In an interview with Tim Goeglein, one of George W. Bush's longest-serving aides, Timothy Dalrymple reconsiders "compassionate conservatism" as an approach to civil society:
Personally, I’ve sometimes wondered whether “compassionate conservatism” came out, in effect, to big-government conservatism. I no longer think that’s the case. Although Bush expanded government spending, he often directed that spending in ways that did not further bloat the government bureaucracy but, instead, empowered churches and ministries and other organizations in the private sector to do their work.
Maybe one day Republicans will rediscover compassionate conservatism—a modest vision that was overwhelmed by terror, war, economic calamity, and, finally, an ugly ideological freakout.