I've always had perfectly pleasant dealings with Tony Snow, and respect his commitment to genuine conservatism and to fighting the war on Islamist terror. I also agree with him that this president has "lost control of the federal budget and cannot resist the temptation to stop raiding the public fisc." I agree that "George W. Bush and his colleagues have become not merely the custodians of the largest government in the history of humankind, but also exponents of its vigorous expansion." I agree with him that "when it comes to federal spending, George W. Bush is the boy who can’t say no." I agree with Tony that "on the policy side, Bush has become a classical dime-store Democrat." I agree with him that
No president has looked this impotent this long when it comes to defending presidential powers and prerogatives. Nearly 57 months into his administration, President Bush has yet to veto a single bill of any type. The only other presidents never to issue a veto - William Henry Harrison and James Garfield - died within months of taking office. The budget has grown nearly 50 percent on his watch, and he is vying to become the most free-spending president ever. To date, he has not asked Congress to rescind even a penny in profligate spending (even Bill Clinton requested more than $8 billion in rescissions, and Ronald Reagan sought upward of $80 billion).
But I'm not going to stand in front of the press and defend this record now, am I? The first question Snow may get if he takes the job is about his own splendid eviscerations of this president's rank betrayal of fiscal conservatism and limited government in the past. Good luck, Tony. You'll need it.
(Hat tip: ThinkProgress.)