"I hold it that a little rebellion now and then is a good thing, and as necessary in the political world as storms in the physical."
So said Jefferson. It would appear to be time again for a little rebellion in the Grand Old Party -- this time against George II.
For President Bush has attacked his own loyalists for a lack of patriotism. "If you don't want to do what's right for America," he said of opponents of the Bush-Kennedy immigration bill, "if you want to scare the American people, what you say is the bill's an amnesty bill. That's empty political rhetoric, trying to frighten our citizens."
But if the 12 million to 20 million illegal aliens are instantly legalized, what other term is there to describe that than amnesty?
Not only are opponents not doing "what's right for America," their courage is in question: "People in Congress need the courage to go back to their districts and explain exactly what this bill is all about. The fundamental question is, will elected officials have the courage necessary to put a comprehensive immigration plan in place."
Where, one wonders, was "Bush's Brain," Karl Rove?
For, worse than a crime, this attack on his base was a blunder. The people Bush is savaging -- columnists, commentators, talk-show hosts, congressmen fighting his bill -- have been the front-line troops in his fight to sustain funding for the war.
And if there were any doubt whom Bush had in mind, his surrogate, Linda Chavez, cleared it up:
"Some people just don't like Mexicans -- or anyone else from south of the border. They think Latinos are freeloaders and welfare cheats who are too lazy to learn English. They think Latinos have too many babies and that Latino kids will dumb down our schools. They think Latinos are dirty, diseased, indolent and more prone to criminal behavior. They think Latinos are just too different from us ever to become real Americans. ...
"Unfortunately, among this group is a fair number of Republican members of Congress, almost all influential conservative talk radio hosts, some cable news anchors -- most prominently, Lou Dobbs -- and a handful of public policy 'experts' at organizations such as the Center for Immigration Studies, the Federation for American Immigration Reform, NumbersUSA, in addition to fringe groups like the Minuteman Project."