Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Bush Holds Midwest Flood Victims as Hostages of War Funding

President Bush's commitment to flood victims is legendary, which makes it all the more surprising that he has chosen to hold the flood victims in the Midwest hostage of his military pursuits.

We've got what we called a Disaster Relief Fund. There's enough money in that fund to take care of this disaster. But what we're concerned about is future disasters this year. And therefore, we're going to work with the Congress. Jim Nussle is going to go up to work with Congress to get enough money in the upcoming supplemental to make sure that fund is -- has got enough money to deal with a potential disaster, another disaster this year.

Congress doesn't need to worry about working with the White House on this, because we think the supplemental is the way to go. What they do need to worry about is making sure that there is enough but not too much money in the fund, so we can say we have done our job.

The audacity necessary to make a statement like that could only be found in our fearless leader, as others might be hampered in the effort by a sense of self awareness or tact. Consider the implication here. First, Bush declares outright the money to deal with the situation is available, but he has decided to save it for a rainy day, perhaps millennial floods instead of yawners such as 500-year ones.

But, what is worse, is that he has decided to utilize the opportunity to tie more funding--superfluous by his own admission--to the war supplemental bill. The reason for that is obvious: he is forcing Congress' hand by making a vote against funding the Iraqi occupation a vote against the flood victims, and thus political suicide.

Interior disasters have no bearing on foreign occupations, and that Bush is willing to tie the two together to suit his personal ambitions is beyond the pale, even for a man of his capacity for shallow thinking.

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