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Hitting the trifecta.
June 28, 2002 8:46 AM   Subscribe

Hitting the trifecta. A tasteless joke and a morbid lie from the only person to actually benefit from Sep. 11. Is political advantage really worth this kind of crass lying? A toast to the restoration of honor and dignity to the White House and our appreciation that the "adults" are now in charge! I'm off to buy the new Ann Thrax book to bolster my right wing indoctrination re-education.
posted by nofundy (65 comments total)

 
nofundy: It's number 1 at amazon.com as I write this. Maybe you can get a discount?
posted by ebarker at 8:51 AM on June 28, 2002


George Bush is an insensitive, moronic, lying clod. Film at 11.
posted by websavvy at 8:55 AM on June 28, 2002


The joke's not that bad. I'm no friend of Dubya, but this is not worth getting worked up about.

Unless, of course, he gets snippy with me for making fun of his drunken daughters.
posted by ColdChef at 8:55 AM on June 28, 2002


I wonder if GW jokes about the poor kid his wife killed in a traffic accident many years ago?
Maybe if both his drunken daughters follow their mother's lead (I'm not implying that Laura was drunk at the time) and get behind the wheel and kill innocent people, GW will make a similar joke about a trifecta.
Then, as he did when his drunken-driving arrest was revealed at the end of the presidential campaign, GW will make political hay out of the "unfair" criticism.
posted by Holden at 9:00 AM on June 28, 2002


No one loathes Bush more than I, but I really don't see the problem with this as a "joke" (more of a wry humorous expression, really). What troubles me a lot more is seeing how he shamelessly works to turn the "trifecta" itself to his own political advantage. Actions do infinitely more harm than words.
posted by rushmc at 9:00 AM on June 28, 2002


I think it's high time we get rid of this "president" thing, anyway. Tis but a temporary monarchy with a clever name.
posted by insomnyuk at 9:01 AM on June 28, 2002


My personal trifecta: Enron, Worldcom and now Xerox. And still no need to regulate accounting practices because it is all unrelated incidents.

Everyone has one. What's you trifecta?
posted by magullo at 9:03 AM on June 28, 2002


I wonder if GW jokes about the poor kid his wife killed in a traffic accident many years ago?

I've never heard about that. Wow. That's sad. She's a nice lady. And she loves books.
posted by ColdChef at 9:05 AM on June 28, 2002


Mountains, molehills, etc.

While the writer of this piece (of shite) gets all sanctimonious about Bush's political opportunism, he seems to lose sight of the fact that that's exactly what his little article is. Pot, kettle, etc.

And the joke is, well, a joke. Seems like there are more important things to go fact checking about. And the 'joke' is not even directly about the events of 9/11.

If you're offended by people using levity to take political advantage of the tragedies of 9/11 and the events that followed it, perhaps you should speak to Ted Rall about making funnies about widows of slain journalists and victims of the terrorist attacks. Or is this kind of japery OK when it serves your kind of political opportunism?

Try harder next time
posted by evanizer at 9:06 AM on June 28, 2002


To recoin the phrase so well worn against Clinton: it's not the joke, it's the lying. Bush never made that 'promise', and yet he thinks that by back-referencing something he never said, it'll excuse him from doing something that he's on record as promising not to do. Standard operating practice for him and his cohorts: repeat a lie often enough, and use the first instances as 'proof' that subsequent references are well-grounded.
posted by riviera at 9:09 AM on June 28, 2002


And still no need to regulate accounting practices because it is all unrelated incidents.

As a side note, it has regulated itself. Arthur Anderson will never audit anyone, ever again.
posted by insomnyuk at 9:12 AM on June 28, 2002


Coulter makes millions from half-baked logic and the same outright slander she pretends to condemn. She is ridiculous. A pox on all those who purchase her pulp.

And the joke is, well, a joke. Seems like there are more important things to go fact checking about.

Bullshit. The whole point is that Bush NEVER excepted these situations as permissible times to deficit spend before September 11. The White House has yet to elucidate when Bush went on the record with these terms during the campaign other than the vague description "in Chicago on the campaign trail".
posted by McBain at 9:14 AM on June 28, 2002


The joke itself isn't too terrible an offense (aside from the lie -- as I see, on Preview, riviera has said). But I don't know about repeating it, what, 14 times? At some point it does start to seem less like he's remarking on what happened and more like he's capitalizing on it -- milking it for all it's worth.
posted by mattpfeff at 9:15 AM on June 28, 2002


Evanizer, the budget deficits will be a campaign issue this year and in 2004. Bush says that he said during the campaign that he wouldn't hesitate to return to deficit spending unless one of three things happened. Fact-checkers have determined he never said such a thing during the campaign. Why do you think it's unimportant to check these facts?

