The Smartest Guy in The Room

This morning’s NPR talks about how Bush “quietly claimed the authority to disobey more than 750 laws enacted since he took office,” using something called “signing statements” — official documents in which a president lays out his legal interpretation of a bill for the federal bureaucracy to follow when implementing the new law. This “signing statement” is better than a full veto because congress can’t challenge it. Most of time, no on in congress even notices the existence of such a “signing statement”.

As The Boston Globe reporter Charlie Savage explains how “signing statement” works and how ingenious this Administration has been at finding such loopholes to get where they want. I was reminded of the movie on Enron, ‘The Smartest Guy in the Room.”

Does anyone else see the parallel? Smartest guy in the room in both cases, they are aggressive, they are good at finding loopholes in the due process, and they are good at coming up with vague language to state what they need and at the same time confuse the hell out of everyone who is trying to understand what has been said.

The difference, one got caught, and one didn’t.

Why? Because the one got caught finally impacted too many people’s bottom line, they hurt too many people economically.

So as long as no one’s wallet is impacted by this “signing statement”directly, these smartest guy in the room will continue to flourish.

Yes, Bush’s approval rating has been dropping. But that is because the gas price has finally started hurting people’s wallet. As long as no one can make a clear connection between the gas price and these “signing statements” who gives a hoot?