Wednesday, October 11, 2006
Bubble or Paranoia? President Bush was asked about the 700-mile border fence at his press conference today (see last question). [via Influence Peddler ].
Once again, Bush doesn't quite say he'll sign the Secure Fence Act--although the questioner (foolishly!) assumes in his question that Bush has said he'd sign and Bush fails to correct him. Bush also, technically, says he's committed to building 700 miles of fencing--which again is not quite the same as signing the bill. The sincerity of even the 700-mile promise can be questioned--at one point Bush ominously seems to tie it all to the earlier appropriations bill that he did sign, saying, "I look forward to ... implementing that which Congress has funded."
He sure doesn't seem excited about HR 6061, but I don't see any way he can veto it, given that he clearly implicates he's going to sign it. But it sure is funny that he doesn't say something like 'I'm looking forward to signing this bill!'
Either a) Bush has a lot on his plate and is completely unaware that there are worries he won't sign the bill (as opposed to worries he won't build the fence**); or b) he doesn't care about placating the largely conservative worriers; or c) he cares but is too verbally and mentally clumsy to get the job done; or d) he's still trying to play a game that preserves the option of building a bit of fence but not signing the actual bill. ...
Call a) the Bubble Scenario, b) the Suicidal Scenario, c) the Inarticulate Scenario, and d) Paranoid Scenario. ... You make the call! ... I'd say it's either a) or d) ....
Update: Tony Snow's email to Powerline makes clear what Bush failed to make clear--he'll sign the bill. The email was actually posted before Bush gave his press conference. This does not, of course, mean that Bush intended to sign all along. That's one scenario!
**: CNN's Lou Dobbs, for example, has stressed the worry that the fence won't be funded or built, not that Bush won't sign the bill. On Larry King recently, Dobbs in fact appeared to be under the erroneous impression that Bush had already signed the bill. ... 4:45 P.M. link