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Stealing from the "real" President?
July 2, 2002 9:39 PM   Subscribe

Stealing from the "real" President? In a bit of a follow up to a thread last week whereupon Bush joked that he'd only go into deficit spending if he hit the "budget trifecta" of war, recession and national emergency. Well, nobody could ever find proof that he'd said any such thing during the campaign. As it turns out, it's because it was Gore who said it. In related news, it turns out that Bush "borrowed" his June 24th Tough on Palestine speech from Natan Sharansky, Israel's deputy prime minister, who published almost a word for word version of the speech back on May 3rd.
posted by dejah420 (50 comments total)

 
hey. dont confuse everyone. let them believe what they want to. their liberal media already let them know how big and bad the conservatives are. let go and let god.
posted by Satapher at 11:23 PM on July 2, 2002


I want to see Ari dance around this one with his brilliantly Orwellian doublespeak. The more incoherent all of our politicians become in their speech and thought, the sooner this crazy system will collapse.
posted by insomnyuk at 11:27 PM on July 2, 2002


=)
posted by Satapher at 11:30 PM on July 2, 2002


The original issue with his little anecdote wasn't whether or not he actually talked about the "trifecta" during his campaign, but whether the anecdote was kind of crass and insensitive in the wake of September 11th.

Damn conservative media bias.
posted by RylandDotNet at 11:45 PM on July 2, 2002


I respectfully disagree Ryland...here's a quote from the MSNBC article that was linked in the thread last week:

Bush never told any audience, or any reporter, in Chicago that he could foresee three conditions under which deficit spending might be necessary. In fact, throughout the entire campaign, Bush had been insistent that budget surpluses would continue, and only once does he appear to have told any public audience at any time that deficit spending might become necessary — a Sept. 22, 2000, interview with Paula Zahn, in which he defended his tax cuts even in the face of a “short-term deficit.” The only other times that Bush ever seems to have brought up the subject of deficit spending were those when he accused Al Gore of planning to resume the practice.

That being said...I do think that it's in bad form for the only person on the planet for whom 9/11 was an advantageous opportunity, to use that opportunity to crack jokes at the expense of the dead and their survivors. It just so happens to be even worse when he's plagiarizing the original quote from the opponent he couldn't beat without using his brother, his father, and the Supremes. Then, to have him caught plagiarizing the Israeli Deputy Prime Minister to parrot out anti-Arafat messages...well, it does show a certain pattern, no?
posted by dejah420 at 1:29 AM on July 3, 2002


dejah420: No.
posted by davidmsc at 3:22 AM on July 3, 2002


Too bad the American public doesn't care about this nearly as much as the press. The press *should* be reporting this. Good for the Post for keeping up with the story.
posted by acridrabbit at 4:34 AM on July 3, 2002


The real issue was whether he was a great big liar.
posted by websavvy at 6:10 AM on July 3, 2002


So this is how honor and integrity gets "restored" to the White House?
I'll take lying about bjs anytime. One is personal and nobody's business (except the family) and the other impacts politics (and thus people's lives) worldwide.
But you wouldn't know it what with the liberal bias in the press, eh?
Actually, to be honest here (a Bob Nofacts patronization quote), we all knew Dubya wasn't capable of an original idea.
Sock puppets never have been.
I didn't realize Cheney had damaged Dubya's colon with that ham fist of his until this past weekend though.
posted by nofundy at 6:22 AM on July 3, 2002


The more incoherent all of our politicians become in their speech and thought, the sooner this crazy system will collapse.


Just like the USSR in 1990? oooh, I can hardly wait. Living in the US is about toget even funner than it alrady is now. Which is to say, be afraid. Very.
posted by BentPenguin at 6:48 AM on July 3, 2002


Is Bush plagiarizing, or are his speechwriters? If the latter, then one could rapidly restore "honesty and integrity" by, well, firing several people.
posted by thomas j wise at 7:21 AM on July 3, 2002


What I want to know is, why isn't Gore stumping on this issue? Surely he, of all people, knew. If he's so bent on portraying himself as the "Dem with balls" who's not afraid to speak up against Bush, why hasn't he mentioned this before, and will he do so now?
posted by mkultra at 8:15 AM on July 3, 2002


The more incoherent all of our politicians become in their speech and thought, the sooner this crazy system will collapse.

