January 3, 2007

"What the Congress Can Do for America," by Mr. Bush, the president of the United States. (A translation.)

The Wall Street Journal publishes an opinion piece by George W. Bush. In case you don't know: "Mr. Bush is the president of the United States." The piece is called "What the Congress Can Do for America/Let them say of these next two years: We used our time well." You can think up an alternate title that represents what he's really thinking. E.g.: Oh, no, I have to spend the rest of my presidency with these people!
Together, we have a chance to serve the American people by solving the complex problems that many don't expect us to tackle, let alone solve, in the partisan environment of today's Washington. To do that, however, we can't play politics as usual.
But you are going to play politics as usual, so nothing will be solved, and it will therefore be your fault.
... I am hopeful we can find common ground without compromising our principles.
I'm not compromising my principles, so good luck finding common ground.
...fight and win the war....

...not the time to raise taxes on the American people.

...balancing the budget....

....earmarks....
Spending control will be a special new concern, but I will call you on any attempt to cut back on the war or raise taxes. Try living with that.
Our Founders believed in the wisdom of the American people to choose their leaders and provided for the concept of divided and effective government. The majority party in Congress gets to pass the bills it wants. The minority party, especially where the margins are close, has a strong say in the form bills take. And the Constitution leaves it to the president to use his judgment whether they should be signed into law.
Mmm... I love those Founders and our wonderful Constitution... and I am going to veto like mad.
...If the Congress chooses to pass bills that are simply political statements, they will have chosen stalemate.
Veto! Don't you dare try to make any political progress for yourself. It will just be an empty gesture. I'll make sure.
...come together...
Yeah.

22 comments:

AllenS said...

Mr. President: "To the Congress, I say this: fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice shame on someone, fool me thrice, well, for shame, fool me ... would you please stop it, already."

The Krishnans said...

This a bit rich coming from a guy who has ruled the last 6 years as a monarch. And the funniest line IMHO is The minority party, especially where the margins are close, has a strong say in the form bills take

hdhouse said...

If Bush were more of a man and more of an intellect I would expect more of him.

As it is I have no expectations that he will figure out a way out of his fantasy land playpen any time soon so my hopes will never be dashed as there is NO WAY that I can underestimate him.

Leland said...

Good for the President to point out that it is not good policy to simply ignore 49% of the voters. The Democrat promise to pass all the legislation in the first 100 hours without GOP input comes far closer to krishnans' monarch than anything Bush has done. If anything, conservative complaints about President Bush stems from doing things like inviting Senator Kennedy to write the Education Bill.

Also lets remember that Pelosi ran against the "Republican culture of corruption", and once she got the nod to be Speaker, she proceeded to offer chairmanships to Alcee Hastings, John Murtha, and John Conyers. That's not showing a strong stance against ethical misconduct.

As a person who was happy to see the Republicans lose even at the risk of having Democrats in power, the best thing I can hope for is President Bush to finally use his power of Veto. If you want to end bipartisanship, the first thing is to create a stalemate. Once that position is reached, someone will figure out that compromise and cooperation is needed to move forward. Let the stalemate begin.

R2K said...

Still waiting for the new Iraq strategy... It is the new year after all. And now were are over 3000 american, maybe it is time.

MadisonMan said...

The facts are that Bush and the Republicans in the past 6 years have taxed future Generations to the tune of trillions of borrowed dollars. It's ludicrous that "he" writes of holding the line on domestic spending, unless he means the Maginot Line.

Ron said...

Ann, you've got to do this 'voiceover' kind of commentary on a court decision or the passage of a new bill! Good stuff!

Anonymous said...

There isn't a chance in hell that Bush wrote this himself--way too many big words...please see why Al Gore will vanquish Hillary in 2008 @ www.minor-ripper.blogspot.com

Simon said...

"If the Congress chooses to pass bills that are simply political statements, they will have chosen stalemate."

The difference between a bill that is simply a political statement and one that is a result of deeply-held conviction that the bill is the right remedy to a real problem is usually a function of how much you think the "problem" is a problem and how apt a remedy you think the remedy is.

Simon said...

Echo MM's 8:24 comment.

Joe Baby said...

Meet the new boss. Same as the old boss.

Freder Frederson said...

I find it outrageous that he includes some outright lies in his letter. First he claims that he has cut the deficit in half (which is only true if he ignores war spending and "half" means as a percentage of the GDP, not dollars) and that the budget will be balanced by 2012. Such a claim is patently ridiculous. Every projection shows that if the current tax cuts are made permanent (which the President unequivocally states he wants to do) the deficit will explode after 2010.

