Thursday, November 16, 2006

Arrogance or ignorance?

By Michael J.W. Stickings

Or both? Bush may not be able to claim a mandate after the midterms after he did after the '04 election -- he claimed one, but he didn't have one (see Social Security privatization, a miserable failure once the American people found out about it) -- but that isn't stopping him from trying to push his weight around.

The WSJ's Washington Wire is reporting this: "After calling for bipartisanship, President Bush surprised Senate Democrats with plans to renominate a controversial list of judges – some of whom may be unacceptable even to a few Republican senators. “It’s an unfortunate signal,” said one senior Democratic Senate aide."

Of course, Bush has never really been serious about bipartisanship -- you know: uniting, not dividing -- but what he has been serious about is implementing the agenda of the far right. And that has meant the nomination of extremist judges beyond Roberts or even Alito to spots on the federal benches. (See the WW piece for the list of nominees.) The rubber-stamping Republican Congress, including the Gang of 14, was more than happy to oblige. Thankfully, things will be different now under Leahy and the Dems.

Steve Benen puts it this way: "These nominations are a slap in the face. Bush is making it quite clear that his rhetoric about bipartisanship is entirely meaningless. Given a choice and a fresh start with a new Congress, the president prefers conflict to cooperation. Indeed, with nominations like these, he’s shouting it with a bullhorn. What other way is there to interpret this nonsense?

A slap in the face? Well, he's pandering to his base and promoting his plutocratic interests. To me it seems like he's giving us the finger.

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