(Fantastic photo by Kevin Lemarque for Reuters. The detail, the color, the snapped isolation of a petulant moment — just brilliant.)
I'm going to type this very slowly in case someone from the Bush White House is reading.
The President is not a king.
He is an elected official, one of many, who serve our nation. And the executive branch is not the most important branch of government. We have this thing called "checks and balances" that the Founders put into place when our nation started. Nifty, huh?
Try respecting them a little more. And also, try being less of an immature jackass:
Near the beginning of the speech last week, Bush congratulated "the Democrat majority" for its electoral victory, using a long-standing Republican formulation seen by many Democrats as a calculated insult. Some liberal bloggers and party strategists saw the president's omission of the last two letters of the party's proper name, Democratic, as a sign of insincerity in preaching bipartisanship….
Bush also said he "didn't mean to be putting fingernails on the board," while noting that the parties need to work together on addressing problems with the Social Security system. "I am surprised, frankly, at the amount of distrust that exists in this town," the president said. "And I'm sorry it's the case, and I'll work hard to try to elevate it. So the idea that somehow I was trying to needle the Democrats, it's just — gosh, it's probably Texas. Who knows what it is? But I'm not that good at pronouncing words anyway."
Yes, because pandering to your Limbaugh base is always the best way to look Presidential.
According to the AP, senators in both parties are pushing back on threats to Iran emanating from the halls of the Bush Administration during the Negroponte confirmation hearings. Looks like when the Democrats won back control of both houses of Congress, someone remembered to take the gags out of the mouths of the "moderate" Republicans. (Or at least perhaps they grew back some balls once the myth of Karl Rove's superior brain was deflated for good.)
For my money, though, one of the best seats on the Hill was in the Senate Judiciary Committee, where Sen. Russ Feingold chaired a hearing yesterday on what the President's powers really are — and are not. (That one must have had Cheney and Addington chomping at the bit.) Sen. Dick Durbin got in a smack at Sen. Orrin Hatch that deserves a reprint:
Senator Durbin countered by citing news articles that said some of the new troops being sent to Iraq are going without adequate training or equipment. “Now who is standing behind the troops?” he asked.
Mr. Durbin suggested that Congress revisit the resolution it passed in 2002 authorizing the use of force in Iraq, since the prime reasons cited in it — the threats posed by Saddam Hussein and by weapons of mass destruction that Iraq was thought to possess — were no longer factors.
“By what authority do we continue this war?” he said.
Is there something you can do to help get the word out that escalation in Iraq is the wrong way to go? Take a peek at this new video that VoteVets is doing — it's powerful stuff — and if you have a little spare change, contribute and help them run the ad where it can do some good persuading a few elected officials against escalation. And send a link to this to any friends and family that you think might be interested in it. Let's help VoteVets.org make this viral.
If you haven't seen this yet, please take a few minutes to sign up for the virtual march against escalation that MoveOn.org is doing. It only takes a few minutes — but adding your name to the list helps them deliver a stronger message to Congress that this is not what America wants. Please take a few minutes and do tis today — they are delivering the petitions tomorrow, and your name could be the one that tips the balance with your members of Congress.
I spend a lot of my time reading the news, watching the pundits, talking with leaders and folks around Washington and around tis nation of ours, and I am no closer to understanding the malicious buffoonery — or craptastic lack of comprehension — that runs the Bush White House. But Dan Froomkin had a window into the joking mind of George Bush that I thought was insightful in some small way, and I wanted to share it with you all:
More from Bush's speech to the exclusive Alfalfa Club on Saturday night, courtesy of my Washington Post colleague Lynne Duke, who received the prepared remarks from a source involved with the dinner.
"As always, I'm delighted to be back at Alfalfa. When I was here last year, my approval rating was in the 30s, my nominee for the Supreme Court had just withdrawn and my vice president had shot someone — ah, those were the good old days.
"What with the polls and everything, the Washington Post said the other day that I was, quote, 'at the nadir of my presidency.' The press always underestimates me. I can go lower."
And: "Hey, let me give you an update on that satellite that was blown out of the sky last week. The Chinese didn't do it. Cheney was out hunting again."
Oh yeah. Too funny. Bet old Harry Whittington's family is just rolling in the aisles on that one. But he is right about one thing: he can go lower.