benefit he has added a massive new entitlements (and costs) from the national level, and he has advocated using the power of the federal government to deny gay couples any rights, even those that may be afforded by the legislature of a particular state. Not exactly what you'd expect from a so-called conservative president.
His "Faith Based Initiative", his denial of federal funding for stem cell research, and the luddite disposition of his council on bio-ethics betray a theocratic influence on his spending habits (spending of our money, I might add) that likely makes a lot of people very uncomfortable (myself included).
Many of these things appear to be deliberate, well placed, and repeated thumbs-to-the-eyes of liberals. And many liberals are becoming unhinged. Given the difficulties inherent in moving to Canada (where the liberals could "benefit" from the kind of nationalized health care system and high taxation that they want so much), what's a fellow to do?
This post on Instapundit showing a picture of a poster that reads "Can we Secede Already?" pretty much sums up the mood in many parts of the country, and gives me an idea about what is to be done.
This, My Little Fuckers, is the danger of Big Government. Being able to micromanage the entire nation from the national level may be all well and good when Your Guy is in power, but what happens when the other guy gets a shot at pulling the levers?
Given that you have four more years of Bush, at least two more years without a shot at controlling either half of congress, and no clear presidential outlook 2008, isn't it about time to get on the small government bandwagon?
Outflank the republicans to the right. Insist on Federalist judicial appointees with no social agenda, shout from the rooftops that the Federal Government has gotten too big, and insist on returning power to The States, where the politicians are (being more local) more accountable and more responsive to the people.
If you care at all about the theoconservative social agenda becoming national law, if you care about advancing your own social agenda anywhere, if you'd like to sweep the small-l libertarian faction out from under the republicans, now is your chance.
There are many good arguments in favor of federalism, but this, I believe, is one that liberals can embrace.
Since the republicans seem to have abandoned the small government ideal, this is the perfect chance to do something, and possibly pick up a new constituency in the bargain. But then again, perhaps that's what Bush had planned all along...