Not quite a defection
Michael Steele is the Lieutenant Governor of Maryland. He is also a Republican (see photo on left from happier days). Like many other Republicans he has realized that George Bush is an albatross hung around his neck. Steele said that his run for the US Senate in Marylnd is going to be tough because he's a Republican. He admitted: "If this race is about Republicans and Democrats, I lose."
When asked if he will have President campaign for him he said: "to be honest with you, probably not.
Republicans historically have run on the issues of local contol instead of federal control, balancing the budget, fiscal restraint, and small government. They can't do that anymore as Bush has openly destroyed each of those principles. They got some traction on the war on terror but have lost that as Bush has bungled Iraq and the only results the war on terror has generated is to spy on Americans and harass them when they try to fly. That leaves one last category: bashing gays. But that is a relatively new Republican position and not one accepted by a large number of Republicans --- worse yet the public doesn't seem to go for it either. All in all the Republicans have been destroyed from within by their own leader.
Even William F. Buckley has come out swinging against the Bush agenda. He says Bush lacks any "effective conservative ideology". Asked what Bush's legacy would be he said: "I think his legacy is indecipherable." The interview from CBS with Buckley is below.