Bush's Veto Signals ... What, Exactly?

Wednesday, May 02, 2007 at 10:51 AM

President Bush, in the second veto of his six-year term, killed an Iraq spending bill that included timetables for troop withdrawal to begin in October of this year, setting up another showdown between the Bush administration and Congress. But what will the new bill look like?

With this veto, President Bush finds himself at odds with 60 percent of the American public, according to the latest CNN poll. President Bush is setting up a dangerous showdown between himself and the American people as well as the now-Democratic Congress.

If the president refuses to negotiate with Congressional leaders, he will find himself even more alone with his administration, known for its lone-wolf approach to both domestic and foreign policy, than he has been in previous years. Conversely, Congressional leaders need to do two things: Precipitate a responsible end to the war in Iraq, and protect the troops serving until that can be accomplished.

The non-partisan Congressional Research Service has estimated that the troops on the ground in Iraq and Afghanistan can wage war for three more months before the money currently available runs out. That means there's some time to work things out between the approach of the Bush administration and Congress.

The question is this: What will they work out? Quoted from CNN:

A senior Republican lawmaker, working behind the scenes with senators from both parties, has suggested a possible way to bridge that gap -- requiring troops to be withdrawn if the benchmarks aren't met but allowing the president to waive that requirement if he chooses.

Effectively, "requiring" troops to be withdrawn if benchmarks are not met and "allowing" the President to ignore those restrictions is another way to give the president a blank check on a failed policy in the Middle East.

The Bush administration has shown time and again its willingness to ignore laws even when no one "allowed" him to. The United States Congress and the American people should provide real requirements with real consequences for continuing our interference in Iraq's civil war. The time is long since past for "options" and "allowances" for this administration.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid are headed back to the White House to discuss it with the president, and we can only hope they do something -- anything -- to stem the tide of stubborn refusal and arrogant disregard for hard fact that this administration, and those under its power, have shown.


Welcome, then, to Stalemate City. I predicted about as much: Two years of legislative nada. Chimpy won't budge off his dictatorial chair, and congress lacks the sheer numbers to override vetoes, let alone, lay down an impeachment.

Oh well. We can always watch reruns....

I disagree slightly, six. The congress is going to do some more laying down, looks like, and give the President what he wants, like benchmarks that are optional or some such ridiculous, unenforceable crap.

We're losing two wars, here. Without a supermajority in congress, we're not even looking at a stalemate, but a rubber stamp low on ink. You may have to push real hard, but that stamp WILL work.