If there is a rising sentiment in America today, it is nationalism.
Americans are growing weary of seeing their sons die in wars to bring democracy to people who do not seem all that appreciative. They are tired of reading of factories going to China and jobs going to India, while illegal aliens march in their cities under foreign flags to demand their "civil rights." They are tired of reading about new billionaires as their wages fail to rise to compensate for soaring gas prices and the falling value of their homes.
The establishment is losing the trust of the people, who are coming to believe that establishment is looking out for its own interests, not theirs -- and the two are no longer the same.
About President Bush, there are two questions: Does he see what is happening? Is he flexible and skillful enough to dump the Kennedy-Bush alliance and take up the leadership of the new center-right coalition that is forming?
In the Harriet Miers affair, he showed that skill. When the right raged against the nomination of his White House counsel to the Supreme Court, Bush skillfully withdrew it, sent up Sam Alito, reunited his coalition and won one of the signal victories of his second term. Reconstituting the Supreme Court could be a Bush legacy. The left is terrified at the prospect.
What should Bush do today? Graciously accept the "thumping" on amnesty, and seize the leadership of the border-security coalition -- 90 percent of the nation -- with a tough new bill that liberal Democrats will choke on, but the country will unite around. And kiss Kennedy goodbye.