Bush Dons New Attitude in Editorial -- Will Democrats Buy It?
Jan. 3, 2007 — -- On the editorial pages of this morning's Wall Street Journal, President Bush provided a first glimpse of how he intended to deal with 2007's new Democratic Congress.
"We can show the American people that Republicans and Democrats can come together to find ways to help make America a more secure, prosperous and hopeful society," he wrote, saying he hoped to find "common ground."
The question is whether any of the Democrats now running Capitol Hill will buy Bush's bipartisan rhetoric amidst his laundry list of conservative agenda items such as tax cuts and military spending.
"This is the first time the president has dealt with the Democratic majority, so this is a very different environment in which he has to work," said Amy Walter of the Cook Political Report.
President Bush may be a lot of things, but he's not particularly known for being bipartisan.
"The Democrat approach comes down to this: The terrorists win, and America loses," Bush said just days before the November elections that put Congress in the hands of Democrats.
The feeling has been mutual.
"Who set up the president of the United States, this president, as our moral pope?" Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, asked in July.
In his editorial today, though, the president said it was time to put all that aside, writing that he wanted to "find practical ways to advance the American Dream."
His ideas include making previously passed tax cuts permanent, balancing the budget within five years, and giving the president the "line item veto" to allow him to cut individual programs in spending bills.
"What he is saying in this Op-Ed is … Democrats, I am happy to listen to you but in the end remember, I am still the president and I still want to control this agenda," Walter said.
On Thursday, members of the Democrat-controlled House and Senate will take their oaths of office. Two years are left in Bush's presidency -- one quarter remains. Will it be full of compromise or combat?
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