In Defeat, a Bush Opportunity

see you at the bill signing

said a cocky George W.
Bush in Bulgaria, when he heard the Senate had just

15 votes short of voting cloture
on the Kennedy-Kyl
immigration bill he had embraced.

Bush returned home,
went to the Hill and implored the Senate Republicans to
resurrect his bill. They did, only to have it go down to

crushing defeat
a second time,

46 to 53,
last Thursday.

Bush has sustained
a major humiliation. But he is not alone.

Routed, too, were
Teddy Kennedy and John McCain, the Chamber of Commerce
and La Raza, The New York Times and The Wall
Street Journal.
For this proposed amnesty for 12
million to 20 million illegal aliens ignited a
spontaneous uprising against the leadership of both
parties, corporate America and the mainstream media, as

A defeat like this
is almost unheard of in Washington. For when the
establishment unites–as it did

behind the Panama Canal
giveaway and

–it almost always wins.

Indeed, just as it
is a defining mark of a superpower that when it commits
to war it wins, so it is a defining feature of an
establishment that when it commits to a political
course, it prevails. When the

Soviet Union
was defeated in Afghanistan, it ceased
to be a superpower and soon ceased to exist. Our
establishment has suffered a comparable defeat.

The Beltway was
routed by a coalition of TV and radio talk show hosts,

grass-roots activists
and backbenchers with the
courage to defy their masters. The regime was run off
the hill by the country that it claims to represent.

Repercussions will
be far-reaching, as they were from that Panama Canal
debate. Ronald Reagan led the opposition in that fight,
and though he lost, it

propelled him to the presidency.

Consider McCain.
Once thought to be the runaway favorite for the GOP
nomination, he has fallen to sixth in Iowa, dropped out
of the Aug. 11 straw poll, plunged to single digits in
South Carolina and may see his

campaign crash
before January.

Among GOP senators,
Jim DeMint, David Vitter, Jeff Sessions and Tom Coburn

emerged as lions,
while Jon Kyl, Lindsey Graham and
Mel Martinez have likely suffered enduring damage for
having chartered a

Teddy Kennedy Republican Club.

Among Democratic
senators, newcomers Jim Webb of Virginia, John Tester of
Montana and Claire McCaskill of Missouri joined a dozen
others to vote down the bill. Bernie Sanders, the
Vermont socialist, also voted no.

In this vote are
the makings of a new coalition. On one side,
Reid-Kennedy liberal Democrats joined K Street
Republicans to vote for amnesty. On the other, Red State
Democrats joined the conviction conservatives of the
GOP. Upon what were they united? Call it a policy of
putting country and community before commerce.

 Eighteen months
before Bush departs, it is clear that his open-borders,
free-trade globalism is no longer unchallenged dogma in
the GOP. Three of every four Senate Republicans rejected
amnesty. And fast track, by which Congress surrenders
its right to amend Bush trade bills, expired Saturday.
The Doha Round of global trade negotiations is as dead
as the immigration bill.

 If there is a
rising sentiment in America today, it is nationalism.

Americans are
growing weary of seeing their sons die in wars to bring
democracy to people who do not seem all that
appreciative. They are tired of reading of factories
going to China and jobs going to India, while illegal
aliens march in their cities under foreign flags to
demand their "civil rights." They are tired of
reading about new billionaires as their wages fail to
rise to compensate for soaring gas prices and the
falling value of their homes.

The establishment
is losing the trust of the people, who are coming to
believe that establishment is looking out for its own
interests, not theirs–and the two are no longer the

About President
Bush, there are two questions: Does he see what is
happening? Is he flexible and skillful enough to dump
the Kennedy-Bush alliance and take up the leadership of
the new center-right coalition that is forming?

In the Harriet
Miers affair, he showed that skill. When the right raged
against the nomination of his White House counsel to the
Supreme Court, Bush skillfully withdrew it, sent up Sam
Alito, reunited his coalition and won one of the signal
victories of his second term.

Reconstituting the
Supreme Court could be a Bush legacy. The left is
terrified at the prospect.

What should Bush do
today? Graciously accept the "thumping" on
amnesty, and seize the leadership of the border-security
coalition—90 percent of the nation—with a tough new bill
that liberal Democrats will choke on, but the country
will unite around. And kiss Kennedy goodbye.



Patrick J. Buchanan

no introduction
readers; his book

State of Emergency: The Third World Invasion and
Conquest of America

can be ordered from