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The Politics of the Dubai Ports Deal

In trying to make sense of the Republican break from Bush over the Dubai Ports deal, I think the Washington Post gets it right: Bush has become such a liability that Republicans are seeking to distance themselves from him for the 2006 elections.

The bipartisan uprising in Congress in the face of a veto threat represented a singular defeat for Bush, who when it came to national security grew accustomed during his first five years in office to leading as he chose and having loyal lawmakers fall in line. Now, with his poll numbers in a political ditch, the port debacle has contributed to a perception of weakness that has liberated Republicans who once would never have dared cross Bush.

Is Rove losing his touch? Is denial the new modus operandi at the White House? The most ridiculous statement yesterday came from Scotty:

"We are a party that is united and moving forward on a record of accomplishment, a record of results," White House press secretary Scott McClellan said.

That's almost laugh-out-loud funny. Consider the sheer range of issues on which Republicans have split from Bush:

They abandoned his Social Security plan, criticized his handling of Hurricane Katrina and forced the withdrawal of Supreme Court nominee Harriet Miers. Just yesterday, the Senate Budget Committee passed a budget resolution that dropped Bush's proposals for tax relief, Medicare cuts and expanded health savings accounts.

....Recent rebukes run from the ports deal to a ban on torture to Patriot Act revisions forced on Bush in exchange for congressional approval. Partly in the name of national security, Republican leaders also seem poised to dismiss Bush's proposal for a guest-worker program for illegal immigrants.

In a nutshell: The Republicans turned on Bush to avoid allowing the Democrats to capitalize on his incompetence. They clearly are out to save their own hides, which again, is what makes Scotty's statement either completely delusional or an outright lie.

Update: Thomas DeFrank in the Daily News says it's a revolt not seen since Nixon.

< Is The White House Completely Losing Touch With Reality? | Transcript of O'Connor Speech Blasting Republicans >
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  • Re: The Politics of the Dubai Ports Deal (none / 0) (#1)
    by Punchy on Fri Mar 10, 2006 at 06:49:56 AM EST
    TL-- You must not listen to many of Scooter Mac's pressers, because this lying and delusionary mantra has been vomited forth on nearly a daily basis. His non-answers, double-speak, and General Pace-style "rosy-ness" are legendary. By the way, the half-naked Hasselhoff ad staring at me is NOT a good way to start the morning. There should be a warning at the top of the page alerting me before I reverse eat my breakfast.

    Re: The Politics of the Dubai Ports Deal (none / 0) (#2)
    by Che's Lounge on Fri Mar 10, 2006 at 07:11:37 AM EST
    I still think they knew about DPW's plans and were staging this "revolt".

    Re: The Politics of the Dubai Ports Deal (none / 0) (#3)
    by Steven Sanderson on Fri Mar 10, 2006 at 07:12:08 AM EST
    The political winds may change on the Dubai Ports Deal if the rumor that Dubai is selling it's American operations to Halliburton turn out to be true. Then this affair could prove to be a long-term plus for Bush. An already enraged public may finally put 2 and 2 together and see Cheney and Halliburton for what they are: crooks who won't let national security stand in their way as they loot the treasury of hundreds of billions of dollars. Cheney, who already polls lower than Satan, will resign after the deal is completed. The public and members of Congress who're up for re-election will howl in protest, and Rove will immediately begin the spin campaign on how the saintly, well-meaning Bush was betrayed by devious Dick Cheney. After a short period of time Bush will demonstrate his magnanimity and pardon Cheney "for the good of the nation." Included with Cheney's pardon, little noticed and unreported, will be a provision granting pardons to everybody in, or working on behalf of, the administration for any and all crimes they may have committed. Bush's popularity will increase dramatically as a forgiving populace rallies around their betrayed president. Trusted and obedient Harriet Meirs will be nominated for the Vice Presidency. The public and Congress will agree that after the letdown of Cheney's betrayal, Bush deserves a loyal VP and Miers' nomination will be speedily confirmed by majority votes in both Houses of Congress. Shortly before Jan. 20, 2009 Bush will resign, Miers will assume the Presidency, and Miers will pardon Bush. Four years later, shortly after noon on Jan. 20, 2013 the surviving cast of characters from the Shrub era will be reunited in the Jeb Bush administration. Justice will not have been served. The national nightmare will continue.

    Re: The Politics of the Dubai Ports Deal (none / 0) (#4)
    by Peaches on Fri Mar 10, 2006 at 07:33:30 AM EST
    OMG SS, Sounds like a wonderful novel. If truth is stranger than fiction, then, perhaps your scenario will turn out right. But, if Cheney is ever forced to resign, and Rove is able to spin that as a plus for Bush-complete with a vice presidency for Harriet Myers, then he really is a genius and the American public will prove, once again, to the rest of the world its gullibility.

