Conservatives somewhat mixed on Bush's inaugural speech
Jonah Goldberg retreats from his Wilsonian observations back into orthodoxy:
...What conservatives understood then and what President Bush understands now is that America itself is a radical nation, founded on the revolutionary principle that self-government is simultaneously the best form of government and the most moral. And that lovers of liberty in all parties should seek to conserve that legacy. The circumstances we face today are new, but the principles are eternal. So yes, George W. Bush is a revolutionary, but he is merely the latest in a long line of American revolutionaries.
However, from Peter Robinson of the Hoover Institution:
...the speech was in almost no way that of a conservative. To the contrary. It amounted to a thoroughgoing exaltation of the state.
Bush has just announced that we must remake the entire third world in order to feel safe in our own homes, and he has done so without sounding a single note of reluctance or hesitation. This overturns the nation's fundamental stance toward foreign policy since its inception. Washington warned of "foreign entanglements." The second President Adams asserted that "we go not abroad in search of monsters to destroy." During the Cold War, even Republican presidents made it clear that we played our large role upon the world stage only to defend ourselves and our allies, seeking to changed the world by our example rather than by force. Maybe I'm misreading Bush - I'm writing this based on my notes, and without having had time to study the text - but sheesh.
On domestic policy, a "broader definition of liberty?" Citing as useful precedents the Homestead Act, the Social Security Act, and the G. I. Bill? Compare what Bush said today with the inaugural address of Lyndon Baines Johnson and the first inaugural address of Ronald Reagan and you'll find that Bush sounds much, much more like LBJ. He as much as announced that from now on the GOP will be a party of big government...
And, from George F. Will on ABC:
[the inaugural parade was like] something you'd see in a banana republic.