June 1, 2007

The End Of The Bushes?

Peggy Noonan, one of my favorite columnists and always a great read, today turns her substantial rhetorical guns on what she sees as the biggest threat to the Republican Party -- George Bush. Accusing him of following his father in squandering a great political inheritance, Noonan calls for a Republican repudiation of Bush and his family:

What political conservatives and on-the-ground Republicans must understand at this point is that they are not breaking with the White House on immigration. They are not resisting, fighting and thereby setting down a historical marker--"At this point the break became final." That's not what's happening. What conservatives and Republicans must recognize is that the White House has broken with them. What President Bush is doing, and has been doing for some time, is sundering a great political coalition. This is sad, and it holds implications not only for one political party but for the American future.

The White House doesn't need its traditional supporters anymore, because its problems are way beyond being solved by the base. And the people in the administration don't even much like the base. Desperate straits have left them liberated, and they are acting out their disdain. Leading Democrats often think their base is slightly mad but at least their heart is in the right place. This White House thinks its base is stupid and that its heart is in the wrong place.

For almost three years, arguably longer, conservative Bush supporters have felt like sufferers of battered wife syndrome. You don't like endless gushing spending, the kind that assumes a high and unstoppable affluence will always exist, and the tax receipts will always flow in? Too bad! You don't like expanding governmental authority and power? Too bad. You think the war was wrong or is wrong? Too bad.

But on immigration it has changed from "Too bad" to "You're bad."

I'm a little surprised by Noonan with this piece. I see nothing all that unusual with the way the Bush administration has attacked its critics over immigration. If she was to honestly look at the last six years, she will see that this is the normal mode of operation for the White House -- to always stay on the attack. In fact, they've followed the James Carville model from their first days in the White House.

What's the difference? They've not had to answer substantial conservative criticism very often. When they have, though, they've been consistent. When the Right objected to the poor choice of Harriet Miers as a Supreme Court nominee, they were accused of being sexist. When the Dubai Ports deal came to light -- which the administration failed to properly support -- they accused critics of bigotry and xenophobia. Those same accusations have arisen from Bush himself in this debate, with his accusation that opponents of the compromise bill "do not want what's right for America".

Welcome to the hardball of the Bush administration. We loved it when they used it on Democrats and the war, and it seems just a little hypocritical to start whining about it now that we're getting a taste of it ourselves.

However, Noonan does get the main point correct, which is that the GOP needs to start working on defining itself for the post-Bush era. We support him on the war and on taxes, but on most other domestic issues, we have a lot of daylight between Bush and the party. Discretionary spending went out of control on his watch, and the government grew faster than during the Clinton administration. That's not just Bush, either, but also the Congressional Republican leadership prior to the last mid-terms. We allowed lobbyist influence to increase, and we exploded the use of earmarks.

Republicans used to stand for smaller government, federalism, and strong national defense. Not all of that conflicts with the Bush legacy, but enough of it does that we need to start publicly demanding a return to those core concepts. Rather than repudiating Bush over his insulting attacks on the base, the better path is to generate a positive agenda that demonstrates our dissatisfaction with the previous six years -- and give Republicans something to vote for, rather than something to vote against.

If we can do that, we won't have to demand that the Bushes stay in Kennebunkport. We just won't give them any room to remain in party leadership.


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Comments (74)

Posted by RBMN | June 1, 2007 10:45 AM

Peggy Noonan gets the vapors sometimes--either overly positive, or overly negative. I don't consider her a serious scholar. Great wordsmith, but flighty.

Posted by RKV | June 1, 2007 10:47 AM

Jorge, you just called me, and millions of other Americans "bigots." For my part, it's time to call you a liar. You have failed to see our laws enforced, and thereby broken your oath of office.

Posted by Scott | June 1, 2007 10:54 AM

I love your blog ,but your post today is way off the mark. An honest view of the last six years most certainly does not lead one to conclude that Bush's attacks on conservatives over immigration is business as usual for Bush. Suffice to say that very few conservatives think that Bush has been a fighter for his or our cause. In fact, he has repeatedly gone out of his way to be deferential and assume the best motives of his harshest critics. How often have you heard him mutter something about just having simple differences of opinion with Dems over life and death issues in war. Your assertion that the Bush White House has been run in manner reminiscent of James Carville is absolutely false. Virtually all conservatives are now utterly sick of sticking up for a man who either refuses or is incapable of sticking up for himself. Given the relentless and hostile nature of the attacks against him, he has done nothing by comparison to defend himself.
By the way, lets assume that your assertion is true; that Bush is acting now toward conservatives in the same way that he has always acted toward liberal Dems (an assertion that I obviously believe to be false). Even if this were true, this tactic would be politically stupid. You are aruguing that Bush has fought equally hard against his most ardent supporters at a time when he needs their support and has effectlively lost the support of everybody else already. This is politically suicidal. Oh, and what about Bush's famous loyalty to his friends and supporters? No matter how incompetent, no matter how much they drag him down personally, he stands with them till the bitter end (Browny; Rumsfeld). His rank and file conservative base?? Er, not so much. I have absolutely no residual support left for him. Peggy Noonan is spot on. He is crippling and dividing a conservative movement that took decades to build.

Posted by Joselito | June 1, 2007 10:56 AM

If George Bush sees the critics of his plan for amnesty as evil bigots, that is his right. For my money, in the pantheon of misguided public officials, he stand in an honored place for being stupid enough to actually fall for something that proved to be a demonstrable failure in 1965, and again in 1986, and has been crafted in part by Ted Kennedy, a conscienceless, bloviating, alcoholic with the scruples of Hannibal Lector.

I prefer to call Mr. Bush stupid, rather than evil.

Posted by RBMN | June 1, 2007 11:00 AM

Re: RKV at June 1, 2007 10:47 AM

No. Bush called you callous and ungenerous toward illegal workers, and he's right. Isn't he? You're not feeling real generous, are you?

Posted by John Primmer | June 1, 2007 11:01 AM

I think you are wrong when you argue that the Bush administration's push back at conservatives on immigration equates to its "hard ball" response to critics on the left. In fact his opposition on the left, some of which verges on perfidy, has been left unchallenged. Where is the push back for betrayal of national security secrets. Where was the support for Libby? How could he possibly award the Medal of Freedom to Tenet?

You say his core support now is limited to the war and taxes. He's lost me there too. We have learned too much about the results of his inadequate troop strength and lackluster rules of engagement to be cheering him on that. On taxes, he failed to get temporary reductions made permanent while he had a Republican majority in both houses.

I've supported him faithfully and dutifully, even when the cracks became too obvious to ignore. But if he gives me the finger on enforcing our borders, he's just lost me.

Here's how bad it is. I just stopped forgiving him for "nuke-you-lur." It's over six years. Learn how to pronounce a simple word for Pete's sake!

Posted by Papa Ray | June 1, 2007 11:03 AM

While you are right about the method of going for positive rather than negative and that general train of thought, your wrong about how Bush jr has handled or rather mishandled immigration.

For most Americans they don't understand his grand plan of uniting Mexico, Canada and these United States.

He has been deadly serious about it for years, and he has not kept it a secret as some on the left say. Anyone who has a lick of sense knows how Bush jr feels about it.

The trouble is, not many others feel the same way, just ask Texans how they feel about their state politicians throwing them under the bus for this new Mexico/Canada toll road through America.

But it is a seperate, most hurting deal when he says that anyone who doesn't want to agree with this latest abortion of an immigration bill ....doesn't have America's best interests at heart.

Not only is that a boldface lie and misrepresentaton of everything involved, it is an indication of how stupid and narrowminded he thinks the average American is. He might as well called us all racists and unAmerican.

He can't do that and get away with it. Many think that its not only stupid but mean spirited what he said and how he said it.

That was the last straw...mark my words.


Papa Ray
West Texas

Posted by Joe Doe | June 1, 2007 11:04 AM

Evil AND stupid.

Title is misleading - I do not think anyone at this point care if this is the end of the Bush dynasty (I am sure everyone hopes so at this point) - but rather if this is the end of America.

Posted by Max | June 1, 2007 11:04 AM

Bush was big on spending his political capital. Now that he's run out, he's going to spend the Republican party's political capital.

