What Bush has done to conservatism is align it with big government moralising, big government spending and big government inefficiency. He hasn’t vetoed a single spending bill. Pork-barrel spending — on projects often unneeded — has taken precedence over real needs in a Republican-run Congress with a Republican president.

Republicans and Democrats in gerrymandered districts have siphoned public money for pet projects to reward donors and constituents, rather than prioritising for the public good. There’s plenty of blame to go round. Government in America is bloated and broken at the same time. A true conservative would be cutting and prioritising it.

George W. Bush isn’t that person. If that isn’t clear by now, you have blinkers on. And, ultimately, he’s the one responsible. He campaigned fundamentally on his ability to run the country in wartime, on emergency management, on protecting Americans from physical harm. That was his promise. It was swept away as the waters flooded New Orleans. And Al-Qaeda was watching every minute of it. ~Andrew Sullivan, The Sunday Times