Saturday, May 20, 2006

Hastert rants @ Cheney, or how to get a private meeting with the king.

Robert Novak's Friday column details how House Speaker Dennis Hastert unloaded both barrels at V.P. Cheney, and this was no hunting accident. According to Novak the administration really tweaked House Republicans by seeming to make Porter Goss the scapegoat for troubles with the intelligence community. As Novak writes in his column:
Critics of Goss claim that, as a legislator, he was a poor administrator (the complaint that habitually follows a high-profile sacking in government). But they do not appreciate the anger Bush generated among Goss' friends in Congress. One senior House Republican, asking that his name not be used, told me: ''Porter was unceremoniously kicked in the butt. He was treated with contempt.''
Goss was taken from a safe seat in the House after the President prevailed upon him to undertake to clean the CIA of anti administration personnel. Goss is a personal friend of Hastert and highly regarded by the Republican leadership of the house. The word of Goss' sacking was a bolt from the blue for his former comrades. Hastert spoke with John Negroponte two days prior to the removal of Goss and this was not mentioned in that conversation.

Evidently Hastert, who is not known for heated rhetoric, was so hostile with Cheney that he was penciled in for a private meeting the President Bush to discuss the issues. This apparently is a response to a decided lack of communication between the White House and House leadership regarding the Goss sacking. Another interesting aspect of Presidential communications with people he should be partners with is how this reflects on his relationship with the CIA. Novak says that speculation is that the President is waving a white flag to his critics at the CIA. To quote Novak:
A president waging a global war against terror can hardly function with an intelligence agency whose employees make off-the-record speeches against his policies, contribute to his political opponents and leak secrets to the news media. Was getting rid of Goss the equivalent of a white flag of surrender?
Considering this reporting by Novak, let me do just a bit of pontificating. If all one needs to do to get an audience with the king is to get up in the veeps grill and let him smell your bad breath and wipe a bit of spittle from his face after your rant where is the line for veep interviews? It is well past time for Cheney to get an earful from a liberal I say. And a dignified exchange of profanity on the Senate floor doesn't count here either.

What is up with the President just doing everything in his power to tick of his allies on the hill? This is just another example of the President considering that the Congress just isn't a serious part of government. If the Congress did not have the inherent right to issue subpoenas, I am convinced this President would not care one wit whether or not Republicans kept power after the midterms. He has no use for Congress as he leads, and he just wants to keep things the way they are, where Congress really has minimal use for him. If he does hear from Congress it usually is a bother.

Good for the CIA for fighting tooth and nail against an ideological purge instigated by this President. They fought back after the President attempted to place the blame on them for his administrations misbegotten and manufactured drive to a needless war that turned into a disaster. The facts are the facts, and they do indeed tend to have a liberal slant. Now that the President has not been able to bend them to his will, and is really starting to take hits for the battle, he is pulling out the agent he sent in to conduct the purge.

I for one am thrilled Bush is waving the white flag, and in the process of doing so has disenchanted his allies on the hill. It's a two fer... and the President has had to eat it from both sides on this one.

i don't believe bush would recognize a white flag if it bit him in the ass... my take is that negroponte wants to be the intelligence czar, has been waging a clandestine war against rummy over "who's on first," was tipped off in advance about the foggo fbi raid and foggo's connection to procurement fraud, and saw an excellent opportunity to get his man, hayden, in by painting goss and his connection to foggo as an insurmountable liability... there was no need, in bush's mind, to consult hastert or any other r any more than he's ever bothered to consult with them in the past... bush is still proceeding on the premise of strict rove-enforced loyalty and discipline where no matter what he says or does, the party line gets toed from fear of rove's big stick... hastert getting an audience with the king is no more and no less than making sure he does not stray from the fold...
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