Posted by digitalintrigue | June 1, 2007 11:10 AM

time for a new party: one with Conservative in the name, so the party never forgets where it came from.

The American Conservative Party.

Posted by RBMN | June 1, 2007 11:12 AM

Re: Max at June 1, 2007 11:04 AM

According to Dick Morris, not Bush, but the Republican Party is spending its capital on this issue, and in a few years the political bill will come due.

The danger is turning a generational political preference into an multi-generational political preference.

Penny wise. Pound foolish.

Posted by gaffo | June 1, 2007 11:14 AM

WOW!! you are right on the mark on this one Captain!

I read the Noonan insert and thought - wow, WTF is she talking about, then your response.

I concur.

BTW you party IS in trouble - but NOT due to Bush spending like a drunk sailor (I mean really now only Libertarians are fiscal conservatives) - you Party is the same way with State's Rights.

Lip service only - And though I'm a hardcore Social Liberal, I'm also a pretty hardcore fical conservative.........and that forces me (and alot of other Independents like me) to choose the Dems over the Republicans!! (since they both spend like drunk sailors but only Republicans shove Jesus down my throat).

Social Conservatives (they HAVE taken your Party over Captain - smell the coffee) don't give a rats ass about fiscal spending nor State's rights - THAT is why your party no longer defends such principles (beyond lip-service). Lip service still works to get a few folks who have been out of touch with the New Republican Party to go out and vote for them for fiscal reasons. But less and less every year. They are going to the Dems also BTW.

Blue Dems are more fiscal responsible.

oh, ya - none of the shit matters in the least as to why your Party is in trouble.

one reason and one only IRAQNAM - you can make up all sorts of overly analized reasons from Harriet Miers to Terry Schivo - all irrelivant as long as Iraqnam is fused at the hip you your Party.

Iraqnam is YOUR Party's war - not America's war. not anymore at least - if it every was.

good day.

Posted by CoRev | June 1, 2007 11:18 AM

This statement tells me more about the lack of knowledge of Ms Noonan then the vitriolic rhetoric:

You don't like endless gushing spending, the kind that assumes a high and unstoppable affluence will always exist, and the tax receipts will always flow in?
In fact, for the past four years spending has been lower than the rate of increase of revenue. Important? We'll see next year when the budget is balanced!

Is he correct re: Immigration? I dunno, but suspect that the rancor has little to do with the Immigration Bill, but with his credibility. Few think that he will choose to enforce the border.

So what? He will be gone by the time the "Bill" goes into effect. So why are we angry at him for that "Bill?" Because his history has shown him to be disingenuous. Most of us can not abide some one lying to us. So we pay them back with anger.

Posted by Tom Shipley | June 1, 2007 11:26 AM

This has been Bush's MO for the past 6 years. Now that it's actually turned toward conservatives, many are seeing why much of the world so dislikes him.

Posted by NahnCee | June 1, 2007 11:45 AM

I think Ms.Noonan is right on the mark, and that the immigration issue has been the straw that broke the elephant's back. The fact that there is a report today that the Republican's are shutting down their telephone solicitation office because NO ONE is donating to them any more backs up Ms. Noonan's assertions that the White House has lost its base.

Note that this is a totally different question from the base demanding that we pull out of Iraq. I think most people are still willing to be more or less supportive of "the experts' and what they decide to do about those wacky Iraqi's.

But we want our fence, dammit! And I'm thrilled to see that I am not the only one telling Republican phone solicitors not one more red cent until the fence is built, and the White House seriously proposes some laws about immigration that will benefit native-born Americans, and not Texas big business looking for cheap labor.

Posted by not the senator | June 1, 2007 11:50 AM

Only one nit to pick - Carville learned all his tricks from Lee Atwater.

Posted by RKV | June 1, 2007 11:55 AM

RBMN, it isn't generosity that illegal immigrants are after, and Jorge is being generous with money that isn't his. And doing so for cynical political gain.

I don't want to pay for the emergency room care of illegal immigrants, so I want the borders closed. I don't want my children to pay for the dilution of teaching effort associated with having English as a second language students in their classes. I don't want the people who hire illegal aliens to get the benefit of their cheap labor, while I am paying welfare for Americans to sit on their assess. And so on. There is no way a low skilled immigrant can pay for the services they use, and since the United States is the property of its citizens we should be able to decide our own best interests regarding who we let in and how many.

False accusations of bigotry are only the cover for your greed. I accuse you of greed, because you want what is mine, and are willing to vote money out of my wallet to buy others votes. That is the sum total and purpose of "comprehensive immigration reform." And to hell with the best long-term interests of US citizens.

Posted by AnonymousDrivel | June 1, 2007 12:03 PM

RE: NahnCee (June 1, 2007 11:45 AM)
...and the White House seriously proposes some laws about immigration that will benefit native-born Americans, and not Texas big business looking for cheap labor.

You'll have to be more specific, NahnCee. "Native-born Americans" to Bush means "North Americans" and not "United States Americans." Bush would gladly conflate the definition to justify his desire for legalizing anyone in the Northern Hemisphere if he'll work at the right price. When he says we don't want what's best for America, his scope is considerably larger than ours. It's not a Freudian slip. He means it though for his own selfish reasons.

Posted by RBMN | June 1, 2007 12:12 PM

Re: RKV at June 1, 2007 11:55 AM

A lot of first generation AMERICAN CITIZENS call these "awful" illegal immigrants, "Mom and Dad." And a large percentage of them are not Mexicans, and didn't enter the country illegally. A large percentage of illegals became illegal by just not going home when they were supposed to. Fences do nothing to impede them. And if history is any guide, the ones who entered legally from places other than Mexico, are the most dangerous illegals.

Posted by Essucht | June 1, 2007 12:20 PM

I am in shock to see a claim that the Bush administration has supposedly been playing Carville-esque hardball for the last six years.

Let us remember the Clinton years again...

1) Clinton collected FBI records on his opponents, and then released parts of them to the press when convient.

2) Clinton used the IRS to go after political opponents,

3) Clinton hired private investigators to dig into every element of his opponents' personal lives.

4) Clinton interfered in investigations pointed at his cronies and himself.

5) Clinton operated a pay for access scheme - even selling presidential pardons.

6) Clinton publically and personally demonized his political opponents for terror attacks.

I could go on, but how can one seriously contrast this with Bush's constant attempts to seek dialog with even his most fervent political foes on the left?

If Bush were to have followed the scorched earth partisanship of Clinton I expect we would have seen;

1) Public demonization, if not criminal charges, of specific Democrat Congressmen and Senators for leaks and private diplomacy - Leahy, Pelosi, and Rockefeller come to mind.

2) Release of Joe Wilson and Valerie Plame's FBI records and public mention of the former's ties to both French Intelligence and the Saudi monarchy.

3) Endless investigations of Move.org, Soros, ACORN, etc with charges of even a trivial nature being filed.

4) Public condemnation of Clinton and Tenet on Sept 12, 2001, with the latter being fired, and a very loud, very partisan, very leaky investigation of Clinton's anti-terror policies.

5) Firing of every member of the CIA believed to have stong Democrat partisan leanings after 9/11 with the excuse of cleaning out the incompetents.

6) Investigation of the Democrats' media - CNN/ABC/etc,

and again I could go on...

In fact it is really frustrating just how pacific Bush has been the in the face of unprecendented attack from the Left...

Posted by RKV | June 1, 2007 12:32 PM

RBMN, Nice attempt to change the subject, but no cigar. A huge majority of Americans want the borders closed, and no political party now in office wants to do it. Why? Its about the benjamins. Rich Republicans like to keep the pressure on their workers wages, with H1Bs at the top end, and open borders at the low end. Rich Democrats like open borders because they figure they can buy the votes of the newcomers with "free" services from the government (and they reward their government employee voter base too). Meanwhile Americans in the middle to bottom end of the economic strata get screwed. Yep we pay a bit less for lettuce. Yehaw. We end up paying more in taxes in the long run than we benefit. And quite a number of these immigrants think they don't have to learn our language or obey our laws. To hell with that. Then we get accused of bigotry just because we think being an American has meaning beyond being a location where a person works. I like how Henry Cabot Lodge said it...

