the blog of DC Drinking Liberally

October 27, 2005

Not So Resolute After All


Bush has been forced into two prominent reversals in the past 24 hours. One of them promises hope, while it’s unclear what the other means for the future.

Yesterday afternoon the White House announced a reinstatement of a provision of the Davis-Bacon Act. Suspending it allowed companies doing post-Katrina reconstruction to pay their workers less, so Josh Marshall dubbed the move the Gulf Coast wage cut. The reversal was a response to a maneuver by Rep. George Miller (D-CA), who put together a coalition of Democrats and moderate Republicans who were going to bring the issue to a vote in the House. Seeing that they were on the losing side in terms of both votes and political perception, the administration had no choice but to surrender, even though it caused some Republicans to say things like this:

“It’s the kind of thing that shows they’re turning their backs on the things that Ronald Reagan and those who built this party care deeply about,” said Rep. Tom Feeney (R-Fla.).

Then this morning came another sign of weakness with the withdrawal of Harriet Miers’s nomination to the Supreme Court. We can thank Harry Reid for helping get Miers nominated and thus widening divisions within the Republican Party. Unfortunately the withdrawal can’t really be viewed as anything other than a cave-in to the extreme right, so the next nominee will probably be someone more to the liking of that wing of the party (well, at this point it’s spread from the wing to take over the whole body). We’re not going to get someone else opposed by both left and right, and the opinions of Democrats won’t count. Let’s hope the political damage caused by the Miers nomination has enough long-term effects to make up for that.

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DCDL is a blog by Washington, DC-area members of Drinking Liberally. Opinions expressed are the writers’, not those of Drinking Liberally, which provides no funding or other support for this blog.

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