"If this were a dictatorship, it'd be a heck of a lot easier, just so long as I'm the dictator." -- G.W. Bush, December 18, 2000
Well, Bush is getting tired of that damn opposition party being, well, so OPPOSING, so he's decided to take a end-run around democracy:
The White House plans to try implementing as much new policy as it can by administrative order while stepping up its confrontational rhetoric with Congress after concluding that President Bush cannot do much business with the Democratic leadership, administration officials said.
According to those officials, Bush and his advisers blame Democrats for the holdup of Judge Michael B. Mukasey's nomination to be attorney general, the failure to pass any of the 12 annual spending bills, and what they see as their refusal to involve the White House in any meaningful negotiations over the stalemated children's health-care legislation.
White House aides say the only way Bush seems to be able to influence the process is by vetoing legislation or by issuing administrative orders, as he has in recent weeks on veterans' health care, air-traffic congestion, protecting endangered fish and immigration. They say they expect Bush to issue more of such orders in the next several months, even as he speaks out on the need to limit spending and resist any tax increases.
Yeah, if you can't get your policies through a democratic process 'cause the other side insists (even just for rhetorical sake) on silly things like transparency and accountability, why not just issue a pronunciamento from Dear Leader's desk to implement them? What could be the harm in that, after all, as long as you say your intentions are good?
"Emergency decrees", anyone?
Bush himself has been complaining more and more bitterly about congressional Democrats in recent weeks. In a private meeting yesterday with House Republicans in the East Room of the White House, Bush recalled how he had been able to work with Democrats when he was Texas governor and said he had hoped to find the same relationships in Washington.
"He sort of longs for those days, when both sides were genuinely interested in getting along and getting a deal," said Rep. Adam H. Putnam (R-Fla.), the chairman of the House Republican Conference, who helped organize yesterday's White House meeting, attended by about 150 Republicans.
Well, the late Molly Ivins could remind us just how hard Bush worked then:
I have tried repeatedly to explain to non-Texans just how weak an office the governorship of Texas is, but even if Bush suffers from the illusion that he has a powerful job, he must know he doesn't work at it by anyone's measure. The New York Times has just discovered, with an air of great wonder, that Bush doesn't even work 9 to 5 and that he knocks off work every day for a couple of hours to jog and play video games.
And how dedicated Bush was to working with Texas Dems for the public interest:
A little bill said the state of Texas should not execute people who are seriously retarded. We have polls on this; the great majority of Texans -- as great a majority, as it happens, as those who favor the death penalty in most circumstances -- are against offing people who aren't sure what their name, much less their crime, might be. Bush opposed it, it died, and don't you ever try to tell me that compassionate conservatism means anything. It wouldn't even have cost money.
And, indeed, how willing he was even then to "work with Democrats" to "get a deal":
Excuse me, but if anyone is interested in the truth, George Dubya vetoed the patients' bill of rights in Texas when it was first passed by the legislators in 1995; and when they passed it again, over his opposition, by a veto-proof majority in 1997, he threatened to veto it again and then let it become law without his signature because a veto wouldn't hold.
He's got a long history of stamping his feet and bypassing democracy when it suits him. Problem is, the governorship of Texas isn't the same as President of the United States (or "Preznit" in Bush's case), and, even after almost seven years, this idjit still hasn't picked up on that fact.