Bush’s Fox Recess Appointment Declaration Of Political War To Democrats

President George Bush has thrown down the political gauntlet:

Senate Democrats are livid over what they view as President Bush’s illegal maneuver to bypass the Senate confirmation process and appoint controversial nominee Sam Fox as ambassador to Belgium while Congress is away on recess.

Democrats find the recess appointment — a common maneuver by presidents whose nominees stand little chance of getting through the standard confirmation process — particularly egregious since Fox’s nomination wasn’t even pending. The White House withdrew the nomination last week, anticipating it didn’t have enough votes for approval.

And, indeed, news accounts last week chronicled how the White House yanked the Fox nomination. Yes, there have been controversial recess appointments before (e.g. John Bolton to the UN) but the TIMING of this one is particularly significant:

  • It comes at a time when Bush is at loggerheads with the Democratic-dominated Congress over the firing of 8 Republican prosecutors who many believe were axed because they either didn’t move fast enough on Democrats or moved too fast on Republicans.
  • It comes at a time when Attorney General Alberto Gonzales has raised the ire of many Democrats (and Republicans) who have made it clear they would like to see him go and the White House has countered with in-effect saying Bush’s attitude is “No way.” At one press conference Bush essentially said it’s fine and dandy if people oppose Gonzales but that Gonzales has the support of the person who counts — George Bush.
  • It comes at a time when Bush and the Democratic Party-controlled Congress are digging in their heels on the Iraq war, with little sign of compromise on either part.

    Given the huge controversy surrounding Fox, Bush’s decision to appoint him AT THIS TIME as a recess appointment cannot be seen as anything other than throwing down the gauntlet. If Democrats expect cooperation from Bush or his administration, this perhaps is a harbinger of what is to come on other matters (so do the Democrats have contingency plans ready on what to do if he refuses to cooperate or listen to Congress on a variety of issues such as global warming and others?). MORE:

    When it comes to Fox, Democrats see red. A wealthy businessman and mega GOP donor, Fox gave $50,000 to the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth campaign that smeared Sen. John Kerry’s (D-Mass.) Vietnam record and helped doom his 2004 presidential quest. Kerry led the fight to quash Fox’s nomination, though he never got the chance to declare victory after Bush withdrew the nomination.

    To fight the Fox appointment, Democrats are questioning the Bush administration’s plan to have Fox serve in a voluntary capacity — receiving no pay for his duties as ambassador. This is an important legal technicality, as federal law prohibits “payment of services” for certain recess appointments. However, if the recess appointee in question agrees that he or she will take an unpaid position and not sue the government at a later date for compensation, then the appointment can go forward, at least as the White House sees it.

    So as long as Fox — a multi-millionaire — agreed not to sue the Bush administration later for not paying him, the White House would be comfortable with giving him an unpaid, “voluntary service” recess appointment as ambassador to Belgium.

    But the Democrats consider it outright illegal:

    But here’s the rub that makes Democrats view Bush’s recess appointment of Fox as a major-league no-no: Federal law prohibits “voluntary service” in cases where the position in question has a fixed rate of pay, as an ambassadorship does. That’s how the Government Accountability Office, an arm of the Democratic-controlled Congress, interprets the law.

    The bottom line is this: seldom in American history has there been an administration that seems to have hold Congress (even when its own party controlled it) in such low regard as another branch of government with legitimate advise and consent functions.

    Nominating Fox was a provocative act, given his controversial role with Democrats (you figure there HAD to have been other, less-polarizing, choices, but Bush chose the most polarizing one he could find); his recess appointment will be seen as a virtual declaration of war.

      
  • 44 Comments

    1. The Bush Administration is only going to be around another 18 months. ONe could easily view the Senate making a big deal out of the Ambassador to Belgium as a sign of pettiness.

      The real question is why make a big deal out of something so insignificant.

      The Democrats have begun to act as if they know that they will be in power for a very long time and that the Repubicans will soon be able to do nothing to stop them.

