George W. Bush convinced many swing voters that he was "a uniter, not a divider." He pledged to work with Republicans and Democrats to change the tone of partisan rancor in Washington. But Washington is not Austin, and the sense of a stolen election has strengthened Democratic unity in a closely divided Congress. Any move to the center by Bush will also risk alienating conservatives in his own party.
If all had gone according to George W. Bush's original plan, Marc Racicot would today be our attorney general. Racicot, who was, until recently, governor of Montana, would have been a solid choice. Though he's enough of a GOP loyalist to satisfy the party faithful (he earned his partisan spurs working on Bush's behalf during the Florida recount), he is moderate enough to have pleased the suburban voters who turned out for Bush based on his claim to be a "uniter, not a divider." At one point recently, Racicot had the highest approval rating--87 percent--of any governor in the country.
Earlier this week, the Bush administration's immigration taskforce leaked word that it was considering a proposal to grant amnesty to the estimated 3 million Mexicans living illegally in the United States. The amnesty plan is one of many proposals under consideration by the taskforce. But just leaking the fact that it was being considered guaranteed prominent coverage and much positive speculation.
"House Democrats yesterday filed suit against Majority Whip Tom DeLay (R-Tex.) accusing him of extortion and money laundering. The civil suit alleges the whip pressured contributors into donating to the GOP and then directed those funds to nonprofit political groups that do not disclose their donors or how they are spending the money."