Wednesday :: Mar 26, 2003

Another Media Outlet Sees Problems for Bush Domestically

by Steve

Along the lines of a recent post of mine alluding to the problems Bush is facing on his domestic agenda comes this analysis from the Knight-Ridder Washington Bureau:

Bush's setbacks illustrate the difficulties of passing legislation in a narrowly divided Senate. But critics, including some in the president's own party, say his problems are aggravated by a sense of White House smugness and contempt for Congress.

Democrats say the recent votes show that they are determined to thwart Bush on policies that Democrats oppose. That spells trouble for Bush's efforts to change Medicare, reduce environmental regulation and tilt the federal judiciary to the right.

"We have some profound differences with the administration on the domestic agenda: on the tax cut, on the economy, on the budget, on environmental issues, on education, health care," Senate Democratic Leader Tom Daschle said. "And those issues will come to the floor and we'll have a debate, and I think those outcomes will continue."

The Democrats' determination may have solidified in the face of what congressional scholar Norman J. Ornstein said is an "in-your-face, confrontational" White House style. Republican lawmakers, he added, are treated with almost equal disdain.

"There is a dangerously high level of hubris in the White House when it comes to dealing with Congress," said Ornstein, an analyst at the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think tank. "It's a feeling that the Republicans in Congress are `our lieutenants and we are the generals.'"

A Republican senator who has voted with the president on all those difficult votes said the White House has alienated allies in the Senate and needs to reach out in a more bipartisan way. "There's a strain of arrogance in all of this," this senator said, on condition of anonymity. "They need to do a better job."

Grover Norquist, a conservative activist with close ties to the White House, said lawmakers have a point. "There is a sense that the White House has to understand that they are co-equal branches of government."

Yikes! Grover Norquist admits there is a problem for the White House because of its attitude? File that under the “Pot Calling the Kettle Black” heading.

Steve :: 10:27 PM :: Comments (6) :: Digg It!