Monday, May 15, 2006

Para, El Presidente, Para!

In my previous post, I described the almost inexplicable devotion to the GOP and particularly to Bush as a pathology not unlike a sports fan's worship of a team and its beloved coach.

Occasionally, however, even the most devoted fans will turn against the coach when (1) he proves to be overwhelmingly incompetent or (2) he starts making decisions that seem to help the opposing team.

Well, it only took three days for events to realize the exception.

Over the past few years, we haven't seen much of scenario #1--which can mean only that many right-wing bloggers have a fairly low threshold for competence. But, judging from the posts and comments on conservative blogs and right-wing news sources over the past 72 hours, many GOP churchgoers woke up on Mother's Day and decided that their President is aiding and abetting the foreign invader.

What has their hemorrhoids acting up? The immigration issue, of course. But I'm not being specific enough: It's not illegal immigration per se; rather, it's the Mexican barbarian invasion that is testing the limits of their sanity. You'll hear nary an obligatory peep from "the conservative base" about illegal immigration from, say, Canada--which, arguably, impacts the availability of middle-class American jobs to a far greater extent.

And, my, it's getting nasty over at the conservative asylum. The ensuing melee is akin to seeing fans in the Yankee stands realize that the coach has a soft spot for the Red Sox. For example:
El Presidente is proposing to reward 20 million illegal invaders with US citizenship. Yet he'll claim to oppose "amnesty." This is not new; McCain and Kennedy claim to oppose "amnesty" too. [Highlights added.]
My God. Nothing this traumatic has happened to the well-being of our nation's xenophobia since the Boston Celtics stopped being the NBA's last remaining predominantly white team. Not only has the Formerly Beloved Leader mutated into a Traitorous Mexican Impostor, but he's also on the same side as the World's Most Evil Liberal.

Glenn Greenwald has a lengthy, must-read essay summarizing the hissing volcano of comments from conservative bloggers (including the one above), and he concludes that they are all beginning to agree on a possible solution: Fire the bastard.

You read that right: conservatives are calling for Bush's impeachment. The Katrina debacle, Osama bin Laden's escape, the torture of foreign citizens, imprisonment without trial, the mismanaged Iraq War, wiretapping of American citizens, the Plame leak, spying on journalists, the Tom Delay indictment, the Medicare drug plan fiasco, Hookergate, the annihilation of the CIA, the Social Security charade, the Republican spending spree....

Okay--none of that bothered them all that much.

But Mexicans! Ay, caramba! Para, El Presidente, Para!

Or as the succinct observer at Alternative Hippomatus puts it:
While the left wants to impeach Bush for some combination of gross incompetence, mendacity, abuse of power, and smirkiness, the right wants to impeach Bush for his stand on immigration.
Meanwhile, Sadly, No! points to a comment from Kathryn Jean Lopez, self-consciously adjusting her duncecap over in the Corner (the unapologetic mire for our nation's illiterati, whose effusive silliness I discussed most recently in this post). She offers the following trenchant, real-time analysis of Bush's speech earlier this evening:
Delivery feels a bit more Mr. Rogers than commander-in-chief. I mean we have an emergency--our borders are out of control and during a time of war. You don't get that sense. [Emphasis mine]
An emergency. No other term telescopes my perplexity about why this issue suddenly became America's #1 priority. I am at a loss to explain how, seemingly overnight, illegal immigration became the one threat whose "mismanagement" could turn the conservative movement against Bush. It's not like he messed this up last week; illegal immigration has a venerated 225-year tradition in this county. (Then again, immigrant bashing has a sordid history as well, from the two-fisted welcome extended to the Irish, to the Germans, to the Italians--right on up to the scorn that greeted the persecuted Vietnamese fleeing to these shores in the 70s and 80s.)

The truly farcical part about Lopez's post is that John Derbyshire, one of her fellow bloggers at the Corner, was once an illegal immigrant himself. (Wasn't it a national emergency then?) And yet Derbyshire has the chutzpah to argue that
This thing about our govt. colluding with Narcistan--sorry, I mean Mexico--to keep the flow of illegal immigrants coming, is the last straw. Either our govt. is criminally incompetent, or else it is maliciously hostile to ordinary American citizens. Or both.
It didn't seem to bother this particular hypocrite when he was part of that criminal "flow." But, then again, the only difference is that the Saxon-white Derbyshire isn't a Mexican. And that, sadly, makes it all too clear who he means when he refers to "ordinary American citizens." He's certainly not talking about the Red Sox.