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Tuesday, March 07, 2006

What's Wrong With This Picture?

Two things:

(1) Congress legislates. Not the President.

(2) President Bush is proposing legislation for a line-item veto. Again. This time it's being fronted by Administration surrogates: Bill Frist, Mitch McConnell and John McCain. (And, btw, this has already been declared unconstitutional in a previous form that was put forward during the Clinton years. Just, you know, for history's sake and all, I thought I'd mention it.)

Given the President's propensity to use his powers to punish those who cross him, why would any member of Congress want to give him this power? I mean honestly -- you think Trent Lott is going to be comfortable with Bushie's finger on the pork button? How about Chuck Hegel? Or Olympia Snowe? Or...well, you see where I'm going with this.

Would you trust President Bush to make these budgetary decisions based on merit and need, and not retribution and greed for his Republican cronies? Unless you are part of Bushie's little governance clique, your state or district is going to get screwed -- and as mercurial as the President's temperament has been of late, would any sane person in Congress want to take that risk? The WaPo reports:
Seeking to reassert his party's scuffed reputation for fiscal conservatism, President Bush yesterday proposed a law giving him authority to veto individual items in legislation as a way to curb fast-growing federal spending.

Bush, who has never exercised his veto power in more than five years as president, said the line-item veto would give him authority to clamp down on special-interest items, known on Capitol Hill as earmarks, increasingly slipped into legislation to benefit the home districts of lawmakers.
Just to be really clear on this: Republicans control both houses of Congress and the White House at the moment. Fiscal responsibility is not exactly their specialty, is it? I'm just saying.

No Democrat (short of Joe Lieberman) could possibly be on board with something this idiotic, would they?
At first blush, Bush's proposal is being received with bipartisan approval in Congress. Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.), who proposed similar legislation during his 2004 presidential campaign, called the measure overdue. He introduced his own version of the measure yesterday, which his office said appears to be no different from Bush's proposal.

Well, maybe that string of no vetoes in five whole years in office will hold. Or, maybe not. What's wrong with this picture?

UPDATE: Southern Dem has a great diary at dKos this morning on a smarmy Elizabeth Dole tactic. Please go and have a read and give it a recommend or leave a comment. This sort of crap needs to be exposed to some serious sunlight! Thanks to Southern Dem for bringing it to everyone's attention.

UPDATE #2: Reader Malcolmjames asks the big question in the comments: Even with a Congressional vote being required to uphold the Presidential line item veto, what makes anyone think this Republican Congress would do anything other than continue to function as the Bush Administration's rubber stamp?

UPDATE #3: Thanks to Pach for pointing me to this Steve Gilliard theory on Kerry's proposal. Interesting...guess we'll see where this goes over the next few days.

UPDATE #4: From the comments, reader cbl gets a serious chuckle for this one:
"Seeking to reassert his party's scuffed reputation for fiscal conservatism, President Bush yesterday. . ."

Excuse me, scuffed???

I'm sure the writer was trying to sound all urbane and stuff but, the Titanic was lightly grazed by an iceberg, the Hindenberg brushed a wire . . .
Bwahahahaha. Good one.