James Taranto, editor of the Wall Street Journal's OpinionJournal.com website, notes in his "Best of the Web Today" blog on the WSJ site that CNN senior political analyst Bill Schneider said, ""But that wasn't the best response he's gotten compared to other speeches, in fact it was lower than any speech we've measured since he took office."
So, who is to blame for Bush's relatively poor reception? According to Taranto:
One reason for that is that the nativist right is as implacable as the Angry Left. "If the purpose of the speech was to shore up the president's standing with conservatives, it failed," declares an editorial in National Review. "The speech . . . is likely further to demoralize conservatives and harden opposition among House Republicans to the Senate amnesty proposal."
Michelle Malkin, who has actually written a book defending Franklin D. Roosevelt's internment of Japanese-Americans, remarks: "The only good thing about watching the speech was getting to watch it in the Fox News green room with Colorado GOP Rep. Tom Tancredo, a stalwart immigration enforcement advocate. It was nice to have someone to shake heads along with as empty platitude after platitude was laid on thick."
Steve Sailer on VDare.com writes: "The Bush Administration has seemed never to notice that Mexico is not the 51st state, but a foreign country--one that is engaged in a slow-motion invasion of America. . . . Why is Bush doing this? I have suggested that his motives are dynastic--that he is selfishly sacrificing the GOP to build a family vehicle, much like Brian Mulroney sacrificed the Canadian Progressive Conservative party in a vain effort to build a personal fief in the French-speaking province of Quebec. Brenda Walker speculates he is a 'MexiChurian Candidate.' What he is not is an American patriot."
The political effect of the president's speech will depend on how influential voices like these turn out to be among congressional Republicans.