President Bush said Tuesday that the deal allowing an Arab company to take over six major U.S. seaports should go forward and that he would veto any congressional effort to stop it.So would there be enough Republicans willing to go against the Rovian machine to override the veto. Hard to say but the political risks for Bush a very great. Bush's attack of hubris and arrogance today may have done what Plamegate and spygate couldn't do, help lawmakers find their backbones. Even a couple of Bush cultists I know are outraged and our not buying Bush's "trust me" on this one. Joe Gandelman points out that the Bush/Rovian politics of "you are with us or against us" may have gone too far.
"After careful review by our government, I believe the transaction ought to go forward," Bush told reporters who had traveled with him on Air Force One to Washington. "I want those who are questioning it to step up and explain why all of a sudden a Middle Eastern company is held to a different standard than a Great British company. I am trying to conduct foreign policy now by saying to the people of the world, `We'll treat you fairly.'"
The Bush administration — so far, at least — is handling this uproar like it has handled many of its policies that were not well-received or lacked consensus: its saying its decision is final, although the sale doesn't close until March 2.
Bottom line: By not bringing Congress into the decision or at least reaching out to senior members of its own party and the opposition, the administration has stirred up a hornet's nest of bipartisan opposition. Security is at issue here but also the consequences of a self-defeating, non-consensual political style.
What you see is "hubris" at work - on automatic pilot.