Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Can Bush Take No For An Answer?

Now that the President has been forced through bipartisan political pressure to face the collapse of the Dubai Ports deal, it will be interesting to see if he accepts the situation, or if he secretly tries to make yet another end run around the Congress and the will of the American people.

Throughout most of his Presidency, George Bush has had his way with an ass-kissing Republican majority, but on the few occasions where his will has been challenged, he has shown that - to use a phrase my father frequently used to describe my stubborn persistence - he can’t take no for an answer! When seriously questioned, Bush has behaved much like the child who, after being told by his mother that he she won’t buy him a candy bar, quietly slips the candy into his pocket before leaving the store.

When Bush was forced by the threat of a veto override into signing the McCain resolution banning torture, he ended up included a signing statement that he maintains holds him exempt him from the resolution.

When Bush’s Social Security Privatization tour met with little support from either side of the aisle, he chose to quietly slip funding to set up private accounts into his proposed budget.

When John Bolton was not immediately confirmed to the post of U.N. Ambassador, Bush made a recess appointment to bypass the normal confirmation process.

In fact, the only time that Bush seems to have willingly accepted any sort of rebuff was regarding his nomination of Harriet Miers to the Supreme Court. However, in retrospect, I would contend that accepting the withdrawal of Miers’ nomination was more like a batter taking a deliberate called strike in order to see what the pitcher is throwing than accepting the loss of his at-bat!

Regarding the ports deal, these statements by Bill Frist and George Bush suggest that the Bush administration may still be trying to find a way to secretly get what they want. Sounds like Dubai Ports World is thinking the same way.

Hopefully, Sen. Charles Schumer’s statements about looking carefully at the proposal to “transfer control to a U.S. entity” will stay on the Senate agenda.

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