A revolt may be in the works - and not against the Republican establishment. Instead, the target may be against the people who say they speak for the base - talk show hosts and various big blogs.
This revolt is coming from the rank-and-file, and it's been brewing since the Harriet Miers nomination was derailed. At the time it was derailed, a plurality of conservatives were disappointed that the nomination was pulled. Six months later, President Bush still gets angry when asked about it.
The next strike was the DPW deal. Several pundits and politicians decided to go along with objections to the deal raised by a union - and it was heightened by attacks from various folks, many of whom were hard-liners on immigration. Once again, the spokesmen for "the base" created problems, this time for those who are serious about having moderate Arabs on our side in the war on terror - and one of "those" is President Bush, who now has two reasons to stick it to the base.
But it is on immigration where the biggest split is occuring. An analysis of polling by Matthew Dowd, a USA Today cover story, the election of Chris Cannon in a primary that was touted asa referendum on immigration, and polling by the Tarrance Group all show very strong support among Americans and Republicans for a comprehensive split. But you would not believe that if all you did was read the major conservative blogs (Malkin, Powerline, Captain's Quarters) or listened to talk radio.
And this "echo chamber" is going to be the subject of a revolt. Largely, this is because of the fact that on the right, struggling against political correctness and groupthink has been a hallmark. Most of this has been against the mainstream media and the left... but the emerging "groupthink" on the right isn't going to fare much better. In fact, the 2008 primaries may see talk radio taken down a notch. Right now, the big three frontrunners are Rudy Giuliani, John McCain, and Mitt Romney - all of whom are distrusted/disliked by portions of the base: Giuliani for his positions on social issues, McCain for campaign finance reform and his constant clashes with the base, and Romney for the fact that his position on pro-life issues as governor was one of a "freeze" on abortion laws, and for an earlier pro-choice position.
The 2008 nominee could very easily be someone the echo chamber doesn't like. That's not a bad thing. If having a President who had to poll for a good vacation spot (and thus showinghe cannot make decisions on his own) is a bad thing, do we want someone who is a sock puppet for an echo chamber, and who demonstrates that same inability to make decisions - albeit in a different manner than the President who has to conduct a poll before deciding where he goes on vacation.
But Giuliani, McCain, and Romney all shows signs of being leaders, much like President Bush has been. This is a good sign for the GOP in 2008. If the Democrats purge Lieberman for his support of the war on terror next month, then the Republicans could benefit from having a nominee who has fought with the base in the past.