Saturday, July 30, 2005

Whoo-Hoo!!! Preznit's On A Roll!!!

There's much talk this morning about how the preznit is back on a roll after getting Congress to pass CAFTA, a highway bill, an energy bill, and a bill shielding gun manufacturers from lawsuits this week. Plus Bush plans to recess appoint John Bolton to the UN despite the opposition of the Senate and the fact that Bolton didn't tell the truth on his Senate disclosure form.

A good week for the preznit and the Republican Party, right?

Maybe. But maybe not.

I'm not so sure all those Republicans, some of whom were on record as opposing CAFTA, will find it so easy to defend that vote come 2006 midterm election-time. Only 15 of 202 House Democrats voted for the trade agreement while 202 Republicans voted for it. Some of those Republicans, like Robin Hayes of North Carolina, voted "no" on the agreement before having their arms twisted by the Republican leadership to change their votes. Republican congressmen from the south and the midwest may have a particularly difficult time explaining why a free trade agreement so heavily supported Intel, Microsoft, and Pfizer is more important to the country than a livable wage for the working class.

The energy bill is also rife with problems. The Washington Post reports this morning that the bill has been "turned into a pinata of perks for the energy industry...The bill exempts oil and gas industries from some clean water laws, streamlines permits for oilwells and power lines on public lands, and helps the hydropower industry appeal environmental restrictions. One obscure provision would repeal a Depression-era law that has prevented consolidation of public utilities, potentially transforming the nation's electricity markets." Consumer advocates particularly fear that the repeal of the Public Utility Holding Act of 1935 will "trigger a flurry of mergers and acquisitions by banks, oil firms and even foreign countries, leading to increased rates and Enron-style frauds."

Increased energy rates and Enron-style fraud? Sounds like another victory for the preznit and the Republican party that they can proudly run on in 2006!

Now the pork-laden highway bill that was approved by the House 412-8 and contains money for every Congessional district in the nation is a winner for the preznit (even though he had threatened to veto the bill because it was loaded with so much budget-busting pork projects). But I'd bet both parties get to crow about the highway bill come 2006, so that's pretty much a wash.

And the bill shielding gun manufacturers from lawsuits? Not sure about that one. The NRA people are ecstatic about the bill's passage, of course, but they already vote pretty overwhelmingly Republican, so I guess the victory here for the preznit and his party is just bringing home the bacon for the base.

And Bolton? I am starting to get the feeling that if Bush recess appoints Bolton to the UN, Democrats will successfully argue that it's another example of Bush's arrogance, contempt for the opposition, and inability to work with others. Even Republicans like Trent Lott and Pat Roberts are on record saying a recess appointment is a bad idea. In addition, recess appointing Bolton may throw a wrench into the John Roberts Supreme Court proceedings. Democrats are much more likely to filibuster Roberts if Bush bypasses them on Bolton and a few Republicans may also be sympthetic to that cause.

So a good week for the preznit and the Republican Party? Perhaps. But remember, sometimes when you get what you wish for - like CAFTA, an energy bill that allows mergers and acquisitions in the industry and almost certainly means higher energy rates in the future, and a recess appointment of John Bolton to the UN - you rue your "victories" later on down the line.


This is a contrarian view on Bolton's nomination based on (a) pragmatism, (b) flexibility, (c) the old adage of "choosing your battles carefully."

1. BREAKING NEWS - BREAKING NEWS - A VOTE IS SCHEDULED Frist just put consideration of John Robert Bolton on the agenda for the post-break session. (C-Span2 8:20pm) So, if Bolton is not appointed through recess, then expect it his vote to come up promptly when the Senate returns.

2. President Bush will either
(a) appoint him through recess (his real preference), or
(b) submit to up-or-down vote (in reality he does not want it, especially now)

3. Pres. Bush WILL appoint Bolton
(a) Fact: Pres. Bush is loyal to his friends and nominees (whether you think its the right character trait or not is not the issue here).
Compare that to Pres. Clinton's abandoning Lonnie Guinner's nomination.

Conclusion: Bush would get Bolton the job, one way or another (but he prefers the recess)

(b) Fact: Pres. Bush does what he says. (whether you think its good or bad is not the issue here). Remember his campaign speech - "Whether you agree with me or not, you know where I stand."

