How do you accept a good? This question is posed by The Anchoress in a post that I recommend every conservative read:
I was surprised, and what surprised me was the sense I had that Bush’s heart was broken. That he had done everything he could to keep faith with the nation, and that he could not believe that in a time of such terrible need, all some people could think of was, “how do we use this politically, how do we break Bush with this?” It can’t have helped that some of the hysteria was coming from the right as well as the left. Things changed after that, didn’t they? The press and the left doubled up their attacks, the far-right went very smug, and President Bush never has seemed to have regrouped his spirit.
A month later, I wasn’t surprised (although some - mostly the hard-right “I’m a Conservative before I’m anything and he’d better serve me” types - clearly were) when he nominated Harriett Miers to the SCOTUS. In fact, I’d predicted it. Up until that moment, every person President Bush had nominated to pretty much any position had won accolades from the beamish far-right, but Miers did not. She wasn’t one of their guys or gals. She wasn’t Luttig, she wasn’t Rogers-Brown. Harriet Miers? Damn that Bush! The denouncements came fast and furious and suddenly “the base” with which George W. Bush had not broken faith…broke faith with him. Suddenly they were as willing to call him a moron and an idiot as any KozKid.
Imagine that. Imagine being the guy who has given his base one splendid nominee after another, in all manner of posts, make a nomination he thinks appropriate only to find that “base” coming out with both guns, defaming his nominee and directing all manner of insult at himself. President Bush is nothing if not loyal; his loyalty is often his downfall. When he asked for a little trust (which he had surely earned) a little loyalty and a little faith, from “the base,” he got kicked in the groin, over and over again, for daring to think differently, for falling out of lockstep with his policy-wonk “betters.”
That had to be bitter, for him. At that point Bush, unchanged in essentials, might have wondered if his conservative “base” had become a bit over-confident and loose-hipped, so cock-sure of their majority (not that congress used it) so certain of their own brilliance that they were beginning to believe they didn’t need him; that he wasn’t conservative enough, after all, and that the next president was going to be the solid, “uncompassionate” conservative they’d really wanted all along. The president who had delivered one gift after another to his base asked them to trust him, and his base sneered.