I'm going to side with Matthew Yglesias on the question of whether Bush is a "closet intolerant". It is clear to me that Bush personally has no problems with homosexuality. Indeed, I am often struck by the impression that he is almost liberal in his personal views on many aspects of human relations. I think it is a mistake for people on the left to ascribe to him motives for which there is very little evidence.
The sin of Bush is not intolerance but his willingness to use the intolerance of others for his own personal gain. Bush strikes me as a person who is so enamored of his own personal qualities that he thinks that it excuses him from the pain he causes by enabling the intolerance of others. He is not personally hateful, so the hatefulness of others is not his fault.
I would also suggest that it is Bush's own personal openness that makes him so personally appealing to those who advocate for social tolerance. How many times have we heard stories from people who are his political opponents who, none-the-less, find the guy personally likable? Bill Clinton is just the latest in a long line of such individuals. But, just as Bush enables the intolerant by his manipulation of their feelings, those who personally like Bush are also guilty of the sin of enabling his own self-inflated ego.
Damn but this country is in serious need of an intervention.