Monday, March 06, 2006


I understand that in politics -- as well as sports, and perhaps even life -- when you are in trouble you should go back to your core beliefs. And I also understand that for many Republicans, especially those residing or working at 1600 Penn Ave. that means looking back to the 80's and trying to find their "inner Reagan."

However, the most recent White House plan to solve the nation’s ills isn't going to help; a return of the line item veto.

There are two major reasons why this is a non-starter. First, in lesser order, this President hasn't vetoed a single bill. For a guy who supposedly believes in "big ideas" -- here's one, try vetoing a bill you oppose. (When you've done that, then we can talk about a line item veto.) Of course, the second reason is also a bit of a roadblock as well, namely that the Supreme Court has found that the line item veto is unconstitutional and that it would require a Constitutional Amendment. The Court stated back in 1998 that "there is no provision in the Constitution that authorizes the president to enact, to amend or to repeal statutes." That, of course, is a bit of a problem in implementing the idea. (Although, in their defense, I do believe that it is the current White House position that the Constitution only applies to the President when he says it does – so maybe this all makes some twisted sense under White House logic.)

I think that instead of trying to float these absolute non-starter trial balloons that the White House should be more concerned with Iraq, rebuilding New Orleans or reigning in a budget deficit that is getting out of control. But then again, given how incompetent they have been at addressing those items to date, maybe it is a good thing for the country that they are having flashbacks to the 80s.