Dan Goodman's prediction and politics journal.

Friday, April 15, 2005

So much for "The Buck Stops Here"

Bush on passport plan: 'What's going on here?'
Michael Doyle
Star Tribune Washington Bureau Correspondent
Published April 15, 2005

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- President Bush distanced himself on Thursday from his own administration's proposal to require passports for U.S. residents reentering the country from Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean.

A week after his Department of Homeland Security made public the passport proposal, Bush declared he was uncomfortable with the idea. "When I first read that in the newspaper, about the need to have passports, I said, 'What's going on here?' " Bush told a gathering of the American Society of Newspaper Editors. "If people have to have a passport, it's going to disrupt honest flow of traffic."

Bush blamed Congress for the measure, saying "evidently this has been mandated in law." In December, he signed into law an intelligence overhaul that requires tighter border security and was the basis for the passport proposal.
The White House did not immediately say why the president was unaware of the plans announced by his administration a week earlier.

The people who set this plan into motion are under President Bush's authority. A majority of the House and of the Senate belong to his party; while he can't give them direct orders (well, not without the risk of being laughed at), he has a certain amount of influence over them. He signed the bill; he had the option of vetoing it.

I do not find this disclaimer of responsibility admirable.

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