That was an excellent point Ramesh. And for the record I really didn’t/don’t disagree with Kate so much as disagree with the hay Andrew Sullivan is making of Kate’s point. Truth be told, I’m fairly disgusted with the GOP these days. Again, I think conservatives sacrificed a lot when we bought into the notion that the President of the United States doesn’t need to be an effective communicator. Yes, it’s nice to know that Bush’s gut instincts are often right (though they’re also often left), but his inability or unwillingness to make serious arguments hurts. And that style informs the GOP style across the board these days. Being the majority party in a system which so effectively empowers the minority party means that everyone has to listen to your arguments, it doesn’t mean your arguments automatically win.
So, when the majority party refuses to ground its actions in principle and defend them with reason it will, of necessity, look like it is ruling by whim rather than governing by conviction. With a few important exceptions, Bush’s domestic priorities look like an attempt to buy support rather than persuade the public about anything. That works for Democrats because the Democratic Party is, at the end of the day, about bribing the electorate. The Republican Party is supposed to be the party which persuades the electorate that they’d be better off not accepting the bribes. And everyone — America and the GOP included — loses when the two parties get into a bidding war like divorced parents over who can spoil Americans more.