      I wonder how foreign policy will be conducted in the Clinton/Obama administration if there are no checks, balances, or oversight from a Congress controlled by the Democrats.

    2. I think that if that’s how the Democrats look at the future, they’ll be in for quite a surprise. I don’t think they’ll have a majority for a significant amount of years if that will be their approach / attititude.

    3. At this moment, I’m not concerned with what this portends for the future of Democrats or Republicans. I am repelled by the pettiness of this latest Bush maneuver. He obviously is the President for only half of the country (Rep) and couldn’t care less about the country as a whole. He seems to love pitting one party vs the other, perpetuating the mutual hate between the two.
      I would really love to take him out to the woodshed to teach him something about respect for others and moral values.

    4. I think that pushing Fox through was designed to distract attention away from the Gonzales scandal currently under way.

    5. Hamilton has guessed this maneuver exactly right. Holding onto Gonzales is far more important to Bush than who’s ambassador to Belgium. This is a move in a game of political chess — and you can bet Karl Rove is the one who told Bush where to move the piece.

    6. Well, that’s a bit too much speculation for me but.. I would not rule that out at all.

    7. Why does Fox want the position? A vacation in Europe with diplomatic immunity as a perk? This could very well be a petty provocation but to what end? I can’t see the base getting overly worked up about this but who knows what Rove is up to,. He might be using the appointment to highlight the presidents power to nominate, ambassadors or attorneys.

    8. Grognard,

      I would guess that it is a variation of the comment about gonzales. The Bush Adminsitraiton would be foolish to concede on any point with Congress. Speaker Pelosi and Senator Reid are not going to compromise on any issue, so what should the Bush Administration.

      Conceding a single issue toCongress would been seen as a sign of weakness and would encourage the Democrats in Congress to keep going. In making everything a showdown with Congress, the Bush Adminsitration slows Congress down and limits an expansion of what they are doing.

    9. superdestroyer,

      actually, congress has already made compromises. Remember the supplemental Iraq spending bill? That is in itself a compromise between the Bush doctrine of being there until the end of the presidency and the anti-war Americans who want us out immediately. Of course Bush will not say it is so because he did not negotiate for it because he refuses to compromise on any issue even though Democrats are willing to talk with him.

      As for the recess appointment issue, what is more troubling are the other two appointments he made. The other two were also rejected by Congress. Also, I’ve read that there is questionable legality over the Fox appointment. Anyway, this is less petty than the refusal of republicans to approve a gay diplomat to, where was it… Luxembourg I think. There are actual questions about his qualifications. Though there should be questions surrounding any person Bush appoints since their only qualifications seem to be how loyal they are to Bush and how much money they donated to the campaign.

    10. Way to go, Mr. President!

    11. James Hormel. Democrats raised no stink over Clinton’s recess appointment of Hormel. It wasn’t illegal thnn and it not illegal now.

    12. Ashen,

      The DoD supplemental funding bill is in no way a compromise. It is a poison bill designed to create a showdown with the president. Passing a bill when they know it will be vetoed is not compromising.

    13. David L: Fox has been shown to exercise poor judgment at best, and slander at worst, in putting $50,000 into a smear campaign based on unfounded allegations. James Hormel… is gay. I know which one I’d rather have representing the U.S. abroad.

    14. > Conceding a single issue to Congress would be
      > seen as a sign of weakness and would encourage
      > the Democrats in Congress to keep going.

      Meanwhile, the Democrats seek concessions to Iran and Syria.

    15. Its just another in a long series of moves by the Unitary Executive who couldn’t care less about Congressional approval for his nominees. He’s shown this disregard time after time with Fox, with Tim Griffin and with Bolton’s recess appt to the UN. He uses any available loophole to stick it to Congress and put in whoever has served him well as a “Ranger” or a “Patriot”. The 50,000$ that Fox contributed to the 527 that swiftboated Kerry is paying off bigtime. Its surpasses whatever the usual qualifications would be required.

