Tuesday, December 27, 2005

The Gift that Keeps on Giving

Exactly two months after conservative commentators defeated President Bush on the nomination of Harriet Miers, we have seen Republican congressmen in the Senate (55% Republican) and House (53% Republican) expressing their personal preferences in a similar manner:

1. The defeat of ANWR
2. The extension of the Patriot Act for ONE MONTH!!! Whoppee!

From The Seattle Times:

The House balked Thursday at a Senate plan to extend the Patriot Act by six months to give Congress and Bush more time to work out their differences, instead forcing the Senate and administration to accept an extension until Feb. 3.

At the same time, the House approved the defense bill that was shorn of a provision promoted by Sen. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, that would have opened the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling.

. . .

Congress finished a year in which it rebuffed Bush on many of his top priorities and showed a new willingness to assert its prerogatives after four years during which the president largely dictated the terms and sought to expand executive power at the expense of the legislative branch. [emphasis mine]

. . .

The House action was a setback for Bush, who had repeatedly said he would not accept a "short-term extension."

Democratic lawmakers quickly hailed the House vote as a victory. Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada said: "Democrats are happy with a one-month extension of the Patriot Act. We always said that we would accept a short-term extension to give negotiators time to get the final bill right."

From CNN:

Rep. James Sensenbrenner, R-Wisconsin, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, trimmed the extension to one month Thursday and criticized the Senate for trying to "duck the issue until the last week in June."

. . .

Sensenbrenner said he would have preferred no extension at all. But he agreed to Thursday's bill to avoid a special session.
[emphasis mine]

So nice to see a major Republican congressman tell us that no security is better than some security.

Democrats are happy. Republicans are in disarray.

3. More and more bad press on the Alito nomination with the coming argument that he is too extreme because he lobbied for overturning Roe v. Wade.

Congratulations National Review, George Will, Peggy Noonan, Phyllis Schlafly, Ann Coulter and milder critics like Rush Limbaugh. Isn’t it nice to see everyone expressing their opinion without regard to the consequences on the nation?


Mike's America said...

Pretty clear that conservatives kicked the President when he was down. It's taken him months to recover.

Democrats saw that big hole that the Barabas conservatives punched in the President's political strength and poured every drop of bile and political acid they could find through the gap.

He's finally back in good form.

P.S. I wouldn't be too hard on Sensenbrenner. He was mad as a wet hen that the Senate tried to skate the Patriot Act issue for six months and land it right in the middle of the 2006 Congressional election.

terrance said...

You're right, Mike, the President is doing better--in the polls too--because he has taken his case to the American people. I'm glad to see that.

However, I expect the hearings on Judge Alito to include a number of tactics that the conservative cabal unfortunately legitimized.

As for Sensenbrenner, how does making the renewal on a monthly basis help anything? If this renewal was to be for six months, what's to keep the next renewal from being for six months--or even one month again?

I think it's shows an utter lack of sense to make the comment that he would have preferred no extension. Isn't that the Left's position? Not to mention that no extension, even for a short time period as a political point, would have left us vulnerable. I just don't respect people who play games with our nation's security even if the other guys are doing it.

I respect your political insight, Mike. If you can make a case for Sensenbrenner's action being in the best interest of the country, I'm open.