Press 1 for English

I’ll give you 10 pesos to a tortilla that President Bush and the Senate proponents of “comprehensive” immigration reform have never had to “press 1 for English” when they phone their bank or their cell phone carrier. The bad news for the Republican Party is that the Republican base does, day after day.

The same conservatives who sacrificed time, energy, and money to push the Republicans into the majority in both houses of Congress and to the presidency have been betrayed. We’ve suspected it for a long time. And now we know it.

If my circle of acquaintance is any indication, the majority party has lost its foundation. Every one of my Republican-voting friends, from those who have a casual affinity to those who are deeply immersed in conservative circles, are so thoroughly dismayed with our party’s performance that they will sit the next election cycle out.

Imagine that: not the “swing” voter; nor the elusive “independent”; but the deeply conservative base voter who supported the party financially, at the ballot box, and in spirit during its lean years will be watching from the sidelines this fall. In disgust.

Supporters, who have swallowed bloated budgets, steel tariffs, prescription drug benefits, Sen. Teddy Kennedy’s education reform bill, and campaign finance “reform,” will stomach no more.

It is nearly five years after an attack on our soil which killed thousands of our fellow citizens. And our border is not secure.

The President, our President, vows to try a little harder to enforce the law if, and only if, we swallow the naturalization of millions of illegal immigrants. Did you get that? The leader of the executive branch, charged with enforcing the law of the land, will only do so if Congress and the people agree to ignore his dereliction of duty during his tenure to date.

To add insult to injury, while regurgitating his proposal’s Byzantine details, the man charged with protecting and defending the Constitution managed to insult and malign those opposed to his amnesty proposal, and to mischaracterize conservative opposition to the “comprehensive” approach. To ask that one’s government makes an honest effort to enforce the laws on the books does not make one a racist. And to demand that our immigration laws discriminate between honest hard-working economic immigrants and drug-running gang members is not cold-hearted.

There are many aspects of the President’s plan to criticize. But it makes no sense to expend effort dissecting a proposal made in bad faith. From some obscure sense of misguided compassion, misdirected Christian mercy, or just plain old-fashioned elitism President Bush has decided that he has a greater loyalty to citizens of Mexico than to those of his own country. We owe him, and his party, none of our own.