I'm interested in that notion of a "trustworthy government" among conservatives. I *think* it boils down to the reality that conservatives (or at least neocons) trust the government in the form of the military, but not in the form of the post office.
I'm not sure why. Part of it seems to be the endless WWII nostalgia which view all wars through that lens. Part of it is that the crazed secular messianic ideologues of "creative destruction" who have grafted some of their old leftist believes in the power of raw force to heal and redeem on to their new schemes for a Greater America. Part of it is terror of the alternative: the thought that Bush and Co just have no clue how to fight the War on Radical Islam and don't know what they are doing.
I don't think that leftists have accepted anything resembling "the power of raw force to heal and redeem" in at least 40 years unless we are talking about communists. Secondly, the last time I checked most leftists have never had any "schemes for a Greater America," new or otherwise. Leftism, at least as a modern political ideology, tends to presuppose an internationalist lens that puts it "above" issues of nationalism and the like.
Secondly, the broad assertion that Bush has no clue about how to fight the war on terrorism is just a caricature. Bush does have an idea how to fight it and it is one that Mark is obviously aware of since he has now decided that Bush's Wilsonian rhetoric and strategy makes him a heretic. You may disagree with him, but please acknowledge his views on the matter. To note that he possesses these views on one day and then ignore them on another is at least as Orwellian as anything that Giuliani has said about torture.