"You may call me selfish if you will, conservative or reactionary, or use any other harsh adjective you see fit to apply, but an American I was born, an American I have remained all my life. I can never be anything else but an American, and I must think of the United States first, and when I think of the United States first in an arrangement like this I am thinking of what is best for the world, for if the United States fails, the best hopes of mankind fail with it.
I have never had but one allegiance - I cannot divide it now. ...Internationalism, illustrated ... by men to whom all countries are alike provided they can make money out of them, is to me repulsive."

Posted by brooklyn | June 1, 2007 12:35 PM

It really is getting more comical...

Ms. Noonan abandoned the Bush Administration long ago, after showing some professional jealousy, hearing the speeches after reelection.

Let's point out one vivid contradiction, President Bush has an MO of attacking critics?

When Conservatives were upset he wasn't partisan enough when responding to the Democrat Partisans?

You just cannot make this stuff up.

B-D-S on the right is very concerning.

The Man remains one of the most honest in Washington, with the GUTS to fight the GWOT.

Conservatives actually blamed this President for Israels poor fight in Southern Lebanon.

That is how nutty it has become...

And the President is actually correct.

Conservatives who advocate for certain policy, immigration control, should be able to offer substance instead of hyperbole.

In fact, those 'dividing' the Republican Party are the Ron Paul isolationists, and a number of Elite Pundits who feel they know it all.

These are the folks who advocated for the invasion of Iraq, like the NRO, only to fail to defend the policy after it looked challenging.

The President was always a moderate Conservative, who's 'MO' was ethical Leadership.

I wonder if those on the right realize they are making huge mistakes.

For example, the Man at the mighty EIB, behind the 'golden mic', has made an issue of the void between the elected 'Elite' in Washington and regular Americans.

Does this mean he can no longer have an opinion, being an out of touch Elite Media Persona and Millionaire?

Was Rush actually playing class warfare?

It certainly would be nice to see Conservatives this outraged at the Democrats who are trying to undermine the USA in Iraq.

President Bush has been vilified for years by the Right, why should he bother listening to them after all the garbage they have stated about him.

The fact remains, the immigration issue has been handled in a childish manner by Conservatives.

Self destructive madness, and it isn't attractive.

The legacy of 'Polipundit' will lead to elections of Democrat Liberals, over and over again.

Posted by naftali | June 1, 2007 12:35 PM

The issue is more complicated than taking one side or the other. If conservatives wish to maintain a majority then they are going to have to create a parallel culture--of schools, of media, of continual teaching, and of increasing their population (to be somewhat genteel). The problem that most elected republicans have, is that the debate is framed by the liberals, making common sense sound like bigotry. Right now no one is teaching--with a loud voice--the principles of the constitution, of law itself, of economics, of culture and how to sustain that culture. There needs to be a conservative Soros or Ted Turner who chooses to put capital and lots of it into teaching and communication. Without this foundation, there will be no building.

Posted by RBMN | June 1, 2007 12:37 PM

Re: RKV at June 1, 2007 12:32 PM

Bush's point is that nations don't just have bank accounts--they have souls.

One doesn't do you any good without the other.

Posted by Zelsdorf Ragshaft III | June 1, 2007 12:39 PM

While anger over the immigration bill is understandable, but remember Republican disunity, no matter what the reason can and will lead to another Clinton in the White House. If you think anything Bush has done is bad, just wait for the Clintons to reappear.

Posted by Carol Herman | June 1, 2007 1:04 PM

You want the truth?

Bush got "selected" by the base. He catered to the ill-informed right wing nutters. Promising them a Supreme Court that would turn our country on its head. And, among other things, take abortion away from women as a LEGAL choice!

Turns out the harms are now obvious. Including how Bush only thought of the Supreme's as a place he could foist up one of his loyal and incompetent Texan friends. No. He didn't get away with it! WHY? Because INSIDE THE WHITE HOUSE it became obvious that her hearings were gonna be a disaster. She didn't answer questions. SHe just mumbled. She would have made Bush look very bad. And, the donks were lying in wait! So, too, some GOP members who are not twisted social conservative critics. It's a very small part of the whole.

But this is WHY you're not seeing candidates coming out of the donk's party. From the way they read things;

And, Jimmy Carter is their tools book. The public, so angry at the sitting president will vote in the other party. (Oddly enough, that's how the donks figured out Reagan won it.)

Now, they see Bush has managed to turn off so many! Including Olmert in israel. Who dares not breathe a word. It's as if the problem is right there to see. But no words get attached to it.

Except, here. You heard me. Bush is the Realtor for the Saud's.

And, currently? James Baker is gonna twist what's left, over the next 600 days, to give the donks a bonanza of legislation! Again, YES, this will hurt the GOP. It's a train wreck they can't even stop! Because some GOP kiesters are in bed with the lobbyists, who are in bed with this legislation.

Win's remember, just take ONE PERCENT. Once you claim 51% ... in the American system ... you get the whole pie.

Oh. And, the elites LIVE for this stuff! That's their power trip!

And, next up on Bush's agenda? So he can go an visit Europe in his waning days? He's gonna go for the HUMANS CAUSE GLOBAL WARMING trick.

Which does make it a tough row to hoe when you're a candidate hoping to get into the Oval Office. (Where the straight-jacketed behaviors of George Allen need not apply.)

You're just figuring out that Bush is a disaster?

It's old news to me.

But I don't see this pushing me into the camp of Ma and Pa Kettle, either.

And, yes. The Internet can make a very big difference! Heck, in Hollywood; back in 1932, it was the Talkies. Once actors had the sound tracks added the magic of Hollywood took off. And, stayed high for more than 50 years. Now, that's not a bad run!

Today, when you look at business failures, you'd notice "picking stars' has become tougher. While the world of talent expands. Because, now, just about anyone who wants to has the tools to make movies. Or cut records.

Still, the unusual substance remains: TALENT.

And, the ability to hold on and not dispair. That's another reason I give Olmert credit. First, he had to deal with James Baker last summer. He has to deal with a Bush who is no friend to Israel! And, he has to deal with this, knowing full well, people believe lies.

Even so, the truth will come out. Always does. T'marra.

Posted by docjim505 | June 1, 2007 1:06 PM

Cap'n Ed wrote:

Welcome to the hardball of the Bush administration. We loved it when they used it on Democrats and the war, and it seems just a little hypocritical to start whining about it now that we're getting a taste of it ourselves.

Gotta echo Scott (June 1, 2007 10:54 AM): when, exactly, has Bush played "hard ball" with the filthy dems? Oh, I realize that they think he's been mean to them, but the rest of us have wanted him to take the gloves off for years. Now he IS taking them off... against his own base.

I don't know what's going through his mind, but he's about to ruin the Republican Party's electoral prospects for years - if not decades - to come.

Posted by Maetenloch | June 1, 2007 1:07 PM

RBMN is right that Peggy Noonan is often emotional and even a little over-wrought. This is what makes her a great speechwriter, but I wouldn't put too much into her political analysis. Still having Peggy react this way is a signal that you're on thin ice with the base.

I have to disagree with the Captain about the Bush administration aggressively defending themselves. I wish they had been even half as aggressive as James Carville and the Clintons. The president and his advisors have been called the vilest things and accused of horrible crimes by significant opposition politicians (Pelosi, Kennedy, Schumer, etc), and yet I have never seen or heard a Bush official in the media counter-attacking these charges. For some reason the Bush administration seems to think it's beneath them to respond. This might seem like the classy move, but it's ineffective in the rough and tumble of politics where the big lie eventually percolates into the public subconcious. The Bush administration has been bad at communication beginning with the President's own lack of rhetorical skills.
In addition the whole immigration issue has been an unforced error on the administration's part, but the bad communication strategy of the last several years may boost it into a tipping point.

Posted by Jim Verdolini | June 1, 2007 1:23 PM

I believe she misses the point. I am not upset with Bush. He has not paid serious attention to the party agenda in years, No, I am upset with Congress. I am tired of telling Congress, loudly, what we want and getting an erect middle finger in response.

That is what is killing the party. I know of 6 republican activists who have left the party in the last month over this issue, my wife included. We are tired of those arogant, egotistic and not very bright dolts ignoring the folk who put them in office. When will those folk realize that they work for us, not we for them?

