But he miscalculated, as he has done so often since his re-election. He chose to believe polls that said Americans generally support the nice ideas in the bill rather than the polls that showed Americans disliked the actual bill as written and described.
And perhaps most interesting, Bush chose to believe it was more important to court potential future Republican voters - those illegals who would have gained a "path to citizenship" under the terms of the bill in 13 years' time - rather than listen to the concerns of present-day Republican voters. DUBYA'S END By JOHN PODHORETZ June 29, 2007
There are number of things wrong with that, including the fact that amnesty isn't really a nice idea, that the illegals are NOT potential Republican voters, and the idea that Bush is seeking the "legalized illegal" vote, rather than the plain old Hispanic vote, is actually new.(But check out this parody from 2006.)
However, Podhoretz goes on to mention a number of the things that are in fact wrong with the bill:
Those concerns were entirely justified. I write as someone out of step with my fellow conservatives on the issue, as someone with a very liberal view of immigration, including illegal immigration. A[Vdare.com note: No kidding.See VDARE.com: 01/12/04 - Attack Of The Pod Person II: Amnesty To Remake America]And yet the more I read about the bill, the more it was clear to me it was an unholy mess and that the nation would be far better off without it.
Neither the president nor any of the bill's supporters was able to make a convincing argument that illegal immigration would be "reformed" in any way. The bill was a classic case of a supposed fix that would only make things worse. It would have levied significant penalties on those who chose to play by the rules without punishing those who remained outside the boundaries in any credible way.
And the bill's opponents made a very strong case that its passage would only lead to an even greater human flood across the border - a case no one on the pro-bill side ever even bothered to address substantively.
Finally he adds that
But the parlous decision to revive the dead immigration bill and fight for it, only to see it go down to defeat again, was an act of political suicide from which this White House will not recover.
That's what we've been saying here for some time-I remember writing the headline for this Sam Francis piece six years ago: Suicide of the W? Bushâ€™s Illegal Immigrant Amnesty - By Sam Francis, May 17, 2001. It's taken that long for John Podhoretz to catch up.