Is the President an idiot? That was the question that caused a bunch of heat when Joe Scarborough asked it a couple of months ago. Well consider Bush's latest signing statement and then do the math:
President Bush this week asserted that he has the executive authority to disobey a new law in which Congress has set minimum qualifications for future heads of the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
Congress passed the law last week as a response to FEMA's poor handling of Hurricane Katrina. The agency's slow response to flood victims exposed the fact that Michael Brown, Bush's choice to lead the agency, had been a politically connected hire with no prior experience in emergency management.
To shield FEMA from cronyism, Congress established new job qualifications for the agency's director in last week's homeland security bill. The law says the president must nominate a candidate who has ``a demonstrated ability in and knowledge of emergency management" and ``not less than five years of executive leadership."
Bush signed the homeland-security bill on Wednesday morning. Then, hours later, he issued a signing statement saying he could ignore the new restrictions. Bush maintains that under his interpretation of the Constitution, the FEMA provision interfered with his power to make personnel decisions.
So Bush wants to be able to hire another Michael Brown to head FEMA. A smart man would take Congress' advice and make sure that the person they hire is qualified for the job. Not in Bush's mind. I guess since he is not a smart man, then he must be an idiot.