Is the Republican center-right coalition finally imploding?
For months now, anti-immigration wingnuts have been thrashing about in search of a 2000 campaign video of Bush waving the Mexican flag. Then, what do you know? The footage stealthily turns up — just a matter of hours before Bush’s immigration address — as part of Michelle Malkin’s cheesy anti-Bush talking-head web video on “Hot Air,” her new conservative videoblog.
In early April, The LAT published an excellent article (Immigrant Issues Are Personal for Bush) tracing GDub’s pro-immigration history. It touched on Bush’s early promotion of bilingual education. It described how, as Texas governor, Bush opposed California Governor Pete Wilson on Proposition 187 which would have cut off public services to illegal immigrants. It noted how “W” challenged Pat Buchanan in the 1996 Presidential race to avoid anti-immigration attacks. And it outlined how Bush defied pressure from Buchanan in reinstating healthcare benefits threatened by the new welfare law for non-citizen children.
Also, the story explained how Bush came to hire one Lionel Sosa to create a campaign video — including this footage, shot during a Mexican Independence Day parade in San Antonio in 1998, during then-Governor Bush’s reelection campaign– to reach out to Latinos in the ’00 presidential campaign.
GW may have tossed some bones to the right in his speech last night. Overall, however, Bush has been keeping it fuzzy while remaining favorably disposed to the pro-immigration argument. It’s this stance that has people like Malkin and the Minute Men all worked up.
Even if wingnuts are ultimately more interested in putting Bush’s feet to the fire than burning down his house, there’s plenty of kindling there. Given Malkin’s absolute obsession with the American flag — and especially, it’s use by pro-immigration protesters — possession of these images become as satisfying to angry Michelle (and the diaffected far right) as, say… the portrait of an Oval Office Bush – Abramoff hug would be to Daily Kos.