Posted by RKV | June 1, 2007 2:11 PM

RBMN - now you turn to a religious argument about souls, because there is no logical support for your contentions. I doubt you leave your car or house unlocked - do you? You reasonably want to control who enters your property. Well, the US is no less property - and the citizens get to decide who we let in. We don't want criminals, those who would be a burden to us or those who don't respect our laws and values. That the government has failed to adequately control our borders is self-evident. Is this a reason to give up? No. Rather, it should remind us that we need to use the tools of self-government to punish politicians who fail in their duty to us in favor of special interests When they start losing power, they will get the idea.

Posted by Dave | June 1, 2007 2:16 PM

For 6 years I've had to enter discussions that have lead to arguements because this President can not construct a simple sentence. I am tired of defending his policies and sending cash to our party and then suffer the pain of his inability to stand up for himself.

Bush, as with many other issues that have been tough, can not make his case on immigration. Since Bush/Reove can not defend their position, Bush plays this "in your face, your all a bunch of ignorant bigots" style game with his base. Great comeback George. Great play Rove.

Does everyone now see why McCain wanted to ram this thing through in one week. Look at the childish way they defend it. They can't defend the bill on content.

Rove, the genius? I used to stand by that. Now it really appears he is a divider. The trouble is when he keeps cutting things in half, a thrity-second is not much to work with.

After watching him try to do the home boy dance it became clear; Rove is a snarky brat.
Rove JUMPED THE SHARK at the boggie dance dinner and David Gregory got to stand behind him and watch the final curtain call for Rove. Rove is playing sticks and stones with the last group of friends that this adiministration had.

Peggy is right. This is battered wife symdrome and though I am a man, I am not going back in the Bush house again. Sign me up for the shelter.

President Bush, your people in Iraq better have great METRICS the first full week in September. This is one conservative who will not sign up for the sequel. " SURGE II ".

No delays.... September 10 and NOT the 30th of September at 11:59PM.

Posted by Mwalimu Daudi | June 1, 2007 2:24 PM

I agree with the majority of the commenters today. Captain Ed is wrong - "timid" is a far more accurate word to describe Bush's dealings with the Democrat Party.

Posted by JoeS | June 1, 2007 2:35 PM

For his deeds, GW needs to have Henry Waxman and John Conyers turned loose on him for the balance of his Presidency.

Posted by openmouthedfool | June 1, 2007 2:47 PM

Please excuse the long post, but I thought I'd try to see what I could come up with as far as Bush/Cheney responses to critics. "Timid," or agressive? Compare to "don't want to do what's right for America."

AP, 2/24/2007: Cheney asserted that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's opposition to President Bush's troop buildup in Iraq would "validate the al-Qaida strategy."

AP, 9/29/2006: President Bush asserted Friday that critics who claim the Iraq war has made America less safe embrace "the enemy's propaganda."

"Some have selectively quoted from this document to make the case that by fighting the terrorists - by fighting them in Iraq - we are making our people less secure here at home," Bush told the Reserve Officers Association. "This argument buys into the enemy's propaganda that the terrorists attack us because we're provoking them."

Bush's speech to the military group followed one he gave the day before at a GOP fundraiser in Alabama, where he accused Democrats of "obstruction and endless second-guessing" and not having the stomach to persist in Iraq.

Washington Post, 9/11/2006: The vice president said U.S. allies in Afghanistan and Iraq "have doubts" the United States will finish the job there. "And those doubts are encouraged, obviously, when they see the kind of debate that we've had in the United States," he said. "Suggestions, for example, that we should withdraw U.S. forces from Iraq simply feed into that whole notion, validates the strategy of the terrorists."

Christian Science Monitor, 9/1/2006: [Bush’s] address before the American Legion in Salt Lake City followed tough speeches this week by other top administration officials that characterized Iraq war opponents as "defeatists" and "appeasers," likening the threat of Islamic fundamentalist-driven terrorism to "fascism."

Probably the most politically pungent speech of the week came from Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, who spoke of "moral and intellectual confusion" over the Iraq war and the larger war on terror as he criticized Bush's critics and the news media.

Deseret News (Salt Lake City), 1/11/2006: President Bush warned Democratic critics of his Iraq policy on Tuesday to watch what they say or risk giving "comfort to our adversaries" and suffering at the ballot box in November.

Without specifically mentioning Democrats, the president urged campaigning politicians to "conduct this debate responsibly." He said he welcomed "honest critics" who question the way the war is being conducted and the "loyal opposition" that points out what is wrong with his administration's approach.
But he termed irresponsible the "partisan critics who claim that we acted in Iraq because of oil or because of Israel or because we misled the American people," as well as "defeatists who refuse to see that anything is right."

"In a free society, there's only one check on political speech and that's the judgment of the American people," the president said to sustained applause from a friendly audience, a gathering of Veterans of Foreign Wars. "So I ask all Americans to hold their elected leaders to account and demand a debate that brings credit to our democracy, not comfort to our adversaries."

Chicago Tribune, 1/4/2006: "As we get farther away from Sept. 11, 2001, some in Washington are yielding to the temptation to downplay the ongoing threat to our country and to back away from the business at hand," Cheney said in an address to The Heritage Foundation. "Either we are serious about fighting this war or we are not."

Xinhua News Agency, 11/21/2005: He accused Democrats and others who blamed President George W. Bush for misleading the country into war of "revisionism of the most corrupt and shameless variety."

"What is not legitimate, and what I will again say is dishonest and reprehensible, is the suggestion by some US senators that the president of the United States or any member of his administration purposely misled the American people on prewar intelligence," he said.

Inter Press Service English News Wire. 11/18/2005: Cheney told the crowd that "the suggestion that's been made by some U.S. senators that the president of the
United States or any member of this administration purposely misled the American people on pre-war intelligence is one of the most dishonest and reprehensible charges ever aired in this city."

Cheney pointedly said that, "The saddest part is that our people in uniform have been subjected to these cynical and pernicious falsehoods day in and day out." "American soldiers and Marines are out there every day in dangerous conditions and desert temperatures -- and back home a few opportunists are suggesting they were sent into battle for a lie."

AP, 11/11/2005: "The stakes in the global war on terror are too high and the national interest is too important for politicians to throw out false charges," the president said in his combative Veterans Day speech.

"While it's perfectly legitimate to criticize my decision or the conduct of the war, it is deeply irresponsible to rewrite the history of how that war began," the president said.

"As our troops fight a ruthless enemy determined to destroy our way of life, they deserve to know that their elected leaders who voted to send them to war continue to stand behind them," the president said. "Our troops deserve to know that this support will remain firm when the going gets tough. And our troops deserve to know that, whatever our differences in Washington, our will is strong, our nation is united and we will settle for nothing less than victory."

"We will never back down. We will never give in. We will never accept anything less than complete victory," Bush declared.

UPI, 2/5/2004: “The liberation of Iraq was an act of justice, delivering an oppressed people from an evil regime," Bush said during a visit to South Carolina. “If some politicians in Washington had their way, Saddam Hussein would still be in power.

Knight Ridder/Tribune News Service, 7/27/2000: “I find it to be typical of the way Gore operates," the GOP vice presidential nominee told the Daily News in an exclusive interview. "Their basic stock in trade is to start firing partisan shots. That's what drives the country nuts about Washington, and that's what's going to change when we're elected."

"One of the reasons (George W.) Bush has done so well in Texas is because that kind of crap doesn't go on down here," Cheney said. "We build coalitions, we work together to get things done in a bipartisan spirit, and we don't trash other people."

