Evasion is a hallowed political tradition, sometimes so skillfully executed as to be art. But President Bush cannot be viewed as an artful dodger. His equivocation is clumsy and obvious, never more so than his ducking of fair questions about his latest Supreme Court nominee.
The administration is bandying about the idea of taking disaster relief out of the Department of Homeland Security and giving it to the Pentagon. This is getting rather far afield from the military’s overriding mission — winning wars. Even further afield is what President Bush this week asked Congress to give him: The power to order the military to enforce quarantines in areas of the country infected with lethal disease. Implicit in the request is that the military could use force if necessary.
President Bush has all but cried uncle over the prospects of congressional action on Social Security reform this year, and it’s becoming increasingly doubtful whether he’ll ever realize what he described as the top domestic priority of his second term.