Sunday, April 08, 2007

Calling a Liar a Liar

cross-posted at Watching Those We Chose

It's nice to finally read a Washington columnist calling Bush a liar when he lies. New York Times Op-Ed Columnist Frank Rich (subscription required for full column) does just that:

As if to confirm we’re in the last throes, President Bush threw any remaining caution to the winds during his news conference in the Rose Garden that same morning. Almost everything he said was patently misleading or an outright lie, a sure sign of a leader so entombed in his bunker (he couldn’t even emerge for the Washington Nationals’ ceremonial first pitch last week) that he feels he has nothing left to lose.

Incredibly, he chided his adversaries on the Hill for going on vacation just as he was heading off for his own vacation in Crawford. Then he attacked Congress for taking 57 days to “pass emergency funds for our troops” even though the previous, Republican-led Congress took 119 days on the same bill in 2006. He ridiculed the House bill for “pork and other spending that has nothing to do with the war,” though last year’s war-spending bill was also larded with unrelated pork, from Congressional efforts to add agricultural subsidies to the president’s own request for money for bird-flu preparation.

Mr. Bush’s claim that military equipment would be shortchanged if he couldn’t sign a spending bill by mid-April was contradicted by not one but two government agencies. A Government Accountability Office report faulted poor Pentagon planning for endemic existing equipment shortages in the National Guard. The Congressional Research Service found that the Pentagon could pay for the war until well into July. Since by that point we’ll already be on the threshold of our own commanders’ late-summer deadline for judging the surge, what’s the crisis?

The president then ratcheted up his habitual exploitation of the suffering of the troops and their families — a button he had pushed five days earlier when making his six-weeks-tardy visit to pose for photos at scandal-ridden Walter Reed. “Congress’s failure to fund our troops on the front lines will mean that some of our military families could wait longer for their loved ones to return from the front lines,” he said. “And others could see their loved ones headed back to the war sooner than they need to.”
Emphasis mine.

Let's be very clear. Congress passed a supplemental spending bill. Congress funded our troops. George W. Bush says he'll veto that bill. So it is George W. Bush, president, commander in chief, who is failing "to fund our troops on the front lines [meaning] that some of our military families could wait longer for their loved ones to return from the front lines."

In fact, it is Congress who is trying to bring ALL military families' loved ones home from the front lines and prevent any from heading back to the war. Forget about the "sooner than they need to." Congress wants to make sure NO military families' loved ones head back to the war.

This is George Bush's war. Congress has funded the troops. George Bush is the one shortchanging them.