You can poison the well and try to derail this thread all you want, but many people who are offended by Bush's joke were also offended by Rall's unfunny cartoons.
posted by Holden at 9:15 AM on June 28, 2002


You can poison the well and try to derail this thread all you want, but many people who are offended by Bush's joke were also offended by Rall's unfunny cartoons
I don't think that Evanizer was doing either of those things. He was just stating his position. As we all are. Ease up.
posted by ColdChef at 9:19 AM on June 28, 2002


Seems like there are more important things to go fact checking about.

Yes, you are absolutely correct. This is a fairly minor lie among a heap of potential misdeeds and misdirections.

Instead, we should be fact checking the meetings between Enron executives and the Vice President. What? The White House won't turn over the tapes or transcripts of the meetings? Oh shit, I guess that's a dead end.

Or maybe we should be fact checking the Pentagon's actions in Afghanistan to investigate reports of mistargeted weapons and bad intelligence killing families while they lay asleep in their homes. What? The Pentagon is severely restricting access to potential 'collateral damage' sites in the name of security? Well, guess we'll have to abandon that one, too.

Maybe everyone should just trust everything that Bush or members of his administration says and stop whining about 'the truth' and 'justice' and all that crap.
posted by rbellon at 9:20 AM on June 28, 2002


The reason he is repeating the 'joke' over and over again is not because it is (or isn't) funny, it is because he is rewriting history right under our noses. He campaigned saying he wouldn't return the country to deficit spending, and then 10 minutes after he was elected all of the budget surpluses vanished. If he repeats this joke/story/lie over and over again, people will accept it as the true story of the way things happened, and not hold him responsible for screwing up the economy.
posted by spilon at 9:23 AM on June 28, 2002


Evanizer : "While the writer of this piece (of shite) gets all sanctimonious about Bush's political opportunism, he seems to lose sight of the fact that that's exactly what his little article is. Pot, kettle, etc."

While you may not have liked the piece (I wasn't a big fan, either), is every instance in which someone calls out political opportunism in iteself political opportunism? Doesn't that mean you can only disagree with people when it injures your own position? That doesn't make any sense to me. I didn't have a problem with the joke, but it's a lie. Sure, we can take the cynical approach and tell ourselves that all politicians lie about things like this and yuck it up, but that doesn't have to be the case. Bush could have at least said that when he was campaigning he never expected to have to engage in deficit spending. The problem is when he attaches specific counter-factual circumstances to what might have been a true expectation.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 9:23 AM on June 28, 2002


Evanizer: My beef with the joke is that it's based on a statement that he never made: "this escape clause is not only a falsehood; it's actually a revision of a previous falsehood, which itself was consciously designed to cover up the fact that the budget is in far worse shape than Bush lets on."
posted by subgenius at 9:25 AM on June 28, 2002


Evanizer
I'm with subgenius and the others here: I'm not really shocked by the (not brilliant, OK) joke. The problem is, Bush apparently never made that statement
posted by matteo at 9:32 AM on June 28, 2002


Aren't these kind of jokes usually made from falsehoods anyway? I see it as a kind of "A funny thing happened to me on the way to the theatre" thing. Whether he's using it to further a political end is another matter.
posted by Spoon at 9:32 AM on June 28, 2002


perhaps you should speak to Ted Rall about making funnies about widows of slain journalists and victims of the terrorist attacks

OK. Ted Rall is an idiot, too. Oh, wait -- nevermind. Please don't sue me, Ted!
posted by drinkcoffee at 9:34 AM on June 28, 2002


Okay. So the man likes tasteless jokes based upon an inflated accounting of his own personal experience. So what? He's a third-rate t'backy-chewin' redneck sales flack in a $39.95 polyester suit who got to be President on the dynasty ticket. If his grampy weren't Prescott Bush, he'd be drivin' his late 80's Ford pickup around rural Texas right now, going farm to farm selling some or another superfluous insurance policy to anyone who will let him up the driveway, telling that anecdote about how he had two touchdowns in one game his sophomore year in high school at least twice on each call. Just because he sleeps in a really nice bedroom and has instant access to a devastating array of nuclear weapons, we shouldn't actually expect him to behave above his station.
posted by Vetinari at 9:41 AM on June 28, 2002


