I treated the Washington Post story about conservatives souring on Bush with sarcasm this morning (see below), but it appears that the White House doesn’t realize it or doesn’t care. (My guess is number two.)
The last paragraph gives away the whole cynical game:
Karl Rove, Bush’s top political adviser, and GOP leaders are well aware of the problem and are planning a summer offensive to win back conservatives with a mix of policy fights and warnings of how a Democratic Congress would govern. The plan includes votes on tax cuts, a constitutional amendment outlawing same-sex marriage, new abortion restrictions, and measures to restrain government spending.
This is how it works: they neglect the base until: 1- they kick and scream to high heaven (Harriet Miers), or 2- it’s an election year. This year, they’re offering tokens (sorry, but that’s what the marriage amendment and minor abortion restrictions are) or things long overdue (tax cuts — and only extensions at that).
These are mere bones to placate the masses while they really foul the situation. To wit, as President Bush travels the country promoting the prescription drug benefit, the biggest enlargement of entitlements since the Great Society, they talk about restraining government spending.
So what does that mean? Finally vetoing one bill? Nice start, but let’s get serious. The question remains: will conservatives, a naturally trusting crowd, fall in love again for the months running up to the election, or will they refuse to be fooled again?