Monday, March 26, 2007

George W. Bush and the Supernanny

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He's had it Too Good for Too Long. Now he has to Learn to Make Nice.

Does George W. Bush have any notion of what true maturity and responsibility are?

A truly mature person is one who understands his own fallibilities, and does not seek to judge and condemn others whom he perceives fault in. He does not assume that he is always right, that his decisions are the only ones that matter and that nobody else has the right has the right to an opinion but he.

A mature person is forthcoming, evenhanded, and respectful of the rights and prerogatives of his colleagues in government. A mature person is mindful that he and those colleagues are all working toward the same goal, in this case the security and well being of the American people, and is not insultingly dismissive of any notions other than his own for furthering those ends.

A responsible person is one who owns up to his mistakes, and doesn't try to hide them with platitudes and cheap appeals for a rigid, false patriotism. Responsible people do not try to misdirect from their failures by attacking the opposition with a broad tar-laden brush to obscure the well-meaning arguments of the opposition.

Responsible people do not go into cover-up mode every time suspicions are raised about certain actions of the administration. They are so secure in the knowledge of their honesty that they confront their accusers and allow their minions to testify and not hide behind executive privilege.

This week we learned just how immature and irresponsible George W. Bush could be.

The Immature Crybaby Bush, Prone to Temper Tantrums:

Mr. Bush seems to have forgotten that a new Congress was elected almost solely because nobody wants this war, and the Dems promised to end it.

In a press conference at the Diplomatic Reception Room,with his own bit of political theater behind him, he dismissed out of hand one of the prerogatives that Congress has, the power of the purse:

The Democrats have sent their message, now it's time to send their money. This is an important moment -- a decision for the new leaders in Congress. Our men in women in uniform should not have to worry that politicians in Washington will deny them the funds and the flexibility they need to win. Congress needs to send me a clean bill that I can sign without delay. I expect Congress to do its duty and to fund our troops, and so do the American people -- and so do the good men and women standing with me here today.

And with this Dubya gave the back of his hand to the American people.

He refused to acknowledge that nobody but the extremists wants to "cut and run."

A mature person could learn to see the other side’s view, even if he still disagrees with it. A mature Bush could have seen the advantage of having a deadline for exiting Iraq in 2008. It will focus the Iraqi government, and if the insurgents lie low, that only means that we'll have time to finish training the Iraqi forces and ingratiate ourselves with the people there by actually improving their lives. And the House’s plan not only does not call for immediate withdrawal, but calls for every one of the Iraqi government’s aims to be accomplished by that deadline. According to the official summary of bill H.R. 1591, the emergency funding bill:

Directs the President to transmit to Congress by specified dates certain determinations and certifications with respect to conditions to be met by the Government of Iraq. Requires redeployment of the armed forces from Iraq if any of such conditions is not met.

Directs the President to appoint a Coordinator for Iraq Assistance, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate.

Declares that Congress will fully support the needs of members of the Armed Forces who the Commander in Chief has deployed in harm's way in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom, and their families.

That would put the insurgents between their rat holes and a hard place.

Yet, Dubya refused to see where Congress's ideas converged with his, and splattered tar all over Congress and the people with a sealant brush called "cut and run."

And then there's Bush's command performance this week concerning the Gonzales matter.

Responsibility and Confidentiality in the Oval Office:

Q If today's offer from Mr. Fielding is your best and final offer on this, are you going to go to the mat in protecting the principle that you talked about? And why not, since you say nothing wrong was done by your staff, why not just clear the air and let Karl Rove and other senior aides testify in public, under oath? There's been a precedent for previous administrations doing that.

THE PRESIDENT Some have, some haven't. My choice is to make sure that I safeguard the ability for Presidents to get good decisions.

Michael, I'm worried about precedents that would make it difficult for somebody to walk into the Oval Office and say, Mr. President, here's what's on my mind. And if you haul somebody up in front of Congress and put them in oath and all the klieg lights and all the questioning, to me, it makes it very difficult for a President to get good advice. On the other hand, I understand there is a need for information sharing on this. And I put forth what I thought was a rational proposal, and the proposal I put forward is the proposal.

Confidentiality in the Oval Office is not necessarily implicit. Not when it entails conspiracy to commit crimes or unethical behavior.

On a local level, once probable cause is proved, the appropriate law enforcement bodies can bug a Chief Executive's office, be they governor or village mayor. After all, we are the ultimate bosses in this democracy not George W. And we have the right to know what are minions are doing in our name. And it is the height of irresponsibility for this administration to obstruct any investigation into unethical behavior.

Immature? Irresponsible? A mature person knows enough not to bite the hand that feeds it. If George W. Bush thinks that he will bring this Congress to heel, then he really has at best a fifty/fifty chance of succeeding. Time is on the Democrat's side, as more and more Republicans are coming over to coming over to their side.

A responsible person knows enough to come clean about his minions if the possibility of their unethical behavior arises. The boss of a company who cooperates fully is more likely to be trusted than one who constantly obstructs the investigation.

George W. Bush with his displays of arrogant closed-mindedness on the one hand, and obduracy on the other has shown that he is neither mature, nor responsible. He's like the spoiled little brat who has suddenly found himself with a stern new babysitter. Now it's a battle for control. But I have a suspicion that Supernanny will win.

President Bush Addresses Resignations of U.S. Attorneys

President Bush Discusses Iraq War Emergency Supplemental

H.R. 1591 - Making emergency supplemental appropriations for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2007, and for other purposes.

H.R. 15981 as received in Senate - Summary

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