If it quacks like a lame duck

George W. Bush is very much a lame-duck President and that message was driven home this week with the total collapse of the "grand bargain" immigration bill which failed dramatically in the Senate.

The defeat is a bitter pill for a President who has rode roughshod over Congress for the last six-and-a-half years and his growing inability to move or affect legislation showcases a shifting of power from one end of the Capitol Hall to the other.

For many, that shift is long over due.

Writes Jim Rutenberg of The New York Times:

The breakthrough on the “grand bargain” on immigration a few weeks ago had brought new life to a White House under siege, putting a long-sought goal suddenly within reach. After many grim months, there was almost giddiness at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

But that early euphoria only made the grand bargain’s grand collapse on Thursday night all the more of a blow, pointing up a stubbornly unshakable dynamic for President Bush in the final 19 months of his term: With low approval ratings and the race to succeed him well under way, his ability to push his agenda has faded to the point where he can fairly be judged to have entered his lame duck period.

In all, 38 of the 48 Senate Republicans effectively voted against the White House on the crucial procedural vote on the immigration bill, leaving the president’s No. 1 domestic priority somewhere between stalled and dead.

The White House has similarly been through a sharp reversal on the domestic politics of the Iraq war. After receiving a lift last month in the defeat of Democratic efforts to link war finances to Iraq withdrawal dates, the White House acknowledged Friday that it could not renominate Mr. Bush’s chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Peter Pace, because of expected opposition on Capitol Hill.

For a president whose muscular assertions of executive authority had overshadowed Congress for years, it was a striking indicator of how the balance of power in Washington has shifted away from him.


  1. mojibyrd

    Bush may be a lame duck, but he does not follow the law of the land anyhow and he is the ‘decider guy’ so he may be a lame duck….but his handlers know exactly what they are doing with this lame duck….and could care less if he get’s roasted or broiled in the process as long as the outcome is what they want….the end of America as we know it.

    Bush has gotta go, Rice can too and let’s also put Cheney out to pasture none too soon.

  2. Carl Nemo

    May her child be born into a world that may have found a “sweet spot” in world history; i.e., a true “Pax Americana”, unlikely as it may be!

    Carl Nemo **==

  3. Donnat

    to be restrained from more murder and mayhem. The Democrats lost their nerve on the Iraq funding bill, let’s hope this is a sign they are finding it again.

  4. www.nazilieskill.us

    Measure 51 gives Bush the power to create a dictatorship on the flimsiest of pretexts. Dictators are never lame ducks, even unofficial ones.

    John Hanks, Laramie, Wyoming