Or this society.

dejah420: No.
posted by davidmsc


War is peace. Hate is love.

If the latter, then one could rapidly restore "honesty and integrity" by, well, firing several people.

Or, conversely, scapegoats.
posted by rushmc at 8:41 AM on July 3, 2002


In related news, it turns out that Bush "borrowed" his June 24th Tough on Palestine speech from Natan Sharansky, Israel's deputy prime minister, who published almost a word for word version of the speech back on May 3rd.

Is this some new definition of "almost word for word" that means "vaguely similar"? Or are the ideas that the current Palestinian leadership is not conducive to a peace, that a stable and peaceful Palestinian state is necessary for Israel to have the peace that it wants, and that the creation of such a state will probably require assistance from the rest of the world so revolutionary that no one in the Bush administration could have conceived of them independently of Natan Sharansky?

The "trifecta" thing is pretty disturbing, but the "Bush plagarized Sharansky" is wishful thinking at best and dishonest at worst.
posted by jaek at 8:55 AM on July 3, 2002


In related news, it turns out that Bush "borrowed" his June 24th Tough on Palestine speech from Natan Sharansky, Israel's deputy prime minister, who published almost a word for word version of the speech back on May 3rd.

What are you talking about? The Sharansky speech and the Bush speech are about the same issue, but that's pretty much where the similarity ends.

Who's lying now?
posted by ljromanoff at 8:57 AM on July 3, 2002


Ah, looks like jaek beat me to the punch there.
posted by ljromanoff at 8:58 AM on July 3, 2002


The "trifecta" thing is pretty disturbing

The most disturbing thing about it is that it is pretty clearly a very deliberate ploy to make it look like Bush isn't going back on his campaign promises not to go into deficit spending.

By making a stupid joke about it and repeating it over and over he pre-empts anyone from effectively calling him on it.
posted by straight at 11:17 AM on July 3, 2002


The Palestine speech isn't that close to the original.

The problem that creates is anyone wishing to defend Bush for saying he made the trifecta comment will only point out that the Palestine speech wasn't that similar (as ljromanoff did) and gloss over the trifecta comment, or use the lack of credibility about the Palestine speeh to diffuse the disgust over borrowing from Gore.
posted by drezdn at 12:07 PM on July 3, 2002


The problem that creates is anyone wishing to defend Bush for saying he made the trifecta comment will only point out that the Palestine speech wasn't that similar (as ljromanoff did) and gloss over the trifecta comment, or use the lack of credibility about the Palestine speeh to diffuse the disgust over borrowing from Gore.

Or perhaps, like the Palestinian speech, it wasn't borrowed at all but a similar sentiment expressed by different people. Hell, I'm sure Nader, Browne, or any of the other candidates would have also pointed out that under the circumstances described in the "trifecta" comment, that deficit spending was likely. This "issue" remains all smoke and no fire.
posted by ljromanoff at 12:27 PM on July 3, 2002


If the latter, then one could rapidly restore "honesty and integrity" by, well, firing several people.

What happened to "the adults are in charge now"? What happened to responsibility and accountability? Is scapegoating anywhere close to their supposed behavior?

Check out talkingpointsmemo and let Josh tell you why it is that Dubya's little Enron buddy appointee running the Army still has his job. It's about avoiding accountability and responsibility if you want a hint.

Wasn't it Poppy Bush's little escapades and his attempts to avoid prosecution where the phrase "plausible deniability" first became a familiar part of the American vocabulary? The nut fell very close to the tree, huh?

Give it up guys, there's real dirt here and no amount of spin cycle can clean it out.
posted by nofundy at 12:29 PM on July 3, 2002


The "trifecta" thing is pretty disturbing, but the "Bush plagiarized Sharansky" is wishful thinking at best and dishonest at worst. posted by jaek at 8:55 AM PST on July 3

What are you talking about? The Sharansky speech and the Bush speech are about the same issue, but that's pretty much where the similarity ends. Who's lying now?
posted by ljromanoff at 8:57 AM PST on July 3



