. . . is really starting to piss me off. He completely exemplifies that whole stream of conservativism which manages to admit it's wrong but somehow blame it on liberals and make us seem worse.
Here, he publishes his mea culpa that maybe the war in Iraq is a mess. And yet manages to turn it into some sort of neo-con plea by stating that his biggest mistake was "To overestimate the competence of government."
Such conservative nonsense. Conservatives have this idea that everything is done better by the private sector, and that everything the government touches is ruined. He's mistaken.
In Canada, and in Europe, and even in states like California and New York, there are a whole host of government provided services which work well.
What Sullivan really means is that he overestimated the competence of the Bush government, as much as he tries to spin Bush's failings to be inherent to the act of governance, rather than the act of the governor. If his thesis were correct, we would have seen such similar rank incompetence in the Clinton administration, and we would see it in countries like Canada, the UK, and Scandinavia, which have activist and strong governments.
Strangely, though, on their watches, those countries haven't lost any major cities (with the exception perhaps of Halifax, but that can be quite handily blamed on the French and Belgians).
They haven't entered into ill-prepared wars.
They haven't seen massive expansion of government debt.
They haven't seen a widening of the gap between rich and poor.
You get the point. Bush has demonstrated not that government cannot get it right, but that he cannot. Perhaps this is his goal - to make government so useless that people will start to believe the Kool Aid that Sullivan has clearly been sipping and equate government generally with Bush specifically.
That would be Bush's greatest triumph, and America's biggest disaster.