Bush Should Follow Truman's Example

Matt Lewis
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Posted: Aug 05, 2008 10:28 AM
The White House is rejecting calls from GOPers to call Congress back into session.  

The argument is that it wouldn't matter because only Democratic leaders can bring up an energy bill for a vote. 

... Don't they grasp the PR benefits of forcing the Democrats' hand on this issue???

The summer before the 1948 election, Harry Truman faced a similar situation.  He called a special session of Congress on "Turnip Day" to force the Republican legislators into either action -- or embarrassment (I believe July 25th was actually Turnip Day -- but the 26th was a Monday, so that was the first day of the session). 

Here's an excerpt of Truman's speech:

"They can do this job in 15 days, if they want to do it." he challenged. That two-week session would begin on "what we in Missouri call 'Turnip Day,'" taken from the old Missouri saying, "On the twenty-fifth of July, sow your turnips, wet or dry."
At the time, Truman's popularity was at only 26 percent.  Of course, he went on to win that election.  By calling Congress into session, he had nothing to lose; they would either pass his legislation, thereby giving him a "win" -- or they would "do nothing" -- thereby giving him an argument...

According to Wikipedia:

"On July 15, several weeks after the Republican-controlled Congress had adjourned for the year leaving much business unfinished, Truman took the unprecedented step of using his presidential nomination acceptance speech to call both houses back into session."
Sound familiar?  

Wouldn't McCain also benefit from being able to point to a "do-nothing" Congress?

... As far as I can tell, the only difference is that Truman was up for re-election.  Bush isn't.