How appropriately timed, as we prepare to watch the Republican contenders attempt to disassociate themselves from Bush's failed policies while simultaneously kissing up to that diehard 28% base as the most authentic conservative and heir to the Reagan mantle on the stage at the Reagan Library.
Campaign for America's Future is sponsoring the conference, with discussions ranging from "How President Bush and Conservatives Get the World Wrong", "How Conservatives Fail Economics", and my personal favorite, "Can Conservatives be Trusted to Govern?" with Bill Kristol defending his failed ideology in unfriendly territory (oh, if only C-Span would feature this conference!).
UPDATE: Hooray for PoliticsTV, because they recorded the conference!
Participant and moderator Bob Borosage had this op-ed in the Chicago Tribune today:
Each of Bush's signature failures -- the war in Iraq, Hurricane Katrina, Enron and the corporate scandals, failed tax and trade policies, the attempt to privatize Social Security, the posturing around Terri Schiavo and stem cells -- can be traced back not simply to the conservative ideology and ideologues that sired them -- but to the basic concepts that Reagan championed. The Gipper can't lead Republican candidates out of the wilderness because, to paraphrase, his conservatism is the problem, not the solution.
Over the last six years, with Bush in the White House, then-House Majority Leader Tom DeLay ramrodding the Republican Congress and Karl Rove focused on mobilizing the Republican base, conservatives have largely had their way. Bush pursued the core ideas of each strand of "movement conservatism" largely to catastrophic effect.