Posted by RBMN | June 1, 2007 3:29 PM

May. 29, 2007 Interview with President Bush
McClatchy Newspapers


THE PRESIDENT: I'm going down today to, obviously, to view a very important federal facility, the FLETC. A secondary reason is to continue talking about immigration. One, I feel passionate about the issue. It's something I have felt strongly about ever since I was the governor of Texas. Secondly, I do believe we have a chance to get a comprehensive piece of legislation through. I understand it's going to require a lot of work, because this is a very emotional issue. And it's not only emotional, it's a complex issue, with a lot of moving parts. [...] I'm deeply concerned about America losing its soul. Immigration has been the lifeblood of a lot of our country's history. And I am worried that a backlash to newcomers would cause our country to lose its great capacity to assimilate newcomers. And I believe that a newly arrived adds to the vigor and the entrepreneurial spirit, and enhances the American Dream. A lot of it had to do with my upbringing in Texas. So I'm aware of this issue -- a lot of us in Texas were very aware of the immigration issue way before the rest of the country. Mexico and Texas were interlinked for -- obviously, for years and years and years. There was the Bracero program that many of us were familiar with, that enabled people to come over on a temporary basis and work the ranches or work some of the south Texas farms, and they would go back home in an orderly fashion. Anyway, Texas is a very diverse state, Houston is a very diverse city, and through that diversity, if you're open-minded, you get a great sense of how it invigorates the society. [...] There is an element of our society that is worried about two Americas. My argument to them is we've had this debate in our country for years, and yet, our ability to welcome newcomers and the system's capacity to assimilate them has been one of the great, powerful traditions of America. And it works. And it will work this time. People shouldn't fear our capacity to uphold our motto, E Pluribus Unum. Secondly, there are political fears. People are worried about being -- having this issue used against them. And my attitude is, is that we have run for office to solve big problems and that courage is necessary to do the right thing. And, oftentimes, voters will reward the courageous. For those who are timid about working hard to get a good bill, my only response is, is that think about why you ran in the first place. Comprehensive immigration reform is necessary for the good of the country. [...] One thing that's for certain, doing nothing -- this idea about, well, we don't need comprehensive reform, will make this situation worse. It won't help improve the situation. It's not going to stop people from coming into the country by doing nothing. The best way to do so is to enforce the border and have comprehensive reforms. [...] There are several ways to look at this. One is that there are new technologies since '86 which makes it a more manageable process. Two, Homeland Security, by the way, has dealt with significant information issues in the recent past, such as knowing who's coming in the country and who's not. Thirdly, the strategy is much more focused on the border than it was in the past. We're doubling the number of Border Patrol agents, but, as well, using infrastructure improvements to make it more difficult for people to cross. [...] The first thing I would say is, go back to your district and explain to people why a comprehensive bill is necessary to achieve -- to answer the concerns of many of your constituents. One, you can't fully enforce the border like many want to do unless you have a comprehensive reform package passed. For those who say there should be no immigrants at all in America, there's nothing you can say to them. And for those who say, kick them all out, there's nothing you can say to them. And so if a person came to me and said, everybody in my district wants to kick all the people out, I'd say, you know, you've got a tough district, buddy. It's impossible to do. [...] It's very -- look, again, the question is, can you solve the problem in a piecemeal fashion? The answer is, no. And, therefore, the grand bargain says, all pieces need to be together in a bill in order to solve the problems. And the problems are enforcing the border; the problems are addressing the economic needs of the country; and the problem is to bring people out of the shadows. So you've got three problems that can be addressed, and they are the following: border security; economic -- the economics of immigration -- in other words, people doing work Americans aren't doing; and the idea that millions of people live in the shadows of our society. Those are the three problems, and they can be addressed in this bill.

Posted by ratseal | June 1, 2007 3:37 PM

Excellent post from CQ, and on the mark. "Where the hell has my party gone?" is my general feeling these days.

Posted by Carol Herman | June 1, 2007 3:39 PM

Follow the money.

Bush is NOT timid! He's being controlled by the Lobbyist KING: JAMES BAKER.

And, he's taking the White House to where the money IS!

What's it doing to the GOP Party? Good question.

Jimmy Carter didn't have that big an effect on his party. He left office. And, most people forgot about him. Though the Saudis made him very rich; does that crap matter? The Saud's are ostentatious in their purchases. They've got very bad taste. But Jimmy Carter is about as gold a toilet as you can buy. Just a very selfish American.

Ditto, the entire Bush clan.

But with 600 days left, the bigger question is what's he gonna be doing. Because I think he's betting on involving the White House in two things he wants to see in place, after 2008. The stupid "palestinian state" trick. And, Global Warming caused by humans, so Americans have to be taxed.

The second one will give Bush entry into European communities that ordinarily wouldn't spit on the idiot.

And, the 8 "midgets?" ... as Fred Thompson calls them? Well, Fred's entering the race. And, he's gonna get heard. Why? Because too many people are upset.

Yes, I remember 1992. I was one of those "Ross Perot" volunteers. So, I couldn't believe it, when he unravelled. But it gave me a place to throw my vote, just the same. And, I was GLAD that Bush the elder got tossed uncerimoniously OUT of the White House.

What about 2004? Seems Howie Dean got an early lead; separating out the real nut cases in the democrapic base. Where POOR PEOPLE tossed $40 million dollars at him. And, then?

Fearing this, the "insiders" pushed Wesley Clark "forward." And, Wesley Clark failed to capture the brass ring.

By Wesley Clark's standard, losers are OUT within TEN DAYS.

I think Fred will manage to capture a lot of attention. He does this by registering his views on the Net. And, that's about the ONLY PLACE I GO for news, too. It shows up. And, it's been showing up at Little Green Footballs. And,, here. With visuals!

Yesterday, I got to hear Fred talking about what it must be like to live in Sderot; with hundreds of missiles flying in. And, nobody in the world trying to stop these "flights." While Israel worries about consequences; if she should "fight back." Since this is what the Saud's want. And, this is what the Syrians "want." Israel to take the heat off of them; as most of their military desires go unmet.

What's the contest? The "old" way; versus the "new way."

We've seen these kinds of things, before.

1980. The typewriters went out the window. And, in came personal computers.

Further back? IN came Hollywood with magnificent movies; and "out" went vaudeville.

Olmert is coming to DC on June 19th. I can only guess that behind the scenes Bush is actually DESPERATE. (He hates Olmert! But he wants "something." He wants a headline. Or two. And, he wants "cooperation" in creating his terrorist state. As if Israel doesn't have enough problems.)

By the way gazoo. At some point in time, ahead, it's gonna see TWO MASSIVE CUTS ... separating out "zones." You could say it would create "more beach front property." But these turkeys don't seem to do much with "beach front properties." Still, it's ONE OF THE ANSWERS. A massive movement of water, into freshly cut channels. And, NO BRIDGES. While the arab terrorists can decide how they want to label gazoo "in 3 parts."

But I don't expect much to happen, yet. As anything Israel does NOW, stops the clock. And, hands "overtime" victories to the Saud's. And, the giraffe in syria.

Of course, the sentences, ahead, will sound like the Saudi plan will "see daylight." Since Olmert can't say the truth OUT LOUD.

Do you think Fred will?

Posted by Boris U | June 1, 2007 3:47 PM

"...she will see that this is the normal mode of operation for the White House -- to always stay on the attack. In fact, they've followed the James Carville model from their first days in the White House..." -- What a wishful thinking. Where is the White House on defending it's growing economy, increased tax revenue, successes in Iraq? James Carville never (that I recall of) attacked democrats. Unless of course the quote meant exactly this, because Bush does not attack democrats either.

Posted by MarkJ | June 1, 2007 3:49 PM

Dear Tom,

"This has been Bush's MO for the past 6 years. Now that it's actually turned toward conservatives, many are seeing why much of the world so dislikes him.
Posted by: Tom Shipley at June 1, 2007 11:26 AM"

So tell the rest of us rubes, WHO is "much of the world?" Syria? Iran? Venezuela? Cuba? Pre-Sarkozy France? Al Qaeda? The Taliban? Ummm, yeah, I suppose they all have their reasons for disliking Darth Dubya and His Legion of Doom, so I guess we can file your post in the "No Shit?" folder.

Tommy Boy, your post exemplifies your, and the Left's, continuing problem. To wit: your "arguments" consist of agit-prop slogans, strung together with chewing gum and chicken wire, and hysterical assertions based on painfully thin, or nonexistent, evidence. You think every declaration you make doesn't need to be supported with hard, verifiable facts because "it's all so self-evident."

Accordingly, please favor us by crawling back under your rock. However, never fear, you can come back out when you think you've finally managed to assemble a coherent Weltanschauung.

