In a desperate bid to seem sane, effective, and in a desperate bid to appear like he's still the decider George W. Bush gave a speech today detailing his hopes for immigration reform.
His speech was a strange mix of Progressive and Conservative. I believe he hopes to appeal to a broad spectrum of Americans and get his poll numbers out of the gutter. I believe that this speech was a bid to save the rest of his term from lame duckery.
By putting National Guard troops on the border, the President would appeal to his conservative base, who generally are slightly xenophobic and support a militarized border with Mexico. By creating a guest worker program, the President would appeal to progressives, immigrant families, and Hispanics. It is no coincidence that Bush did not mention the Republican plan which would make illegal immigrants felons.
If it works, the President has given his Administration a fighting chance to get more of their agenda accomplished and it will give Republicans nationwide a boost in the upcoming elections. This is of course assuming that Liberals and Conservatives notice what they liked about the President's speech more than they notice what they didn't like. I think this was a good gamble on the Administration's part, and in the near future you will see a noticable increase in his poll numbers. Sadly, nobody is proposing a solution for the American's myopia.
Last I read, Bush's approval rating was 29%. I'm expecting low-to-mid-thirties within a week or two. Of course this isn't enough to save his administration from a legacy of abysmal failure, but it is a good start. Bush can seize on a win here as momentum to carry forward to November. You ever notice how politicians seem to care about problems a lot more right before an election?