Um, let's see... (from the Post article linked in the FPP)
    "The time has come for new leadership" for the Palestinians, Sharansky wrote. "The Palestinians must be encouraged to form an open and free society that is not burdened by the fear, hatred, and terror that have been sown in recent years by Arafat and his leadership." Here's Bush's version: "Peace requires a new and different Palestinian leadership so that a Palestinian state can be born. I call on the Palestinian people to elect new leaders, leaders not compromised by terror." Sharansky wrote that his seven-point plan "cannot happen overnight" and called for a "three-year transition period." Bush, in turn, said a final agreement "could be reached within three years from now." Sharansky envisioned an "international coordinating body" headed by the United States that could, with a Palestinian Administrative Authority, "develop the infrastructure for democratic life among the Palestinians." There would also be an "international economic fund" for industry and infrastructure. And Bush? "I've asked Secretary Powell to work intensively with Middle Eastern and international leaders to realize the vision of a Palestinian state, focusing them on a comprehensive plan to support Palestinian reform and institution building." The president said the United States would work with the World Bank and international donors on "a major project of economic reform and development." Finally, Sharansky argued that only a "free and open" society "can serve as a solid guarantee for normal relations between the two peoples." For this reason, "we owe it to ourselves and to our future to help the Palestinians help themselves." Bush, seven weeks later, submitted that "a stable, peaceful Palestinian state is necessary to achieve the security that Israel longs for." Israel should "take concrete steps to support the emergence of a viable, credible Palestinian state," he added. The Sharansky and Bush plans are not entirely the same; notably absent from Sharansky's version was Bush's call for Israel to freeze its settlements in Palestinian territory. Still, Sharansky themes began to tumble from the lips of Bush officials.


Yeah, guys...sure, nothing to see here. Nothing the same, doesn't look like a high school level of plagiarizing at all. Please, I grade freshmen papers that at least show a little creativity when they "paraphrase" another writer. This was a direct rip-off, and I don't know how you can't see that...or if you're just going to stand on the semantic argument of "well, it's not exactly the same words, so YOU are the liar!" I don't buy that logic even a little bit.
posted by dejah420 at 12:57 PM on July 3, 2002


Yeah, guys...sure, nothing to see here. Nothing the same, doesn't look like a high school level of plagiarizing at all.

No, it really doesn't. Maybe you should read both speeches rather than letting a hack journalist like Milbank think for you.
posted by ljromanoff at 1:06 PM on July 3, 2002


Or perhaps, like the Palestinian speech, it wasn't borrowed at all but a similar sentiment expressed by different people.

Yes, just not by Bush, as he continues to claim.

I'm sure Nader, Browne, or any of the other candidates would have also pointed out that under the circumstances described in the "trifecta" comment, that deficit spending was likely.

Wow, that is pure shuck and jive, folks. Maybe Nader and Browne might have pointed that out, but Bush, whose campaign platform was built on "Surpluses! surpluses! surpluses! We can take a huge tax cut, ramp up military spending and still have surpluses!" had no incentive to make those caveats, which would have deflated his predictions of economic happiness forever.
posted by Ty Webb at 1:11 PM on July 3, 2002


Some people won't admit fire while their hair burns.
posted by rushmc at 1:41 PM on July 3, 2002


"Surpluses! surpluses! surpluses! We can take a huge tax cut, ramp up military spending and still have surpluses!"

Please cite some circumstance when Bush was ever arguing that budget surpluses were a good thing. He correctly pointed out from the start that surpluses are nothing more than overtaxation, that rightly should be returned to the taxpayers.

But feel free to continue your fact-free ranting if you wish.
posted by ljromanoff at 1:59 PM on July 3, 2002


I wanted to believe that the Palestine speech was cribbed, but it does make sense that they would use similar terms (although I will bow to dejah420's experience on this matter).

From a purely "how information gets transfered" perspective, I wonder how the trifecta comment made its way into Bush's speech. Did a speechwriter remember hearing it, thought Bush said it, and add it in. Did Bush decide it was important to find a way to defend the new deficit, and remembered a quote about the three things that would cause a deficit, and added it to his speech, thinking he said it?

The interesting thing to me is the use of the term trifecta. The definition of the word implies winning. So, in a way, Bush words imply winning... that the three events were good things, linguistically speaking.
posted by drezdn at 2:08 PM on July 3, 2002


Please cite some circumstance when Bush was ever arguing that budget surpluses were a good thing.

The "good thing" is the tax refunds that would inevitably result from the continuing surpluses in our never-ending economic expansion. I'm sure you knew that, but continue to try and change the subject if you wish.
posted by Ty Webb at 3:00 PM on July 3, 2002


but Bush, whose campaign platform was built on "Surpluses! surpluses! surpluses! We can take a huge tax cut, ramp up military spending and still have surpluses!"

