Peggy Noonan, one of the most gifted writers of our era, has finally had enough of George W. and George H.W. Just as George the Elder squandered the Reagan legacy, George the Younger has shown his true colors by making clear his disdain for conservative supporters who oppose his plan to “reform” immigration policy.
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.”
The president has taken to suggesting that opponents of his immigration bill are unpatriotic–they “don’t want to do what’s right for America.” His ally Sen. Lindsey Graham has said, “We’re gonna tell the bigots to shut up.” On Fox last weekend he vowed to “push back.” Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff suggested opponents would prefer illegal immigrants be killed; Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez said those who oppose the bill want “mass deportation.” Former Bush speechwriter Michael Gerson said those who oppose the bill are “anti-immigrant” and suggested they suffer from “rage” and “national chauvinism.”
When Bush apologists like Sean Hannity and Neal Boortz can’t find anything good to say about this immigration reform bill and encourage their listeners, some 17 million hard-core conservatives, to read Peggy’s column, something big is happening. Is it possible that the American public is waking up to the fact that this president is in no way, shape, or form a true conservative?