Friday, May 19, 2006

President Bush And The Republican Base (well, part of the base, at least)

Peggy Noonan thinks that perhaps President Bush does not like his base. I do not know if she's right, but I would not be surprised if the president is not terribly fond of some of the base's spokesmen and spokeswomen. Take a look at Called As Seen, where Harold Hutchison suggests some reasons why that might be so.

I don't buy Harold's suggestion that perhaps Bush is trying to show the base that he is his own person-- the president is smarter than that. But I do think Bush has a stubborn streak and we may be seeing some of that expressing itself.

What dismays me most about the louder members of the base is their childishly long memories. Take the Harriet Miers fiasco, for example. Bush made a misstep, a portion of the base screamed (loudly and too often without class), and Bush then gave the base what it wanted, withdrawing Miers and nominating Alito. Again, he did what the base wanted.

But, as Harold and Hugh Hewitt note, some baseniks can't seem to forgive or forget. They bring the Miers nomination up repeatedly.

The Miers example is not isolated. The Dubai Ports deal was another case where a portion of the base screamed and Bush backed down. That portion gives Bush no credit for doing so, however, and bring that matter up all the time as an example of Bush's many misdeeds-- even though he never actually committed the alleged misdeed. Apparently Bush's even having attempted the deal (a decision in which he probably was not even involved) was itself a misdeed-- and unforgivable at that.

I have known these kinds of people the entire time I have been involved in GOP politics. They never change. Oh, well. As Shimon Peres is supposed to have said regarding the Palestinian problem:

If a problem has no solution, it may not be a problem, but a fact-- not to be solved, but to be coped with over time.

The close-minded and unreasonable portion of the Republican base is one of those facts, I'm afraid. Here's hoping President Bush continues to show good coping skills.


Anonymous DL said...

Gee, as one who was on the losing side of the Miers incident, it seems to me that it is you that is bringing the Miers situation up.

Why is it that those, with whom you disagree in the conservative base, are the ones labeled "close-minded,"when you make absolutly no move to their inarguable position that Bush has betrayed his party.

Being immovable seems to be what El Presidente Bush is best at!

Mom used to call it being stubborn.

Amnesty for felons? Come on!


Posted by DL

Saturday, May 20, 2006 5:40:00 AM  
Blogger The Hedgehog said...

DL: You think "Bush has betrayed his party."

Al Gore thinks Bush "betrayed" the United States by lying about the justification for war in Iraq.

Look at the company you're in. Don't you think "betrayed" is pretty strong language to describe the actions of a good man?

As for Harriet Miers, visit and see how often her name comes up. I'd just as soon leave her in the past, but many of those who prevailed on the president to withdraw her nomination can't seem to get over the fact that he nominated her in the first place. 

Posted by The Hedgehog

Saturday, May 20, 2006 7:59:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Read Mark Steyn - a more than reasonable man. Amnesty for felons is betrayal of all that we have believed in a law and order society. apparently you're happy with the political class running it regardless of how they got there power. Try Venezuala for the inevitable results of that thinking -never mind -wait a bit and Venezuala will be here too, if your kind has its way.

You've got to be kidding when you quote Al Gore as a source for anything other than a koolaid ad.

Miers was a misstep- amnesty for illegals and felons is betrayal -he should be impeached!

I think you'll see this fall what the consequeces of this really are. 

Posted by DL

Sunday, May 21, 2006 3:43:00 AM  
Blogger Harold C. Hutchison said...

I need to stand a little bit by what I said. One of the biggest trademarks of this President, discussed by both friend and foe, is the value he has placed on loyalty.

The base, on the Miers issue, attacked one of his closest and most loyal aides. They did so in a very harsh fashion. I think that it's impossible for her treatment at the hands of the base to not  affect how he thinks of them.

But the real tipping point, I suspect, was the UAE ports deal. The base managed to trash a very loyal ally in the war on terror - which Bush considers to be THE most important issue.

President Bush is pushing back because he thinks the base is wrong on those issues, and in this case, he's got his dander up over the treatment they dished out to a very close - and loyal - aide. That practically assured that the President's stubborn streak would manifest itself against the right. 

Posted by Harold C. Hutchison

Monday, May 22, 2006 7:12:00 AM  

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