President Bush today said that opponents of the immigration bill "don't want to do what's right for America."
That's right, we don't simply have a fundamentally different point of view on approaching illegal immigration...if we don't agree with the President we "don't want to do what's right for America."
I can't tell you how much this disturbs me. I feel as though I am having my longtime support for the President tossed back in my face. Once again the White House resorts to demonizing those with whom it disagrees.
The President acknowledges "A lot of Americans are skeptical about immigration reform, primarily because they don't think the government can fix the problems." But instead of addressing that skepticism by proving the government can fix the problems before moving on to his desired legalization plan, he insists on an "all or nothing" approach. His plan or the highway.
First the Director of Homeland Security says those who don't believe in the immigration plan want to execute illegal aliens.
And now this from the President. Both gentlemen sound desperate. It's not attractive and certainly isn't winning me over to their side of the argument.
I have disagreed with the President on this issue, but I have never questioned his patriotism or desire to do what he sincerely believes is right for our country. I deeply resent the President questioning the patriotism and motives of those who don't believe his plan is the correct approach to illegal immigration.
Update: Carol Platt Liebau has the same take in her post "Say WHAT?": "It's hard to figure out what advantage President Bush sees in attacking those of good conscience who disagree with him. Many of them happen to be some of his staunchest allies in the war on terror, and it isn't clear how it serves him to insult them gratuitously.
"And it's puzzling that the President would save his harshest rhetoric -- not for those who would defund American soldiers, or force a surrender in Iraq -- but for those who don't believe it's wise to hand out probationary visas to people from 'countries of interest' (i.e. heavily populated by jihadists), thereby allowing them to embed in the United States, without the benefit of even a cursory background check."
Liebau makes an interesting point. The President has worked hard on a "new tone" in Washington -- sometimes to the dismay of fellow conservatives -- to the extent of working hand in hand with someone like Senator Kennedy, who regularly speaks of the President and administration in rude terms. Yet while the President is so often mild-mannered about those who are his harshest critics, he or members of his administration haven't hesitated to come out swinging against conservatives regarding Harriet Miers or immigration.
You only hurt the ones you love?
More: Mark Steyn is troubled by the President's statement as well.
David Frum: "Who are these vicious characters who do not want to do 'what is right for America'? They are for the most part the...Republicans who have supported this president through thick and thin. Is it really smart to abuse them?"