A President Who Will Never Do the Right Thing

Gail Collins offers this fantasy of a Christmas miracle: For the good of the country, Dick Cheney resigns. Then George Bush resigns. These acts elevate Nancy Pelosi to the presidency until January 20. She immediately implements whatever agenda President-Elect Obama dictates. The Collins fantasy not only delivers immediate action to address the economic crisis, it gives the nation its first female president, if only for a month or so.

Back in the land of reality, we have a president who is so unconcerned about his legacy that he refuses to consider a proposed $300 billion economic stimulus package because that amount of money -- believed even by some conservative economists to be the minimum amount needed to prompt a recovery -- is too large. The Wall Street Journal disagrees with Bush:

[more ...]

Without a substantial fiscal stimulus plan, the nation's economy is expected to worsen through January, when President-elect Barack Obama takes office.

If anything, $300 billion isn't sufficient:

"I think you have to get very, very bold here -- $500 billion or $600 billion would be just fine," said Lyle Gramley, a former Federal Reserve governor now at Stanford Group Co. "The problem is that we need the stimulus tomorrow -- the sooner the better. It's most unfortunate we're in this interim period between presidencies."

Despite Paul Krugman's warning that inaction between now and January 20 will worsen the crisis, Bush is off to Peru. Washington is getting a bit chilly for him and Peru is so much warmer.

If Bush refuses even to stay in town and work with Congress to pass a stimulus package, he isn't about to resign for the nation's good. And he isn't about to make Nancy Pelosi president, an act that would horrify what remains of the GOP (and perhaps a good-sized chunk of the non-GOP).

Fantasies that can never be realized usually end with disappointment. This one isn't worth indulging.

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    The government isn't installed for the good of the people. Or so it seems to Bush.

    Depends which people (5.00 / 3) (#3)
    by joanneleon on Sat Nov 22, 2008 at 05:08:32 PM EST
    you're talking about.

    Did you mishear the fable? (none / 0) (#20)
    by NMvoiceofreason on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 10:29:46 AM EST
    The way I heard it, Bush pardons everybody and resigns on Jan 18th. Cheney pardons Bush and appoints Rice as VP. Cheney then resigns. Rice then is the first woman and first black president. The country drowns because they don't care.

    Remember Cheney can still declare martial law until the afternoon of Jan. 20th, 2009.


    Collins and Bush - twu peas in a pod (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by koshembos on Sat Nov 22, 2008 at 05:11:25 PM EST
    Collins should resign too and take with her Bill Crystal, MoDO and some the regular reporter. With better reporting and better columnists we hope not to have more Ws in the future.

    For those who think stimulus is around $600, I believe we need way over a trillion $$$$.

    Make it a googleplex..... (none / 0) (#17)
    by kdog on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 08:12:02 AM EST
    what's a few more zeros on the end when it's all on the arm anyway.

    Oh yeah, that's right, eventually the loan shark comes for the arm.  


    Priorities (5.00 / 2) (#5)
    by joanneleon on Sat Nov 22, 2008 at 05:15:12 PM EST
    I've been appalled, really, at the lack of action on the economy.  Last week's hearings with Paulson were an atrocity.   The hearings with the auto industry execs were a real eye opener too.  Those guys just intend to keep doing things the way they've been doing things, until the economy gets better.  When asked if they'd consider improvements in their products related to CAFE, they balked.  I couldn't believe it.  It was so crystal clear that they came as a formality, counting on the fact that the govt. was going to hand them some money with no strings attached in terms of requirements to change their products or way of doing business.

    Paulson... I find it hard to even discuss his attitude and responses at his hearing.  

    Both Bush and Obama are sailing along, talking about the economy, but nothing is being done to help the people falling through the cracks.  I'm afraid it's going to be a long, cold winter.  Like Katrina, emergency help doesn't seem to be coming with emergency timing, and the relief efforts are shoddy at best.  

    Do you think that (none / 0) (#6)
    by DFLer on Sat Nov 22, 2008 at 05:22:49 PM EST
    the auto execs and others are banking on the price of oil and gasoline remaining at current lows, and therefore don't see the need of lower CAFE standards? ...that consumer demand for SUVs will re-blossom?

    I have no idea (5.00 / 2) (#8)
    by joanneleon on Sat Nov 22, 2008 at 06:05:36 PM EST
    They talk about new products they have in the pipeline.  But otherwise, they seem to think that things will just get better for them when the economy gets better.  I found them to be incredibly tone deaf and unaware of the root of their problem, as impossible as that seems.  

    If there is to be a bailout or loan or whatever we're calling this, I think that there should be some form of temporary nationalization so that changes in management and products can be forced.  I also wonder whether all three should continue or whether one should choose bankruptcy, in hopes that parts of it could be sold to some entrepreneurial companies who would help bring change to that industry.  The barriers to entry in the auto industry in this country have been nearly insurmountable.  It would be nice to see what some new people could do.

    I mean, let's face it, GM made the Escalade into a hybrid, and their Volt, which they've been promising for years, is showing signs of having no market.  Not only that, GM is the company who went to great lengths to kill the Saturn EV1 years ago, a car that was in production selling well and had customers begging to keep them.  Are these the kind of people who should be making decisions and getting taxpayer money?


    THIS is why nader (5.00 / 2) (#9)
    by NYShooter on Sat Nov 22, 2008 at 06:18:45 PM EST
    says there's no difference between the two parties.

    So, welcome to Katrina 2.

    Temperatures in NY are in the teens already; everyone I know is worried sick. Food? Medicine? Eldercare? mortgage? Fuel oil/Gas? One thing they know; they can't do them all.

    That we're in a crisis of monumental proportions isn't even being denied....by anyone. Forget the Republicans; they'll do what they've always done, loot the treasury for themselves and their cronies.

