A couple of weeks ago I opined here about the reasons conservatives are increasingly disaffected with President Bush. Peggy Noonan takes a different tack on this issue here. The first half of Noonan’s article is an analysis of the President’s immigration speech, which I wrote about here. Noonan spent part of her career as a speechwriter for President Reagan, so she comes at this issue from that unique angle.
Although Noonan’s critique of the President’s speech has merit, it was this comment that I found especially interesting: “I continue to believe the administration's problem is not that the base lately doesn't like it, but that the White House has decided it actually doesn't like the base.”
In effect, Noonan is arguing that the President and his advisors have grown tired of the conservative wing of the Republican Party and are pretty much willing to jettison conservative support. After postulating that the President might be casting himself on his own sword to save the GOP or else simply suffering an elitist disconnection with reality, she says of the President dumping his own base, “That's a worse problem. It's hard to fire a base. Hard to get a new one.”
Lifelong Democrat Hans Moleman, on the other hand, has an article drawing comparisons between Harry Truman and President Bush. He compares Truman’s Korean War with Bush’s Iraq War and notes similarities in polling trends. He seems to be suggesting that, like Truman, Bush is sacrificing himself for what he truly believes to be in the best interest of the country and of the people in whose country we are fighting.
Moleman merely suggests that this might be the case. He does not come across as an ardent Bush defender. He concludes, “Despite the endless shelves of books devoted to professional hatred of George W. Bush, the ultimate history books are yet to be written. You never know what they might say. History gets the last laugh.”
While I’m sure that many people (especially the folks that froth at the mouth at the mere mention of Bush) think they already know what history will say about W, none of us really know at this point.