Saturday, September 22, 2007

The Buck Stops There

There were so many reasons to like and respect Harry Truman. For one, he had a sign on his desk that read "The buck stops here." And you knew he meant it.

President Bush has tried over the past few years to equate himself with President Truman, invoking not just his name but his legacy with respect to wars and paraphrasing the phrase noted above.

The problem is, whereas President Truman's actions demonstrated he, in fact, did mean what he said, President Bush's actions suggest otherwise. For example, Congress has recently been working on an expansion of the Children's Health Insurance Plan (CHIP). The current plan has holes in it that deny health insurance to children who make too much money for medicaid, yet are unable to afford private health insurance. The President, who seems to believe that not only are these people able to afford health insurance on top of their other bills and obligations (really, you can save $100 a month by moving into a crack neighborhood apartment complex!), but all the American people who WOULD qualify for the expanded CHIP would choose it over private health insurance that they could afford, thus costing too much money. Thus, he says he intends to veto the bill. The President, in debating the issue refers to Congress as "irresponsible" and announces that they are leaving children uncovered to make a political point.

You see, here's the spin. Congress, by working together to create a program not only with public, but with BIPARTISAN SUPPORT, is playing politics with children. By vetoing the bill (the current law expires on September 30), the President is saying that Congress is harming children. The alternative? This should not come as a surprise President Bush suggests that Congress should have done what He told them to do. Then he would have passed it, and everyone would be happy, because the President got His way.

Therein lies the difference. Truman accepted responsibility not just for what he said, but what he did. Bush, on the other hand, wants just one thing - everything done his way. When it isn't what He wants, then it's somebody else's fault. Here, it's not His fault he's going to veto this bipartisan-supported bill; it's Congress'. What a great way to run a country.

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