I mean, any of us who've been watching the current train wreck they call an administration can tell you that, whatever we might think of conservative ideology, what they're doing ain't it. I mean, they dragged out all the social conservative talking points, galvanized the social conservative vote and all that, and kept that vote by "defending marriage" and so on. But at the same time they've grown the central government an unprecidented amount, given outrageous amounts of money to the very wealthy, eroded constitutional rights dramatically, institututed the vast central domestic surveillance entity that they accused Clinton of trying to establish, and started a policy of "pre-emptive war."
One thing that has been clear is that the administration was hijacked from the beginning by the neo-cons, in particular by PNAC (The Project for the New American Century), which pushed for, among other things, US dominance of the world through military means. PNAC members in the Bush Administration include:
Elliot Abrams: National Security Council
Richard Armitage: Deputy Secretary of State
John R. Bolton: US Ambassador to the UN
Rudy Boschwitz: Head of the U.S. Delegation to the U.N. Commission on Human Rights
Richard Cheney: VP
Seth Cropsey: Director, International Broadcasting Bureau (Voice of America)
Paula Dobriansky: Undersecretary of State for Global Affairs
Francis Fukuyama: Presidents Council of Bioethics
Bruce Jackson: President, US Committee on NATO
Zalmay Khalilzad: US Ambassador to the UN
Scooter Libby: Chief of Staff for the VP
Richard Perle: Chairman of the Board, Defense Policy Board Advisory Committee
Peter W. Rodman: Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security
Donald Rumsfeld: Secretary of Defense
Abram Shulsky: Director, Office of Special Plans, DOD
Randy Scheunemann: U.S. Committee on NATO, Project on Transitional Democracies, International Republican Institute; Founder, Founded the Committee for the Liberation of Iraq.
Paul Wolfowitz: Deputy Secretary of Defense, President of the World Bank
Dov S. Zakheim: Comptroller, DOD
Robert B. Zoellick: Deputy Secretary of State
So, who are these assholes, anyway? Well, the neo-con ideology was originally crafted by Trotskyist thinker Irving Kristol, and he brings to the US political arena a rethinking of Trotsky's idea of "Permanent Revolution": Perpetual War. In a simplistic sense, this creates a "permanent war economy," which keeps military spending strong even during relative peacetime and thus artificially boosts the economy for the duration. This was what drove the US economy post WWII, and throughout the Cold War. Subsequent to the collapse of the Soviet Union, some other permanent war opponant needed to be found.
But maintaining a permanent war economy is not a Trotskyist concept in itself. There's plenty of people who are happy to be war profiteers. The Trotskyist part of this concept is the application - the permanent war isn't simply to boost one's own economy, it's purpose is to create a permanent state of disruption in the rest of the world, while keeping the local population united under threat of war. The twist is that instead of using this disruption to leach away at the privileged classes until they disappeared, it is being used to destabilize the world in an effort to create permanent US domination of the world.
"Since today’s peace is the unique product of American preeminence, a failure to preserve that preeminence allows others an opportunity to shape the world in ways antithetical to American interests and principles." [Rebuilding America's Defenses, PNAC].
The neocon's plan from the beginning of this administration appears to have been to take Iraq. Iraq, originally created by Winston Churchhill after WWI as a staging ground for British to exert military power in the region, was created intentionally to foster a three-way civil disunity within the nation, making it less likely that the populace to unify long enough to rise up against the British-controlled puppet government. The US has decided to appropriate both this idea and this country, for similar purposes. The purpose is not only to provide a permanent base for US military operations in the region, but also to allow us to exert power in the region. This has a side-benefit of allowing the US to threaten China from two fronts.
It was understood that the invasion would throw the middle east into turmoil; this was both anticipated and desired. There was another agenda on the table - all part of the same policy, but not one that could be expressed publically, as it involves our allies in the region, Saudi Arabia, and, of course, OPEC. By controlling Iraq (and Iraq's oil), we destabilize the region, which turns against our allies in the region (namely, SA), and the House of Saud is brought down. This breaks SA's control of OPEC, and the US steps into the vacuum, giving the US essentially permanent control over the major oil production facilities of the world. Which explains how they could claim that the war would pay for itself.
So this is the plan that was sold to the administration and the congress, and then marketed to the US populace. And if it had worked, there's a huge number of people who'd have hailed the neocons as heros, and we'd be seeing creepy things like "Rumsfeld for President" stickers and such.
So what went wrong?
Let us remember that, before he was president, or governor, or a conservative, before he was an alcoholic and cocaine addict, GW was an oilman, from a family of oilmen. Dick Cheney? Also an oilman, and a Haliburton loyalist. So this plan, which was fatally flawed from the start, was pushed through with the convenient incident of 9/11, spawning a war against Afghanistan (which may have been justified), followed by a war against Iraq (which was not). Prior to the attack against Iraq, oil prices dropped to an encouraging $12 a barrel, indicating general confidence in the plan. Immediately after the invasion, prices skyrocketed to $60 a barrel. Since Bush took office, American oil companies received somewhere around $321 billion dollars in profits, most of this after the Iraq War started. (For example, Conoco had $0.7b profits in 2002, and $15.5b profits in $2006.) Bush and Cheney used the neocons to benefit the oil industry, and are allowing them to be the scapegoats for a failed policy.
Take a look at http://neutralobserver.blogspot.com/2007/05/oil-snapshot.html for some quick and easy stats.
While the neocons were implementing a policy they thougtht was designed to bring down the House of Saud, President Bush was golfing with the King of Saudi Arabia. And while US oil companies were making record profits, OPEC nations were far exceeding that.
Seems this whole administration is about oil profits. And they didn't just sell the neocons down the river, they sold us all. The US deficit is... the only word I can think of is "absurd." The dollar is dangling low, and the only thing that is keeping the dollar from freefall is continued international confidence, which is waning, and the fact that OPEC is tied to the dollar. The recent proposal to tie OPEC to the Euro may cause the dollar to collapse if it is adopted, and then we're fucked.
Frankly, we've not only alienated the Islamic world and turned them against us, but our policies have also inspired Europe to take steps to counter US influence - the proposal of the Euro as the price standard for OPEC is one such move. They've also started moving toward a European military force, which allows them to pull out of NATO (which is US dominated).
And I've heard rumor that Saudi Arabia has bought the majority of US foreign debt. Anyone care to guess what happens to the US if the Saudis decide to call it a bad debt?