When the story of the Dubai ports deal broke a couple weeks ago, I said the deal won't stand.

I also said Secretaries Chertoff and Snow would have to resign for allowing such a politically bone-headed deal to go through.

To paraphrase Meatloaf: One out of three ain't bad.

So hats off to the Dubai emir, Sheikh Maktoum, for figuring out the obvious.

This deal was a no-go out in the flyover states of America.

Hats off to President Bush for not getting too stubborn over this deal.

Hats off to the Republicans for standing their ground.

Maybe they won't get their heinies stomped in the fall after all.

But mostly, hats off to the Republicans across the country who cant be accused of blindly following the president. This deal struck them as bad, and they were not going to be talked into it. Good for them.

Should they be accused of disloyalty to the president? I don't think so. At least no more than the intellectual class was called disloyal for refusing to go along with Harriet Miers.

What liberals often fail to understand about George W. Bush's support is that it is not a cult of personality. People support Bush because they like the ideas he stands for. In most cases it wouldn't matter who the president was if he or she stood for those ideas.

That means they support the war because they think it's a good idea, not just because Bush says it is.

They are for Gitmo because it's a good idea, not just because Bush says it is.

They support the NSA surveillance program because it's a good idea, not because it's Bush's idea.

This port deal was not a good idea, and that's why 70 percent of Republicans opposed it.

As for Democrat opposition, I'm sure there were plenty of Democrats who opposed it for the same reason most Republicans did.

But just as there is a minority of Republicans who follow Bush blindly, there are Democrats who oppose him blindly and try to exploit a moment when he loses the support of his own party.

With any luck, the port deal is now officially over.

I, for one, have had my fill of it, and I'm glad to put it in my rear view mirror.

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