Well, I guess the president told me.
Monday I advised him — in all good faith — to blow away the guys who got him into this port deal in which a company owned by the government of the United Arab Emirates is lined up to take over six major U.S. ports.
I earnestly advised Mr. Bush that this was a loser and he should get rid of the people who were so tone deaf they could not see the political stupidity of supporting this deal.
I said, "Mr. President, you've got another Brownie on your hands and you know what you had to do last time you found yourself with a Brownie: a couple days of blind loyalty just for drill and then boom, fire him."
I based my advice on a bit of wisdom a really smart political guy once gave me:
Don't get married to a position that has no support from anybody.
When Democrats and Republicans, libs and conservatives, oppose something, just keep walking. It's a loser.
So when this story breaks I get spontaneous e-mail from both sides of the political spectrum raising holy hell about the very idea of letting the UAE run the ports, and I can see this has no political support.
That pretty much confirmed my first impression.
But Tuesday the president said he'd veto any legislation blocking the bill.
I thought, "Wow, that's way more than just getting married to a bad idea. Bush hasn't vetoed anything."
By the way, I was against the Clinton deal which gave the port of Long Beach to the government of Red China. It's a bad idea, too, but at least you could say they haven't attacked us yet.
The UAE was the last country on the planet to pull diplomatic recognition for the Taliban after 9/11. For that reason alone I'd kill the deal.
Well, it's still bad. But maybe it won't hurt Republicans too much come November because they're all screaming just as loud as the Democrats.
But still, nobody supports this except Bush's own team.
Politically, that makes it a loser.
And the proof is Jimmy Carter is for it. Need I say more?
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