Wow people! Get some perspective would ya?
posted by revbrian at 9:44 AM on June 28, 2002


from the only person to actually benefit from Sep. 11

Actually, the other person to benefit greatly from 9/11 would definitely be Gary Condit.
posted by jennak at 9:56 AM on June 28, 2002


I am seriously freaked out that a politician could exaggerate for barely humorous effect.
posted by Skot at 9:57 AM on June 28, 2002


The account that revbrian links to is certainly plausible. I think we all have to remember not to attribute to malice what can simply be attributed to stupidity, particularly in this case.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 9:58 AM on June 28, 2002


If you're offended by people using levity to take political advantage of the tragedies of 9/11 and the events that followed it, perhaps you should speak to Ted Rall about making funnies about widows of slain journalists and victims of the terrorist attacks.

And you don't see how someone might feel that a certain type of humor might be appropriate for a professional political cartoonist but not appropriate for a President of the United States?
posted by rushmc at 9:59 AM on June 28, 2002


The funny (odd) thing to me is that I first read reports questioning/condemning Bush's use of this "anecdote" over a month ago. And yet, he's still using it?
posted by rushmc at 10:00 AM on June 28, 2002


coldchef:

in 1963, when laura welch bush was about 16 years old, she ran a stop sign on an FM (posted speed limit 55 mph) & the hit the Corvair driven by her boyfriend (yes i remember it was a corvair & that he was 17, but not his name). he died; she & her passenger were treated for minor injuries. no charges filed.

it's covered in most of the recent TV biographies of laura bush although i don't think she's ever spoken publically about it.
posted by crush-onastick at 10:02 AM on June 28, 2002


I don't know why everyone is pissed off by the Ted Rall cartoon. I'm sure we discussed it here, but I probably ignored it.

It's cool that people now unthinkingly assume Ted Rall = Bloodsucking scum...
posted by insomnyuk at 10:02 AM on June 28, 2002


The account that revbrian links to is certainly plausible. I think we all have to remember not to attribute to malice what can simply be attributed to stupidity, particularly in this case.

Of course, when Al Gore did it during the 2000 campaign, he got raked over the coals.
posted by Tin Man at 10:10 AM on June 28, 2002


NO MORE PRESIDENT! No more President!
posted by Kodel at 10:11 AM on June 28, 2002


What galls me the very most -- more than the joke (so what?) and even the lie (disturbing, but I didn't expect any different) -- is the incredible hypocrisy!

This man and the conservatives roasted Al Gore for lies like this, which Gore didn't even utter, btw, and now Bush's doing the same thing! Not that I am a huge fan of Al Gore, but George Bush's balls are the size of Texas! The funniest part is: he's probably going to get away with it among a large segment of the electorate! The man and his cronies are absolutely shameless!

And as has been written, Bush is doing this to (1) change history to make himself not look like the miserable policy maker that he is, and (2) shamelessly use the tragedy to promote his political health.

Oh yea, "honor" and "integrity" are "restored" to the White House. (if you didn't notice)

whatever ...

posted by JKevinKing at 10:15 AM on June 28, 2002


[Of course, when Al Gore did it during the 2000 campaign, he got raked over the coals.]

When Al Gore did what?
posted by revbrian at 10:24 AM on June 28, 2002


This man and the conservatives roasted Al Gore for lies like this, which Gore didn't even utter, btw, and now Bush's doing the same thing!

Oh my God! This is a total surprise, politicians protecting their own, and attacking their opponents! This 'hypocrisy' thing must surely be a conservative phenomenon.
posted by insomnyuk at 10:25 AM on June 28, 2002


When Al Gore did what?

When he said things that weren't accurate, either because they weren't true (saying he'd travelled with James Lee Witt of FEMA), or because he got some details wrong (misstating the price of a prescription drug or something), or because he used anecdotes that may as well have been true but actually didn't happen (like the thing about visiting the overcrowded classroom)... stuff like that.
posted by Tin Man at 10:34 AM on June 28, 2002


I never attacked Gore on that crap, there were plenty of more substantial things to worry about.
posted by revbrian at 10:40 AM on June 28, 2002


When he said things that weren't accurate, either because they weren't true...or because he got some details wrong...or because he used anecdotes that may as well have been true but actually didn't happen...

Sounds like the classic definition of "politician"

It's cool that people now unthinkingly assume Ted Rall = Bloodsucking scum...

