Even before he was elected president, George W. Bush was criticized for being weak in what his father once dismissed as “the vision thing” — an overall philosophy of government comparable to the conservative ideological rigor of Ronald Reagan or the liberal chameleonism of Bill Clinton.We know the president wants a tax cut and better schools, but how do we further define the “compassionate conservatism” he embraces so earnestly, if fuzzily?The improbable answer to that question is now before us, a bespectacled fellow with the moon-faced amiability and mutton chop whiskers of a character out of Dickens. Maybe Mr. Pickwick. Which he sort of is.
His name is Myron Magnet. Eight years ago he published a book called “The Dream and the Nightmare,” which George W. Bush has called the most influential book — aside from the Bible — that he’s ever read.
The new president’s chief political strategist, Karl Rove, has declared “The Dream and the Nightmare” a “road map” to Bush’s attitudes on the role of government. Continue reading