Conclusion: Bush would get Bolton the job, one way or another (but he prefers the recess).

(c) Fact: Pres. Bush gives the neoconservatives what they want in the foreign policy, including the UN Ambassadorship. Bolton was the neocon's man.

Conclusion: Bush would get Bolton the job, one way or another (but he prefers the recess)

4. IF Pres. Bush appoints Bolton through recess - WHILE THERE IS NO VOTE - Democrats lose in 2006.

(a) Democrats will accuse the Administration for failure to cooperate. Nothing new.

The score: No gain or minor gain in favor of Democrats.

(b) Republicans will accuse the Democrats for filibuster. Public in large, and the independents don't like "filibuster."

The score: Net loss for Democrats.

(c) Republicans will accuse the Democrats as obstructionist. To sum up the campaign against Sen. Daschle in one word - "obstructionist". Sen. Daschle, the Senate Minority Leader,a very very powerful position, lost.

The score: Net loss for Democrats.

(d) Practical consequences: Watch out for the accusations (b & c - supra) in 2006 against the Democratic Senators.

5. IF Pres. Bush nominates Bolton through recess - WHILE THE VOTE IS SCHEDULED:
(a) it is a net loss for Bush (who cares, when he is not running in 2006);

(b) its a net GAIN for the Senators (Rep or Dem) running in 2006 (the most important battle, so let's choose the battles carefully), because (i) AT THIS STAGE ITS NOT ABOUT BOLTON, (ii) AT THIS STAGE ITS ABOUT 2006 ELECTIONS.

(c) You can't run against a Senator on his record of voting for or against Bolton, when he/she didn't actually vote.

(i) For example, the latest reports are that Sen. Chafee (R-RI) said, he would vote against Bolton. "Would" does not count. Actual vote does.

(ii) However, Sen. Chafee (R-RI) is laughing all the way to the bank at the "smartest man in the Senate" Sen. Biden. If there is NO VOTE, Sen. Chafee will say "I would have voted against Bolton, without actually voting. Bingo. And you thought the Republicans are stupid. Keep on dreaming Democrats, and keep on losing.

(iii) Let's give Sen. Chafee a chance to actually vote, shall we? Let's give Sen. Lieberman a chance to actually vote, shall we?

(iv) Sen. Chafee said, "he will vote against Bolton." Sen. Voinovich will vote against Bolton.
Sen. Lott and I believe there is another Rep. Senator (if I am not mistake) just came out against the idea of the recess appointment.

They are smart. A classic Washington double - talk - We don't agree with the President AND we don't have to actually cast a vote. WHY WOULD YOU LET THEM GET AWAY WITH IT? ITS NOT SMART POLITICS.

(d) . You can't win against a Senator in 2006 because the President made a recess appointment. Its the President's fault, not the Senators.

(e) On the contrary, you can define your Senatorial opponent as "obstructionist" - based on his recorded, actual, cast vote - like the Republicans did to Sen. Daschle who lost.

(a) If there is A VOTE, the Democrats may
(i) win, or
(ii) lose (but still can turn the loss into a gain in 2006 by defining their Senate opponent).

(a) If there is NO VOTE, the Democrats will
(i) lose, or
(ii) lose.
(See the analysis supra)

7. PREDICTION. The Senate Democrats don't have the balls to put Bolton's nomination for an actual vote, but would rather FILIBUSTER.


(a) CAFTA, which affects real people with real families losing real jobs. It passed 217-215 votes. Was it hard to find 2 extra votes? A Bread and butter issue.

(b) the Gun Shield Law? A safety issue

(c) the Bankruptcy Bill. It affects low income and middle income people. Another Bread and butter issue.

ANSWER: The Senate Democrats
(a) have no spine,
(b) have no balls,
(c) don't know how to wage a battle
(d) don't see that this is about 2006.

8. If Sen. Biden (D-MBNA/Bank of America) thinks he will become the nominee by riding high on his opposition to Bolton, he is mistaken. Thanks Senator. You get the Democratic nomination. and you win the 2008 Presidential vote too.

Did someone say Sen. Biden is the "smartest man in the Senate"? My ass.

9. Be flexible, be pragmatic, choose the right battle. The Democrats put up a good fight, but at this stage and time, one must be flexible and use every opportunity for an advantage.
Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?