Unthinkingly? Sorry, but I've thought about it, and still come to the conclusion that he's bloodsucking scum (bring on the lawsuits, Teddy-boy). I was making reference to a specific Rall "cartoon", so I don't really believe that's 'unthinking'.
posted by evanizer at 10:48 AM on June 28, 2002


I wonder if GW jokes about the poor kid his wife killed in a traffic accident many years ago?

Talk about political opportunism. It was a traffic accident where she ran a stop sign and someone in the other car died. Unless there's more to the story than that, the continuing efforts to make hay about it are as shameless as some of the vast right-wing conspiracy's stunts during the Clinton years.
posted by rcade at 10:55 AM on June 28, 2002


Here is the Rall cartoon, for those who don't know what evanizer and others are referring to.
posted by rushmc at 11:03 AM on June 28, 2002


I guess George just wants to be around someone else with blood on their hands...
posted by websavvy at 11:04 AM on June 28, 2002


OH NO! LETS SHIT OURSELVES!

llamatrons. alls of yous.
posted by Satapher at 11:33 AM on June 28, 2002


evanizer, can't you see that your criticism of Ted Rall for his political opportunism is itself political opportunism?
posted by Ty Webb at 12:03 PM on June 28, 2002


I'm off to buy the new Ann Thrax book to bolster my right wing indoctrination re-education.

at the risk of derailing, did anyone see the the Couric -Coulter interview the other morning on Today? That was pure gold. I can't think of anyone less suited than Coulter to make the case for liberal slander against conservatives.
posted by Ty Webb at 12:05 PM on June 28, 2002


Now that punch line, says conspiracy, if you want to have fun like him. No life is not all conspiracies. I wrote sapphireblue about a comment she made in a thread that reminded me of Bush, here I'll post it, as this really adds to it( I hope you don't mind):
You made a comment yesterday, that I was reminded of while watching a TV program last night. This program on a&e .

It was about Reagan. The thing is they talked how so many hundred days into his term, and that being shot, played into him being more liked, and really propelled him. I'm not wanting to debate you, it just reminded me of Bush and what is happening with his first term(when we look back?)with your quote,
"Chanther: I wouldn't be surprised if Republicans make a nice showing in the fall either, but you don't think that any of that War On Terror business would have anything to do with it.....?"

Thanks as it really made me think(and I almost thought of making a FPP) about it. It( my thinking) is there a conspiracy to Reagan's popularity and Bush's, far cry for conspiracy, though, we know Bin Laden worked for the CIA, If you want to know the future, read your history. Thanks again for making my mind to wonder.
Yes deep, yet if he can make a joke, why not me. I'm reminded of, your over confidence zeal will smack you in the face, never get too confident. It's hard to be successful more than once, if your cocky.
have a nice weekend all....................
posted by thomcatspike at 12:24 PM on June 28, 2002


Alright, that's it. Thomcatspike, I have to ask, is English your first langauge? I don't want to be insulting, but I can't understand a damn thing you write.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 12:45 PM on June 28, 2002


no I tried too, not make it wordy, maybe too deep of a thought. Maybe I'll write the book then come post...
Yet living in Cali, and then living in Texas has really ruined my words. Two states that speak slang.............
posted by thomcatspike at 12:50 PM on June 28, 2002


I, for one, enjoy Thom's posts. Figuring out just exactly what he's saying is half the fun. Rock on, man.
posted by ColdChef at 12:56 PM on June 28, 2002


It's like beat poetry. But it is really hard to figure out what he's saying much of the time.
posted by Tin Man at 1:02 PM on June 28, 2002


you get it coldchef, that's why they're not signed with my actual name.(no I don't just post to mark a spot)
Yes, I have been told I think too deep, well that's a compliment, if it separtes me from you.
But, I do apologize to the speed readers, as the flow sucks, yet the points are there, and it's up to you to decipher. I can't save the world we all have to do that.
Now my last line for the week, I'll be drinking a cold one for you.......\!!!/
posted by thomcatspike at 1:13 PM on June 28, 2002


I don't want to be insulting, but I can't understand a damn thing you write.

Monju, I bet that you own one of those "Welcome to America: NOW SPEAK FUCKING ENGLISH" T-shirts, don't you?
:)
posted by matteo at 1:16 PM on June 28, 2002


I appreciate the sentiment, matteo, but English isn't my first language either. The problem is not one of speaking another language, the problem is speaking this one poorly. I have to say, though, I am in at least partial agreement with ColdChef. Thomcatspike's writing does not contain the typical, run of the mill grammatical errors. Em's posts are truly stunning in the way they stretch the boundaries of our language. I'm going to start calling it "mangrish."
posted by monju_bosatsu at 1:21 PM on June 28, 2002


See, its not that Thomcatspike's posts are exemplars of poor grammar. Its the weird pseudo-allusions and the aimless rambling of his posts that get me confused.

