Missing his golden opportunity to blame the Democratic party for his own failures, Dear Leader delivered his expected veto on the military spending bill yesterday.
Bush carried through on his veto threat just after the legislation arrived at the White House, calling the timetable a "prescription for chaos and confusion" that would undercut generals. "Setting a deadline for withdrawal would demoralize the Iraqi people, would encourage killers across the broader Middle East and send a signal that America will not keep its commitments," he said last night. "Setting a deadline for withdrawal is setting a date for failure."I suppose it would be redundant to point out that Iraq is already in chaos and confusion, the Iraqis are thoroughly demoralized and the "killers" find nothing so encouraging as our occupation of a Muslim country but we'll recap for the sake of review. Further, the deadline is merely setting a date for the president to admit the gross failure of his stewardship. All but the most optimistic or deluded loyalists can see for themselves that the occupation has long ago failed to produce its intended result. And of course his words fail to account for the overriding desire of the majority of Americans to see some kind of exit plan.
But such polls have little resonance with Bush these days. "He is convinced that he is doing the right thing," said Fred S. Zeidman, a longtime friend from Texas who spoke to Bush before a recent speech at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum. "He said to me he is not going to allow public opinion to interfere with what he thinks is right for the United States."Nonetheless the Great Decider is going to hold a little tea party with the Democratic leadership to "negotiate" terms on a new bill. One expects that will be an exercise in futility.
"I am sure there is room for discussion about elements of a supplemental, but I don't think there is room to compromise the fundamental elements of a commander-in-chief function," a senior administration official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe White House thinking, said in a recent interview.Perhaps Bush should do some thinking about his job description. The single biggest flaw in his pet unitary executive theory is that it fails to make any provision for accountability to the electorate. While it may be true, as has been so often pointed out in the course of the attorney purge scandal, that Bush appointees serve at the pleasure of the president, someone needs to remind Mr. Bush that he serves at the pleasure of the people and we are not pleased.
It's well past time for Bush to give some ground to the Congress before he finds it's not the terrorists, but rather the shifting sands of his quaqmire that have followed him to the White House and he will find himself up to his neck in the quicksand of his own hubris.