Tuesday, March 21, 2006


Okay, I was stupid. I was lazy. I chose to spend an extra hour in bed listening to your press conference rather than get up and get to work. Because it was more hot air, Bush. In an hour, you managed to avoid virtually every question in favor of endlessly repeating mantras that are demonstrably untrue. Progress in Iraq. A government in formation. Freedom on the march. A plan for victory. A national agenda. All in that familiar tone of indignant defensiveness, suggeting that those who ask intelligent and thoughtful questions are ignorant and careless of this country's future. As though you only held the key to peace and prosperity, both here and abroad.

Yawn, Bush. It was a big yawn, the whole performance. All words, no meaning. No substance. Nothing new or the least bit significant. The only moment of drama came when Helen Thomas asked her question: WHY? What was the real reason you marched into Iraq? Now that all the given reasons have proven false or illusory, why in God's name did you do it? And you prevaricated yet again. You have learned the technique of saying, Excuse me, let me finish--as though any attempt to repeat the question that you're studiously avoiding were an interruption of a serious effort to answer it. You then come up with your unfunny little jokes and personal asides, and the assembled media laugh politely, and whatever went unanswered is swept under the rug.

Glad to hear that you still think your Rumsfeld is doing "a fine job". Glad to hear that you believe you are surrounded by a conscientious and reliable staff. Glad to hear that loyalty continues to work both ways, in your White House.

The sad thing is, your strategies seem to work with the media. These reporters are either cowed or tricked into settling for your bullshit. I can only imagine their frustration. Here's the bottom line question, though. Even given the media's capitulation, will your performance wash with the American people? This "press conference" was so clearly a desperate attempt to persuade us all that you know what you're doing and where you're going, that victory is assured, that you have an agenda here at home, that the economy is strong and the deficit meaningless, that we are making progress in the war on terror... a transparent atttempt to reverse declining faith, even among the faithful, in your presidency.

Question is, will it wash? I have to tell you, Bush, it didn't with me. But I sat there (well, acutally, I lay there) and watched anyway, mesmerised by the appalling mendacity of the whole performance, the paucity of intellectual content in what you had to say, the clash of empty cliche after empty cliche. I had intended to write to you this morning about a film I saw over the weekend. I probably should have roused myself early and followed my intention. It would have been a lot more inspiring than hearing myself bellyache for the thousandth time about your obvious inadequacies. Be well.


dennis said...

Here's what he said:
"First, just if I might correct a misperception, I don't think we ever said -- at least I know I didn't say that there was a direct connection between September the 11th and Saddam Hussein."

Another Bush lie. In fact, almost exactly three years ago he said just that:
"The use of armed forces against Iraq is consistent with the United States and other countries continuing to take the necessary actions against international terrorists and terrorist organizations, including those nations, organizations or person who planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001." [President George W. Bush, Letter to Congress, 3/21/03]

PeterAtLarge said...

Thanks for the useful fact-check, Dennis--PaL