I think I still support the idea of limited government, and I am a conservative in that sense. However I have a lot of trouble with the conservative movement today.
My discomfort is mainly over the Iraq war. I supported it after 9/11, though with concern of its results. I felt then that a major response to 9/11 was in order and as an attempt to transform the Middle-East to be less of source of such horrors (get the WMDs and make Iraq a model democracy) it was a gamble worth taking. But today I see that gamble as having had a disastrous result.
Iraq today is I think still on the edge of civil war, mired in violence, and with little or no chance of being a model democracy. No WMD existed or apparently have for many years in Iraq. In light of this do many conservatives take responsibility for this disaster or appear to have a more modest view of what American military power can accomplish? No.
Discussion of Iraq is mostly about the surge and it success in reducing the level of violence from unbearable to intolerable. In 2008, Republican candidates except for Ron Paul seemed to falling over themselves to show who could be more jingoistic, and today I fear a Palin administration might quickly get us into war in Iran, and maybe elsewhere-even though we are already overcommitted in Iraq and Afghanistan.
In any case for the first time in 2008 I voted for a Democratic candidate for President (he was right about a “dumb” war). Now I think I tend to want to validate my foreign policy based vote by supporting some of his other initiative such health care.
I am concerned about the cost of of some of President’s Obama policies, but more along the line of how can we make them work or pay for them. I certainly don’t “hope he fails!”
I think the Bush administration has put this country in too perilous a situation for another failed Presidency, especially for partisan purposes. I think any sensible person, even conservatives should realize that, but I don’t think many do.
Really I think I’m still a conservative, but somewhat disaffected rather than erstwhile.