Flunking Out of Presidenting:
Remember the Democrats' capitulation to the White House on Iraq war funding back in the distant spring? One of the charming aspects of the "deal" with the Bush administration (if by "deal," you mean, "bitchification") was that, after reporting to Congress on how the Iraqi government was meeting benchmarks, was that if the benchmarks were not met, funds were prohibited from being spent. And, with even the best-spun reports saying that progress in Iraq has advanced from a one-legged lizard to a two-legged skink, it should mean bye-bye funding. Except that the law "Allows the President to waive such requirement upon submission to Congress of a detailed justification for the waiver." In other words, it was the "Suck it, Congress" clause, and, yesterday, Congress, indeed, had to suck it as Bush waived the benchmark requirements and let the cash pour. It's kind of like you're supposed to give a book report on The Red Badge of Courage, but all you read was the first chapter, and you give yourself an "A" for effort, when what you deserve is a fat fuckin' "F" and getting smacked in the side of the head with a ruler.

Whatever policies his evil cabal of lawyers, Cheneys, and succubi have conjured, George W. Bush doesn't have a basic understanding of the government, or at least one that we might recognize. Maybe it's time we stopped attending Bush's civics class for megalomaniacs. At his press conference yesterday (or, as we in the real world call it, "The Recitation o' the Points of Talking"), Bush said of the separation of powers as regards the war, " I don't think Congress ought to be running the war. I think they ought to be funding our troops... Congress has all the right in the world to fund. That's their main involvement in this war, which is to provide funds for our troops. What you're asking is whether or not Congress ought to be basically determining how troops are positioned, or troop strength. And I don't think that would be good for the country." Beyond the fact that it's not really "in the world" that Congress has the right to fund - it's in, like, the Constitution, Bush's agreement or disagreement with that is a non-issue. It's like standing on the ground and pretending that you're giving permission for the clouds to move. It's cute, but worthless: those clouds don't give a fuck about your opinion.

But look at some of the underlying ideas there: that Congress should just appropriate a lump sum and let the Commander-in-Chief, because of his commander-in-chief superpowers and supersmarts, decide how its spent. Why are budget bills so fuckin' huge? Because the money is micromanaged. The Congress doesn't just say, "Well, fuck, howzabout we give the DOD a half trillion or so to fuck with whatever they feel like fuckin' with." Every appropriations bill says what money can and can't be spent on. Christ, Bush threatens to veto bills if they mention anything having to do with actual, real fucking, and not just abstinence. In other words, he won't allow Congress to just appropriate funds for U.N. reproductive health programs. He wants to say specifically what the money's spent on. How is that any goddamn different than Congress saying, "Hey, cockface, this whole war thing was fucked from the get-go and now we're only gonna give you money to get us the fuck out of there." Of course, that's antithetical to the whole neocon unitary executive bullshit theory that the stooges at the Weekly Standard and Heritage Foundation jerk-off to (until some relatively sane Democrat is elected).

And would somebody please ask Bush or Tony "No, No, the Cancer's Not Karma" Snow one simple question: did they support the Republican-led investigations and hearings into Whitewater and other events in the past of Bill Clinton and members of his administration? Did they think all that time and money spent in Congress was wise? 'Cause all these fuckers say now is that, when something's done, it's in the past and it's time to move on. Look at Bush's punk-ass statement on the outing of a covert CIA agent who was working undercover on issues of weapons of mass destruction: "I'm aware of the fact that perhaps somebody in the administration did disclose the name of that person, and I've often thought about what would have happened had that person come forth and said, I did it. Would we have had this, you know, endless hours of investigation and a lot of money being spent on this matter? But it's been a tough issue for a lot of people in the White House, and it's run its course and now we're going to move on." "Run its course" being code for "Don't investigate." Or, once again in the real world, "cover-up."

Check out that attitude, that the whole thing was just a big goddamned inconvenience because of statements "people throughout my administration were forced to give as a result of the special prosecutor." It's not unlike saying you cut off your girlfriend's cat's head, and, yeah, it sucks for your girlfriend and, you know, for the cat, but, shit, think about how traumatic the whole experience was for you.

And isn't that what we're always supposed to take away from these little insights into Bush's mad, mad mind? How hard it all is on him? If we graded him for what he says this all does to him, all the labored thinking and understanding and listening, why he'd get a big ol' A-double plus good.