      Bush knows this is a slap in Kerry’s face. That may have been the point.

    16. Bush is a petulant, spoiled brat. What more do you need to know?

      If Fox’s appointment was supposed to distract from Gonzales, Bush is stupid, too. Ain’t gonna work.

    17. That’s how the Government Accountability Office, an arm of the Democratic-controlled Congress, interprets the law.

      That’s a strangely misleading statement from the Washington Post site. It suggests the GAO is a partisan organization. It’s not.

      from Wikipedia:

      The GAO is the non-partisan audit, evaluation, and investigative arm of Congress, and an agency in the Legislative Branch of the United States Government.

      The Comptroller General is appointed by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, for a 15-year, non-renewable term. The President selects a nominee from a list of at least three individuals recommended by an 8 member bi-partisan, bi-cameral commission of congressional leaders. The Comptroller General may not be removed by the President, but only by Congress through impeachment or joint resolution for specific reasons.

      The long tenure of the Comptroller General and the manner of appointment and removal gives GAO a continuity of leadership and independence that is rare within government.

    18. Hahahahaha…there is no downside to this one for Bush.

      Kerry’s sinking Fox’s nomination had been cheered by Democrats and the left blogosphere as a sign of a critically weakened Bush.

      This will play very well with his base…all the moreso as it is another kick at Kerry, who is loathed.

      There have been many recess appointments before Bush, and many after.

      But it is utterly Constitutional…though Democrats seem to be challenged in their reading of the Constitution of late…with Conyers claiming judicial powers, and Pelosi acting as Secretary of State in the Middle East.

    19. Um. I’m with Doma. I’m tired of the pettiness.

      How can you possibly be laughing and cheering as a distraction is made away from far more significant issues. This isn’t a team sport, it’s our god damned country.

      But then, I’m the unpatriotic one, so what do I know?

    20. Gee, Bush-bashers, you have an awfully short memory span. Show me your like-kind outrage over any of Clinton’s 140 recess appointments.

      I’ve been visiting this blog for less than one week and I am already suspecting the advertised “centrist” viewpoint was “bait and switch”.

      Is bashing a lame duck President the most constructive…..and only…… dialogue this blog is capable of?

      As pointed out above, Bush2 is gone in months moreso than years. What is this blog going to do then to find things to discuss?

      I could maybe rationalize it somewhat if the site’s authors sought to balance the Bush-bashing set-up articles with a sprinkling of articles calling Democrat actions onto the carpet once in awhile. Perhaps I just arrived during an atypical week, but what I can garner from the limited archives available, probably not. Even under the “Congress” archives, it is observably about the “Executive” Branch happenings. Does a centrist not question Harry Reid’s legislation to build a federally funded bridge to connect right to his own undeveloped property, does a centrist not give a care to Dianne Feinstein’s committee conflict of interest re: her husband’s DoD contracts, does a centrist not wonder whether Schumer ought to be handing out subpoenas to Republican Senators when he is in charge of the Democrat’s Senate Campaign Committee, does a centrist not wonder whether Bennie Thompson, the Democrat’s Chairman of the freakin’ Homeland Security Committee, publicly opposing identity protection protocols for witnesses in a trial concerning a potential terrorism issue? And that’s just the last week and half’s worth.

      As a Bush-basher posted last night, there is 30% of the population adamantly supporting Bush and Republicans no matter what. Let’s add to that there is another 30% that unwaiverlingly support anything or anyone hugging the left-hand sideline. OK, nice numerical stalemate, but irrelevant to the next election. The real centrists, the swing voter, always decides who holds national office.

      I thought that was whom I would find here. I’m suspecting I was incorrect. I have no burning desire to rain on someone’s Bush-bashing internet party. If any reader knows of any blog authors that really do balance out the partisanship, I will be more than happy to take my bandwidth usage there.

