Bob Novak blasts Bush

Discussion in 'Politics' started by ZZZzzzzzzz, Mar 26, 2007.

  1. Bush isolated from GOP lawmakers

    March 26, 2007
    BY ROBERT NOVAK Sun-Times Columnist
    Two weeks earlier on Capitol Hill, there was a ground swell of Republican demands -- public and private -- that President Bush pardon the convicted Scooter Libby. Last week, as Alberto Gonzales came under withering Democratic fire, there were no public GOP declarations of support amid private predictions of the attorney general's demise.

    Republican leaders in Congress (asking not to be quoted by name) early last week predicted Gonzales would fall because the Justice Department botched firing eight U.S. attorneys. By week's end, they stipulated that the president would not sack his longtime aide and that Gonzales would leave only on his own initiative. But there was still an ominous lack of congressional support for him.

    "Gonzales never has developed a base of support for himself up here," a House Republican leader told me. But this is less a Gonzales problem than a Bush problem. With nearly two years remaining in his presidency, Bush is alone. In half a century, I have not seen a president so isolated from his own party in Congress -- not Jimmy Carter, not even Richard Nixon as he faced impeachment.

    Republicans in Congress do not trust Bush to protect them. That alone is sufficient reason to withhold statements of support for Gonzales, when such a gesture could be quickly followed by his resignation under pressure. Rep. Adam Putnam, the highly regarded chairman of the House Republican Conference, praised Donald Rumsfeld last November, only to find him sacked shortly thereafter.

    But not many Republican lawmakers would speak up for Gonzales even if they were sure Bush would stick with him. He is the least-popular Cabinet member on Capitol Hill. The word most often used by Republicans in describing the management of the Justice Department under Gonzales is "incompetent."

    Attorneys general in recent years have ranged from skilled political operatives close to the president (most notably Bobby Kennedy under John F. Kennedy) to non-political lawyers detached from the president (such as Ed Levi under Gerald Ford). Gonzales is surely close to Bush, but nobody has accused him of being skilled at politics. He puzzled and alarmed conservatives with a January speech in which he claimed that he would take over from the White House the selection of future federal nominees.

    The saving grace that some Republicans find in the dispute over U.S. attorneys is that, at least temporarily, it blurs debate over an unpopular war. But the overriding feeling in the Republican cloakroom is that the Justice Department and the White House could not have been more inept in dealing with the president's unquestioned right to appoint -- and replace -- federal prosecutors.

    The I-word (incompetence) is used by Republicans in describing the Bush administration generally. Several of them I talked to described a trifecta of incompetence: the Walter Reed hospital scandal, the FBI's misuse of the Patriot Act and the U.S. attorneys firing fiasco. "We always have claimed that we were the party of better management," one House leader told me. "How can we claim that anymore?"

    The reconstruction of his government after Bush's re-election in 2004, though a year late, clearly improved the president's team. Yet the addition of extraordinary public servants Josh Bolten, Tony Snow and Rob Portman has not changed the image of incompetence. A few Republicans blame incessant attacks from the new Democratic majority in Congress for that image. Many more say today's problems by the administration derive from yesterday's mistakes, whose impact persists. The answer that is not entertained by the president's most severe GOP critics, even when not speaking for quotation, is that this is just the governing style of Bush.

    Regarding the Libby-Gonzales equation, unofficial word from the White House is not reassuring. One credible source says the president never -- not even on the way out of the Oval Office in January 2009 -- will pardon Libby. Another equally good source says he never will ask Gonzales to resign. That exactly reverses the prevailing Republican opinion in Congress. Bush is alone.,CST-EDT-novak26.article
  2. Just get the 'Swiftboat' boys onto the critics of the administration

    Go get 'em! Anyone who criticises ANYTHING this administrration does is UNAMERICAN and should be TASERED!

    ( which case we would be tasering half the GOP)
  3. Repubs are known for their loyalty to party and their own leadership much more than dems...yet we never saw the dems renounce and attack Clinton the way some of the die hard repubs are doing with Bush...

    I think this gets worse for Bush, as repubs are thinking about 2008 (Bush doesn't care) and know that Bush's actions, even though he is not running in 2008, will impact presidential, congressional, gubernatorial, and even local elections.

    Fish rot from the head down, don't they?

  4. maxpi


    I don't know... the admin seems weak really. It's like they can't stand up to the continual, drumming, constant, withering, lying, bullying, [did I say withering], repetitive, negative press or something.

    I thought I saw a Republican finish a sentence on TV but I was wrong, it was Conservative Democrat. It was nice to see somebody allowed to talk though, you'd think the conservative message [ok, there is a bunch of greed in there but once you get past that it's all Mom and Apple Pie and Education for the kids too] was dangerous or something!
  5. Yea and I bet the computer chair you spend every waking minute on has a strong smell of ass. For christ sake someone call an airstrike in on this fat bastard.

    Rennick Rumsfeld out:)
  6. I think you have the loyalty part exactly backwards. Democrats stand united. Not one prominent Democrat made a public or even private suggestion that Clinton had to resign. Every week three or four prominent Republicans are on the Sunday shows blasting the President or other members of their party. That would be McCain, Hagel, Graham, Specter, in case anyone wonders whom I'm referring to, plus the collection of dimwits from Maine, Snowe and Collins, who don't get on TV much.

    I do agree with you that this is not going to get better for Bush. If this fire goes out, there will be three other ones to deal with. Iraq is always going to be a problem, Afghanistan isprobably going to get worse, there are simmering problems in Latin America and gas prices are going to skyrocket this summer. This adminstration lacks the skill and backbone to deal with congressional democrats, and theyhave so alienated their own party that they have no defenders left.

    This could get very ugly, which raises a different question. Are the Democrats really helping the country by savagely attacking a President with his plate full of international problems, leaving aside the fact that many of them were self-created? Voters don't like the President very much right now, but they detest partisan game-playing even more. The Democrats run the very real risk of overplaying their hand here.
  7. Uhh, let's compare the way dems voted for Clinton legislation the first 6 years in his terms of office, to the way the repubs voted in support of Bush legislation during his first 6 years in office...

    Face it, repubs are known for their loyalty, and conformity...not diversity and disloyalty.

    Only a total loser like Bush (so it has taken you nearly 6 years to figure it out) could drive the republican party to such bickering and dysfunction...

  8. I must have really hit the target to bring out the repugniklans like yourself to attack the messenger...

  9. but attacking the messenger is the Republican way!

    Are we going to deprive these sods of one of their favourite pastimes?

    Cheney outs CIA agent Plame because her husband stated the obvious truth. I still for the life of me cannot believe someone is not charged with treason regarding this case....outrageous!
  10. Indeed, only knowing maybe 10% of what really happened behind the scenes seems enough to have some of them convicted. If we knew all the facts I think the judicial system would hardly be able to digest it.

    I'll say again that so much dirty laundry has been produced by this government that they can not allow to be succeeded by an inquisitive, democratic administration. Too much dirt to dig.

    The question is only how desparate they will get and what means they will use to keep the WhiteHouse.


    #10     Mar 27, 2007