With news breaking today that both the House and Senate are likely to derail the takeover of several U.S. ports by DP World, President Bush ought to pull out his Harriet Miers playbook and withdraw from the fight before he’s further embarrassed.
Whether you agree with the White House’s defense of the deal or not, the simple fact is that Bush is facing so much opposition—particularly from members of his own party—that he would be foolish to veto the bill.
If yesterday’s 62-2 vote in the House Appropriations Committee wasn’t enough evidence of bipartisan opposition, I don’t know what is. (Only Reps. Jim Kolbe, an Arizona Republican, and Jim Moran, a Virginia Democrat, voted for it. Kolbe is retiring and Moran is from a safe Democrat district.)
Democrats are already gaining an upper hand on national security (thanks to Sen. Chuck Schumer’s decision to make the ports’ deal an election-year issue), and it’s completely irresponsible for Bush—from a purely political assessment—to do any more damage to his party.
Just ask Harriet, Mr. President. I’m sure she remembers the feeling.