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  • Just Our Luck

    Posted by Jonathan on December 9th, 2004 (All posts by )

    It appears Norman Mineta will remain Secretary of Transportation. Bummer.

    It’s such a typical Bush deal, the kind that drives his base nuts: he won’t spend political capital on inessential issues unless he has no other choice (for another example, see: “assault weapons ban” repeal). The downside is, the base is annoyed. But what are they going to do? The upside: W avoids momentum-draining political fights on highly symbolic secondary issues.

    Previous post here.

     

    7 Responses to “Just Our Luck”

    1. Michael Parker Says:

      Mineta’s return is probably the best evidence I’ve seen of late that Bush doesn’t really take the domestic terrorist threat seriously. If we get through another four years without a disaster, how can the Republicans honestly claim that the Democrats can’t handle things? If even incompetent Mineta can’t screw things up enough to let the terrorists through, how badly could a administration really be?

      I had to use noseplugs to vote for Bush. My mistake was in taking them off after he won.

    2. Ken Says:

      “Mineta’s return is probably the best evidence I’ve seen of late that Bush doesn’t really take the domestic terrorist threat seriously. If we get through another four years without a disaster, how can the Republicans honestly claim that the Democrats can’t handle things?”

      Because there’s really no such thing as the “domestic” terror threat. It’s the terror threat, period, and too many Democrats aren’t willing to deal with that threat at its source.

    3. Jonathan Says:

      It may be that Bush doesn’t take the domestic terror threat seriously because he thinks the best way to fight radical Islam is to take the battle to our enemies. That’s what he is doing, and having done so perhaps he thinks that he can safely concede domestic anti-terror measures to the realm of domestic politics. However, Mineta is so flagrant in his willful avoidance of any serious security measure that is not PC, that I think we would be better off to see him gone. Bush could have replaced him easily, so I assume that he is still around for a reason. The only reason that I can think of is to buy the love of liberals, perhaps in anticipation of coming political battles to reform Social Security etc. I don’t know.

    4. Ken Says:

      He should know by now that “buying the love of liberals” is a lost cause. If he follows actual non-leftist policies, what’s the other side going to do, scream even louder that Bush is the second coming of Hitler?

    5. Jonathan Says:

      I don’t think it’s the right thing for Bush to do, I am merely trying to figure out why he does things like this.

    6. Brett Bellmore Says:

      “The downside is, the base is annoyed. But what are they going to do? The upside: W avoids momentum-draining political fights on highly symbolic secondary issues.”

      The problem with this reasoning is that a large component of political capital consists just EXACTLY of your base liking you, and trusting you enough to back you even when they’ve got their doubts. Things like keeping Minetta around themselves hurt his store of political capital, by reducing it on the “earnings” side of the equation.

      Nor do I think replacing an appointee who’s taken actions to piss off 95% of the Senate is really going to be costly.

      No, it’s hard to avoid the suspicion that he keeps Minetta around because he actually LIKES what he’s doing. And that’s not a good thought.

    7. PJ Says:

      Mineta is, I guess, the bone thrown to the deniers of danger contingent.

      I just heard that now at LAX the passengers will not be allowed to lower their arms at all while being felt up…er, searched by the screeners. That’s it for that airport. The last time I was there, the lead screener was Arab. The guy at the xray machine was blind in one eye. Does this make any sense to anyone?

      I’m beginning to think that our government is now so cowed by media/public opinion (as Kaplan suggests) that they see war abroad as the only possible way to prevent another attack. They’ve given up on homeland security–too many offended interest groups.