    21. Let’s hope the people of Belgium are grateful that Bush honored their country with an Ambassador of such stature.

      By using his own money to help bring the truth the American people, Fox embodied the spirit of American citizen involvement in the electoral process. Millions of Americans and, in fact, billions across the world are indebted to this man for saving us from the debacle of a Kerry presidency.

    22. casualobserver,

      Bush has definitely been more dictatorial than Clinton with his ‘interpretation’ of his constitutional authority. However, I do think there needs to be a redefinition of the Presidents power to make recess appointments. Limit such powers to when there is an emergency situation where an appointment is needed, and disallow the appointment of any person nominated and either rejected by Congress or withdrawn.

      I also do no think the term ‘bush bashing’ is very misleading since we are not going after him for being bush or conservative but we are going after him because his actions and policies are detrimental to the interests and the people of this country, he lies, he ignores the constitution and law when it does not support what he wants, and he has likely broken the law on multiple occasions.

      jwest,

      what the swift boaters brought against Kerry was not the truth, it was an outright lie and a smear. Though Kerry is a rather long winded speaker, he is has proven his courage by serving in Vietnam and is an extremely intelligent man, unlike the boy king we currently have as President who continues to dig this country into a deeper and deeper hole.

    23. It’s not as though Fox had some outstanding qualifications for the job that made a recess appointment of him vital to the interests of the country. This is, after all, just another political reward. It’s another petty act by a petty, vindictive person.

      Could the Moderate Voice take some kind of poll on how many readers think jwest is just a troll? While pretty much a blind Bush supporter himself, even Marlowecan doesn’t sound as bizarrely loyalist about it as the jwest posts. He tries but doesn’t quite succeed.

    24. JimS,

      It’s painfully obvious you have no concept of what the role of an Ambassador is.

      The leaders of foreign governments need to have an emissary that they know will relate the words and intent of the President of the United States accurately. Not the consensus of opinion of career functionaries of the State Department, but the actual personal communications from the leader of the free world.

      These foreign leaders need to know that if they have a situation or information to convey to the president, the Ambassador has the access and the credibility with the president to give the matter the priority it deserves. The more important the country, the more important the Ambassador.

      Fox is eminently qualified for the most important function of any Ambassador – he has the trust of the President.

      Once you learn how our government works, you will be able to comment on subjects with a degree of intelligence. I recommend some independent reading and a bit less vitriol.

    25. Jim S Says:

      April 5th, 2007 at 7:53 am
      It’s not as though Fox had some outstanding qualifications for the job that made a recess appointment of him vital to the interests of the country. This is, after all, just another political reward.

      OK, Jim, sounds just like this one…….Hormel, an heir to the meat-packing family and a San Francisco-area philanthropist, is…….. a large contributor to the Democratic party (over $200,000 in the ’95-’96 election cycle). …………………….http://slate.msn.com/id/1002994/

      Could the Moderate Voice take some kind of poll on how many readers think jwest is just a troll?

      So, Jim, I guess you are indeed confirming for me that TMV is just a clone of Daily Kos or HuffPo. Since when is either side of the political divide a “troll” when purportedly the blog is neutral ground?

      I repeat, let’s just declare this another liberal/Democrat/left policy supporting blog and those of us not inclined to see things as always “Democrat is good, Republican is bad” will join the discussion elsewhere.

    26. The DoD supplemental funding bill is in no way a compromise.

      Your right, it is in fact almost exactly what the majority of Americans want. Damn notions of ‘rule by the people’ (aka Democracy) getting in the way of the Bush Administration’s grand plans…

      The leaders of foreign governments need to have an emissary that they know will relate the words and intent of the President of the United States accurately.

      This statement is proven false by the fact that congress gets to confirm appointments. This shows that ambassadors should attempt to accurately convey the ‘words and intent’ of the American People, not just the POTUS.

