Reading a NYT column written by Richard "I'm Action-Packed, Baby" Stevenson and called "The Context" is a surreal experience at best. But I think Stevenson isn't completely wrong when he characterizes the filibuster compromise as a modest win for BushCo. I'd have called it a homerun since Dear Leader got everything he wanted out of the deal and reserved the right to blow up the filibuster down the road. Someone will have to work hard to explain to me how this can be considered anything but a big win for the White House.
Ol' Rock'em Sock'em even does a good job setting out the stakes as Conventional Beltway Wisdom sees them. Too bad Coventional Beltway Wisdom is full of crap:
Should Mr. Bush follow up his partial victory on the judicial nominees with progress on the other issues that are tied up before the House and Senate, he would no doubt be strengthened when it comes to a possible Supreme Court nomination this summer and for other topics working their way through the pipeline, including his energy bill and his stalled immigration initiative.
Yeah. No doubt. I'm sure Iraq and an economy that's tanking for everyone who doesn't make half a million dollars a year have nothing to do with it. Sure. He's mired in 40% approval ratings, (which Stevenson describes as "lackluster") because people are concerned that he's not meeting his legislative agenda. We're all about that legislative agenda here in America.
Toward the end of the story the NYT-gene really kicks in and it's back to the comic book hero worship we've come to expect from Stevenson:
But when faced with tight legislative situations in the past, Mr. Bush has shown an ability to win narrowly, or to win ugly, or occasionally, as when faced in his first term with certain defeat over his opposition to creating a new homeland security department, to capitulate and brazenly claim an opponent's idea as his own.
OR ILLEGALLY, YOU JACKASS as he tried to do this time in the Senate with his VP threatening to subvert the Constitution with the nuclear option or when his minions in the House held up the vote on his hideous Perscription Drug Boondoggle until enough votes could be blackmailed over to his side.
So no one is counting him out now, in any of the specific battles he faces, or in the overall situation. In some ways, he is winning simply by showing his conservative base that he will fight on principle, no matter the political cost, a trait that has also tended to buttress his standing among voters generally.
No, nobody's counting Dear Leader out. Least of all Richard Stevenson. According to him, BushCo is winning just by showing up. But with a corporate media that refuses to explain any issue of importance to the people, who wouldn't?
Related note: Choke on this press release straight from the perky horse's mouth for extra outragey goodness:
White House officials say that in fact Mr. Bush has gotten off to a fast start in his second term, signing legislation to tighten the bankruptcy code and rein in class action lawsuits, getting Congress to adopt a budget blueprint that largely hews to his proposals and setting the stage for action on the other big issues.
"It's important for us to keep the focus on the progress that's been made and the significant victories that may have been overshadowed by some of the drama," said Nicolle Devenish, the White House communications director. "It's important for us to reassure the American public that we're making important progress on Social Security reform and energy legislation."
Important for you indeed, Nicole. It would be awful if the truth about any of those accomplishments was exposed to the people who stand to be damaged by them. Good thing Richard is there to give you a helping hand. You owe him a lunch.