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Making Excuses for Bush

Reported by Judy - July 28, 2005

John Gibson was missing from "The Big Story" on Wednesday (July 27, 2005), but he must have passed his file of "Stupid Story Ideas for Slow News Days" on to guest host Andrew Napolitano. How else to explain the lame "Political Smackdown" segment based on the premise that the reason George Bush is having such a hard time getting his programs through Congress is that so many senators are running for president in 2008?

Napolitano presented the premise to Republican strategist Terry Holt and Democratic strategist and Fox News contributor Bob Beckel. Neither one tried, in the few seconds alloted to him, to analyze how Senator Bill Frist's presidential ambitions might be getting in the way of passing Social Security privatization, for example. They spoke only in generalities, with Holt saying the Senate is a jumping off point for people running for president and Beckel saying, "You're going to see these people (Republicans) running like scalded dogs from anything that's unpopular" because Bush is no threat to them any more.

After the segment wandered aimlessly for a minute or so, Napolitano asked the penetrating question, "What about Rudy Giuliani?" Holt answered that he would have to appeal to the GOP base to get the nomination (i.e., he's pro-choice and doesn't have a snowball's chance in hell of being nominated) but that he would be hard for Democrats to beat.

Noting that Napolitano really likes Giuliani personally, Beckel threw in the towel on the segment, saying half-jokingly, "Whatever you want me to say. Yeah, he'd be tough."

This segment had no real purpose other than to plant in viewers' minds the excuse for Bush's failures this legislative session. Despite weeks of Bush flying around the country beating the drums for privatizing social security, his legislative centerpiece is dead in the water. His UN ambassador pick is as popular as a skunk at a picnic. The war on Iraq remains a quagmire, and the Downing Street Memos show he lied his way into it. His political gunslinger, Karl Rove, may be indicted for Traitorgate.

And whose fault is it? Not Georgie's, of course.

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