President Bush Continues to Antagonize Us
Conservatives who are already frustrated with President Bush should be even more upset with him after seeing his remarks in recent days. Yesterday, he antagonized us by boasting, “I’ll see you at the bill signing.” Just as Bush had angered the base by telling us that we “don’t want to do what’s right for America,” he once again put his foot in his mouth with this latest quip. The remark prompted Eagle Forum to release an action alert titled “No Means No, Mr. President.”
Bush’s argument that the status quo won’t work is an embarrassing admission of his administration’s failure to enforce existing laws. Today during a visit to Capitol Hill, Bush told reporters, “We’ve got to convince the American people that this bill is the best way to enforce our border.” Convince us? Why doesn’t the administration use the laws already on the books to clean up the border?
There’s a growing desire for the administration to act on this front. Today, for instance, nine senators, led by Republican Jim DeMint of South Carolina, sent Bush a letter that asks the administration to “enforce the border security laws that have already been authorized by Congress regardless of whether the Senate passes the immigration reform bill.” The other eight senators signing the letter were Tom Coburn (Okla.), Mike Enzi (Wyo.), David Vitter (La.), Jim Inhofe (Okla.), Jim Bunning (Ky.), Charles Grassley (Iowa), John Ensign (Nev.) and Jeff Sessions (Ala.).
As critics of the Senate bill begin to offer alternatives (as my colleagues at the Heritage Foundation did today), it’s going to grow even more difficult for Bush to convince conservatives that his approach is the only option. As Jessica Echard of Eagle Forum puts it , this debate is shaping up to be a fight between the elites of Washington vs. the real people of America. The question is: When will the elites start listening to the people?