Thursday, October 27, 2005

Here's a key part of the Bush plan to deflect attention from any indictments, according to the L.A. Times (story also available via Yahoo News):

Whenever possible, Bush and other administration officials would try to change the subject. Among the issues the president plans to put atop his new agenda are spending restraint, tax changes and immigration.

Do the Bushies really think this would work?

"Spending restraint": This means budget cuts, inevitably to popular programs, since it's clear that Congress doesn't want to cut pork and it's unthinkable that Bush will rescind the tax cuts. Now, it's one thing for Congress and the president to agree on painful cuts when the public's attention is elsewhere; it's another thing for a president to campaign openly for such cuts. How does that help reverse Bush's slide in the polls?

"Tax changes": In other words, eliminating or curtailing deductions, such as the home mortgage deduction. Same potential to alienate ordinary voters.

"Immigration": The problem here is that Bush wants a guest-worker program and lots of Americans -- in particular, voters in the GOP base -- really just want him to seal the borders. Unless he reverses course and starts talking like a Minuteman, a Bush push for immigration reform might alienate his loyalists in much the way the Miers nomination did.

I think it's quite possible that Bush could get back into the game -- but if he does so, he'll do it by getting his base angry at his opponents. This isn't going to get the job done.

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