I was with you until you said huge tax cut AND ramp up military spending. Granted, I think we can agree that 9/11 was a perfect excuse to ramp up military spending, but, of course, Bush wasn't expecting such a travesty to occur. His platform was indeed built upon tax cuts, something that the American people have not seen in quite some time...however, he did not emphasize cutting taxes, increasing military spending, and still enjoying budget surpluses. Your comment is downright misleading.

but continue to try and change the subject if you wish.

Pray tell, what exactly IS the subject? Your "innocent" lies, or your semantic-based arguments?
posted by BlueTrain at 3:10 PM on July 3, 2002


he did not emphasize cutting taxes, increasing military spending, and still enjoying budget surpluses.

Pray tell, what exactly IS the subject?
posted by Ty Webb at 3:33 PM on July 3, 2002


Pray tell, what exactly IS the subject?

Perhaps it's the fact that some here are so rabidly partisan they're willing to believe a piece of yellow journalism from the Washington Post that so obviously wrong in its conclusions that it is laughable.
posted by ljromanoff at 1:18 PM on July 4, 2002


a piece of yellow journalism from the Washington Post that so obviously wrong in its conclusions that it is laughable.

I don't see how you can possibly say that, ljromanoff. I'll agree that the brief WaPo piece doesn't document the case well, but I'd guess that's because Spinsanity and others have thoroughly debunked the statement Bush has been making for months now. He's been lying, pure and simple. ABC's political newsletter "The Note" put it like this on May 15:

The president took to claiming that he had said "repeatedly" during the campaign that he wouldn't agree to do either of those things except in three cases: national emergency, recession, or war. He always gets big laughs on the hustings when he says, well, the country was hit with all three at the same time.

The only problem (actually, not the ONLY problem, but one of them) is that we have never been able to find, even with the help of reporters who covered the campaign every day, and from Mr. Bush's own advisers, any reference to the president saying this even ONCE, let alone "repeatedly."

posted by mediareport at 2:53 PM on July 4, 2002


I don't see how you can possibly say that, ljromanoff.

I was referring more to Sharansky/Bush/Israel/Palestine, not this "trifecta" trivia.
posted by ljromanoff at 3:08 PM on July 4, 2002


Oh, ok. The quote you responded to came from the trifecta discussion, though. And the fact that the Bush administration would continue to use a statement in public even after the press has pointed out it's a lie can hardly be called trivial. I suggest it shows them quite nicely for what they are -- political opportunists who'll lie for votes any day of the week. Bet the lie plays real well in those Republican focus groups.
posted by mediareport at 3:18 PM on July 4, 2002


And the fact that the Bush administration would continue to use a statement in public even after the press has pointed out it's a lie can hardly be called trivial.

One freelancer at MSNBC constitutes "the press" these days?

Furthermore, assuming for the sake of discussion Bush never said what he claims while campaigning, that doesn't prove he's lying about anything, unless he knows he didn't say it previously and now claims that he did. I have yet to see anyone in the press prove that.

I suggest it shows them quite nicely for what they are -- political opportunists who'll lie for votes any day of the week.

Unlike those paragons of virtue in all the other political parties, right?
posted by ljromanoff at 3:22 PM on July 4, 2002


assuming for the sake of discussion Bush never said what he claims while campaigning, that doesn't prove he's lying about anything, unless he knows he didn't say it previously and now claims that he did. I have yet to see anyone in the press prove that.

Wait, let me get this straight: no one, anyone, has been able to find any documentation anywhere that Bush made these caveats ever, let alone repeatedly. Now you're implying that it's up to the press to prove that Bush is unaware that he's been lying about whether he said something that he never said?

That's way beyond mere mumbo-jumbo, that's mumbo-pocus.
posted by Ty Webb at 4:02 PM on July 4, 2002


Now you're implying that it's up to the press to prove that Bush is unaware that he's been lying about whether he said something that he never said?

No, it's up to the press to prove that he's lying if they claim that he is - which up to now neither they, nor you, have done.
posted by ljromanoff at 5:13 PM on July 4, 2002


No, it's up to the press to prove that he's lying if they claim that he is - which up to now neither they, nor you, have done.

