BUSH AND THE BORDER….Apparently George Bush will announce tonight that he plans to deploy thousands of National Guard troops to the Mexican border. But why? My guess is that the right context to view this from is this one:

Some of President Bush’s most influential conservative Christian allies are becoming openly critical of the White House and Republicans in Congress, warning that they will withhold their support in the midterm elections unless Congress does more to oppose same-sex marriage, obscenity and abortion.

….[Conservative activist Richard] Viguerie also cited dissatisfaction with government spending, the war in Iraq and the immigration-policy debate….”I can’t tell you how much anger there is at the Republican leadership,” Mr. Viguerie said. “I have never seen anything like it.”

Bush is between a rock and a hard place here. His base is furious and right now he’s got nothing but a couple of Supreme Court justices to pacify them. So tonight we’ll get a speech that he hopes will prove his tough guy bona fides on at least one issue that his base cares about.

The problem is that it’s smoke and mirrors, just a piece of obvious showmanship with no real substance behind it. And something tells me his erstwhile supporters know it and will not be mollified. My guess: the base sees right through tonight’s speechifying and it does him no good.

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