A Good Listener

If I am to believe Bob Novak, and he remains quite believable, then President Bush is about to go on a veto rampage and drive the new Democratic leadership in Congress crazy. This is actually an attempt to cut spending and help the Republican Party reclaim the mantle of fiscal responsibility, but we can all brace ourselves for what it will do to further poison the partisan atmosphere in Washington.

According to Novak, Bush has asked House Republicans to join him in sustaining vetoes of at least eight spending bills the House is trying to pass this summer. The White House has received assurances from 147 Republicans they will vote with him when he vetoes appropriations for Homeland Security; Energy-Water and Interior; Labor, Health and Human Services and Dducation; Transportation and Housing and Urban Development; Commerce, Justice and Science; Agriculture and Rural Development; State and Foreign Operations; and Defense. Bush, upon the advice of House Republicans, will not be vetoing the military construction appropriations bill since it contains funding for veterans, Novak wrote. 

All of these bills increase spending, sure, but what did the Republicans do for six years before losing control of the House and Senate? They increased spending, and many times it was Bush who asked them to. With the albatross of Iraq hanging around their necks, congressional Republicans, now in the minority and on the sidelines, saw the wisdom in cutting spending before the next election. Along with Budget Director Rob Portman, former member from Ohio, they managed to talk Bush — who never vetoed a single bill in his first term — into this new strategy.

Let's give Bush credit for listening.