Bush - Unwanted by His Own Party


The point of no return for President Bush may have been the day he offered a few choice remarks directed against his dwindling base during the Senate immigration reform debate. Specifically, the President accused immigration reform critics of not wanting "…what's right for America," of conspiring to "frighten people," and of being concerned about "…Latinos being in our country." And with this we find Bush embarking on an innovative political strategy: to insult his few remaining supporters by impugning their motives and implying racial impulses.

The President has borne some of the most vicious slander imaginable from inveterate Bush haters with remarkable grace and restraint. He has been labeled a fascist, likened to Hitler, accused of being a front man for Big Oil and even of having masterminded 9/11 - all to which he has remained magnanimous. Yet for avid supporters who have stood behind him despite numerous missteps, he has undisguised disdain - merely for raising legitimate concerns over an immigration bill that would likely have changed the character of the nation and threatened its financial solvency. For many conservatives who have already had their fill of Mr. Bush, this can properly be thought of as the last straw.

What Bush and other open borders/amnesty advocates don't seem to realize is that this issue is not about racism or compassion but, indeed, about what is "right for the country." For amnesty opponents, the idea of legalizing between 12 and 20 million illegal aliens whose initial action upon entering the country was to break the law is simply untenable. They recognize that the Simpson-Mazzoli bill of 1986 that granted amnesty to 3 million illegals only served as an incentive for far greater numbers of illegals to enter since. Many if not most in this country simply do not trust the government to do what is says it's going to do about securing the border and enforcing its laws. They recognize that the so called 24 hour background check for illegals before granting "provisional" status is an absurdity to anyone who realizes that the immigration service is already overwhelmed, backlogged, and ill equipped to handle this additional burden. Most Americans recognize that it cannot be good for a nation to import millions of uneducated, unskilled, and impoverished aliens, of uncertain loyalty to nation and culture, without damaging our competitiveness and social cohesion and endangering our public programs. Nor do they fail to observe that immigration is no longer just an economic or social issue but a national security matter that has not been properly addressed by a President who prides himself on being strong on terror.

The Bush record by conservative lights, has, in general, been decidedly mixed. In his favor: tax cuts and two favorable Supreme Court picks. Against this, a sundry list of negatives. Perhaps we should have taken Bush at his word when early on he announced himself a "compassionate" conservative. Properly translated, this can mean only one thing: big government - and Bush has been the consummate big government multicultural liberal.

He has engaged in record spending and added the Medicare Prescription Program, even as Medicare and Medicaid already threaten to eat the Federal Budget. He wrapped the Federal government's arms around education, aligning himself with Ted Kennedy in No Child Left Behind. He supported Affirmative Action, bilingual programs and opposed making English our official language. Most significantly, he took his country to war without first addressing the drastic under funding of the Military that occurred during the Clinton administration. By failing to build up our forces and commit adequate military resources to consummate the Iraq affair, he has undermined the entire enterprise and severely compromised his country.

Yet despite the serious setback a defeat in Iraq would be, the failed Immigration Reform package would have been worse. For this plan over time would have threatened both the cultural and financial integrity of the country. No nation can continue to import millions of the world's poorest without paying a price not just in our competitiveness but in our ability to simply stay afloat. Not with social programs teetering; not with Medicare and Social Security looking into an uncertain future as baby boomers come of age; not with schools, hospitals, and prisons straining under the added impact of the illegals.

After more than six years of the Bush Presidency, Republicans may rightfully wonder what Republican governance actually means. Based on the Bush record, it appears to mean that you govern like a Democrat, only worse: you expand government, spend egregiously, add unfunded new entitlements, go to war unprepared, and invite millions of impoverished illegals who will bankrupt the country and potentially endanger our security.

It is perhaps telling to observe the various Republican Presidential nominee candidates politely avoiding the mention of Bush's name or associating themselves with his policies even as they embrace the mantle of Reagan, each eagerly claiming to be his heir. For Republicans, Bush will leave no legacy to uphold; rather they will run from it. He will be an unwanted reminder of a deeply flawed Presidency that has damaged its party and its country.


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