Bush's Base Starts To Sober Up
Apparently this year's Conservative Political Action Conference was teeming with a whole bunch of unhappy conservatives
. These are from the far right particularly, and they are furious at Dubya.
What for? you may ask, baffled. Hasn't he fucked up America thoroughly in ways it may take decades to fix again? What's not for a con to like?
Well, apparently he's fucked it up in ways that they don't like either. I suppose he shouldn't have been so scattershot about it. They're pissed about the amazingly bloated deficit, now in the hundreds of millions(having been at surplus when he took office thanks to Clinton, and the hard work of the American people), and about the Bracero program he has proposed. You know, the one where he plans to give the few middle-and lower-income jobs which exist to illegal aliens, which will go down in history books as surely the brilliantest bit of timing ever.
How did I know this would be the one that infuriated them? Maybe because refusing to give licenses to illegals is what swept the Governator into office over in Cloud Cuckoo California. This is an issue much more divisive for conservatives, and Bush stepped into it like warm cowshit, then thought mentioning Mars would soften it. (a few days later we lost contact, again, with the Mars Rover. There may be a God after all...)
Gee, even a five-year-old could have realized that if you severely curtail the revenue the government is taking in while spending far too much on a war of choice--and that's where the money that was supposed to be spent on homeland security went, by the way, and I'm not sure if that's a good or bad thing--then you're going to end up with a deficit. And they were all for the tax cuts. What did they think would happen? Surely they see that without a tax increase in Bush's second term the government will collapse, and as the Republicans control the whole government the only ones who'll be hurt by a shutdown is the GOP. Their tactics have been taken from them. Similarly they bear the whole blame for the deficit now. Can they blame Congress? I can't wait to see them try.
And he will raise taxes in his second term, though certainly not on the upper classes. Once he doesn't have to worry about election, get ready for some real shit. If Armageddon doesn't come, and it won't, what will we do with the situation he's visited on us then? Problem with the Republicans from Reagan on: short-term thinking and too much of it. It comes from living in a world where someone else always cleans up your mess.
But how can conservatives complain? Didn't they hear Cheney say "Reagan proved that deficits don't matter"? Or didn't he say that in public? Oh, right, he only said that to the Treasury Secretary
. (Little wonder Cheney is so paranoid about any details from any meeting he attends becoming public)
But back to this conference. To give you some idea of the atmosphere, Bush supporters there were called "Bushlickers." To give you a brief idea:
Bush's right-wing base is demanding more concessions than he's made so far, but those concessions are likely to erode whatever moderate support the president has. At one of the most fervently Republican gatherings in the country, it wasn't hard to find people who were planning to vote for third-party candidates from the Constitution or Libertarian parties, and a few even confided in whispers that they might vote for Joe Lieberman or John Edwards if given a chance. The mood was like that of liberals in 2000 who saw Al Gore as nothing more than a lesser evil and yearned to send a futile message through Ralph Nader. While the grass-roots left is more motivated and disciplined than it's ever been, the grass-roots right has turned sullen and uncompromising. "A lot of people here don't care if Bush wins or not," said Rick Shaftan, a right-wing political consultant and pollster based in New Jersey.
Welcome to our world, Republicans who cheered Nader on. I wonder if Karl Rove remembers Buchanan and Perot are still alive. As the author of American Dynasty
noted, also in Salon
...They're botching the economy, they're botching Iraq, they may have botched 9/11, and they've got the religious right running loose, so they're going to botch culture. And when you get to that point, the motion of your elites -- the forward motion of your interest groups inside the Republican Party -- gets very hard to turn around.
So you feel them moving inexorably toward disaster?
They get carried away with hubris. That was the problem for the Democrats with Johnson. After the Kennedy assassination and the Goldwater defeat [in 1964], they got so carried away they went into hubris.
Too, the usual Republican go-for-broke strategy of rushing into everything on the laundry list as fast as possible(because some part of them always knows that their days are numbered and they need to get what they want before they're caught--they have the attitude in office of burglars afraid of when the cops will show up but who can't resist stealing more and more till they do) puts them in a position of being unable to reverse themselves.