    27. From the article jwest linked to:

      Hormel, an heir to the meat-packing family and a San Francisco-area philanthropist, is openly homosexual and a large contributor to the Democratic party (over $200,000 in the ’95-’96 election cycle). Conservative religious groups have complained that he has refused to condemn the Catholic-spoofing performance group Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence. (Luxembourg is 99 percent Catholic.) His 1997 nomination passed the Judiciary Committee, but Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott deferred to the objections of several conservative senators, including Inhofe, by refusing to bring the nomination to a vote on the floor. Hormel’s appointment will last until December 2000, several weeks before Clinton steps down.

      Clinton has used the recess appointment relatively sparingly; his average of nine per year is far lower than Reagan’s 30 and Bush’s 20. And the GOP Congress has consented to at least one unconfirmed Clinton appointment: When Drew Days stepped down as solicitor general in July 1996, the Senate let Clinton appoint Walter Dellinger–already confirmed as an asssistant attorney general–as “acting” solicitor general after Dellinger promised to serve only one year.

      As far as considering jwest a troll as being a sign of this blog being a liberal outpost, I consider those who blindly attack Bush with over the top rhetoric just as wearying as those who blindly approve of everything he does while attacking his opposition.

    28. Kevin,

      Luckily, we don’t live in a democracy. The chaos that would ensue from a ridiculous form of government like that would make conversations like this impossible.

      The U.S. is a governed as a representative republic. We vote for people to represent our interests in local, state and federal matters. When we put them in office, we rely on their judgment to make laws, treaties and to manage the business of government as outlined in the Constitution.

      Governing by pure democracy (or by opinion polls) is tantamount to mob rule.

      JimS,

      I’m not the one who referenced Hormel, but I’ll defend the objections to him if you like.

      Blind approval of Bush is not my agenda. Had he succumbed to popular opinion during Hurricane Katrina and sent in federal troops over the objection of Blanco, I would have led the call for impeachment.

      As long as he continues to do what is best for this country, he’s got my support.

    29. Jwest- the debate seems to be about whether whoever is representing us truly is representing our interests. Right now only 1/3 of Americans believe our collective interests are being represented well. You may fall into that third, but a lot of others wouldn’t agree with you. Even if I approved of Bush’s decisions, I would abhor his inability to work with the other branches of government and within the confines of our laws.

    30. jwest, ok fine, it’s a Republic, congratulate your civics teacher. You still are left with the same problem.

      When we put them in office, we rely on their judgment to make laws, treaties and to manage the business of government as outlined in the Constitution.

      And look what has happened, our legally elected member of congress are using their power of the purse to manage the business of government. If the POTUS doesn’t agree with that he can compromise. That would seem to require Bush to modify his strategy for Iraq, unless dictionary.com has a left wing bias….

      But thanks for the correction… “Damn notions of representative government getting in the way of the Bush Administration’s grand plans…”

    31. Kritter,

      Don’t you realize what a tiny minority you and I belong to?

      Although we have some fundamental disagreements, at least we have some idea of what is going on. From what you write, I can tell that you read about issues from a number of sources and apply some logic to your conclusions. How those conclusions come up so wrong so often is a subject for another discussion.

      The point is you and I, at a minimum, have the basic information. The public at large is a vast wasteland of uninformed (at best) or misinformed (at worst) political buffoons. Stop the next ten people you meet on the street and ask them who the Vice President or Secretary of State is. Have them explain the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. See if they know Iraq is not located next to Okinawa.

      So when you cite that 2/3 of the people want some change in foreign policy, you can see why I don’t take that as in my best interest to go along with their wishes.

      Luckily again, we have a leader in the White House as opposed to a poll watcher.

    32. Jwest- a true leader finds a way to get those who disagree with him/her to change their minds, or at least engage on the issue in the hopes of a compromise. Bush has avoided engagement with those who disagree with him. Its great if you’re a fan, but appears dictatorial to the rest of us. By refusing to give in on anything, he has risked the damage that results from a deadlock, by going outside of the law he has risked the US’ good reputation internationally, and is bringing about a constitutional crisis at home.
      I hope Congress continues to assert itself, it rolled over and played dead for 6 years.

