Victor Reppert acts as though a vote for a Republican candidate is a blanket endorsement of everything he does in office. Should we chalk this up to self-reinforcing ignorance? Did Reppert arrive at his view because his information about the rightwing is filtered through leftwing sources? Or is it just a bit of demagoguery on his part? Certainly he has a habit of resorting to deliberate sophistries when dealing with his political opponents.
Whatever his reasons, anyone who gets his information about the rightwing from the rightwing would be aware of the fact that the rightwing never took the position that the Bush administration can do no wrong.
To take a few examples, conservatives were always critical of Bush’s deficit spending. Critical of McCain-Feingold, which he signed into law. Many so-called neocons called for Rumsfeld’s resignation when they felt he was felt he was bungling the conduct of the war. Conservatives shot down the nomination of Harriet Miers because they felt she was a lightweight. And they shot down his “comprehensive immigration reform" plan.
These are just a few examples. Conservatives have never rubberstamped the Bush administration the way Democrats used to rubberstamp the Clinton administration.
When we vote for a candidate, we don’t issue him a blank check. Our vote expresses provisional support for some of his policies—in contrast to the policies of his opponent.