Bush is Finally Willing to Use the Veto
For what purpose? To defend the deal wherein a state-owned company from Dubai would run American ports.
Brumley is not so much upset with the port deal as irate about the many other bills Bush should have vetoed, but did not.
We have pretty much agreed with the Bush strategy of picking his fights carefully. Any president, after all, only has so much political capital, and must husband it for fights that he really has to win.
But we are more and more leaning toward a different view. Maybe political capital, like financial capital, grows when it it properly invested.
When you win political battles, you build up the capital to win even more battles.
Had Bush decided to fight congressional Republicans’ pork-barreling, there would be some irate Republicans in Congress, no doubt. But the extra approval and respect that would garner could quickly render Bush a president they don’t want to cross.
It’s moot here to ask whether it’s better to be feared or loved. The port deal, like the Harriet Miers fiasco, risks making Bush a president who is neither feared nor loved.