Tuesday, February 10, 2004

The sharks are starting to feed on themselves:
For example, Peggy Noonan, the Reagan speechwriter, had this to say on Sunday in opinionjournal.com about Mr. Bush's "Meet the Press" interview: "The president seemed tired, unsure and often bumbling. His answers were repetitive, and when he tried to clarify them he tended to make them worse."

George Will, the conservative columnist, wrote in his syndicated column on Sunday, "It is surreal for a Republican president to submit a budget to a Republican-controlled Congress and have Republican legislators vow to remove the `waste' that he has included and that they have hitherto funded."

While most conservatives remain squarely behind Mr. Bush, the united front has not been quite as united.

Columnists like Robert Novak, conservative television hosts like Joe Scarborough of MSNBC and others on local radio and the Internet have raised questions about Mr. Bush.

"It's a critical departure," said J. David Hoeveler, a professor of history at the University of Wisconsin in Milwaukee, who said last week that he believed that his local conservative radio host, Charlie Sykes, had begun sounding less exuberant about Mr. Bush. "Generally it's been whole-heartedly Republican," Mr. Hoeveler said of the tenor of the conservative media. "It would suggest that those who would call themselves Republicans are quite possibly breaking ranks."

This dovetails with a lot of on-the-street evidence I've seen that even bedrock Republicans want Bush out of the White House.

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