But, like ColdChef said, rock on with your bad self.
posted by bshort at 1:25 PM on June 28, 2002


Hey, wait, I like Ted Rall.....

Remember, if you disagree with 43, the terrorists have already won.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 1:34 PM on June 28, 2002


Bush was not the only person to benefit from September 11th. I myself benefited from it, and many others have. (Not saying that September 11th was GOOD, I am only saying that there have been some good side effects out of a bad event.)

Thanks to the economic siutation is caused, for the first time, I purchased a home back in December. The 9/11 cloud kept people scared. And the low interest rates made home buying an awesome opportunity.

With the seller paying all the closing costs, I ended up getting into the house at 10% below the appraised value (by the appraiser and the tax assessor). And I wouldn't have been encouraged or able to do it if the interest rates weren't rock-bottom.

9/11: Bad. 9/11 side effects? Good and bad.
posted by jmccorm at 1:51 PM on June 28, 2002


(no I don't just post to mark a spot)

Hah. Many do, only for that reason.
posted by insomnyuk at 2:05 PM on June 28, 2002


spilon: BINGO!

please advance to the bonus round.
posted by muppetboy at 2:56 PM on June 28, 2002


On Sept 11, I was at work. A gentleman walked in and began toying with one of the floor systems. When asked if he needed help, he said,

"Yeah, I'd like to use one of your machines to place a trade oh the New York Stock Exchange," and grinned at him.

We looked at him in stone-cold blank angry silence.

That was tasteless humor that stung and angered. This fart from Dubya is sadly just garden variety coarseness and insensitivity. Not to mention it's not even funny, which is the one thing that can redeem tastless humor. But after all the other stupidity and pain that's arisen from that awful day, I can only get so worked up about it.

Next minor controversy please?
posted by jonmc at 3:56 PM on June 28, 2002


Read the thread, johnmc. And the article. The insensitivity is the most minor part of it, as has been stated repeatedly. It's the lie (like the repubs always say about clinton)
posted by benh57 at 5:22 PM on June 28, 2002


I think it's high time we get rid of this "president" thing, anyway. Tis but a temporary monarchy with a clever name.

I refer to it as "Corporate Dictatorship."
posted by semmi at 8:33 PM on June 28, 2002


y'all know that ted rall went to afghanistan in person after the us attacks started, he has 'been writing about Central Asia and Afghanistan since 1997'. it could be suggested that he might have been able to put the situation into a global perspective more quickly than those who may not have been paying any, er i mean, close attention to the global political atmosphere prior to the attacks on the pentagon and wto building. i could imagine that the post-attack atmosphere in the us might be somewhat suffocating to someone who cared about the fate of afghanistan. maybe his cartoon was an expression of this? if you can't allow alternative (to the mainstream) viewpoints to be expressed in public, then the (government) terrorists have already won.

anyhoo, back to the thread...
posted by asok at 4:25 AM on June 30, 2002


Oh man. I deserve a medal from the Why-Must-We-Always-Pick-On-The-President contingent for resisting the temptation to post this to the front page:

They found the original deficit-spending-trifecta caveat. The only problem is, Geedubyah didn't say it. Al Gore did.

Beautiful, man. Just beautiful.
posted by Sapphireblue at 10:28 AM on July 2, 2002


Beautiful, man. Just beautiful.

Wow. Indeed.
posted by mattpfeff at 11:22 AM on July 2, 2002


They found the original deficit-spending-trifecta caveat. The only problem is, Geedubyah didn't say it. Al Gore did.

Beautiful, man. Just beautiful.


From the article:
On the other hand, Bush can fairly argue that his top economic adviser, Lawrence B. Lindsey, endorsed the caveats during the campaign. When Kessler asked back then about Gore's three exceptions, Lindsey said the same caveats would apply for Bush.
This whole thing really amounts to a big nothing. And Dana Milbank destroys his credibility immediately afterward anyway by suggesting that there's some sort of plagarism of Sharansky's May speech about Palestine by Bush in his June speech. Anyone who has read or heard the speeches knows better, Mr. Milbank.
posted by ljromanoff at 9:06 AM on July 3, 2002


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