Bush Misses the Boat on Pork

The fact that the Iraq funding/withdrawal bill is filled with billions in pork-barrel spending would seem to be a gift to President Bush, because it provides him with added political cover to veto it, as even opponents of the war can become outraged by the prospect of larding up a defense bill with peanut and spinach subsidies. It would seem to be a big fat fastball right over the plate, just waiting for him to knock out of the ballpark. However, when Bush spoke about his decision to veto the bill, he mentioned the pork-barrel spending, but qualified his statements by saying that he’s not opposed to such expenditures–just that they shouldn’t be in this particular bill.

Read it and weep (or watch the video here):

The House bill would add billions of dollars in domestic spending that is completely unrelated to the war. For example, the bill includes $74 million for peanut storage, $25 million for spinach growers. These may be emergencies. They may be problems. But they can be addressed in the normal course of business. They don’t need to be added on to a bill that’s supporting our troops….

And just like their colleagues in the House, Senate Democrats have loaded their bill with special interest spending. The bill includes $40 million for tree assistance. You know, all of these matters may be important matters. They don’t need to be loaded onto a bill that is emergency spending bill for our troops.

Is he that dedicated to big government conservatism that he cannot seize on an oppourtunity when he has it? I am behind President Bush 100% on his impending veto of the disgraceful legislation. But this type of political ineptitude is just baffling.