Posts tagged ‘Bush White House’

Is This Really The Replacement We Want?

Regular readers know that I am a critic of the Bush administration for any number of failings, perhaps most importantly its flaunting of the separation of powers and its attempts to avoid scrutiny by hiding behind the war and calls on patriotism.  In this post, aimed mostly at the drift in the Republican party, I threw in this  observation:

in response to a Republican President thought to be over-reaching,
secretive, and overly fond of executive power, they seem ready to
nominate Hillary Clinton, who may be one of the few people in the
country more secretive and power-hungry.  Anyone remember how she
conducted her infamous health care task force?  I seem to remember she
pioneered many of the practices for which Democrats tried to impeach
Dick Cheney this week.

Q&O links an article from the National Review which goes further on Hillary:

If grumbling about a basketball story seems excessive, it's also
typical of the Clinton media machine. Reporters who have covered the
hyper-vigilant campaign say that no detail or editorial spin is too
minor to draw a rebuke. Even seasoned political journalists describe
reporting on Hillary as a torturous experience. Though few dare offer
specifics for the record--"They're too smart," one furtively confides.
"They'll figure out who I am"--privately, they recount excruciating
battles to secure basic facts. Innocent queries are met with deep
suspicion. Only surgically precise questioning yields relevant answers.
Hillary's aides don't hesitate to use access as a blunt instrument, as
when they killed off a negative GQ story on the campaign by
threatening to stop cooperating with a separate Bill Clinton story the
magazine had in the works. Reporters' jabs and errors are long
remembered, and no hour is too odd for an angry phone call. Clinton
aides are especially swift to bypass reporters and complain to top
editors. "They're frightening!" says one reporter who has covered
Clinton. "They don't see [reporting] as a healthy part of the process.
They view this as a ruthless kill-or-be-killed game."...

It's enough to make you suspect that breeding fear and paranoia within
the press corps is itself part of the Clinton campaign's strategy. And,
if that sounds familiar, it may be because the Clinton machine, say
reporters and pro-Hillary Democrats, is emulating nothing less than the
model of the Bush White House, which has treated the press with thinly
veiled contempt and minimal cooperation. "The Bush administration
changed the rules," as one scribe puts it--and the Clintonites like the
way they look. (To be sure, no one accuses the Clinton team of outright
lying to the press, as the Bushies have done, or of crossing other
ethical lines. And reporters say other press shops--notably those of
Rudy Giuliani and John Edwards--are also highly combative.)

The only quibble I have is the distinction that Hillary is not lying, but Bush is.  That seems, at least to this libertarian, to be a silly statement.  There is no reason to believe Hillary is any more or less mendacious than GWB.  Though I will say, with the right audience, Hillary can be surprisingly honest and open about her aims:

10/11/2007:  "I have a million ideas. The country can't afford them all."

June, 2004:  "We're going to take things away from you on behalf of the common
good," she told San Franciscans in June 2004. As first lady, she said:
"We must stop thinking of the individual and start thinking about what
is best for society."

Silver Lining

I have always hated the inevitable posturing during the party presidential conventions that the newly selected vice-presidential candidate would have unprecedented access to the president and that the presidential candidate would reinvent the office of the vice-presidency to take advantage of his running mate's unique skills, blah blah.  Kennedy giving NASA to Johnson not-withstanding, this is mostly face-saving for the vice-presidential candidate, since he or she has typically just been relegated to an appendage of the person they were very recently running against.  Also, there just isn't any Constitutional role for the vice-president short of breaking ties in the Senate and fogging a mirror in case the President dies.

Say what you will about the Bush White House, but I can pretty much gaurantee we are not going to hear much this election cycle about powerful and active future vice-presidents.

Feds also Channeling Enron

A while back I wrote that the State of Arizona was continuing to maintain, year in and year out, an expensive process demanding overtime and extra work just to avoid "giving back" a one-time budget gain they took several years ago.  It appears the feds are playing the same game:

The bureaucratic brainstorm was straightforward "”
simple-minded is, perhaps, a more appropriate description "” don't pay
doctors, hospitals and their army of auxiliaries tending to indisposed
old folks and the afflicted disabled for their labors in the last nine
days of the current fiscal year. Instead, send them a check for what
you owe them, sometime after the first of October, the start of the
government's fiscal '07. In essence, those doctors, hospitals et al.
are making an involuntary loan of nine days' pay without interest.


That way, point out the gleeful budgeteers and Medicare pooh-bahs,
all of whom presumably are glowing with health, Uncle Sam's Medicare
tab this fading fiscal year will be $5.2 billion less than it otherwise
would have been. Or at least would seem to be $5.2 billion less "” in
Washington, as we all know, appearance and reality are not invariably
the same phenomena.

My only objection to Drum's post is his implication that this is a uniquely Bush-White-House maneuver.  I get tired of partisans on both sides of the aisle that try to blame crap like this on the other party.  This kind of thing is inherent in politics and government.  The Arizona example, which is entirely parallel and perhaps even worse given the year-after-year costs, was an invention of a Democratic governor.