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Who on Right Has Right to Criticize Bush?

It took long enough, but the media is finally talking about conservative dissatisfaction with the Bush Administration.

But my question is: Who on the Right — has the right — to criticize?

As far as I can tell, fiscal conservatives, like Pat Toomey of the Club for Growth, are the most credible conservative critics of Bush. After all, fiscal conservatives have been critical of Bush’s spending from day one. I give them points for staying true to their principles.

Additionally, folks who view illegal immigration as the defining issue, get a pass from me.  Bush has never hid his pro-Immigrant position — but it is fair to say the issue has become much more visible in the last six months.  Regardless of how you feel about the issue, these folks have every right in the world to draw a line in the sand.

But when it comes to some of the critics, I’m sorry, it just seems a bit opportunistic to me.

The public is fickle. "Nothing succeeds like success," they say (and they are right). When a politician is doing well, everybody jumps on the bandwagon. We love to build them up — and we love to tear them down.  Conservatives are not immune to this phenomenon.

Last night, the Baltimore Orioles had something like a pathetic 15,000 people in the seats at Camden Yards. How much do you want to bet that if the O’s were in first place, every seat in the house would be full? Patton said it best: "Americans love a winner and will not tolerate a loser."

Likewise, if Bush’s approval ratings were at 60 percent, would conservatives be willing to speak out about his policy positions?

Written By

Mr. Lewis has managed political campaigns and served as director of grassroots for the Leadership Institute, as well as political director for GOPAC. In 2002, Campaigns & Elections magazine selected him as a "Rising Star of Politics." He is the author of "Teaching Elephants to Talk." His blog can be read at MattLewis.org.

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