A week ago, I had an item suggesting the president doesn’t really care about the immigration deal he struck with congressional leaders. If he did care, he’d do what he did when touting his war policy and his plan to privatize Social Security: give enthusiastic speeches, use his Bully Pulpit, lash out at critics, etc.
To be fair, I should note, by way of follow-up, that the president appears to be taking the immigration proposal far more seriously this week. Indeed, Bush is doing what comes naturally — questioning the motives and patriotism of those who dare to disagree with him.
President Bush attacked opponents of an immigration deal Tuesday, suggesting they “don’t want to do what’s right for America.”
“The fundamental question is, will elected officials have the courage necessary to put a comprehensive immigration plan in place,” Bush said against a backdrop of a huge American flag. […]
“Those determined to find fault with this bill will always be able to look at a narrow slice of it and find something they don’t like,” the president said. “If you want to kill the bill, if you don’t want to do what’s right for America, you can pick one little aspect out of it. (emphasis added)
It’s a classic Bush argument. The president believes his immigration policy is the right thing for America, so if you have a different policy idea, you necessarily “don’t want to do what’s right for America.”
In this case, most of the strongest critics of the White House policy are on the right, which — you guessed it — means Bush just slapped his base pretty hard.