25 September 2007

What doesn't George Bush manage to misunderstand?

George Bush criticized Democrats last week for "deciding to pass a bill they know will be vetoed. Well, yes, Mr. President, that's they way it works under our Constitution. Congress has authority to pass legislation, and you have the authority to veto it, but you don't have the authority to prevent them from passing a bill.

What's really going on is that Bush doesn't want to have to veto this bill, because it means denying poor children health insurance, and he knows that position's not a political winner. If he can bully Congess into not passing the bill, he won't have to take such a high profile action. It's a perfectly rational position for him, but I still can't stand the terrible civics lesson he's giving Americans--"Congress should only pass bills when the President says they can."

He also claimed that Democrats were just trying to score political points. True enough, since they probably don't have the votes to override a veto (unless a lot of Republicans get scared away from voting against poor kids' health insurance), but scoring political points is a way parties sell themselves to voters. In other words, it's the democratic way! Not many things annoy me more than people complaining about politicians "just making political points." If they didn't, how would you know where they stood on the issues?

Go away, George. We're all getting tired of you. And, no, you're not a "huge asset" to your party's candidates. It's time to start your long slow walk into retirement.

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