Too Many Jims said...

"Now is not the time to raise taxes on the American people."

Translation: The time for raising taxes on the American people is 2012 when we have to start paying for the brunt of Medicare and Medicare Part D.

"Let them say of these next two years: We used our time well."

Translation: Because all they are going to say about the first 6 years is that the Republican Congress and I sure wasted our time.

MadisonMan said...

I agree with Ron -- the voiceover stuff is hilarious. Thanks for the chuckle.

Anonymous said...

Excellent post, Ann.

One thing that really cracked me up was that after he railed against passing bills that are 'political statements,' he asked for a line-item veto. One problem with that-- Congress DID pass a line-item veto about a decade ago, and the Supreme Court ruled it unconstitutional in 1998 after two Republican lawmakers sued, outraged that Bill Clinton actually used it to veto a couple of their pet projects. So apparently it was just for show then, and for Bush to ask for something that the courts have already struck down is about as much of an empty 'political statement' as you will find!

He claims he has a plan to balance the budget by 2012. Hmmm... Didn't he start with a balanced budget? No, actually he didn't. He actually started with a suplus well into the hundreds of billions of dollars. He also says he wants to preserve the Bush tax cuts (which would take an affirmative vote by Congress to extend; if Congress does nothing then they will expire on schedule and revert to the Clinton tax rates, which helped produce that surplus).

The reason George Bush is having to rail on the tax cuts is really quite simple-- in 2001, he had a choice, between smaller tax cuts which would be permanent, or larger ones, which in order to placate deficit hawks, he agreed to a sunset provision. Always the gambler, he went for the larger ones and gambled that before they expired he would be able to use his personal charm and popularity plus a more conservative Congress in the future to make them permanent. Well, you lost that gamble, Mr. President, and if they are extended they will be radically different than they are today (say, making interest on student loans tax deductible, but you can forget about extending the tax break on inheritance taxes for plutocrats.)

Here is another one:

"We need to reform Social Security and Medicare and Medicaid so future generations of Americans can benefit from these vital programs without bankrupting our country," writes Bush

I have an idea for reforming Medicare. How about scrapping the turkey of a drug bill that your party passed and you signed three years ago, Mr. President? You know, the one that gives away trillions of tax dollars to pharmaceutical companies and really hasn't made prescription drugs any cheaper for American seniors? My mother had a better plan three years ago than anything you can find on the 'market' now.

As for Social Security, that could be fixed by eliminating the $90,000 cap on Social Security wages subject to taxation. How about it, Mr. President? Obviously the American people didn't like your privatization plan two years ago, so how about something different?

George Bush is the guy who can cut millions from the national park service but spend trillions on corporate welfare, and still claim he is being 'fiscally responsible.' For him to challenge anyone on the budget would be like Britney Spears challenging someone on being a role model for kids.

dmc_in_washington said...

Thanks for the grins, Ann. Here's hoping we see more of the Althouse voiceover.

Anonymous said...

This is a column Bill Clinton could have written after the 1994 elections, and probably did.

Ernie Fazio said...

The worst president in history makes a fool of himself in print and all John Stoddart has to say is that "Clinton did the same." Really, when are you guys going to stop embarrassing yourselves with the comeback "Clinton did it."

Kirk Parker said...

r2k,

The US suffered 24,000 casualties, include over 6,000 death, during the 6 weeks of the Iwo Jima campaign. Uhhh, now what was it you where whining about, again?

Brian O'Connell said...

Ann, you've got to do this 'voiceover' kind of commentary....

It's called fisking and it's been around forever (in internet time that is).

Anonymous said...

Ernie, for Pete's sake...maybe I give some of the posters here too much credit.

I was making a historical analogy.

After 1994, Clinton was faced with both houses of Congress in the hands of the opposition...just like Bush is today. After '94, Clinton prospered politically by appealing to bipartisanship, making everything the GOP congress did look partisan, and everything he did look non-partisan.

I was just saying -- Bush is following Clinton's playbook. It was a compliment to Clinton.

hdhouse said...

Kirk Parker said...
r2k,

The US suffered 24,000 casualties, include over 6,000 death, during the 6 weeks of the Iwo Jima campaign. Uhhh, now what was it you where whining about, again?"

you moron.

you absolute moron.