W himself spoke of the need for government to be there when someone needed help. He also was loose with expanding government programs like Medicare, creating the Department of Homeland Security, and taking a Wilsonian approach to foreign policy. Not all that different from Clinton, and both failed to implement plans for privatizing a portion of social security. W was one hell of a fundraiser, had Rove and had a name to sell to the American people after eight years of Clinton. He also was a product of the left wing of the GOP. In a book from 1999, Kenneth Baer tucks into the very end a simple section on the GOP's desire to find a moderate to champion the cause to combat the moderate Clintonian rehab of the Democrats in the '90s. Baer writes,
"...a group of Republican elected officials and benefactors has established the Republican Leadership Council to recapture the GOP's agenda from its right wing and replace it with a more mainstream platform in order to better the Republicans' odds in 2000 and beyond.... They hope that a New Republican - or a "compassionate conservative" wins the GOP presidential nomination soon and saves a party that has lost the presidency twice and has seen its newly won hold on Congress weaken."
Compassionate conservative, where have I heard that before? The RLC was the fiscally conservative, socially inclusive wing of the party that formed after Buchanan dared to name the ongoing erosion of values in America with his Culture Wars speech. It was a speech that turned out to be true. The RLC was just like the DLC where the elite money interests wanted to have a nice hand on who was the leader of the party. The main difference was that the DLC was built as the Dems were losing elections while the RLC was developed as the GOP was winning elections.
W could get around the primary voters as a true conservative to line up with the '90s Contract with America GOP voting crowd because of the state he was governor in, Texas. Texas allowed him to be very conservative in speech, let him execute some prisoners (big '90s issue), let him be pro-life safely, and distance himself from his squishy, RINO dad. W also had a personal item to sell to the primary crowd. He was a born again Christian. I'm not going to question a recovering alcoholics conversion and rebirth, but it does make for one hell of an identifier to have slapped on you during primary season. Brilliant. W could appear to be culturally conservative while still lining up behind the elite's agenda. Our elites have it set up so smooth.