      And while I agree that many Americans don’t follow or don’t understand foriegn policy, there is no assurance that if they did they wouldn’t agree with most foreign policy experts from the Reagan, Clinton, Bush 41 and Carter administrations, who all feel that we should be dealing with our enemies and not isolating them, and that mistakes made early on in the war are ensuring our defeat. Those are the voices I listen to. Even Henry Kissenger declared recently that Iraq cannot be won militarily.

    33. Kevin,

      If the democrats in congress have a principled position that the war in Iraq is wrong, they should vote to cut off funds immediately.

      War is not a “compromise�. This isn’t a debate over national parks budgets, we’re in a conflict with people dying. We can’t (at least I can’t) negotiate to let 1000 more soldiers die if the ultimate plan is to give up. The U.S. is either in this to win or lose, and the president has chosen to win.

      The congress voted overwhelmingly to enter this war and now that the public opinion has swung these spineless political creatures are running for cover.

      There is no compromise between right and wrong.

      Kritter,

      As you are also a big fan of compromise, the answer to Kevin (above) can act as my reply to the first part of your comment.

      The one point you do make is that Iraq cannot be won (solely) militarily. This is absolutely correct. But, to achieve a position where negotiation on terms acceptable to the U.S. and the people in Iraq who don’t want to face genocide is possible, the military must bring about a degree of order. Once that is attained, the political and economic compromises can be negotiated for a lasting peace.

    34. I agree, Jwest-but the debate is over whether you think that Maliki’s government is capable at this point of taking advantage of the lull in violence or not. As long as Sunnis who cooperate with the ruling party are hunted down and executed, the remainder will be terrified to cooperate.

      My biggest problem with the surge is that there is no real alternative plan if it doesn’t succeed. Gen Petraeus himself only gave it a 25% chance —so what is the contingency plan? I have no desire to see genocide in Iraq (which is why I think we shouldn’t have gone in in the first place) but can we really believe that if we leave now or in 10 years the end result will be any different? Sadr and his death squads are laying low- waiting us out, knowing that our military can only keep this up but so long. I actually think this policy is a much smarter one, but it should have been employed at the beginning-then it might have worked.

    35. Kritter,

      The surge has a chance of working, but if it doesn’t we will just have to figure something else out.

      We will be in Iraq for at least the next 50 years, regardless how this surge works. We’ve spent billions on new bases, but the real reason we will stay is that the Iraqi people will insist on it. I know, everyone is scrambling for their Iraq poll numbers to show they want us to leave, but when it comes down to a vote (and there will be a vote soon), they will ask us to stay.

      Iraqis aren’t crazy. They remember the 10 years and million deaths in their war with Iran. They have no strategic military, so they are vulnerable to attack by any number of their neighbors. We are about the only country on earth who doesn’t want to steal their oil.

      The reason the U.S. didn’t use the surge tactics early on was a decision to approach this as a liberation, not an occupation. Because of Iraq’s educated population, experience with sectarian rule and oil wealth, Bush and Rumsfield felt that some Iraqi leader would step forward as a unifying figure after Saddam was removed. Unfortunately, that leader never materialized.

      Using the “light footprint� strategy was a gamble, but that’s one of the choices you make in war. Anyone who believes war goes according to plan hasn’t read any history.

      Bush is making the hard decisions in this war in an effort to “change the dynamic in the Mideast�. By succeeding in Iraq, he knows it will encourage others in the region to change for the better. He is thinking about what is best for this country in the long term, not just what is best for his party in the next election.

    36. Where in the constitution does it say that congress should express its desires only by funding or not funding a war and cannot attach conditions to those funds? It seems to be perfectly legal AND reasonable for them to attach conditions to that money. In any business, any good money managers require benchmarks and criteria to be set to ensure that the money is going to productive ends.

