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"Is Bush's base beginning to crumble?"

Howard Fineman in Newsweek asks the titular question:

Can the unshakeable be shaken? Is it already shaking? These are relevant questions as Condi Rice testifies and Iraq turns ugly. Especially since 9/11, a key feature of the political landscape has been George W. Bush's granite-like Republican/conservative base. But fissures are appearing and the war may widen them. Facing a close race with Democrat John Kerry, the president can't afford to spend much time reassuring his friends. But he may have to...

But varying elements of the GOP "base" have developed grievances that could, if nothing else, disillusion some voters on the margins, keeping them home instead of at the polls on Election Day in swing states the president needs to carry. Some of the grievances:

1. Immigration. A firm stand against illegal immigration is a bedrock belief of most conservatives - indeed, of most Americans. But activists on the right are furious at the administration, which is eager to court Hispanic voters, for its proposals to grant what amounts to amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants. Conservative anger has been stoked by the president's brother, Jeb Bush, who has proposed to allow illegal immigrants to acquire driver's licenses. The assumption - probably the correct one - is that the governor of the key state of Florida would not have made such a move without first checking with his brother the president, or Rove.

I'm speechless. The word "undocumented" doesn't appear above. They're actually calling things by their true names.

For more information, visit my extensive Immigration category.

Immigration2003 · Wed, 04/07/2004 - 20:20 · Importance: 1