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The President–Negligent/Indulgent Father to Congress

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 6:03 pm - April 4, 2006.
Filed under: National Politics

In a column in the latest Weekly Standard, Fred Barnes writes that the president has been “inviting members of Congress, Republicans and Democrats, to meetings at the White House like never before.” I emphasized those last words as they confirm one of the biggest criticisms I have heard from Republicans (particularly through e-mails and messages from Hill staffers who read the blog) about the president — that he has not done a good job of congressional relations. While he consulted Senators on both sides of the aisle about Supreme Court nominations, he does not normally solicit congressional input on important matters of state. Some feel that had he taken the time just over a year ago to meet with leaders in Congress to flesh out a plan on Social Security, he may have succeeded in enacting some serious reform and thus spared his successors the difficulty of dealing with this popular federal program’s bankruptcy in the not-too-distant future.

One sign of whether the appointment of Josh Bolten as the president’s new chief of staff represents a serious shift in White House policy or just deck chair shuffling on a sinking ship will be how the new chief reshapes the president’s congressional relations’ office — and whether the president starts meeting more regularly with congressional leaders.

Something struck me as I wondered about the president’s failure to consult more regularly with Congress. That an executive who rarely reaches out to the legislative branch has failed to veto a single bill passed by said legislature. It seems sometimes that the president treats Congress the same way a negligent father treats his kids, so focused is he on his agenda that he rarely listens to their concerns. And perhaps feeling guilty for his neglect, that father indulges his children’s every whim, just as the president signs pork-laden bills. A good father, who regularly listens to his kids, is in a far better position to deny them their every request, without losing their affection — or respect. And better able to articulate (in a way the children will understand) the reasons behind that denial.

No wonder congressional Republicans are increasingly defying the president. Negligent/indulgent fathers find that their children become increasingly independent from them, frequently defying their authority. The president can make the last two-and-a-half years of his Administration a success the same way such a once-negligent father can save his family. By paying more attention to his “children.” The president must regularly consult with Congress so that no reporter can ever describe his meetings as Barnes has done, making it so reporters barely find those meetings newsworthy so regularly do they occur.

-Dan (AKA GayPatriotWest):

UPDATE: Curious as to whether there was a clinical term for negligent/indulgent fathers, I e-mailed the blogger Shrinkwrapped to ask his opinion. He wrote back and I reprint with his permission:

At the moment, I can’t think of a specific term for such a father, though the idea of an alternately emotionally neglectful and materially indulgent father fits the caricature of the work-a-holic corporate man of the 50’s. Part of the Narcissism of the baby boomers stems from just such emotional deprivation combined with material indulgence (which is taken to be the equivalent of love; such folks end up valuing things [including ideas] more than people.)

“Incompetent” President Slammed By Former Top Navy Chief

I just stumbled upon this column from Ian Robinson highlighting an extraordinary rebuke of our wartime President by a former Secretary of the Navy.

[Text of a letter written by liberal historian and former Secretary of the U.S. Navy George Bancroft]: “How can we reach our president with advice? He is ignorant, self-willed, and is surrounded by men, some of whom are almost as ignorant as himself.

“So we have the dilemma put to us. What to do when his power must continue for two years longer and when the existence of our country may be endangered before he can be replaced by a man of sense. How hard, in order to save the country, to sustain a man who is incompetent.”

Harsh words, albeit a little gentler than the usual stream of slanders from the left about George W. Bush — that he’s stupid, that he’s a coward who shirked his duty in the Texas Air National Guard, that he launched a war that killed thousands, costing billions and driving his nation into debt in order to enrich the corporations that pump the oil that is the lifeblood of western civilization.

By the end of the excerpt from Bancroft’s letter, every Bush-hater is no doubt nodding agreement.

I’m figuring our friends Ian, Neo and Gryph are hooting with pleasure. Hoot away guys!

There’s just one small problem……

This respected commentator on not-so-current events wasn’t writing about Bush.

He was writing in 1863 about a guy named Abraham Lincoln.

Beard, tall hat, sad face, freed the slaves?

Yeah, that President Lincoln.

The guy who through sheer force of will faced down the rebellion of the Confederacy to reunite his shattered nation.

The guy who destroyed what Americans referred to as “the peculiar institution,” which is the term Southern spin doctors of the day coined for slavery. (Southern spin doctors are still the best liars on the planet. After all, they convinced Americans that when Bill Clinton lied under oath it wasn’t really an impeachable offence because it was “just about sex.”)

Ian closes out his column with this — I wouldn’t suggest George W. Bush is an Abraham Lincoln. I would suggest the ultimate verdict of history will surprise us … the same way it surprised Bancroft.

I completely concur.

-Bruce (GayPatriot)

Where In The World?

Posted by Bruce Carroll at 9:58 am - April 4, 2006.
Filed under: Travel

This week — rainy and chilly Seattle, Washington!

Poor Saxby is Dad-less again for much of this week. Guilt, guilt, guilt!

-Bruce (GayPatriot)