It’s Mother’s Day, so I’ll work in a gratuitous anecdote about childrearing. I raised three, and my husband’s commitment to the USAF meant that a great deal of that time I was essentially a single parent.
I had neither the time nor the inclination to brook foolishness. When they held their breath, I let them. The middle one actually passed out once – and promptly started breathing again. Every time the Useless Tool™ threatens a veto of the funding supplemental, I think about my daughter trying to throw a hissy-fit at the queen of the fit-throwers, and ending up passed out in the kitchen and getting stepped over as I continued to make dinner.
There is another oldie-but-goodie from my childrearing days: Whenever a kid was having a terrible, horrible, no-good, very-bad day, stomping around with a little black rain cloud overhead and generally being a pain, I would pull that kid aside and remind them that if you have a problem with everyone, and everyone has a problem with you, the chances are overwhelming that you (being the only common denominator) are the problem. (That one really rings true when we are talking about the Resident, doesn’t it?)
Today’s Washington Post has a comprehensive article on the status of the interactions between the White House and the real Deciders in Congress. This bit, from an unnamed Republican jumped out at me (especially in light of last weeks trip to the Oval by a disgruntled group of GOP congresscritters with a nervous eye cast toward ’08.)
The trouble for the White House is that increasingly, the mistrust may not be not limited to Democrats. As evidenced by a contentious Bush meeting last week with House moderates complaining about Iraq policy, Republican lawmakers are increasingly leery of a president whose war policies many believe are leading the party to ruin in the 2008 elections. The result is that the president finds himself in an uphill struggle not only to win a few domestic victories on his way out of the Oval Office but also to maintain necessary GOP support for continuing the war in
Joshua Bolton, the Resident’s Chief of Staff predictably downplayed the discord. "I could have seen a scenario in which Republicans would be blaming the president for being in the minority status and trying to distance themselves aggressively from the president, and I don't see it happening," he said.
Methinks Mr. Bolton might be spinning it just a tad – (okay, he's spinning it hard enough to make cotton candy.)
From the same article:
But one conservative House Republican with close ties to the leadership said the concerns expressed by the congressmen in the meeting were widely shared across ideologies. "That wasn't the Tuesday Group speaking," he said, referring to an organization of moderate GOP legislators. "No, that's the Republican sentiment."
It isn’t just the RINO’s that are bristling. The reality of November 7 is sinking in to quite a few of our legislators.
And hopefully that awakening is reaching the executive branch as well…
White House officials acknowledge that they are trying to make up for lost time with Democrats and are looking for any angle, however unconventional. When Rep. John P. Murtha Jr. (D-Pa.), among the most prominent and outspoken Democratic war critics, showed up at a recent meeting with national security adviser Stephen J. Hadley, Cheney stopped by. The two men had worked closely during the Persian Gulf War, when Cheney was secretary of defense and Murtha was the top House Democrat on defense spending issues. Cheney seemed to want to question Murtha on what the Democrats were planning with the then-upcoming vote on war funding.
"I just told them where I was, what I was going to try to do, how I felt about the war -- that I didn't think we could win it," Murtha said in an interview, adding that he told Cheney that House Democrats would pass a tough spending bill with benchmarks and conditions on the war. "I don't think he believed we were going to pass the legislation."
But pass it they did, and when the Useless Tool™ vetoed it, they came back like there was a Mother in charge and passed a more restrictive bill for funding. (I’ve said it before, and I will say it again – he should have to ask my mother for the money he wants.)
After the Veto, another invitation was extended to congressional leaders for a meeting, and the operative thinking was that they would begin negotiations on the next bill. They assumed wrong, and the Resident was taken aback, left slack-jawed and dumb-founded (although to be fair, that is not much of a stretch.)
But according to several sources familiar with the meeting, Pelosi made it clear that House leaders would not engage in serious negotiations with the White House until after another bill passed and moved to a conference committee with the Senate.
Sounds to me like someone get sent to their room with no dessert and no tv, and now has to think about what they have done.
Too bad that approach is being tried half a freakin’ century too late.