If you missed the address, it was a fairly predictable potpourri of proposals -- 6,000 National Guardsmen at the borders, a guest worker program (complete with national ID cards!), and a program that looks a lot like amnesty but is not, the Decider has decided, "amnesty." The surprising aspect was a proposal to crack down on employers who hire illegals. A nice touch, and one that the GOP business base is going to absolutely love.
While a lot of the attention will be put on the border deployment of the National Guard -- official motto: "We're Fightin' Them There and Here!" -- I think the guest worker program is the truly awful aspect of all this. Let's not forget that a guest worker program, with its effective establishment of a group of second-class citizens, is pretty much what led to all those French suburbs going up in flames a short while back. As someone else said, it's odd that Bush has finally found a French idea he wants to copy, and it's their worst idea ever. (OK, besides mimes.)
Ultimately, I think that will be the part of the program that sinks it all. Conservatives are going to hate the idea of allowing illegals any sort of legal status here, while liberals will -- or at least, should -- have qualms about creating a group of second-class citizens out of working-class minorities. We'll see soon enough.
In other news, it was nice to see Bush say that "We are a nation of laws, and we must enforce our laws." I'm assuming the next phrase -- "... as long as we're talkin' about you people and not me" -- was somehow cut off the teleprompter text.
Update: Some people have been complaining that the president gave his first domestic Oval Office address to discuss immigration reform, but made no reference to the growing concerns about the telephone eavesdropping program. Rest assured, the president devoted his weekly radio address to that very topic. Very impressive.
And, as proof that he's a triple threat when it comes to media, the president is now blogging. Check it out.