Fester’s Take on the Bush Immigration Speech

Just a couple of relatively quick reaction thoughts to the Bush immigration speech.

  1. This was one of his better delivered speeches. The mannerisms, the tones, the lack of smirks was noticable in that this was a serious speech about a serious subject.
  2. As a liberal, I was not the target audience of the speech, but I thought he did a decent job of walking a relatively fine line
  3. Bush as a policy wonk with a five point plan was a new twist — Message ‘I’m in charge and competent — so trust me’ won’t work giving the background noise that he is facing, but it was a bit of a shock to see.
  4. The guest worker program, if well designed and regulated could be a good idea, but that design has to include some compensation/training/educational completion assistance for low skill/low wage American workers — don’t know if that will happen.
  5. The biometric, tamper proof ID card is fundamentally a national ID card — wonder how the GOP will use this for voter suppression efforts as it seems custom made for that (Hi there Georgia)
  6. The National Guard to the border is an ineffective joke — a couple of thousand infantry won’t do much, a couple of companies of choppers won’t do much etc. It plays well with the base.
  7. I was surprised at how little “Terra-ists under the bed” talk there was in the speech, my personal betting line would have been at 40% content instead of about 5-10% content on that subject matter

This was a decent speech. Yet I don’t think it will do anything for Bush politically. If anything this speech reminds me of his stem-cell research speech in that it was designed to split the difference among the Republican base on a quasi-made-up social wedge issue. Until 9/11 happened, that was the big piece of Bushian “leadership” and it was not going over all that well. I think that the same will be said of this speech.

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