You know what my new name for George W. Bush is?
Why do I call him President Yes?
Well, you may not believe this.
You probably haven’t seen anyone else in the media complaining about this aspect of the Bush White House.
What I am about to tell you nearly stretches credulity.
But check it out for yourself.
This president so craves love and approval from the Washington establishment that he is yet to have vetoed a single, solitary piece of legislation approved by Congress.
I’m not talking about just in his second term. I’m saying that he has failed to exercise the veto pen once in his five years in office.
Is that as astonishing to you as it is to me?
This summer, for instance, when the Congress passed a pork-laden $286 billion transportation bill, Bush signed it. That wouldn’t be surprising, given his record, but he had specifically promised to threaten any transportation bill allocating more than $284 billion.
This new spending law includes such vital national security provisions as a $5.8 million trail for snowmobilers in Vermont, $7 million for the National Infantry Museum and a $200 million bridge named for Alaska congressman Rep. Don Young.
Think about what I am telling you: After 55 months in office, President Bush has yet to veto a bill!
To put this in perspective, his “kinder, gentler” father vetoed 44 bills in only four years in office.
President Reagan vetoed 78.
President Franklin Delano Roosevelt vetoed 635.
In fact, not since 1854 has the country awaited a presidential veto for this long.
Now, what does this inability to say “no” mean in the life of the country and the federal government?
In his first term in office, Bush turned a $127 million surplus, albeit a phony one, into a $520 billion deficit.
And, believe me, it wasn’t the tax cuts that did it. It was the profligate spending by a runaway Republican Congress backed by a Republican president who just can’t say “no.”
The day of reckoning is coming.
It may not come on Bush’s watch. But it is coming nonetheless.
Some day soon, the Democrats will be pointing out this reckless, uncontrolled, undisciplined spending in their bid for the White House and control of Congress.
What will be the Republican retort?
It won’t fly.
There’s nothing compassionate about bankrupting the country, driving up inflation and, inevitably, setting up a major new tax increase.
On top of what Bush has done – or not done – while in office, he’s now faced with the massive cleanup of New Orleans and the Gulf Coast, the continuing Iraq War, the Afghanistan campaign. God forbid another shoe should drop.
This country is unprepared for another trial, another disaster, another major expense.
Our enemies know this as surely as Americans do.
Yet, there’s not a chance Bush will change course – not after five years of saying “yes.”
Oh, I should qualify this new name for President Bush.
He may not veto congressional legislation, but he has been known to say “no” to certain provisions of bills passed by Congress.
One in particular comes to mind.
That was the bill in which the Congress overwhelmingly approved spending to add 2,000 new Border Patrol agents this year, another 2,000 next year and 2,000 in each of the next three years.
While President Yes signed the bill, as is his habit, his administration turned down the money for beefing up the Border Patrol, saying it just wasn’t needed.
Now let me ask you: What do you think this country needs more – 10,000 new Border Patrol agents or a snowmobiling trail in Vermont?