Grover Norquist may say that the lizard brains will follow Commander Codpiece no matter what:
The base isn't interested in Iraq. The base is for Bush. If Bush said tomorrow, we're leaving in two months, there would be no revolt.
But as Paul Krugman notes, the "don't give my tax dollars to brown people" movement that Grover spawned does demand its own peculiar handicapping form of fealty:
You know that perceptions of rising inequality have become a political issue when even President Bush admits, as he did in January, that “some of our citizens worry about the fact that our dynamic economy is leaving working people behind.”
But today’s Republicans can’t respond in any meaningful way to rising inequality, because their activists won’t let them. You could see the dilemma just this past Friday and Saturday, when almost all the G.O.P. presidential hopefuls traveled to Palm Beach to make obeisance to the Club for Growth, a supply-side pressure group dedicated to tax cuts and privatization.
The Republican Party’s adherence to an outdated ideology leaves it with big problems. It can’t offer domestic policies that respond to the public’s real needs. So how can it win elections?
I don't doubt that the base has little interest in Iraq, except for the fodder it provides for racist eliminationist fantasies and authoritarian stripping of hippies' rights. They certainly don't like to lose, and Sunday in the Park with McCain notwithstanding, they'd probably just rather paint the sky of bizarroworld another color and pretend the whole damn thing never happened.
Still, their hatred of regulation, oversight and government in general is going to stand in the way of the GOP addressing domestic issues that people seem to care about. Krugman again:
The good news is that all the G.O.P.’s abuses of power weren’t enough to win the 2006 elections. And 2008 may be even harder for the Republicans, because the Democrats — who spent most of the Clinton years trying to reassure rich people and corporations that they weren’t really populists — seem to be realizing that times have changed.
A week before the Republican candidates trooped to Palm Beach to declare their allegiance to tax cuts, the Democrats met to declare their commitment to universal health care. And it’s hard to see what the G.O.P. can offer in response.
The base may be following Bush, but all he seems to be doing is providing a beacon over the edge of a cliff.