Posted by Monkei | June 1, 2007 3:57 PM

It is so nice to read a piece from a famous flaming liberal like Ms Noonan on the human waste of skin ... basically she is saying what I have been saying all along ... this skin waster has been bad for the GOP, bad for conservatism and bad for America. And now Ms Noonan has joined the MSM ... whose next, step right up Mr. Coulter or the guy with the big head on prime time on Fox ... your next to play "agree with Monkei" here on the Captains Blog game show.

Next thing you know the GOP will be coming up with a plan to pull out of Iraq at the end of the year ... but they will call it something else of course ... cut and walk ... or .... they stood up so we can stand down ... whatever ... it must be tuff continuing to support this guy and actually mean it!

Posted by markg8 | June 1, 2007 4:14 PM

The American people have seen the conservative ideal and they’ve had enough. Tax cuts for the rich have given us a $9 trillion dollar debt and an economy that doesn’t match the results of Clinton’s higher tax, balanced budget economy for most of us. To solve that debt problem the Republicans threatened to dismantle Social Security, a solvent program with dishonest fearmongering. Instead of seriously reforming Medicare and our healthcare system they gave us the Schaivo debacle, threatening to federalize end of life decisions and a huge boondoggle of taxpayer cash for big pharma and insurance cos. in the drug plan. Government intrusion where it had no business and attacking judges who aren’t activist enough for them showed us their true colors.
Then we have the Katrina, FDA, DOJ and Iraq disasters. There’s nothing about the modern conservative movement or the Republican party that’s worth saving. There never really was. It was always a con game built on smear and fear.
There’s nobody on the left who likes the immigration bill either. Just try breaking into the construction trades as a union worker these days. If you’re a programmer try getting a raise when your boss can hire indentured servants from India. But thanks to the race baiters the Republican party has bred none of those concerns will be addressed. They’ll be drowned out by the Tancredo/Minuteman morons.
There’s very little left you could do to destroy America’s international reputation after what George Bush has done to it but ethnically cleansing 12 million Mexicans would make
us pariahs for decades to come. Building a 2000 mile Berlin Wall on the border to separate families and devastate border businesses and farms comes close.

Never, repeat never put government in the hands of people who hate government. Republicans have told us since 1980 government doesn’t work and when given the keys set out to prove it by privatizing everything in sight to the likes of Ollie North, Halliburton and Mitchell Wade.

You don’t need new framing, you need to clean house, you need new leaders. That doesn’t mean another lobbyist/actor, or the mayor who put NY’s emergency preparedness center in the WTC complex against everybody’s advice and spent 9/11 looking for one more TV camera. It doesn’t mean an unprincipled empty Brooks Bros suit who promises to work for free and wants to double the size of Gitmo. It doesn’t mean a man who thinks he can regain the “honor” the Vietnamese tortured out of him by “winning” in Iraq.

You have no savior because you have nothing worth saving.

Posted by FredTownWard | June 1, 2007 4:28 PM

It is more than a little hypocritical for conservative critics of Bush to complain of Bush administration name-calling when we review their conduct during the Harriet Myers nomination, the Dubai Ports deal, and other assorted dustups. If YOU aren't prepared to practice Reagan's 11th Commandment, then you haven't the right to whine when someone else fails to practice it.

One of the things I have always taken pride in is the fact that in contrast with liberals most conservatives are sane. However, our conduct in some of these disputes with Bush has made that a tougher sell than it should be.

Sadly this goes for the immigration debate. It is all well and good to demand that the multitudinous problems with this bill be fixed or else we won't support it because no bill is better than a bad bill, but we ought to remember why for the first time in our national history we are actually considering getting serious about border security and regularizing all immigration:


I fail to see how telling the 12 million or so mostly harmless people who make it impossible to find the terrorists hiding among them that we've decided to hunt them all down and deport them NO MATTER HOW LONG IT TAKES improves the national security situation.

Posted by Sandy P | June 1, 2007 4:41 PM

Putting 2% of your own salary into an account specifically for you is "dismantling SS?"


HSAs are the way to go to start reforming what is 16% of our economy.

DOJ disaster, I agree, they didn't go after Sandy Burgler.

Posted by Sandy P | June 1, 2007 4:44 PM

As to our international relationships, well, last time they "liked" us it cost us 400K soldiers and probably a trillion or 5 to protect their asses and what did we get???


they just loved RRaygun, didn't they?

Posted by roc ingersol | June 1, 2007 4:48 PM

Just like we like Red on Red action in Iraq, the liberals like Red State on Red State action here.

Posted by Joe Doe | June 1, 2007 4:53 PM

I agree with Carol - there are some billions to be made within the presidential clans, probably paid by the Saudis, or the Mexican drug cartels - who knows. The amazing part is how they seemed to have bought the whole Senate as well. Then, with oil at $65 and the spine of the elected thieves, not that hard really.

I heard that cocaine went down - oil went up, so chances are that it is the Saudis rather than Mexicans. A smart move on their part - after funding the 9/11, then Irak, now are funding the breaking of America from within. Now that the containers plan did not go through.

Posted by Tom Shipley | June 1, 2007 4:57 PM


You would have to have been asleep the past 6 years not to know Bush is not popular around the globe. But, in case you missed it, here's a global poll from pew from 2006 (and prior).


Posted by Qwinn | June 1, 2007 5:17 PM

I agree with many other commenters that the idea that Bush has ever "attacked" the Left partisans is downright silly. He has been infuriatingly deferential in every regard. The only times I can think of this Administration ever "going after" anyone at all, they've all been at the insistence of the Left, such as Duke Cunningham or Ken Lay or Tom Delay for example. But Harry Reid land deals? Feinstein military appropriations? SANDY BERGER? WILLIAM JEFFERSON? The list is endless.

No, I've long been a defender of Bush, but the only times he ever brings out the guns is when his "base" is the target. No more. I'll still defend the same issues, but the man? No longer.


Posted by Maverick Muse | June 1, 2007 5:31 PM

I admire your intellect and usually agree with your arguments. We stand at odds on immigration, however. You are probably living a comfortably insulated lifestyle. Re: "the economics of immigration -- in other words, people doing work Americans aren't doing". If you are well off, then congratulations. Except for possible drug cartels, most illegals can not afford to live next door to you. If they did, though, you would have MANY families next door cohabitating, despite zoning, in the 3 bedroom 1200 sq.ft. single family home, with an overflow of non-insured vehicles parked in front of your house, and beer parties late at night. There's a bit of Bush irony in that quote, "work Americans aren't doing" -- he used to say, "work Americans won't do". American journeymen tradesmen are not laughing, as the work they are not doing is being done by illegal immigrants at lower wages. So in order to remain employed, after 30 years, journeymen work at apprentice wages. When you give your home and retirement savings to the illegal immigrants and down size to a starter home in a used-to-be-new neighborhood, then you can preach morality. Practice your generosity with your own property.

Admit that RKV is as right as you.

For working American taxpayers, it is not all right that illegals enjoy employment and citizen benefits that the citizen workers can not afford. This comprehensive reform bill would augment my taxation while requiring additional economic deprivations from me.

How lovely for those who enjoy the bounties of wealth and prosperity, skimming along. With too much ease, they express benevolence for the illegals while holding in contempt their "less fortunate" productive citizens whose very work built their home and their business and whose survival is on the line.

REPEAL liberal legislation rather than AUGMENT bleeding-heart break-my-back taxation. Invest in new free enterprise business opportunities on the Mexican side of the border or repeal NAFTA.

It will cost less to ENFORCE CURRENT LAW, deport and build the border fence to allow working citizens to enjoy the fruits of their labors. Illegally returning aliens should perform public service to cover their costs--tent camps and forced labor will stop the flow.

Mexicans need to cultivate Mexico. We Americans would be happy to help Mexico build business and prosperity in Mexico.

Posted by AnonymousDrivel | June 1, 2007 5:34 PM

RE: markg8 (June 1, 2007 4:14 PM)
But thanks to the race baiters the Republican party has bred none of those concerns will be addressed. They'll be drowned out by the Tancredo/Minuteman morons. There's very little left you could do to destroy America's international reputation after what George Bush has done to it but ethnically cleansing 12 million Mexicans would make us pariahs for decades to come. Building a 2000 mile Berlin Wall on the border to separate families and devastate border businesses and farms comes close.

Since I generally support Tancredo and wholeheartedly support the Minutemen, I'll bite on this.

