Bear with me a moment first. First, some things we all know:
George Bush started an unjustified war, and his base didn't desert him.
George Bush has lost thousands of American lives and counting, declared Mission Accomplished three years prior to it still going on, has gotten most of the civilized world hating America, and his base didn't desert him.
He sat by while a hurricane wiped out an American city, and still his base didn't desert him.
He ignored official warnings, "Bin Laden preparing to hijack U.S. aircraft," right before Bin Laden hijacked U.S. aircrafts and took 2,000 lives, and his base didn't desert him then either.
He has created the largest-ever national debt ceiling of $9 trillion,, and his base didn't desert him for that.
He set in motion a program to spy on American citizens, set up another program to collect data on every phone call made by every American, began an operation to reveal an undercover CIA spy out of petulance at her husband, and even that didn't get his base to desert him..
With 70% of the American public so aghast at his Presidency they don't approve of it, his base hasn't deserted him.
Here's the secret I know, that George Bush hasn't figured out -
His base is not going to desert him.
They can whine, complain, bully, cry and petulantly threaten to stay home all they want, but by now it has become so mind-numbingly obvious that George Bush could do anything, and they would not ever, never, ever desert him. George Bush could French kiss Hillary Clinton live on national television, and his base wouldn't desert him. He could French kiss Bill Clinton, and they wouldn't desert him. He could speak French exclusively, and his base would not desert him.
And because he hasn't figured this out, that's why he's going to crash into oblivion.
Everyone else has deserted him, yet still he panders to his base: he's promoting a Constitutional Amendment against gay marriage. He says Americans should only sing the National Anthem in English. And that creaky relic flag-burning gets dragged out of musty corners of the attic. All this, even while his poll numbers plummet lower than TV ratings for NHL hockey. Just to play to his base.
Incidentally, they don't call it "base" for nothing.
He is going in debt spending political capital he never had, just to play to his base. Which is Never Going to Desert Him.
Just think - if he wanted to, George Bush could approve stem cell research and Global Warming initiatives, and win back moderate Republicans. All the while keeping his base, since they aren't going to desert him.
He could even roll back his tax cuts, bring home the Troops from Iraq, create a National Health Care program, reduce industrial carbon dioxide emissions, and support public financing of elections, and get liberal Democrats to support him. And still not lose his base. Since they aren't going to desert him.
George Bush could regain that amazing 90% approval rating he once had - and do so for building a Great America, not because he happened to be in office when airplanes rammed into a building - creating a devastatingly-powerful support to last many decades to come.
George Bush has every politician's greatest dream in the palm of his hands, a solid base that will never leave him, from which he can build and do anything he wants...and he doesn't know it.
He could name Michael Moore to the Supreme Court. He could fire Dick Cheney and replace him with Ted Kennedy. He could admit he went AWOL from the National Guard because he'd been on a cocaine binge with Jane Fonda. And his base won't desert him. Ever.
But because he keeps playing to that radical Right, Christian-conservative base, horrifying moderates in shame, horrifying even true conservatives, not to mention all the rest of America, he continues to erode any support he could otherwise have.
And down, down, down into oblivion he will go.
I feel comfortable revealing this secret, because discovering it would require George Bush to read something. And his base won't read it either, since that would cut into their time watching Fox News or praying for everyone's soul. Or damning it, I forget which. Whatever. It's sort of the same with them, anyway.
And so, rather than shoring up America, George Bush will shore up his base. Rather than trying to build support, he will continue to play to his base.
And because of that, he will never get to first.