Monday, May 15, 2006

The border, the base, the president and 2006

It seems as though the GOP is in a two-minute offense.

Note the first three paragraphs from one New York Times' story (really astounding quote):
WASHINGTON, May 13 — Some of President Bush's most influential conservative Christian allies are becoming openly critical of the White House and Republicans in Congress, warning that they will withhold their support in the midterm elections unless Congress does more to oppose same-sex marriage, obscenity and abortion.

"There is a growing feeling among conservatives that the only way to cure the problem is for Republicans to lose the Congressional elections this fall," said Richard Viguerie, a conservative direct-mail pioneer.

Mr. Viguerie also cited dissatisfaction with government spending, the war in Iraq and the immigration-policy debate, which Mr. Bush is scheduled to address in a televised speech on Monday night.
Laura Bush via the A.P.:
WASHINGTON - Some election-year advice to Republicans from a high-ranking source who has the president's ear: Don't use a proposed constitutional amendment against gay marriage as a campaign tool.

Just who is that political strategist? Laura Bush.
The San Francisco Chronicle:
President Bush will address immigration reform in a nationally televised speech tonight from the Oval Office, and the Senate also is to take up the issue today. Tax cuts passed by both chambers last week await the president's signature. Votes on constitutional amendments to forbid same-sex marriage and flag burning are expected in June. And a series of smaller measures aimed at suburban voters will be taken up throughout the summer.

There is some question as to whether the flurry of activity will overcome voter worries about the war in Iraq, the price of gasoline and the leadership of the Republican president. Republicans remain divided over fundamental matters such as how to balance the budget and whether to focus their efforts on their conservative base or swing voters in the suburbs.
Bush has one noteable skeptic on immigration, the Boston Globe:
But Hagel, sponsor of compromise immigration legislation that the Senate is scheduled to discuss this week, expressed skepticism. About 75 percent of the National Guard's equipment is in Iraq, and some Guard troops have already endured up to four tours of duty in that war zone, Hagel said.

Patrolling a domestic border is ''not the role of our National Guard," he said on ABC's ''This Week."
In fairness, it seems as though Bush's plan is to use the guard as a force-multiplier, or a technology based support staff. The numbers he appears ready to propose are less than the Pentagon said were available. (CNN has some details.)

Bush may call for a temporary deployment of the Guard to enhance the Border Patrol. This has all the hallmarks of a political gesture designed to appease conservative voters, to preserve an increasingly tenuous GOP majority.

6 Comments:

Blogger Dr Victorino de la Vega said...

“Some of President Bush's most influential conservative Christian allies are becoming openly critical of the White House and Republicans in Congress, warning that they will withhold their support in the midterm elections unless Congress does more to oppose same-sex marriage, obscenity and abortion”

To keep up with the matrimonial cum reproductive topics at hand, I hope this means the beginning of a divorce between the two strange bedfellows of the Bush regime:
The Henry Ford/values-oriented “Christian” wing of the regime and the Israel Uber Alles “secular” thugs in the Pentagon and the Office of the Vice-President.

It’s high time Rumsfeld, Cheney & Co are tried for treason!

12:22 PM  
Blogger zen said...

IS the potential deployment of troops to the border with Mexico about stemming the flow of illegal immigrant workers? Or is it about protecting the nation from terrorists?

I've attempted to analyze the difference in a post over at my spot. Hard to believe that it's both, considering that the northern border and legal channels have let more terrorists in than the southern border.
Also difficult that anything that comes from this administration can stand alone and apart from the link with "9/11".

1:20 PM  
Blogger Kvatch said...

...arning that they will withhold their support in the midterm elections unless Congress does more to oppose same-sex marriage, obscenity and abortion

The tone of the times, I guess. I'm thinking of witholding my vote from Pelosi for being so braindead as to abrogate her constitutional responsibilities before she even becomes Speaker of the House.

3:32 PM  
Blogger Charlie said...

With regard to the use of the national guard on the border:
one role of the national guard may be to protect the border from invading armies, but that is not the situation here. This is an issue of law enforcement: apprehending and arresting people at the border. That is not the role that the national guard has been trained for. To use them as such degrades the lethal training that they have had, as well as puts them in a role to enforce the law that they do not excel at.

Also, the Posse Comitatus Act generally prevents the military from engaging in law enforcement, which is why they can only provide support to the border patrol in this case.

Remember that the national guard are part-time soldiers. They have been called away from their homes to serve excellently as they have in Iraq already. I think we need to save the remaining guard units we have stateside for emergency purposes.

3:40 PM  
Blogger zen said...

I thought about that point as well Charlie. Wasn't there some reason to that effect being given after the Katrina disaster? that the president couldn't call in the national guard to enforce the law?

4:09 PM  
Blogger copy editor said...

Doc: "Israel Uber Alles." Wow. That's a pun and a half. Not that I disagree with the sentiment.

Zen's post is worth a close read.

Kvatch, Pelosi has been terrible. She was bad on MTP. And you are right to remark that it was foolish for what she said. She should have said that there was grounds to review censure at this point, and that was all she could comment on... Oh well.

Charlie, good point on Posse Comitatus. It restricts federl(ized) troops from acting as police officers. The way around that with this Guard deployment, I think, is to have the Pentagon provide pay as a supplemental something-or-other to the states. That is at least what I can recall.

4:16 PM  

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