I don't think so. I believe he meant what he said. While he is philosophically committed to lowering taxes, he has always been insufficiently allergic to profligate federal spending. So I don't see his unbridled domestic spending and refusal to use the veto pen as betrayals, but as manifestations of concerns many conservatives had about him from the beginning.
Up until now I don't think his dual nature -- for lack of a better description -- has caused him to be conflicted. But I'm afraid that Katrina, coupled with all the other pressures and assaults to which he has been subjected, threatens to take him off his game.
I believe his legacy, and, more importantly, the course of the nation will be determined by which side of his nature he allows to be dominant over the next three years.
The sooner he realizes that he cannot bargain or compromise with his political enemies, the better chance he'll have of accomplishing his agenda. Their agenda is solely to thwart him, and he must proceed with no illusions about that indisputable fact. He must not let them shame or deter him with false charges about Katrina, Iraq or anything else.
It has to be tough to stay the course in Iraq, when his political opponents and the media suppress all the good news and accentuate the bad. But assuming he persists until the Iraqi forces are able to ensure the security and stability of their own government, I believe he will go down as a great president on that score alone, notwithstanding the polls today.
To the extent that he implements conservative policies on the domestic front as well -- taxes, spending, immigration, conservative judges, and the rest -- he will further augment his legacy and advance the best interests of the nation. And above all, relative to Katrina, he must ignore the race-baiters, promote colorblindness and encourage self-reliance.
I'm sincerely optimistic, mainly because of his strong character, that President Bush will persevere and close out his presidency very constructively and productively. Besides, can you imagine what would happen with the kook left in charge? Forget about it.