1) Do you know the purpose of the Berlin Wall?
2) Race baiters being bred by Republicans?
3) Ethnic cleansing of Mexicans?

Are you high? And why do you hate whites and blacks? Pretty idiotic question, isn't it? But that's the reciprocal and entirely justified question I could pose to your offensive and slanderous remark.

No one is being or will be "ethnically cleansed". Illegals of whatever stripe are entering a sovereign land without following procedures, however poorly enforced. If they were Martians, I'd have the same sentiment. Well, I might want to take at better look at their ride, but after having impounded their spaceship, I'd release them to the skies and ask them to go to the end of the line and wait their turn with the Venusians and Plutonians after appropriate screening.

Save the false choice of a strawman that either we have open borders that are "family friendly" (curiously Mexican only) and an alternative of mass deportation at the point of a gun. (Secretary Chertoff, is that you?) Almost no one wants that, but the disingenuous such as yourself parade this as the sine qua non of a reasonable approach to getting handle on the chaos. It isn't, and you discredit your entire argument when you trump it up as the conservative (well bred Republicans, actually, to turn your phrase) response to uncontrolled illegal immigration.

Posted by RKV | June 1, 2007 5:41 PM

I trust those of you here who pay attention know how Mexico guards its southern borders? With troops. There is no free pass for illegal migrants in Mexico, nor should there be one here. And for many of the same reasons.

Posted by BoWowBoy | June 1, 2007 6:13 PM

I don't think you understand the magnitude of the breakdown in the base of the Republican Party Captain.

To just wave a magic wand and ............."generate a positive agenda that demonstrates our dissatisfaction with the previous six years " ......................isn't enough.

The base doesn't believe a word the party says. Not only that ..................but the base used to believe that folks who said they were conservatives were the last best hope for government and our country.

You have "so called" conservatives in power today from the executive, legislative and judicial branches who are unwilling to demonstrate conservative values .........values like smaller government, government of less scope, national and individual sovereignty, rule of law, defending our borders, protecting Americans first.

The party's sole focus of corporatism "uber alle" ..........appears to have caused a total breakdown. No good wishes and cheap talk will solve the party's problems ...............only actions. And ....I am afraid Peggy is right on her point ............of opportunity squandered.

Posted by JohnJay | June 1, 2007 6:17 PM

I have a small factual objection to Noonan's passing characterization of Bush1 as a sort of anti-Reagan. I know her article was primarily about immigration, and I agree with her position, but she perpetuates a serious Republican misunderstanding in criticizing Bush1 for his moves to decrease the deficit.

President Reagan began to raise taxes later in his tenure when it became clear, as predicted by his budget director, that the momentary stimulus of tax cuts would not permanently 'pay for itself'. Bush1 continued on that plan to try to align revenue with expenses.

The idea that subsidizing the cost of Government through borrowing will somehow cause voters to want LESS Government is contrary to all common sense and economic behavior. Republicans should REALLY get over the idea that borrowing from foreign investors to fund our expenses (yes, this includes the military) is a wise idea. And stop criticizing those wish to restore this balance.

If voters want big government, make them pay the fully loaded cost. That's the only way to restrain growth in gov't; hence, the relatively slower growrh in Clinton years than Bush2 years.

Posted by JohnJay | June 1, 2007 6:24 PM

Re: my post at 6:17pm. Let me take a pre-emptive defense and note that although that Federal Revenue has recently reached record levels, we MUST consider
- growth in population
- inflation
in evaluating any budget's growth, be it a school board or a Federal Budget.

Including pop growth and inflation, Federal revenues are down about 20%; tax cuts really do NOT pay for themselves in the aggregate, only in specific cases (as in specific cases such as Guiliani's example of hotel tax in NYC).

If we don't include inflation in our discussion, then we must credit Zimbabwe with the world's "fastest growing federal revenue" and imitate their example. :-)

Posted by gaffo | June 1, 2007 7:27 PM

"As to our international relationships, well, last time they "liked" us it cost us 400K soldiers and probably a trillion or 5 to protect their asses and what did we get???


you must be 12 or something.

the rest of us remember the Cold War - what did our international coalition building get us dipshit?

try our continued Liberty and the destruction of the Soviet Union!!


Posted by William Teach | June 1, 2007 8:29 PM

" If she was to honestly look at the last six years, she will see that this is the normal mode of operation for the White House -- to always stay on the attack. In fact, they've followed the James Carville model from their first days in the White House."

Sorry, Ed, I have to completely disagree with you on this. One of the complaints with Bush (and national GOP figures) has been that they rarely fight back, and when they do, it is a few shots across the bow, then move on.

Dems attacking every single policy he recommends or puts in place, including anti-terror operations? Couple shots, then move on.

In a few choice cases, like with Harriet Meyers and the amnesty bill, he and his admin stay on the attack. Too bad it is against the people who voted for him.

Posted by Joe | June 1, 2007 10:08 PM

The republicans in my area (central WIS) went from worshiping GWB to practically despising him in 6 years.Mostly on his handling of the Iraq War and keeping Rummy on for so long, even after his own party was calling for his head. The midterms in 06 were the tipping point. This country has lost faith in Bush and especially his Texas cronies. Its no longer the dems ripping Jorge, his own conservative base has abandoned him. I see Dan Bartlett left today, so now Rove is the last of the Texans left. Hey Karl, so much for the PERMANENT REPUBLICAN MAJORITY you buffoon.

Posted by Sandy P | June 1, 2007 10:38 PM

It got us hatred. Not only do I remember the Cold War, I've been behind the Iron Curtain to countries which don't exist anymore.

The USSR may not exist, but our "good friends and historic allies" are trying to build the EUSSR.

Did they learn from us, NO. Do they want to, NO. Do you honestly believe that if you were to read newspapers from 100 years ago, we would have been liked then??

Now who's 12?

They have always disliked us, read Philippe Roger's "America's Oldest Enemy." And a little bit of history.

The post-WWII alliance was an anomily, welcome to how it really has been for most of our existence.

Posted by Sandy P | June 1, 2007 10:42 PM

And if the USSR is gone, someone had better tell pooty-poot, even Finland and Norway(?) are thinking of joining NATO, they've been there and saw what happened the last time.

Start making Rantburg a daily stop, gaffo, maybe you'll actually learn something.

Posted by TexasFred | June 1, 2007 10:59 PM

La Shawn Barber said it best today in her blog: It’s Official: George Bush IS an idiot!

Posted by The Yell | June 2, 2007 2:30 AM

Say, where IS the Veep on this? Could it be he 'doesn't want to do what's right for America', either?

Posted by backhoe | June 2, 2007 4:10 AM

Sure are lots of trolls around here...

Read my stuff at Free Republic if you want to know where I once stood, regarding "W."

I'm done with him- can't wait for this Admin to become history.

Posted by Keemo | June 2, 2007 7:42 AM

Very interesting thread, this is... A few points I would like to add..

What took you so long monkei; your comments were predictable. Monkei see, Monkei do? Is that the theme of your comment? So many have contributed to this thread; take a good look at your contribution... Your views have been consistent monkei, that I give you much credit for. You seem to be very close to the Michael Savage position regarding the Bushies.

Peggy Noonan is a gifted writer in my view. I quite often don't agree with her views, but I always admire her talent. I happen to think she is closer to "right on" with this article than with others she has written regarding the Bushies and this administration. Her comment that the base has not left Bush, rather Bush has left the base, is precisely how I feel.

I also wonder where Cheney is on this horrible attempt at a solution for illegal immigration. I wouldn't think that Cheney and Bush are on the same page with this. Jeb Bush and Ken Melmen talked recently about this immigration bill; both gave speeches in support of this bill. Those close to Jorge Bush are pushing this bill big time; how unbelievably foolish... At least 70% of the voting population are strongly opposed to this shamnesty package. Makes me wonder what is really driving this bill; why both political parties went into "top secret mode of operation" in an effort to get this bill pushed through before the public had a chance to read and study the package. What are their long term motives? I have listened to several pundits explain their thoughts; Rush, Hannity, O'Reilly, Ingraham, Malkin, Savage, and some from the left. I think this bill has much to do with top secret plans most politicians have for the long term vision they have for America; a vision that the vast majority of current American citizens (all sides of the political spectrum) would not agree with; a vision that would be helped by 30-40 million new voters (in time); voters that are not ripe with the American spirit nor armed with the knowledge of American history.

