Saturday, June 28, 2003

Good cop, bad cop

Tom Raum of the AP writes:

So far, Bush seems to be having it both ways.

He publicly urged House leaders to join him in supporting a Senate-passed $10 billion, 10-year bill extending the child tax credit for minimum wage workers. But instead the House lumped it into a much more ambitious $82 billion plan of tax cuts.

Now, the House and Senate differences are so great that the child tax credit for low income families appears doomed.

Bush can thus claim credit for supporting the measure, while DeLay and other conservatives possibly can point to victory for blocking its ultimate passage.

Likewise, Bush's support of extending the assault rifle ban cheered by moderates is a largely symbolic gesture. Sentiment is strong in the GOP-controlled Congress to let the ban expire and Bush does not seem to be putting much energy into efforts to extend it.

Bush being the more "moderate" Good Cop, DéLay being the Bad Cop. You might even call it triangulation. Look for more of this as 2004 approaches ...