Meet Mr. Obstruction
(Photo via Yahoo by AFP File/Paul J. Richards)
This is not my idea of bipartisanship and good faith negotiations:
But there is motivation for Democrats — and Mr. Bush intends to exploit that if he can.
“Their whole theme has been the do-nothing Congress,” Mr. Black, the Republican strategist, said. “Now, if they get in there and make themselves vulnerable to that charge, it hurts them in ’08. He knows that they have an incentive to get things done, and he’s going to take advantage of that.” (emphasis mine)
As an attempt to get out in front of the media narrative and brand George Bush as the man driving Congress, that's about as pitiful a statement as I have ever seen considering the very public repudiation that Bush and the GOP just received on Tuesday. It's just not as fun to play king when you lose your rubber stamps, is it, George?
As a threat that the Democrats can kiss any cooperation good-bye unless they do things Georgie's way? Well, Mr. Obstruction can think again on that one, too. Members of his own party are running awy from him, and the Republican in-fighting is heating up…with the blame squarely placed on the Bush doorstep by members of Congress.
And that kind of anger and disgust can be exploited by Democrats — Machiavellian machinations can run both ways, and Dems shouldn't be afraid to push the ego buttons for the Republicans in Congress if they need to do so. It's for the good of the country, after all, that problems get resolved rather than put in limbo by President My-Way-Or-Nothing's ego.
And how many members of the Administration and "core principles" (HA!) is Bushie willing to throw under the bus in a sacrifice to the gods of selfish personal reputation enhancement?
The omission of Mr. Cheney, the embodiment of the administration’s approach to national security, raised an intriguing question. As Mr. Bush grapples with the loss of his Republican majority in Congress, how far will he go to reinvent himself, and who — or what philosophies — is he willing to jettison along the way?
Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld has already been pushed out the door, and there were questions on Thursday about the future of Karl Rove, the political strategist whose divide-and-conquer tactics failed on Tuesday for the first time. Asked what role Mr. Rove would play now, Tony Snow, the White House press secretary, offered little insight.
“That’s a good process question,” Mr. Snow said, “for which I don’t have an answer.”
Answer: As many as it takes, apparently.
Of course in a negotiation, you are going to exploit the weaknesses of the other side and your strengths. But I have news for George Bush: no one considers a petulant, demanding craptastic attitude to be a strength, not even folks in your own party. And your recent admission that you are a liar doesn't help matters much.
Hey, I know, what if you try putting the needs of the American people ahead of your ego and your desire for a legacy that doesn't end in failure and your need to wedge a nasty political smear and fear campaign into every nook and cranny in Washington? Yeah, I'm not holding my breath on that one, either, George.
Meet Mr. Obstruction. Learning lessons is not his forte.
UPDATE: The NYTimes says that Bush started contemplating canning Rumsfeld last summer. Wonder what the GOP thinks about him holding off until after election — especially given how that could have changed the dynamic for a lot of Republicans running in heavily military districts…I think we haven't heard the last of this simmering bit of information. Not by a long shot.