In today's LA Times, Maura Reynolds outlines Dubya's history of foot-dragging on reform:
Bush and his staff have shown they don't like new ideas forced on them from outside. Over and over again the president has resisted pressure for reform from Congress and the public until it became overwhelming.
Among the reforms Bush has resisted:
* Establishing the Department of Homeland Security.
* Cracking down on corporate malfeasance.
* Forming the Sept. 11 commission (until victims' families pushed him into it).
* Cooperating with the 9/11 commission (after he finally gave in and established it).
[T]he president's usual pattern is to quietly shift course, claiming the idea as his own and proceeding as if he hadn't resisted it in the first place. Aides insist that the president hasn't flip-flopped and that his policy has been consistent throughout.
[Liars, liars, pants on fire!--ed.]
The commission report puts the president in a bind. Many of its recommendations can be implemented by executive order, making it more difficult for the president to delay acting or pass responsibility to Congress....
The report comes at an awkward time for the president. With just over three months until the Nov. 2 election, Bush and his staff are preoccupied with the campaign, which is picking up steam, and the situation in Iraq, which he needs to keep under control. Tackling major government reform was not on the agenda....
"When you get Bush in a position where it looks like he's dragging his feet, he will turn on a dime," [Norman] Ornstein [of the conservative American Enterprise Institute] said.
Mark my words: John Kerry will implement all the necessary executive orders on January 20, 2005. When Kerry says he'll make America stronger, he means it.