Politics & Policy

Right Revolt

Conservatives won't stand for the Bush-Kennedy immigration deal.

It’s never a good day for the White House when, at the start of his evening radio show, Mark Levin is provoked by a presidential press conference — one lauding a supposed legislative achievement — to complain on behalf of conservatives: “How about not treating us with animosity?”

That conservatives would be upset with the immigration deal was predictable. But the degree of the indignation has been remarkable. Even before there was any deal announced, Slate’s Mickey Kaus was calling the immigration debacle “Bush’s domestic version of Iraq.” Kaus is no conservative-movement guy, of course, just a smart, clear thinker. Mark Levin, on the other hand, will defend you to the death if you’re good news for conservatism. Yet he sees this deal not only as an egregious betrayal of conservatism, but also as gross incompetence on a political level. (“Is this any way to run a country?” he asked Wednesday night.)

Michelle Malkin frames the pending deal as dangerous. And she was only one among many conservatives doing so. Rush Limbaugh had Tony Snow on his show Tuesday, but even the best face of the administration couldn’t do it for Rush on immigration. Convinced that it’s not only dangerous, but bad politics for the GOP, he cautioned: “The Democrats obviously want these people to become voters. They’re looking at this in a political sense.”

Wednesday on his show, while watching John McCain stand with Ted Kennedy as a deal was announced, Rush predicted this would prove to be a real “problem” for McCain with conservative primary voters. But the problem’s not just McCain’s; Rush predicted possible 2008 doom for the GOP if this deal is as bad as it sounds.

It is a common view among conservatives. Powerline’s Paul Mirengoff drew a line in the sand: “Any Republican candidate who is on board with the projected deal should receive no consideration from conservatives as a presidential nominee.” Hugh Hewitt blogged: “John McCain’s antics throughout 2005-2006 cost the GOP the majority in the Senate. Now he’s going to do for Smith, Sununu, Coleman and others what he did for DeWine, Talent and Santorum.” Ouch.

Mark Levin, on Wednesday night, implored: “Do these Republicans ever learn? . . . Do they understand that a majority of the American people, whether they’re Democrats, Republicans, or nothing, have had it up to here with illegal immigration and they don’t want to subsidize it?”

It would seem not. And so I’ll make mention of my e-mailers flirting with consideration of the i-word (yes, as in “impeachment”).

The base, of course, will eventually calm down — a bit. The question is, how much? Was this the last straw? If conservative media is any indication, recovery will be slow. Laura Ingraham began her show Friday announcing “I’m trying not to be demoralized.” But after playing tape of Ted Kennedy waxing triumphant Thursday, the mood was reminiscent of the morning after Election Day 2005 all over again. And now you can kiss the Senate goodbye, too, if this bill goes through, she said.

It’s going to be a long, hot summer on the Right thanks to la Casa Blanca.


A QUICK GUIDE TO EARLY Conservative COVERAGE of the immigration deal

Michelle Malkin is not too happy:

I’m shocked, shocked….via WashTimes

With friends like the Senate Republicans, who needs enemies?

At least she can say she was right all along:

See, I told you so.

She also gives some numbers:

I repeat:

There have been seven illegal alien amnesties passed into law since 1986:

‐Remember, nearly three weeks ago, 15 Republican senators asked for at least a week to review the bill. They wanted the bill to be made publicly available online.

More from Redstate:

Senate Democrats and Republicans are working feverishly with the White House to put the finishing touches on an immigration proposal that could be announced later today or tomorrow. The deal would give illegal aliens living in the United States amnesty, according to confidential sources. It would also allow illegal aliens to bring their parents, spouses and children into the United States.


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