They raise the stakes too high to fix their mistakes. Look at what happened to Bush the First when he went back on his tax pledge. Of course he had to, but he was stupid enough to promise he wouldn't, thinking his base wouldn't remember. But they did and that's part of why Grover Norquist withheld support in '92, effectively starving Bush's campaign to death. (That's why he had little better to use against Clinton than accusing him in the last week before election of being a Communist spy--a puzzling thing to focus on, even if it hadn't been an obvious and stupid lie, when Bush himself claimed to have ended the Cold War and the USSR fell under his watch. Oops)
The conservatives aren't as stupid as I'd resigned myself to thinking. They have finally come to realize that the interests Bush represents are neither those of the liberals or the conservatives, or even really of America. And I imagine they're now suffering Fixer's Remorse over what they did in 2000 for it. Which was to help undercut our system if that's what it took to get Bush in the White House, a stain they won't be able to wash off for a generation. So they're turning on him.
The beautiful thing about that is that they're stuck with this incumbent. There's no way any third-party candidate they back can beat him, but one will take enough votes from him to prevent his election. I expect Buchanan to suddenly become a presence about the time of the RNC Convention, and I expect him to become quite loud on the Bracero issue. This will make sure that it sticks to Bush like glue through the election and he'll have to: back down on it; defend it; or spend most of his energy diverting attention from it. All three of these will weaken him badly.
All we need now is a Democratic party that actually wants to take the presidency. Votes are still going on in New Hampshire and at this writing Wesley Clark is ahead. So let's not hold our breath, because Clark doesn't have a chance in hell of winning the presidency for a number of reasons. If the Democrats have any sense at all, Edwards will be the candidate. But a more reasonable possibility is Kerry-Edwards. The attack dog of a Democratic ticket is generally the VP(remember both Bentsen and Gore against Quayle in debate) and that's Edwards' specialty. I would, however, love to see Edwards debate Bush. He'd be picking shreds of Bush out of his teeth for weeks afterward.
Here's hoping. Meanwhile, as Bush's base deserts him, who jumps in as his defender but the formerly-funny Dennis Miller, who as we all know is the most popular personality on television with an unbroken string of successful and well-received shows. On CNBC he's launched yet another winner, a conservative talk show where he has expressed his desire to speak Bush's praises constantly. But while he fastens his lips around Bush's cock, we might do well to remember that most Bush supporters probably can't even understand his references. Here's some tidbits from the debut show, and let me tell ya, I hope Miller becomes Bush's most prominent defender; it would have been like Barbra Streisand having a talk show in 1998 defending Clinton:
"I believe you want someone to get incensed for you."
Yes, but at whom, Dennis? Still they pretend a liberal media out to get Bush exists. If they finally destroyed all liberals they'd still pretend they existed; otherwise they'd have nothing to scare people into voting for them.
"The American experiment appears to be imploding. I believe that there's a common-sense revolution coming in this country, folks--I'd like this to be headquarters."
It's nice to see Miller sees fascism coming as I do. But in his case he seems to want to make sure he's on the side of the Beast before the shit hits the fan. I'm amazed he can talk with his mouth so full of Bush.
...and a quote from a previous time:
"I don't know what I think of George W. Bush when he first got in, but I've grown fond of the man, and maybe it's the times we live in. They say he's not an environmentalist. But every time I see his ranch on TV, it looks pretty nice. You know something, if we all took care of our own, we'd have a great environment."
I hear Versailles looked pretty nice too. This from the man who once derided those who work in jobs where they have to wear name tags; as Franken remarked, Miller has never really been any different--once & always an elitist upper-class asslicker with more vocabulary than sense. Keep going, Dennis. You'll do our job for us.
Oh, and over the weekend, yet another person in a position to actually know has stated uncategorically that there were no WMDs in Iraq, and that is David Kay, who was, till he resigned last week, the CIA's chief weapons inspector. Not that this will make any difference with those who actually, actively supported the war. WMDs had nothing to do with their support, it was just an excuse they could beat those against the war over the heads with. The sentiment motivating the supporters of this completely elective war will be familiar to you if you waited with bated breath for Lucas' new STAR WARS films.
And the feeling such supporters have now can be likened to the feeling, after that anticipation, once one actually saw the Phantom Menace.
Naturally, it still had defenders, but they were desperate and sad people, you see.
"What are you going to do about it?" --Thomas Nast.
"Bring 'em on." --GW Bush.
Labels: cheney, politics