The Bush Cult Is Crumbling – Now What?`s skepticism about George
W. Bush made us

awfully unpopular
in some quarters. But since the

his immigration plan on January 7th, our
doubts about Bush have become

common among Republicans
. And, paradoxically, that`s
good news for the GOP and even for the President.

Going back all the way to the 2000
campaign, we`d documented that the Administration`s
obsession with amnesty for illegal aliens and cheap

guest workers

would turn out to be bad for the
Republican Party and bad for the citizens of this
nation. Worse, we argued that the White House`s
continuing obsession raised serious questions about the
judgment of Bush and his

electoral consigliere
Karl Rove.

In contrast, on much of the Right,
a strange

Bush Cult
was growing—even before the

trauma of 9-11
created a psychological need to
believe that the President was all-knowing and all-wise.
Countless pundits rushed to fill the demand of the
faithful for reassuring rationalizations that the
President really did know what he was doing.

Years of press cheerleading and
conservative groupthink about Bush`s wonderfulness have
not been good for the President.

The man is by no means bereft of
talents—decisiveness and the ability to inspire and
enforce loyalty are valuable qualities in a leader. But
he`s obviously one of the more

modestly gifted men
to reach the Oval Office.

Harry Truman showed that such a man
can accomplish much … if he works hard and learns enough
on his own to evaluate the quality of the advice he`s
getting. But Bush is also one of the

lazier Presidents
. Perhaps he saw his father
campaign weakly for re-election after wearing himself
out during the first Gulf war and has vowed to pace
himself so he`ll have lots of energy left for the most
important business of his first term: campaigning for a
second term.

Or, judging from his entire life
story, perhaps the reason is that Bush simply doesn`t
like learning facts.

But facts are stubborn things. We
on the Realistic Right were denounced as heretics by the

True Believer Right
because we didn`t understand
that reality had become obsolete, that Bush had shown
that new, improved realities could be conjured up
through a sheer will to believe.

In the end, however, reality
catches up, which it has with a vengeance in 2004.

Lately, the Administration seems
even to have lost its PR touch. What genius persuaded
the President to appear on Meet the Press? He
would have done far better as, say, Barbara Walters`
farewell guest on 20/20 or some other primetime
show where his semi-cluelessness could appeal directly
to the poorly informed general public.

But it was foolish to put him on a
Sunday morning show watched only by public affairs
aficionados, who naturally are contemptuous of Bush for
knowing no more than they do about his job.

To paraphrase Comic Book Guy on The
Simpsons, their


"Last Sunday`s Meet the Press was, without a
doubt, the

worst interview ever
Rest assured, I was on the Internet within minutes,
registering my disgust throughout the world."

The unquestioning loyalty and
inordinate approbation Bush was receiving from
Republicans seems to have created in him and his staff a

sense of arrogance
. This kind of hubris has led
Bush into numerous blunders that have sent his chances
of re-election dropping despite the

business cycle
working in his favor (finally).

They assumed they didn`t have to
listen to what the nuclear bomb designers at Los Alamos
and Lawrence Livermore were saying about Saddam`s
incapacity to make nukes because those were just a bunch
of physics and engineering geeks.

They didn`t have to sweat the
details about, say, how to

prevent looting in Baghdad
or what to do with
hundreds of thousands of

potentially rebellious Iraqi soldiers
, because they
were on the side of

and the American Way.

They believed they could run up
huge deficits because that`s all just fuzzy math.

They didn`t have to think hard
about immigration because the President would bend the
world to his mighty will.

There`s still time for Bush to

pull out
of his

electoral death spiral
. But the first step is to
stop believing his yes-men in the Establishment
Conservative press.

[Steve Sailer [email
him] is founder of the Human Biodiversity Institute and

movie critic

The American Conservative
His website
features his daily