The Rittenhouse Review

A Philadelphia Journal of Politics, Finance, Ethics, and Culture

Wednesday, December 29, 2004  

His Kind of Conservatism

When I first heard the United States had pledged $35 million in aid to the Asian and African countries hit by Sunday’s earthquake and tsunamis -- death toll now estimated at more than 80,000 souls -- I was shocked by our government’s foolish, and suddenly discovered, thriftiness.

Quickly, however, another thought came to mind: Surely this is the just the beginning, only our initial commitment. That notion appears to have been confirmed by subsequent events and is something about which we should all be pleased, assuming the Bush administration’s pledges are carried out.

What bothers me still is that President Hey We Seen Floods in Texas, Too couldn’t take himself away from clearing brush at his Crawford, Texas, vacation home to speak publicly and personally about this enormous tragedy until today.

Sunday . . . Monday . . . Tuesday . . . Wednesday.

That’s either three or four days, depending upon how you’re counting. Regardless it’s far too long, to say nothing of embarrassing, insensitive, thoughtless, even cruel.

Is this “compassionate conservatism” or procrastinating conservatism? Or something worse?

Someone less kind than I might wonder whether the president was on a bender.

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