Is Bush’s Base Softening on Impeachment?

Over the past week or so, conservatives who oppose Pres. Bush’s immigration bill have been on the receiving end of insulting and denigrating attacks in the media from the president and his flying monkeys. They are apoplectic over being framed as unpatriotic and bigoted, and they seem genuinely shocked to find that, like any old-school messianic cult leader, Dear Leader treats all opposition as heresy.

“Message To The Left: I’m not saying you should impeach him, I’m just sayin’, you know, go with your hearts.”
— Conservative blogger

Peggy Noonan, who has been as Bush cult-y as anyone, described the angst among Bush’s base in a column dramatically subtitled, “President Bush has torn the conservative coalition asunder”:

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.”

And then she asks, beseeachingly, “Why would they speak so insultingly, with such hostility, of opponents who are concerned citizens?”

Welcome to our world, Peggy. Bush and company have been directing insults and hostility toward us “concerned citizens” on the left for seven years.

At the top of her piece, Noonan asserts that Bush’s base hasn’t broken with him on immigration, it’s the other way around:

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.

How bad is it among Bush’s base? The National Journal’s Blogometer posits that if congressional Dems were to move toward impeachment over Bush’s violations of the FISA laws, they would find conservatives in no mood to object:

Let’s pretend the House Judiciary Cmte. tires of Monica Goodling and Co., and returns their attention to the NSA surveillance program. Article II powers aside, has anyone really made the case Pres. Bush didn’t violate FISA? Wouldn’t monitoring Americans phone records contra to federal law constitute a high crime or misdemeanor? And if articles of impeachment were drawn up, after the immigration debacle, who exactly would come to Bush’s defense? Laura Ingraham? National Review? Conservative stalwart Ace of Spades sums up conservative sentiment: “Message To The Left: I’m not saying you should impeach him, I’m just sayin’, you know, go with your hearts.”

Blogometer also put together a round up of angry posts about Bush from conservatives, many of whom discuss the possibility of impeachment:

– Instapundit: “There’s a difference between disagreeing with your base and disrespecting it. And they’ve been very disrespectful to everyone who disagrees with them on this. Heck, I’m basically pro-immigration and I find the Administration’s arguments for the bill sufficiently unpersuasive and insulting that I’m leaning against it on that basis alone.”

– NRO’s Mark Levin: “Does the president have any conservative domestic initiatives that he’s actively pursuing? If so, I’d like to know what they are. Richard Nixon tried this when his ratings were low. It didn’t work…. Today you disparage us for opposing a massive amnesty program that endangers our economy and national security. … What’s a conservative to do?

– an Andrew Sullivan emailer: “I’m a Two-Time Bush voter. In Pennsylvania in 2004 I voted for Pat Toomey. I voted straight Republican last fall. Now I want an “Impeach Bush” Bumper Sticker. You’re right. It’s the arrogance and condescension that finally gets to you.”

– Ace of Spades: “Hey, President Bush? F**k off. You are going down in history in a neck-and-neck battle with Jimmy Carter as worst president of the twentieth century. … Message To The Left: I’m not saying you should impeach him, I’m just sayin’, you know, go with your hearts.

[Note to AoS: No president before Bush has taken the country to war on false pretexts and then lost the war. And by any rational measure, Jimmy Carter was a better president sound asleep than Bush is wide awake.]

– a David Frum reader: “I voted twice for this man and his abdication of the most fundamental executive responsibility, to protect our country from foreign invasion, is cause for regret. … I wish he were already gone.”

Think how many lives would have been saved if the rightwing had recognized George Bush for who he really is back when everyone else did — during the run-up to the war in Iraq. It’s a bit like Jim Jones’ followers realizing he is crazy — after they’ve slurped down the Kool-Aid. Still, if this anti-Bush sentiment coalesces on the right, I hope they’ll stay on board when the Dems decide to impeach Cheney first.

5 Comments

  • Greg Bacon
    June 2, 2007 - 12:01 pm | Permalink

    Tsk, tsk, tsk.

    Not to worry, Peggy Noonan and Andrew
    Sullivan, et. al.

    YOUR “Dear Leader” won’t give you a “reach around” but at least he’ll kiss you afterwards.

  • bruiser
    June 2, 2007 - 11:23 pm | Permalink

    Bigoted? Rage and national chauvinism? Since when have such accusations been considered offensive by cons?

  • alan
    June 3, 2007 - 2:20 pm | Permalink

    Hey kids, here’s a news flash for you. The left will only impeach Bush together with Cheney, thus installing Nancy Pelosi as a ‘caretaker’ president until the next election. As far as liberals are concerned, it would have to be a package deal.

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