    I blame the Democrats. Sure, Obama hasn't been sworn in yet; please don't tell me he and the inert-two, Reid and Pelosi can't bully pulpit this thing till Jan. 20. They don't have to be in power to tell the banks, "stop the foreclosures till we're in." They can tell those businesses that can afford to, "stop the layoffs till Jan. 20." They can do so many things.

    But unfortunately, "protocol" is more important than the health and well being of America's population.

    Didn't they reach Kipling at Harvard?
    "If you can keep your head when all about you...."

    Here's where I want to see "The One" give us some of that "change we can believe in."

    Agreed (none / 0) (#16)
    by Uri on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 07:57:47 AM EST
    Except that protocol calls for Congress to impeach Bush and Cheney.

    Not sure... (none / 0) (#22)
    by NYShooter on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 06:14:02 PM EST
    Certainly. protocol "should" call for impeachment. How about "Patriotism" or "Duty" or "Sworn obligation?"

    Then again, there are no surviving photos of Bush shoving fire crackers into a frog's mouth and laughing hysterically as he tosses it in the air.

    We DO have priorities in this country, Sir :)


    should've nominated clinton. (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by cpinva on Sat Nov 22, 2008 at 07:04:24 PM EST

    $300B seems small (none / 0) (#1)
    by andgarden on Sat Nov 22, 2008 at 04:08:25 PM EST
    I think something closer to $1T, or maybe $1.4T is what's needed. It's a budget buster, for sure, but you can be sure it'll pass as an emergency supplemental. (What's good fro Iraq is good for the economic crisis. . .)

    If Bush Can Spend $600 Billion (none / 0) (#7)
    by bob h on Sat Nov 22, 2008 at 05:58:04 PM EST
    on an unnecessary war in Iraq, how can anyone object to spending a like amount on rescuing the economy, particularly since all the economic benefit stays right at home?

    As Bush continues to spout his warnings about "regulation", I have to conclude the man is simply mentally ill.

    Can't we object to both... (none / 0) (#18)
    by kdog on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 08:19:14 AM EST
    for no other reason than we don't have the money?

    When we will look at spending and the debt as national security issues...nothing is less secure than being flat broke...ask anybody who is flat broke.


    This year (none / 0) (#10)
    by lilburro on Sat Nov 22, 2008 at 06:35:30 PM EST
    Bush's Grinch-like grimace will perfectly reflect reality.  Seems like he's determined to ruin the holidays for everyone.  Poor Barney.

    Sure put (none / 0) (#11)
    by Wile ECoyote on Sat Nov 22, 2008 at 06:51:57 PM EST
    Pelosi in charge.  One of the few people in charge of institutions with ratings lower than Bush.    

    In fantasyland, (none / 0) (#13)
    by Peter G on Sat Nov 22, 2008 at 07:17:50 PM EST
    although it skips over the "first woman president" part, if you don't like Pelosi as Pres, then imagine this:  Cheney resigns.  Bush exercises his power under the 25th Amendment, section 2, to nominate BHO as vice president.  Both Houses of Congress confirm the nomination (by simple majority vote).  Bush resigns.  Guess who is now President immediately?  No need to wait until Jan. 20.

    with respect to (none / 0) (#14)
    by cpinva on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 03:50:33 AM EST
    the auto manufacturers:

    bear in mind, these guys have been losing money for years now. it isn't as though the current economic stress is solely responsible for the dire straights they find themselves in.

    they have insisted on making vehicles that, with few exceptions, most consumers (in this country) have no interest in owning. the unions had no hand in this, it's strictly an upper-level management call.

    the management of these companies has been nothing short of abysmal for years now. the recent spike in oil prices merely exacerbated a previously existing condition; the decreasing sales of SUV's, one of the few areas of the market they had control of.

    as well, they've fought tooth and nail to resist the imposition of mandatory gas mileage minimums, so they could continue pumping out gas hogs. consequently, they have few or no lines of economical vehicles to fall back on.

    bush and the republican party have been complicit in this, maybe they can all pony up the cash needed to bail their buds out.

    the "right thing" for george bush to do, would have been to never run in the first place. once that fatal mistake was made, it was pretty much downhill from there on.

    Incompetence! (none / 0) (#15)
    by DeborahNC on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 05:38:24 AM EST
    If Bush refuses even to stay in town and work with Congress to pass a stimulus package, he isn't about to resign for the nation's good.

    What can we expect? The man stayed in Texas after being warned that bin Laden was likely to attack soon. From the beginning, he didn't project any authentic desire to govern.

    Get elected? Yes. But, not govern.

    Gail Collins offers this fantasy of a Christmas miracle: For the good of the country, Dick Cheney resigns. Then George Bush resigns.

    If Gail is truly entertaining thoughts that George W. Bush would willingly abdicate his remaining power, even 1 minute before Obama is sworn in, she is bordering on delusional thinking. Bush is all about ego.

    Something that I do wonder about is--how does Bush truly think he has performed as president? Any speculation out there?


    but remember, (none / 0) (#19)
    by cpinva on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 09:43:39 AM EST
    Get elected? Yes. But, not govern.

    governing is hard work!


    What would (none / 0) (#21)
    by Sumner on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 11:44:23 AM EST
    Alex Jones do?

    lol (none / 0) (#23)
    by democratssuckass on Thu Jan 15, 2009 at 08:10:50 PM EST
    im sorry but im republican and i think bush will go down as a decent president. Sure he screwed up healthcare but the war in iraq was the right thing. Things are really good there now. Jimmy carter was the worst president ever. By far no question about it. it's to bad  bush's term is almost over. He was just finishing everything he worked for :(