Bush 'Compassion' Agenda: A Liability in '04?
[...]Mr. Bush's "compassionate conservative" agenda has fallen so far short of its ambitious goals, in a number of cases undercut by pressure from his conservative backers, that they fear he will be politically vulnerable on the issue in 2004.
At the same time, some religious supporters of Mr. Bush say they feel betrayed by promises he made as a candidate and now, they maintain, has broken as president.
"After three years, he's failed the test," said one prominent early supporter, the Rev. Jim Wallis, leader of Call to Renewal, a network of churches that fights poverty.
Mr. Wallis said Mr. Bush had told him as president-elect that "I don't understand how poor people think," and appealed to him for help by calling himself "a white Republican guy who doesn't get it, but I'd like to." Now, Mr. Wallis said, "his policy has not come even close to matching his words."