He’s threatened to wield the power before, much like a child threatens to crap his pants in a toy store unless his parents buy him that “special” day-after-Thanksgiving gift after they trample over defenseless old ladies, but George W. Bush is apparently really serious this time. He REALLY, honest to goodness, no possibility of signing statement or Dick Cheney schmoozing and skulking Senators to gain their votes and rip out their testicles, plans to VETO a piece of legislation that is soon to be presented to him.

What bill, perchance, could be of such importance – a bill, by the way, that has been approved by the House (Republican-controlled), and that, when voted upon by the Senate (Republican-controlled) will be approved by that body as well – such pernicious importance – that to not veto it would be to in effect incur the wrath of one or more of Karl Rove’s pustles (and/or) Dick Cheney mistaking you for a bird?

A bill related to the war on “terror,” you say? Surely not. The Republican Congress has never submitted legislation to the President regarding that war that he has seriously scoffed at, save for one instance – and in that instance, Bush “signing statemented” the shit out of it. (The Supreme Court, in Hamdan v. Rumsfeld, while it did not rule on the constitutionality of signing statements, by negative implication, I think, seemed unimpressed with Bush’s sorcerer-like attempt to create “Presidential intent.”)

A bill related to health care, business regulation, abortion, the enviro….zzzzzz…. Come on, folks…..

No. Think of the one issue – the one cultural/social issue – where the majority of Republicans, and ALL Democrats – in the Congress – have taken a public stand against the President (hint: the President spoke about this issue, primetime, shortly before September 11th. While giving the speech, he lied about several key facts. OK – this second part doesn’t help very much. But the first part should, given the paucity of prime time addresses Bush has given).

Give up? The bill in question is: a bill relaxing the federal restrictions on…. stem cell research! Yes, I know, it’s odd that Republicans would support a bill that is pro-science, let alone one that clearly doesn’t endear them to the fundies. Yet public support for relaxation of these restrictions is so strong that it has actually acted like the “claw” in Toy Story, forcing the heads of prominent Republican senators to be lifted out of their asses on this issue.

Why is Bush threatening to veto the bill? His reasons are the same blathersome reasons he’s been giving as justification for the restrictions for the past five years. These reasons consist of the following “logical” pleas: false-choice arguments, knocking down straw men (ones that don’t exist, by the way), fallacious (he he) attempts to appeal to one’s sense of deductive reasoning, slippery slope and doomsday rhetoric, inapt and condescending analogies, grandiose, and grandiosely stupid, Biblical allusions, you name it. All of these tropes have been tried and tested before lobotomized (is there another kind) James Dobson/Pat Fatwell/Jerry Bigotson/whatever their names are audiences. Hey, these guys don’t think anyway, so they “think” the arguments are great!

Unfortunately, the power of the claw (as anyone who has fed enough quarters into the claw machine knows) has its limits. At present, not enough votes exist to override the veto. Not thinking truly is its own reward. And the people who vote against this bill clearly don’t care about the people who are going to theirs.

Happy, Alan Bauer Slobertson Tammy Bakker LaHaye Colson Dumbson?

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