Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

Looks Like Somebody’s Juggernaut Got Stuck

Posted by Phoenix Woman on June 27, 2007

juggernaut.jpg

The past few months were instructive to anyone wanting an understanding of what drives Republican primary voters.

As Grover Norquist told Garance Franke-Ruta earlier this year, when she asked him about reports that the Republicans are getting fed up with the war and might pull the plug on it in August:

“The base isn’t interested in Iraq. The base is for Bush,” Norquist said. “If Bush said tomorrow, we’re leaving in two months, there would be no revolt.”

Which is of course why John McCain, Chuck Hagel, and other self-styled “mavericks” are unpopular with the GOP base: Because even though they have always voted with Bush when it counted, they have on occasion made lip noises that weren’t 1000% supportive of Dear Leader. Republican politicans recognize this, and so despite the fact that the war is hideously unpopular with most Americans, they dare not cross “the base” by crossing Bush. “The base” is the juggernaut that Bush and the GOP rode to victory time and time again.

Except now, the base has deserted Bush. Why? Because he wants to keep letting Mexicans come to the US to be paid slave wages for Bush’s campaign contributors. (Democrats like Teddy Kennedy and Dick Durbin are working to include strong provisions to protect workers, but it’s unclear whether they’ll survive the process.) It’s not the exploitation the base objects to; it’s the idea that some brown-skinned guy or gal might actually be allowed within a hundred miles of their lily-white selves.

You cannot overestimate how much this has hurt Bush and the GOP. Go check out any conservative online forum, or listen to their talk radio, or get onto their e-mail lists, and all you’ll hear is conservatives screaming at the top of their lungs about how Bush and the Republicans betrayed them.

Decades of appealing to and cultivating Fear of the Other — racism, sexism, homophobia, and a generalized unthinking circle-the-wagons paranoia — is now coming around to bite the Republican Party in the butt, big-time. The very people who the Republicans welded to their sides via the “Southern Strategy” are now forsaking the GOP — and Bush — over this issue.

And now that Bush no longer has The Base, Republicans are no longer tethered to his war, as Lugar and Voinovich showed us just the other day. It’s not just me saying this, either:

Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., told The Washington Times President George W. Bush’s drive on behalf of immigration reform could cost the administration support for the president’s top policy goals, including the Iraq war.

“The White House should keep in mind that if they have a direct confrontation with House Republicans on (immigration), it could affect the vote on the Iraq appropriation in September,” said King.

[…]

Rep. Adam Putnam, R-Fla., told the newspaper the immigration debate outcome could do “irreparable harm” to House GOP support for Bush.

“If the president makes it clear he’ll sign any immigration bill that gets to his desk, no matter what it looks like, then it certainly will do more harm than good,” said Putnam, the third-ranking House Republican.

Of course, King immediately took most of the sting out of his own words by saying that he himself would still back Bush, but he took care to say that “borderline” Republicans might not.

Which means that September may actually mean something when it rolls around.

2 Responses to “Looks Like Somebody’s Juggernaut Got Stuck”

  1. […] Looks Like Somebody’s Juggernaut Got Stuck […]

  2. Immigration Bill Seems Dead

    Nationwide, people locked arms and danced and sang, Ding Dong, the wicked bill is dead. At least the immigration bill seemed to die in the Senate yesterday, getting only 46 of the 60 votes needed to bring it to a vote. (See who voted and how.) Senate M…

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