Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Veto Hardball

Another battle looms on the big hill, and this one will be a lot different then the training mission last week. Majority leader Reid is sending up trial balloons with a hint at hard ball:
A budget dispute erupted into a full-scale battle Tuesday as President Bush vetoed the Democrats' top-priority domestic spending bill and the party's Senate leader threatened to withhold war funding if the president does not agree to pull out of Iraq.
Reid and the Left can play numbers games and win. We have already discussed the inconsistencies in the President's fiscal priorities, but I'm not so sure playing hardball with troop finding and strategic planning is the way they need to go. The needed step, for both sides, is to agree on priorities:
The exchange encapsulated a broader confrontation over national priorities, a battle both sides appear eager to wage heading into an election year. As Bush demands full funding for the war, he signaled that Tuesday's action will be the first of a cascade of vetoes killing other spending bills, casting himself as a deficit hawk blocking a tax-and-spend Congress. Democrats are seeking to paint Bush as a reckless leader who spent the nation deep into debt through failed war policies while ignoring schools, medical research and other vital areas.
So this is about the battle for the White House, and the need for the Right to identify an heir apparent. Almost like a little more smoke and mirrors. It is also clear that the President is playing chess with the American people, instead of properly representing them. See, the problem is he claims "a $606 billion bill to fund education, health and labor programs" is "too expensive' yet had no problem signing off on almost as much ($459 billion annual Defense Department spending bill) for the Pentagon. Maybe this IS a the battle the Left wants to fight now, rather than wait for the election cycle to kick in.

This lame duck President needs to start negotiating in good faith, or we will have a return to the gaming of 1995, involving a testosterone battle between President Clinton and a Republican congress, leading to a government shutdown. The Political savvy Clinton came out of that battle stronger, but President Bush is no Bill Clinton.


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