    Re: The Politics of the Dubai Ports Deal (none / 0) (#5)
    by fafnir on Fri Mar 10, 2006 at 07:45:29 AM EST
    I agree, Che. I think Rove used this non-starter "deal" as a briar patch for Congressional Republicans who are in trouble at home. "Oh please Mr. President, don't give the keys to our ports to the 9-11 bankers, Mr. President!" Since Bush cannot run again, the overwhelming priority for the Republicans in 2006 is to not lose the House. The best way to for Republicans to improve their odds is to separate themselves from a very unpopular Republican president. (In general, I oppose having any privately- or state-owned foreign corporation operating our ports. Period. However, fully funding port security is the most alarming concern. In this specific case, my issue with Dubai is not about ethnicity or religion; it's about the UAE's past track record and their loose economic laws and regulations that places a premium on making money over security.)

    Re: The Politics of the Dubai Ports Deal (none / 0) (#6)
    by Lora on Fri Mar 10, 2006 at 08:42:35 AM EST
    OK, we exchanged Harriet Miers for Sam Alito, Bush is still trying to sneak in his social security plan through the back door, Bush was caught on video tape proving that his denial of knowledge about Katrina's capability was a bald-faced lie and has successfully ignored the whole thing, the Dubai back-off appears to be a cover for some other underhanded deal, and Bushco continues to torture. It doesn't matter who objects to this administration. It doesn't care. It does what it pleases. And if you can entertain the premise that the elections are manipulated, it does fit. They will win in enough key places to continue their devastating power trip plan.

    Re: The Politics of the Dubai Ports Deal (none / 0) (#7)
    by Lww on Fri Mar 10, 2006 at 08:44:43 AM EST
    No matter how much you want to spin this as a Bush defeat, there's nothing further from the truth. Congress, Democrat and republican were exposed as the most craven No-nothings since the 1850s. It was a mass hysteria fueled by the basest demagoguery. Disgraceful.

    Re: The Politics of the Dubai Ports Deal (none / 0) (#8)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Fri Mar 10, 2006 at 08:50:10 AM EST
    If you say so.

    Re: The Politics of the Dubai Ports Deal (none / 0) (#9)
    by Lww on Fri Mar 10, 2006 at 08:56:54 AM EST
    I say so. Anyone who demagogued this is un-electable, whatever party they belong to. You can spin your conspiracy theories all you want but the kneejerk jingoism displayed by these people was really sickening.

    Re: The Politics of the Dubai Ports Deal (none / 0) (#10)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Fri Mar 10, 2006 at 09:04:03 AM EST
    Toon of the Day:The Truth Behind Dubai

    Re: The Politics of the Dubai Ports Deal (none / 0) (#11)
    by Repack Rider on Fri Mar 10, 2006 at 09:07:20 AM EST
    You can spin your conspiracy theories all you want but the kneejerk jingoism displayed by these people was really sickening. When "knee-jerk jingoism" is the only weapon the White House has, it's all they can use. After all, they have spent countless millions of dollars elevating knee-jerk jingoism to national policy and placing knee-jerk jingoists in every position of importance, and if they didn't use it, what was the effort for? I agree that it is sickening, but that is only one of the many reasons Bush is the worst president ever. Nixon was jingoist and corrupt also, but Bush adds that little soupcon of unbelievable incompetence that puts him over the top.

    Re: The Politics of the Dubai Ports Deal (none / 0) (#12)
    by Lww on Fri Mar 10, 2006 at 09:20:40 AM EST
    We're talking about this particular episode, I never go off topic in here and I won't now. LMAO No matter what you think about Bush he comes off looking better than congress in this. Unless you believe in the cartoon. To believe in the cartoon you'd have to view Bush as one of the most skillfully devious bastards on the planet. We all know he just isn't that smart.

    Re: The Politics of the Dubai Ports Deal (none / 0) (#13)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Fri Mar 10, 2006 at 10:21:59 AM EST
    Ya gotta love it. C-SPAN every morning. Same clueless crackers. Same dumb okies. Same nitwit from knoxville rantin' about Carter givin' away our Ports and the Panama Canal. Since when is Panama ours to give? Same idiot blamin' Clinton for Ruby Ridge. Never mind that george the first was in the WH. Blame Clinton for the Ports. Gotta be his fault. It started under Reagan. He's the one who wanted to privatize everything. You wanted it. You got it. For better. For worse. Don't like it. Tell him.

    Re: The Politics of the Dubai Ports Deal (none / 0) (#14)
    by Lww on Fri Mar 10, 2006 at 10:34:24 AM EST
    I think Reagan is deceased charlie. Charlie of the "white trash" phobia. The Grapes of Wrath was a good book and movie, too bad they had those dumb Okies in it. These are the sentiments of the progressive left?

    Re: The Politics of the Dubai Ports Deal (none / 0) (#15)
    by Lww on Fri Mar 10, 2006 at 01:16:26 PM EST
    You peeps are wusses. Come and get me.

    Re: The Politics of the Dubai Ports Deal (none / 0) (#16)
    by jondee on Fri Mar 10, 2006 at 04:30:56 PM EST
    LWW - Of course theres no effete power elite on the right(the party of the common man lol). You been imbibing Rush swill or what?

