The man who won’t veto anything Congress passes sure likes to pull the veto lever internationally. President Bush simply uses his Executive Signing Statements to shape domestic law to something more comfortable to him. Without this power internationally, Bush must use his veto to turn back deals he doesn’t like or when he wants to gig his enemy. Unfortunately the world is full of Bush enemies due to his unilateral, pre-emptive, self serving, knee jerk, heavy handed policies.
Ask Vladmir Putin, the Russian President about the World Trade Organization Bush just rapped over his head. Putty it doesn’t do well to attack Dick Cheney or deride the version of democracy Bush exported to Iraq. That will come back to bite you, courtesy of the Bush revenge machine.
Has the Russian leader not watched American politics since President George took office? Attack, deride, discredit, and wham in the weak spot! Oh, my opponent wants something? Not only will I not give it to you, I will make you physically suffer as I crush it in front of you.
That is just what Bush did to Russia’s WTO aspirations. Every other member of the 149 country organization approved Russia’s application for membership. Only the United States stands in the way. The hold up was blamed on beef and pork restrictions, but the underlying relationship seems strained. A public exchange bears this out.
"I talked about my desire to promote institutional change in parts of the world like Iraq where there's a free press and free religion," Bush said at the news conference, "and I told him that a lot of people in our country would hope that Russia would do the same thing."
Putin, in a barbed reply, said: "We certainly would not want to have the same kind of democracy as they have in Iraq, I will tell you quite honestly." Bush's face reddened as he tried to laugh off the remark. "Just wait," Bush replied about Iraq.
Yes, just wait until the Shiite majority Iraqi government weighs in on Bush’s hand washing of the other fledgling democracy in the region, Lebanon. That the brunt of the Israeli revenge war machine is directed at Hezbollah, a Shiite political party will complicate matters. When Bush says “Just wait”, he may not have to wait long.
What’s the solution to all this? International Presidential singing statements with George Bush President of the World. Otherwise, the vetoes will keep coming. Given this scenario, vetoing doesn’t seem so bad, after all.