Something curious is happening in American politics. Less than a year after being re-elected, with all that 'political capital' to spend, and with his party in control of both parts of Congress and the majority of States, George W Bush seems to be in some serious trouble.
This is not trouble in a British sense - that his position is in danger, that he could be 'ousted' by a disgruntled party. Barring some Watergate-style disaster, Bush is certainly in the White House for another three years. But what is beginning to happen is the unravelling of the right-wing coalition from which Bush took much of his support.
Take Supreme Court nominations. This is one of those few areas where presidential decisions have an impact for generations to come: a Supreme Court judge is there for life. Naturally, conservatives have been overjoyed to see Bush given the opportunity to fill not just one, but two court vacancies.
But with the most recent nomination of Harriet Miers, something came unstuck. In the few minutes after her nomination, it seemed that all could go well. Republicans would support her because, well, because Bush nominated her, and Democrats would not put up too much of a fight because she did not seem to be too rabid a conservative.
Of course, that's where things started to go wrong. More and more conservatives came out of the woodwork to say she was not conservative enough. A couple of these are even on the Senate judiciary committee. Some newspaper conservative columnists were livid.
Now the nightmare scenario for Bush seems a real possibility: the Miers nomination will fail not because of Democrat instransigence, but because he has lost the good will of his own party.
On a separate note, fiscal conservatives are also getting a bit nervous. Whatever your view of Bush, it is hard to argue that he has brought in an age of lower government spending. Via Andrew Sullivan, these are percentage increases in discretionary domestic spending in the first five years of two-term presidents:
Big government rules in the US.