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Joseph A. Palermo Headshot

Bush: As Immature and Petulant as Ever

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On Tuesday, April 3, President George W. Bush said: "I think the voters in America want Congress to support our troops who are in harm's way. They don't want politicians in Washington telling our generals how to fight a war." So the best Bush can do nowadays is to blame "politicians in Washington" for criticizing his war of choice in Iraq? I felt like saying to him: "Dude, your granddaddy was a Senator, your daddy was president, and you're the key 'Washington politician' who sent the troops into 'harm's way' in the first place. What are you thinking?"

Somehow this little Bonaparte can prance around at the top of the food chain in Washington, raising money, cutting deals, politicizing key government departments, but then pretend in his own mind that he is some kind of Washington "outsider."

And then Bush responded to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's recent visit to Syria: "Sending delegations hasn't worked. It's just simply been counterproductive." This bold assertion raises the question: When did Bush ever send a delegation to Syria? And if he has never sent one then how does he know it has been "counterproductive?"

One Wednesday, April 4, Bush said of his "surge" in Iraq: "Just as the strategy is starting to make inroads, a narrow majority in the Congress passed legislation they knew all along I would not accept." This utterance is contemptible on two counts: 1). There is no evidence that the "surge" is making "inroads," (whatever that means); and 2). He seems to truly believe that the role of Congress is only to pass legislation he finds "acceptable."

And to rub salt in the wounds, he just made an end run around the Senate with three odious appointments. First, Bush used the Congressional recess to appoint Sam Fox, one of his big campaign donors, to be the ambassador to Belgium, a plumb assignment. Bush is rewarding Fox for his $50,000 contribution to "Swift Boat Veterans for Truth," the vicious Bush campaign front that shamelessly pissed all over John Kerry's war record saying he didn't deserve the three Purple Hearts the U.S. Navy had awarded him. During the 2004 campaign, Bush told the bold faced lie that he had no ties to the group even though his Republican buddies from Texas, including Mr. Fox, bankrolled it.

Second, Bush appointed Andrew Biggs, a craven mouthpiece for the financial services industry who has spent a lifetime trying to privatize Social Security out of existence, to be his new deputy commissioner of the Social Security Administration. Despite the GOP's loss of Congress in 2006, Bush insists on appointing foxes to protect chicken coops. Bush has lost not one iota of his startling arrogance.

Third, in yet another slap in the face of what it means to govern, Bush by-passed the Senate again to appoint Susan Dudley to be the administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs at the Office of Management and Budget. Ms. Dudley is a free-market ideologue of the highest order and does not believe the government has the right to regulate the private sector short of a "significant market failure." Where does Bush find these people?

So there you have it. Even after losing both houses of Congress, Bush is ruling as if he is some kind of emperor. He seems to be deliberately provoking Congress in the most immature and petulant manner. If the Congress does not move to impeach this President, then the impeachment clause in the Constitution is a dead letter.