July 18: President Bush has been a "total failure"
in everything from the economy to the war to energy policy,
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Thursday. In an interview
with a television channel, the California Democrat was asked
to respond to video of the President criticizing the Democratic-led
Congress for heading into the final 26 days of the legislative
session without having passed a single government spending
Pelosi shot back in unusually personal terms.
know, God bless him, bless his heart, President of the United
States, a total failure, losing all credibility with the American
people on the economy, on the war, on energy, you name the
subject," Pelosi replied. She then tsk-tsked Bush for
"challenging Congress when we are trying to sweep up
after his mess over and over and over again."
House spokeswoman Dana Perino defended Bush.
the president said is a fact Ч this is the longest a Congress
has gone in 20 years without passing a single spending Bill,
so it's clear that the Speaker is feeling some frustration
at their inability to do so."
outburst was a departure. Her usual practice in public has
been to call Bush's policies a failure Ч not his presidency
or him, personally. Pelosi's remarks are the latest evidence
of the Democrats' throw-caution-to-the-wind approach to Bush
in the waning days of a presidency weighed down by an unpopular
war and soaring gasoline prices.
Day, after all, is just over four months away; Bush's successor
takes his seat on January 20.
Pelosi's counterpart in the Senate, Majority Leader Harry
Reid, long ago took off the rhetorical gloves. Last month,
he ridiculed Republicans who sided with Bush on a Medicare
would be afraid of him?" Reid, D-Nev., said as many senators
looked on. "He's got a 29 percent approval rating."
public's view of Congress is even worse. Its approval rating
has hit a new low of just 18 percent, down from 23 percent
last month, according to a new AP-Ipsos poll. Bush's approval
is at 28 percent, about even with the 29 percent rating last
16 percent of those surveyed thought the country was moving
in the right direction, a new low as well, although statistically
the same as last month's 17 percent.
week Reid and other Democrats dropped any pretense of trying
to fight the president on battles they were likely to lose
Ч even on the most important part of their jobs, which is
passing spending bills that keep the government running.
the 12 annual appropriations bills, Congress is likely to
pass one or two and send Bush a temporary spending fix for
the rest. That would have to suffice until a new president
takes office, Reid told reporters.
Democrats have said that either candidate for president Ч
Democrat Barack Obama or Republican John McCain Ч would be
easier to make laws with than Bush. But Reid made clear which
would hope that before we would leave here this year that
we would do a continuing resolution that would get us (through)
until after Senator Obama becomes president," he said.