The real question is: After seven years of George W. Bush, why would any genuine conservative still support his party?
Bush's presidency has made a shambles of real conservatism. Let's leave aside the issues on which liberals and conservatives can be expected to disagree, like his tax cuts for the rich, expansion of Medicare or his position on immigration, and focus solely on ones that should be above partisan rancor -- ones involving the Constitution and all-American values. On issue after Mom-and-apple-pie issue, from authorizing torture to approving illegal wiretapping to launching a self-destructive war, Bush has done incalculable damage to conservative principles -- far more, in fact, than any recent Democratic president. And he has been supported every step of the way by Republicans in Congress, who have voted in lockstep for his radical policies. None of the major Republican candidates running for office have repudiated any of Bush's policies. They simply promise to execute them better.
There is very little that is “conservative” about the Bush administration. They are most certainly not fiscally conservative with the way they have allowed the federal budget deficit to explode. They are most certainly not prudent or cautious in their handling of U.S. foreign policy. They have little to no respect for tradition or established principles.
As I’ve said many times before, they are not “conservatives”, they are right-wing radicals. They want to make radical changes to our governmental institutions that would have the primary effect of further enriching their small cadre of political supporters at the expense of everyone else in the nation.
A lot of old school conservatives like William F. Buckley abandoned Bush a long time ago. But the majority of self-described Republicans remain stubbornly in lockstep marching toward the cliff. Many will see their political fortunes go splat after the next election.