Freedom Folks

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Embarrassed? (No New Jaguars!)

Source: washington times

From the "No New Jaguars" file:
The White House is pleading with Congress to send over the bill authorizing 700 miles of fence on the U.S.-Mexico border so the president can sign it immediately, but Republican leaders on Capitol Hill want to wait until closer to the election and to have a public signing ceremony. *snip*

Congressional Republicans, though, are convinced the issue is a political winner and want to hold onto the bill so it will be signed closer to next month's congressional elections. Once the bill is sent to the president, he has a limited amount of time to sign it before it dies as a pocket veto. *Snip*
Now this is interesting...
Many blogs from across the political spectrum have speculated he is trying to scuttle the bill with a pocket veto, but Mr. Bush has said he will sign it, though in private, without a signing ceremony.
Why?
The official rejected a signing ceremony, and said the White House doesn't want voters to expect too much out of the wall.
So wait, the president has touted bills much, much stupider than this, so why is he giving us the rope-a-dope here?
Part of the White House's aversion to fanfare may be the context of the broader immigration debate.
Mr. Bush had fought for a bill that would include a guest-worker program for future foreign workers and citizenship rights for most of the estimated 12 million to 20 million illegal aliens already in the country.
How nice.
The official also said those members of Congress who want to tout their support for the fence are already doing it. "Every place where they voted for it, they're out there talking about it. Anybody who thinks a one-day signing ceremony is the end-all, be-all, ought to be up talking to the congressional leadership telling them to send us the damn bill so we can sign it," the official said.
Can you smell the desperation? The fear here isn't that the fence won't work, it's that it will. And what your seeing and hearing here is the last ditch desperation of the slaveowner who hears the Union forces approaching.

Name one other issue where the political class will forego fleeting fame on an issue passed by their party? Just one please? So, just so I'm clear, when the president passed his rather ridiculous "No Child Left Behind" act, that was an issue of such perfection that they simply had no choice but to hold a very public signing ceremony? But on border security that would be silly?

Uh-huh, tell me another one.

Kaus sez...
Bush would seem to be sacrificing his party's chances of holding the House to ... to what? To avoid alienating the Latino vote in the long-term, presumably. Or to avoid undermining his larger semi-amnesty plan (by giving the impression of accomplishment). But even those standard political explanations don't quite wash: Clinton signed the welfare reform bill in public, and was able to do so without alienating liberal lobbies by putting it in the context of larger efforts to help the working poor. Bush could sign the bill and say "this is just the first step," etc., no? Why not milk it for whatever electoral value it might have? A secret signing plan might make sense if the Republicans were confident of midterm success. But they're not. ... Other, simpler explanations suggest themselves, as indicated by that anonymous White House official--i.e., Bush hates the fence; he's ashamed of it and doesn't want to build it. And more paranoid explanations--he knows he has a better chance of passing his semi-amnesty plan in a Democratic Congress, and he's doing his best to get one! ...P.S.: He also may be trying to avoid offending the Mexican government. ... P.P.S.: I feel a bit better about not having pinned down the bill's precise status--i.e. when it is due to be sent to the White House--because the WashTimes can't either
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