Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Port left, uh, right, uh...

Well, the whole Portgate thing (I prefer the term Portmanteau, but that's me) seems to have temporarily united the divergent wings of American politics, although they each have different reasons to be against it (Extreme gloss: the lefties suspect Bush of being up to no good, the righties suspect the Arabs of being up to no good). By all rights, it should be one of these one-day new stories, except, like the Dick-go-blam affair, it seems to encapsulate well most of the major failings of this administration, which I call NISCE (Neglect, Incompetence, Secrecy, Cronyism and Eminence) *

Neglect - The revelations about the port situation have forced the news media to acknowledge just how little the Bush administration has actually done to secure the ports since 9/11, something they refused to do when Kerry was hammering on it during the 2004 campaign.

Incompetence - No one major in the Bush administration seems to have known about this (not Bush, not Rumsfeld, not the Pentagon). Whoever did know seems not to have realized that some people might object to this if not the Bush-hating lefties then the Arab-hating righties. Further, they didn't even bother to have the legally mandated 45-day waiting period

Secrecy - Secrecy and incompetence kind of blend in this administration, as one feeds the other (see above, and add Congress to the list of people that didn't know about this). However, I'm sure there are many interesting facets not being revealed now, e.g., why is Bush so adamant about going forward with this (see below for Eminence)

Cronyism. - In this case, Treasury Secretary Snow and ?David Sanborn? (who obviously didn't find playing mellow jazz fulfilling enough)

Eminence - When the going gets tough, Bush asserts his prerogative as President to do whatever the hell he wants. In this case, his threats to veto any Congressional action on the matter are somewhat confusing. One would think he would resort to his usual modus operandi: withdraw it and then quietly sneak it in the back door somehow (I hear Executive orders on Friday afternoons in August are great for that). His stubborness, while not unusual for him, has two likely causes:
a) There is much much more to this than we know right now; or

b) He wants to show Congress that he's the President still, and he can do whatever the hell he pleases.

Occam's Razor compels us at this point to chose option b. However, if there are hearings and all of a sudden scads of information is classified and/or withheld, we may be compelled to pick a)

*Hey, if you have a better acronym, leave it in the comments

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