About three weeks ago, I noted that the president’s biggest failures were that he and his team have not been aggressive enough in taking on the hostile media while he has shown an excessive loyalty to appointees. We have seen the latter failure in his treatment of Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez who has done a terrible job defending the firing of the attorneys as being the president’s prerogative. “They serve at the pleasure of the president,” the Attorney General should have said, “and he did not think they were doing the job to which they had been appointed.”
As I reflect on the president’s actions not merely in the past few weeks, but, by and large, throughout his second term, it seems that he had failed on another score. And he has failed conservatives more than any other group in the sense that, unlike Ronald Reagan, he has not used the bully pulpit of the presidency to promote our ideas.
Maybe it’s just that he’s not a conservative.
His failure points to the biggest problems American conservatives have — one of image. All too many, particularly in the gay community, define us by our most extreme elements. They don’t seem to understand basic conservative ideas. For that matter, many of our elected representatives don’t seem to either.
Given the media bias against conservatives — and the failure to define us as we are — it’s unfortunate that we don’t have a high profile figure, with ready media access, standing up for the ideas of the Gipper. Perhaps that’s why so many on the right are hoping former Tennessee Senator Fred Thompson enters the presidential race. So much did the GOP respect this man’s rhetorical skills that the party tapped him to deliver the Republican response to then-President Clinton’s State of the Union address, just months after Thompson was first elected to the Senate in 1994.