This bill is a real eye opener to me..... My trust in my government has reached an all time low with this bill and the secret efforts to get this bill pushed through without our participation... Just listen to the arguments in favor of this bill; listen to the replies all of these politicians have in response to "good and logical" questions; listen to the defensiveness and anger dripping from the mouths of these people; look at the total inability for any of these folks to explain why this bill was drafted in "top secret mode" and why the "sudden rush to push this into law"....

This thing stinks very badly folks.....

Posted by Keemo | June 2, 2007 7:54 AM

The following link is a very interesting look at the history of the Conservative movement, and the realities of where we stand today...


Posted by harleycon5 | June 2, 2007 10:17 AM

Peggy Noonan quite aptly hit the ball out of the park on this issue. For the longest time I sat frustratedly pondering why the Bush administration would be so willing to sell out conservatism in the form of fiscal responsibility and border security. Why, would a man slowly erode the very basis of conservatism as being logical and forthright, with a great love of nation? Ignorance of the very real threat of illegal immigration to our nation is two fold, as it both erodes our national character as a "melting pot" via separation of us into "multicultural nation" where groups retain their individual ideals, many of which are not positive, such as Socialist leanings. There is also the problem of destroying the Republican party. For some reason the Bush Admin and the RINO's seem ignorant of the voting nature of poor illegals. Or perhaps they want Reaganism to die for the sake of Internationalism, where country is less important that political power.
Noonan, like myself sees that what we have built is fading away like a dream, just as if Reaganism had never occurred. Where there is no right or wrong, or national pride, but only individual political deals.
Good job, Peggy.

Posted by gaffo | June 2, 2007 10:47 AM

Sandy - the fact they don't like us is irrelivant.

Fact is our international policy of aiding Western Europe and containing the Soviets WORKED.

So who gives a shit if we are liked? if the policy works!!

and obviously it did. - policy called CONTAINMENT.

Europe has every right to love or hate us, they are Sovriegn - their interests and ours are still nearly identical as long as Putin continues toward his current path. So let them hates us and aid us at the same time.

Europe is our friend and ally - has been since 1946. Russia never was - though it looked promising inthe early 90's - those days are gone. Russia is not our friend.

The difference between not being liked while using each other to contain a third party and not being liked while illegally invading Middle East counties for Oil is that the former worked and the latter don't.

Posted by Theresa, MSgt (ret), USAF | June 2, 2007 4:23 PM

As one of the “soulless/nativist Americans”, I would ask Mr. Bush why he hasn’t extended the privilege of sucking off the American tax payers to ALL nations who have as great if not greater levels of poverty and corruption as mexico? Isn’t it a tad racist to only pander to one country? We need to extend our generosity to everyone without regard to just how little they truly contribute or how much they are destroying the American way of life. (end sarcasm)

I want the southern border CLOSED. Build a wall, man it with military, I don't give a DAMN, just shut it down. We are being fed a serious line with this shamnesty bill. Mr. Bush deserves nothing but contempt and criticism. What faith I once had in him is gone.

Posted by Random Guy | June 2, 2007 8:25 PM

Bush has betrayed all the people who have stuck by him through the war, through scandal, and looked the other way at incompetence (Harriet Meyers, Alberto Gonzalez).

He's thrown away his last few supporters.

Posted by Sandy P | June 2, 2007 9:39 PM

--So who gives a shit if we are liked? if the policy works!!--

Ummm, didn't you in the comment I responded to?

Posted by olddeadmeat | June 2, 2007 11:04 PM

Interesting posts.

Re: the immigration bill - What I heard in school 20 years ago is still true: "if you love either sausage or the law, you must never watch it being made." What a mess.

Switching gears...

All of you complaining that GWB never went after the Dems, you missed the point. Arguing with people gives credit and attention to their positions, as I am at least giving you attention enough to respond.

GWB's attitude was never personal attacks, it was always just to act as if anyone who disagreed with his position was an idiot and not worth talking to or talking about.

He got away with treating his Dem critics this way because 1- 9/11 triggered enough public outrage that he could use both as sword and shield against his critics, and 2- he controlled Congress, so he didn't really need anything from any Democrats - he could ignore them all whenever he wished.

It was incredibly effective, probably right up until Katrina, because the critics of his Katrina response couldn't be handled the same way, and suddenly everyone began doubting him.

Have you noticed that he really can't deal with criticism effectively in any other way than by belittling the critic?

How pathetic is that?

Time to find someone with a better style of leadership. Why don't we start 1st with integrity, and 2nd with wisdom (and competence) and go from there? Any of the current crop 'o candidates fit the bill?

Or does our system have barriers that prevent people with those qualities from ever reaching a political primary?

Posted by swabjockey05 | June 3, 2007 6:20 AM

Meat: good points.

Posted by Ken | June 3, 2007 12:53 PM

Re: Bush:

I'm done with him. Noonan's article just stated the obvious facts.

I believe the time has come to break with the other Senators who have lost touch. Its an action that's been long overdue.

In a sense, Bush has done conservatives a big favor.


Posted by DRJ | June 3, 2007 3:20 PM

I agree with Peggy Noonan and Scott @10:54, and I'm also a West Texan (like Papa Ray) who's had it with President Bush. We conservatives made it possible for Bush to be President and his thanks is to tell us how bad we are.

I'm glad that Bush is courteous to his political rivals but he should show the same courtesy to his supporters. Instead, Bush treats liberals like Ted Kennedy as respected colleagues while he talks to conservatives as if we are idiots he can barely tolerate. Goodbye, GOP, and good riddance.

Posted by Ymarsakar [TypeKey Profile Page] | June 8, 2007 10:21 AM

Welcome to the hardball of the Bush administration. We loved it when they used it on Democrats and the war

You got some serious problems with your logic if you think Bush used hardball against the Democrats and their opposition to the war.

Plame and Wilson are on fire with money and you think Bush used hardball.

Bush's critics are whipping Bush in the White House press room every time they manufacture some propaganda event in Iraq, and Bush takes it with a smile and a self-deprecating joke, and you say Bush is using hardball on them.

Basioc total axiomatic collapse. That's what you got, Captain.

Oh, I realize that they think he's been mean to them, but the rest of us have wanted him to take the gloves off for years. Now he IS taking them off... against his own base.

That's more or less the most accurate perception by Republicans. You will forever get comments talking about how Bush was mean to the Democrats, and now that he is mean to you Republicans and conservatives, now you understand the worry in the world and the hate of Bush.

But the Left has never told the truth, because they have never relied upon basic logical axioms that are correct. In the sense of factually correct. And that's why they say Bush was mean to them, that is why the Left says Bush tried to punish Wilson and Plame through outing. Projection.

And in this case, conservatives talking about Bush being mean to his critics is blinded by some very bad assumptions. Or just emotion. But it is a different process than the Left used. It isn't projection. It is just anger. Anger that degrades accuracy and objectivity over Bush's real actions. This has been going on for near 7 years.

For almost three years, arguably longer, conservative Bush supporters have felt like sufferers of battered wife syndrome.

She gets the sentiment and the current status quo more or less right. But her explanations of why, doesn't exactly work. Battered wife syndrome is where Bush keeps beating on his allies and supporters, while being nice and playful with strangers, enemies, foreign potentates, and so forth.

The base has tried to protect Bush, and that's the real anger more or less. I can't remember if Peggy Noonan ever defended Bush against Chris Matthews' personal letters in her correspondence with him. But if she did, then she has a right to feel betrayed. But not because she believed that the Bush played hard with his critics, just because Matthews and the Left said he did. That may be the perception, that the Bush admin called their critics unAmerican and questioned their patriotism, but not in the sense that said described it as. It was just a disagreement, and not centralized planning by Bush.

And the people in the administration don't even much like the base. Desperate straits have left them liberated, and they are acting out their disdain.

That's the incorrect part. Bush doesn't like polls and trying to get the public to listen. And talking about the administration is one of the vague tools used by the Left to mean whatever they want it to mean. You got to be more specific. Which people in the administration? Everybody? Anybody?