Conservative Bloggers Rage Against Bush Over Immigration Bill
It's taken more than six years, but America's conservative and ultra-right bloggers have finally realised that President Bush isn't really on their side at all. At least, not when it comes to dealing harshly with the 12 to 20 million illegal immigrants, mostly from Mexico, who will soon be able to call the United States their official home, if Bush gets his second run Immigration Bill passed. And there are many signs pointing to the fact that he will.
Key conservative bloggers like Michelle Malkin have spent years howling about all the terrible ways that 'The Liberals' besmirch the president. Now it's her turn, and the turn of virtually every conservative blogger with a daily audience bigger than a few hundred, to rage against the president.
From CNN :
...no issue in recent memory has united conservative bloggers like the debate over immigration. Their frustration has culminated in a full-scale revolt against the Bush administration and a Senate bill that activists say does little to solve the country's border security problems.
President Bush's pledge to support $4.4 billion in additional border security funds has breathed new life into the bill, but the drumbeat against the legislation shows no signs of quieting.
It's increasingly clear from Web postings and interviews with top conservative bloggers that the immigration bill has done serious damage to the president's credibility among the conservative netroots, the grassroots bloggers on the Web.Erick Erickson, managing editor of the popular conservative blog RedState.com, says he receives between 800 and 900 e-mails a day from readers, most of whom are "enraged" by the White House's immigration efforts.
"Of all the issues the president has picked to make his hill to die on, he has picked the one that has divided his base," said Erickson, who lives in Macon, Georgia. "I am shocked by the anger and outrage out there ... You've got war against the president within the Republican party."
When details of an immigration compromise were announced this spring, conservative bloggers were immediately incensed. Michelle Malkin labeled it "a White House betrayal."
Another popular blogger, Hugh Hewitt, called the bill a "fiasco" and wrote: "this push for this bill is a disaster, Mr. President."
Many bloggers said they are disappointed the president has pushed so hard for the immigration bill while letting the war and other issues conservatives care about fall by the wayside.
"The White House will go out and zealously promote Harriet Miers [the former White House counsel who Bush unsuccessfully nominated for the Supreme Court], defend [Attorney General] Alberto Gonzales, promote this bill, but will not take a firm stand on the war," said Erickson. "I know people who are boiling with rage that the president has been beating up his own side over this bill but won't take the bully pulpit to beat up Democrats over the war."
Bush did little to help his relationship with bloggers on May 29, when he told a crowd in Glynco, Georgia, that critics of the immigration bill "don't want to do what's right for America."
Kathryn Jean Lopez at the National Review asked, "Is the White House just not paying attention?"
The blog Ace of Spades HQ called Bush "incompetent" and "embarrassingly dimwitted" and urged him to retire.
Interesting. Isn't that exactly what most of the liberal, or "hate America" blogs (as Michelle Malkin likes to call them) have been saying about Bush for years? Yes, it is.
"It will be very difficult for him to recover with conservative bloggers," said Robert Bluey, director of the Center for Media & Public Policy at the Heritage Foundation. "When Bush is on to his next issue, I'm not sure if bloggers are going to be there to back him up."In just the past month alone, President Bush has been abandoned by key Republicans senators, key Republican donors, the middle-ground Americans and now the vast majority of influential bloggers and right-wing talk back radio hosts.
Which begs the question -- is Bush a lame duck among bloggers?
Said Morrissey: "I think that they are going to continue to support him on the war on terror. As for the rest of it, they are looking for ways to reshape the party agenda going into the next election. That's a nice way of saying they are going to consider him irrelevant."
Bush already has hit record low approval ratings. Within two months, and with the passing of the slightly revised Immigration Bill, he will become the most unpopular president in American history.
Michelle Malkin On President Bush's "Shamnesty" Immigration Bill