President George W. Bush's administration has, on any objective basis, been a frightening thing to behold. Strident and self-absorbed by narrow partisanship, administration officials have actually betrayed the conservative ideological cause, dismantling the tried-and-tested institutional foundations of America's economic prosperity and global security.
Start with economic policy and the deliberate unbalancing of the US government's long-term finances. The aim clearly has been to sharpen the financial crisis of the social-welfare state and bring about a permanent reduction in government wealth re-distribution. But broken eggs do not necessarily make an omelet: Bush's massive (and still growing) fiscal deficits have stimulated nothing but jitters about a prolonged slowdown in capital formation, household consumption, and economic growth.