      We can’t (at least I can’t) negotiate to let 1000 more soldiers die if the ultimate plan is to give up. The U.S. is either in this to win or lose, and the president has chosen to win.

      winning or loosing is an outcome, not a decision or choice. What if the President’s plan fails AND lets 1000′s of more soldiers die? If you fail to acknowledge that possibility, I think your being dishonest with yourself.

      Every successful military leader in history has had to learn the lessen that sometimes retreat from the battle is the best move in order to win the war. If creating a stable Iraq magically made terrorism go away, or if loosing Iraq meant that the US would cease to exist, then I would be right along side you. However there are much larger international trends to cope with, which will take a very large amount of resources. If our forces can’t even meet the reasonable benchmarks proposed in the house bill, then we are loosing this battle. Reality sucks, and that’s not a choice.

    37. “Where in the constitution does it say that congress should express its desires only by funding or not funding a war and cannot attach conditions to those funds?�

      The constitution names the president as commander-in-chief in time of war. When the congress places conditions on funding, it is attempting to usurp this power. They have the responsibility to either fund or not fund the war effort. Any “tinkering� with conditions is unconstitutional.

      “…….money managers require benchmarks……�

      This isn’t a parks budget, its war.

      “winning or loosing is an outcome, not a decision or choice�

      The decision to expend the resources necessary to win or to surrender is a choice.

      “What if the President’s plan fails…..�

      We elect a new president and try even harder.

      “Every successful military leader in history has had to learn the lesson that sometimes retreat from the battle is the best move in order to win the war.�

      “I don’t like to pay for the same real estate twiceâ€? – George S. Patton.

      “If creating a stable Iraq magically made terrorism go away, or if loosing Iraq meant that the US would cease to exist, then I would be right along side you.�

      A stable Iraq is the first step in the long battle to end terrorism. If we loose Iraq, the U.S. will not cease to exist, at least tomorrow, or the next year, or the year after that. But rest assured, if more generations of Muslim youth are raised in a culture of hate that focuses their anger on the “Great Satan�, at some point in the future the people who have vowed to kill us will make very serious attempts.

    38. (Ignore the italics and bold above. I was just trying to make it easier to read)

    39. The surge has a chance of working, but if it doesn’t we will just have to figure something else out.

      I love fly by the seat of your pants planning. This rationale has been used for every failed strategy for 5 years. Why because the motto is “defeat is not an option”. So when victory didn’t magically appear as promised after 3 months or 6 months or however many months it was always —-we just need another 3 or 6- we’re really making a lot of progress. Except they weren’t. I’d respect this plan a lot more if I didn’t get the feeling that our leaders are doing exactly what jwest said at the outset of his post.

    40. Commander-in-Chief simply means that he is the civilian commander over our military, not that his word is law on all other aspects of the government tangentially related to military strategy.

    41. jwest, would it be legal for the congress to say: “We will fund troops in Iraq for 1 year, instead of the 2 years you asked for”?

    42. We’ll be in Iraq fifty years “Because the Iraqi people will insist on it”?

      I laughed out loud at that one. No, jwest, you sweet kid: we won’t leave until Cheney’s oil buddies have sucked every last bit of petroleum out of Iraq’s desert and belched loudly. THAT’s what those permanent bases are for (and the mercs).

      You sweet kid. I’m still chuckling.

    43. The issue for me over Sam Fox is that he gave his $50,000 AFTER the Swift Boat Liars for Bush were outed as the liars they were…

      Get that? AFTER

      I’m not one to tell someone how to spend their money, but if Sam Fox is supposed to decide anything while in his new position, his judgement is very much in question… Fox’s payback is a signal to the other massive donors that they can still count on being rewarded…

      Bush is a bully and an a__hole and he’ll destroy this counttry rather than leave office peacefully… ‘On to Iran’…

      Now watch this drive…

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