    Re: The Politics of the Dubai Ports Deal (none / 0) (#17)
    by Lww on Fri Mar 10, 2006 at 04:52:16 PM EST
    Don't know if phat Rush was for the Dubai deal. He probably was. This transcends ideology. The originators of this (Tl can grill one tonight) and the reactionaries have little in common with Phelps. Why even bring him up?

    Re: The Politics of the Dubai Ports Deal (none / 0) (#18)
    by jondee on Fri Mar 10, 2006 at 05:14:48 PM EST
    LWW - Phelps was the other thread ( and yeah, it was a bit of a streach). Bush & co have been pushing and milking jihadophobia and a-rabs bad for five years and this deal shows them up for the anything-for-a-sweet-deal fakers they are.Or, is it just me?

    Re: The Politics of the Dubai Ports Deal (none / 0) (#19)
    by jondee on Fri Mar 10, 2006 at 05:31:06 PM EST
    Bush probobly thinks if he busts the longshoreman his entire presidency will have been worthwhile. Thank Grover at least he's not a traitor to his class.

    Re: The Politics of the Dubai Ports Deal (none / 0) (#20)
    by Lww on Fri Mar 10, 2006 at 06:21:37 PM EST
    Jondee, I got discombobulated. I think the longshoremans Union was behind this whole deal. Another buck eighty five an hour with the A rabs out of there.

    Re: The Politics of the Dubai Ports Deal (none / 0) (#21)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Fri Mar 10, 2006 at 06:34:34 PM EST
    Posted by LWW March 10, 2006 09:56 AM
    I say so.
    Anyone who demagogued this is un-electable, whatever party they belong to.
    You can spin your conspiracy theories all you want but the kneejerk jingoism displayed by these people was really sickening.
    Gee, refresh my memory. Who runs congress again? They're havin' a little confab in Memphis in the meantime. Take it up with them, or do ya wanna cut to the chase, get it over with and just blame it on the media right now and get it over with. Or are you saying it was the job of the media and the Democrats to save the reptiles from themselves? Are we supposed to provide you with an exit strategy, bail your sorry butts outta this mess you've gotten yourselves, the Country and the World into then act as designated drivers while you hurl all over the place when we've just had the interior detailed? Gee, when ya put it like that, how can we refuse. You do understand the term figure of speech, don't you? When I say take it up with Reagan, I mean in the sense of his political and philosophical heirs. I don't mean go dig up his grave. It's like the expression "Cold as a mother-in-law's heart". That doesn't mean you throw down your snow shovel, pick up your mother-in-law and over her blood-curdling screams,... Boy, you've gotta 'splain everything to you guys 8 or 9 times.

    Re: The Politics of the Dubai Ports Deal (none / 0) (#22)
    by Lww on Fri Mar 10, 2006 at 06:49:56 PM EST
    Charlie, I wouldn't have slept tonight if you didn't straighten me out. Thanks alot. I guess you were rooting for Horowitz?

    Re: The Politics of the Dubai Ports Deal (none / 0) (#23)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Mar 11, 2006 at 04:04:19 AM EST
    ‎"I still think they knew about DPW's plans and were staging this revolt." ‎ There is absolutely no way the Dubia debacle was prearranged. --- Bush would never ‎‎‎sabotage or tarnish his reputation as the one and only "Leader and Protector of America ‎‎‎against Evil and Terrorism," merely to burnish the image of underlings in the House and ‎‎‎Senate. And Rove --- well when it comes to the art of manipulation, he's intrinsically ‎‎‎blind to the greatest technique of all time, political martyrdom. He's not about to risk ‎‎‎Bush (or himself) to help republicans in their party "look good." Bush and Rove attract ‎‎‎flies of neocons because of their narcissistic penchants for power and popularity --- not ‎‎‎ideology. These bullyboys never evolved beyond high school. ‎ The simple fact is that this administration has employed adolescent strategies that ‎‎‎continue to distract the country (while neocons wreck havoc behind the scenes instilling ‎their evil agenda). But when teenagers are allowed to behave immorally ‎‎without ‎consequences, they become indifferent, arrogant, and impervious to the ‎‎paradoxical ‎destruction they create. ‎ Indeed, why would it occur to Bush or Rove that ‎‎anyone would ever notice another ‎disgraceful irony --- because they sure as hell didn't! ‎‎Adolescents are simply not ‎equipped --- emotionally or intellectually. While neocons (the only adults in the WH, ‎unfortunately) are allowed to implement their diabolical plans unrestrained, (like the ‎Dubia fiasco) expecting Bush to have the political power and clout to push their agenda ‎through. ‎

    Re: The Politics of the Dubai Ports Deal (none / 0) (#24)
    by Lww on Sat Mar 11, 2006 at 11:45:53 AM EST
    Lespool, great post. Would you characterize these neocons you speak of as Armageddon dreading US Christians and American Likud-niks? If you do then you know what the hell is going on.