Two unimpeachable conservatives seem to think so.
The beginning of my own sense of separation from the Bush administration came in January 2005, when the president declared that it is now the policy of the United States to eradicate tyranny in the world, and that the survival of American liberty is dependent on the liberty of every other nation. This was at once so utopian and so aggressive that it shocked me. For others the beginning of distance might have been Katrina and the incompetence it revealed, or the depth of the mishandling and misjudgments of Iraq.
What I came in time to believe is that the great shortcoming of this White House, the great thing it is missing, is simple wisdom. Just wisdom–a sense that they did not invent history, that this moment is not all there is, that man has lived a long time and there are things that are true of him, that maturity is not the same thing as cowardice, that personal loyalty is not a good enough reason to put anyone in charge of anything, that the way it works in politics is a friend becomes a loyalist becomes a hack, and actually at this point in history we don’t need hacks.
CHRIS WALLACE: But you compare George W. Bush to Jimmy Carter, which, as you well know, is fighting words among Republicans.
GINGRICH: Look, the functional effect in public opinion is about the same. Now, Republicans need to confront this reality.
If you were at 28 percent, 29 percent, 30 percent approval, and if things aren’t working, and now you have a fight which splits your own party — and this immigration fight goes to the core of where we are.
If you read Peggy Noonan’s column last Friday, which was devastating — and I think it resonates with where the base of this party is right now. The base of this party is looking up going, "What are we in the middle of — why are we ramming through an omnibus Teddy Kennedy bill, and attacking Republicans who criticize it, and calling us," for example, as one senator did, "bigots, when all we’re saying is this government couldn’t possibly implement this bill?"
There’s no evidence at all that this government is capable of executing this.