Are you kidding me? President Bush has hidden the veto pen throughout his entire Presidency, amiably signing into law any hideous legislation the Congress puts before him, including every bill loaded with pork barrell spending. Now he's found the hill he's willing to battle to the death upon? One Congressman has it exactly right. From the Washington Post report:
Rep. Mark Foley (R-Fla.) called Bush politically tone-deaf. "Of all the bills to veto, if he lays down this gauntlet, he'll probably have 350 members of the House ready to accept that challenge," Foley said.
Bush welcomed the fight. "They ought to look at the facts and understand the consequences of what they're going to do," Bush said. "But if they pass a law, I'll deal with it, with a veto."
I'm generally as laissez-faire a capitalist as it get, but I have a real problem with foreign governments owning our ports, especially a government that has the reputation of harboring terrorists, such as the United Arab Emirates has. Also from the Post:
But many Republicans and Democrats who represent the seaport regions remain deeply skeptical of a UAE-owned company playing such a central role at some of the most sensitive entry points in the country. They noted that some of the hijackers involved in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks used the United Arab Emirates as an operational and financial hub.
This is well-placed skepticism, and a poorly placed veto threat. Bush tried to invoke the imagery of Ronald Reagan in his campaigns, but he's far from Reaganesque. His lack of vetoes to date on budgetary issues is the proof. And you can bet that Reagan never would have struck this deal with the UAE.