Tuesday, June 12, 2007

The Age of Despair

Rich Lowry's latest article is about comparing the past to the present and finding the present wanting. He notes that we have accomplished great things in the past (like Hoover dam and the Empire State Building) but these days we don't do so hot (witness the progress on rebuilding the World Trade Center). He then notes that the age of cynicism may make Bush's immigration bill harder to pass.
This is the spirit that more than anything else brought down (for now) the Senate's Grand Compromise on immigration. It wasn't Bush's declining clout or raging xenophobia so much as the collective grass-roots reply to the White House's detailed explications of the enforcement provisions in the bill: "We simply don't believe you."

His administration had made no appreciable attempt to enforce immigration laws until recently. A government can't ignore its own laws without creating deep suspicions about its motives.
The conservative base is clearly restless and fed up with the President. But I have a hard time believing the base is likely to be pacified anytime soon; Bush can't really give them what they want. And to mollify his base, he'd inevitably piss off the rest of America.

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