An Unblemished Record
Bush is being especially irritating today. No he’s not, he’s always this irritating, but there are a lot of examples of that around today and recently. I feel like gathering a few of them together.
He didn’t get to appoint his friend to the Supreme Court – no fair.
Harriet Miers, the US president’s nominee for the supreme court, announced today she had withdrawn her name from consideration. Ms Miers, who is George Bush’s former personal lawyer, had been facing growing opposition amid questions about her qualifications and claims of cronyism.
Gee, I can’t imagine why. Just because she’s never done any judging. Just because she’s totally unqualified, and wouldn’t be nominated for even the smallest localest judicial post if she weren’t friends with Bush (just as Bush wouldn’t be elected lunch monitor if he weren’t his father’s son), and refuses to tell Senators what they need to know on account of how that would violate executive privilege – that’s no reason!
Both Mr Bush and Ms Miers said that the decision to withdraw followed a concerted attempt by senators to gain access to internal papers about her work at the White House…Mr Bush, who has insisted publicly in recent weeks that he did not want her to step down, said today: “It is clear that senators would not be satisfied until they gained access to internal documents concerning advice provided during her tenure at the White House, disclosures that would undermine a president’s ability to receive candid counsel.
No, senators would not be satisfied, and why should they be?! What are they supposed to do, just take Bush’s word for it? ‘She’s nice – I like her – she’s an evangelical.’ ‘Oh well in that case, no further questions.’ If he didn’t want senators asking to see the papers, it wasn’t very smart of him to nominate – of all the possible lawyers in the country – his own lawyer, was it! Ridiculous crybaby.
Then there’s the reinstatement of the Davis-Bacon Act. Remember last month, when we were treated to outraged diatribes on the subject of Davis-Bacon and the minimum wage? Oddly, even some Republicans found Bush’s suspension of Davis-Bacon a bit much. Even some Republicans don’t feel like stooping that low.
The White House yesterday reversed course and reinstated a key wage protection for workers involved in Hurricane Katrina reconstruction, bowing to pressure from moderate House Republicans who argued that Gulf Coast residents were being left out of the recovery…Conservatives strongly backed the waiver. But a group of moderate Republican members of Congress – many from districts in industrial areas populated by blue-collar workers – lobbied the White House and the congressional leadership for the prevailing-wage provision to be reinstated.
But – no such luck for the minimum wage.
U.S. senators – who draw salaries of $162,100 a year and enjoy a raft of perks – have rejected a minimum wage hike from $5.15 an hour to $6.25 for blue-collar workers…The minimum wage was last increased in 1997.
And, finally, Bush covers himself with glory by seeking an exemption from a ban on cruelty to terrorism suspects for the CIA.
The White House wants the CIA to be exempted from a proposed ban on the abusive treatment of terrorism suspects being held in United States custody. The Senate defied a threatened presidential veto three weeks ago and passed legislation that would outlaw the “cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment” of anyone held by the US. But the Washington Post and the New York Times, both quoting anonymous officials, said the vice-president, Dick Cheney, proposed a change so that the law would not apply to counter-terrorism operations abroad or to operations conducted by “an element” of the US government other than the defence department.
Impressive, isn’t it. Impressive how very seldom he does anything even minimally admirable – impressive how consistent he is. Make the rich richer, keep the poor poorer, appoint hacks to important government jobs, and seek to abuse suspects. Lovely fella.