Thursday, June 28, 2007

State of the Bush Presidency

McClatchy has a good piece on the state of the Bush Presidency. It is basically right in claiming that Bush will be able to get little, if anything done, for the rest of his term. He might well be able to stave off major losses, but he will not be able to push through any new measures. The tax cuts will expire and NCLB will have a major overhaul or be abandoned. Little will be left of his main legislative efforts. It is still a big question, however, whether or not he will be able to stonewall investigations into his various power grabs. There are occasional grumblings of Republican disaffection (Sen. Lugar being the latest) but Atrios is consistently right. None of these folks (Lugar, Voinavich, anyone) are actually willing to do anything. So maybe the dam will burst over the next year, but history gives us little reason to believe that it will.

One thing in the article was both amusing and frustrating. The conventional wisdom, at least as represented by the likes of David Broder, has it that the Democrats have killed the immigration bill, in spite of the fact that Democrats largely supported the President's bill and Republicans opposed it. Right in keeping with this analysis we have McClatchy saying
In the Senate, 37 Republicans — including both senators from Bush's home state of Texas — joined 15 Democrats and one independent in blocking the immigration plan.
So the 15 Democrats and on independent blocked the bill, with a little help from the greater than twice than number of Republicans who joined them? I don't think so. Rather, 37 Republicans moved to block the bill and succeeded with the aid of some 15 Democrats and one independent. Note that the 37 Republicans needed only three more votes to block the bill.

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