The press has been unable to find any documentation of Bush making a statement which he claims to have made repeatedly. His staff and supporters have been unable to produce any documentation of Bush making a statement which he claims to have made repeatedly. To sum up: No one has been able to find any documentation of Bush making a statement which he claims to have made repeatedly.

As to whether Bush knows he's lying (which he should by now, having been informed of it for several weeks), are you suggesting that it's not really lying if one believes one's own lies? That would be known as the Bill Clinton defense.
posted by Ty Webb at 11:20 AM on July 5, 2002


We're more likely to get 'I can't recall', Ty Webb, which is the Ronald Reagan defence.

(Good to see ljromanoff once more staunchly defending his nation against tyranny by asking others to prove a negative. I'm sure we'll see him in action if they release the video of Bush's colonoscopy.)
posted by riviera at 1:11 PM on July 5, 2002


The press has been unable to find any documentation of Bush making a statement which he claims to have made repeatedly.

Which proves what exactly? That he didn't make the statement because the press can't find evidence that he did? Maybe, maybe not. That doesn't make Bush's statement in his more recent speeches a lie.

Good to see ljromanoff once more staunchly defending his nation against tyranny by asking others to prove a negative.

Asking for proof of a stated claim is not proving a negative, riviera. But please keep trying - someday you might win someone over with your irrelevant trolling.
posted by ljromanoff at 1:32 PM on July 5, 2002


Asking for proof of a stated claim is not proving a negative

Asking for proof that a statement was never made is, in fact, asking for proof of a negative. That is unless you have your own special, secret definition of "prove a negative," as you apparently have your own special, secret definition of "lie."
posted by Ty Webb at 1:47 PM on July 5, 2002


Asking for proof that a statement was never made is, in fact, asking for proof of a negative.

I'm not asking for proof the statement was never made, I am asking for proof that Bush was lying. Those in the press making the claim have the obligation to prove the lie. Obviously they can't prove the statement was never made, but even if they could that alone is not proof of lying. If they (and you) are making the claim, back it up with something.

That is unless you have your own special, secret definition of "prove a negative," as you apparently have your own special, secret definition of "lie."

Well, perhaps you could educate me on your definition of lying. It seems to be one of your particular strengths.
posted by ljromanoff at 2:01 PM on July 5, 2002


I'm not asking for proof the statement was never made, I am asking for proof that Bush was lying.

Are you suggesting that even if Bush never made the statement, which it's pretty apparent that he didn't, it's not really lying if he believes that he did?

Well, perhaps you could educate me on your definition of lying. It seems to be one of your particular strengths.

Awww, who's trolling now? I understand your resentment, though, having painted yourself into such a ridiculous corner.

from Merriam-Webster:
Main Entry(3): lie
Function: verb
Inflected Form(s): lied; ly·ing /'lI-i[ng]/
Etymology: Middle English, from Old English lEogan; akin to Old High German liogan to lie, Old Church Slavonic lugati
Date: before 12th century
intransitive senses
1 : to make an untrue statement with intent to deceive
2 : to create a false or misleading impression
posted by Ty Webb at 2:31 PM on July 5, 2002


Are you suggesting that even if Bush never made the statement, which it's pretty apparent that he didn't

That purely an assumption on your part. I doubt very much you were there at every moment of Bush's campaign.

it's not really lying if he believes that he did?

It's lying if he lied. Have you or the press proved that he lied despite making the charge? No, you have not.

Awww, who's trolling now?

Still you, I'm afraid.
posted by ljromanoff at 4:12 PM on July 5, 2002


It's lying if he lied.

It depends what the definition of is is.
posted by Ty Webb at 4:16 PM on July 5, 2002


It depends what the definition of is is.

No, is is always is and a lie is always a lie. But neither you nor anyone else has proven that any lie has happened.
posted by ljromanoff at 4:22 PM on July 5, 2002


Okay, you're obviously just being obtuse now. Bush's supporters have an incentive to produce documentation of the statement in question. They have not. Bush claims to have made the statement repeatedly; could he actually be mistaken about saying something repeatedly? Once I can understand, but repeatedly? It's amazing how far up your own ass your partisanship can force you.

But neither you nor anyone else has proven that any lie has happened.

No, we've just shown that Bush never once said something which he claims to have said repeatedly.
posted by Ty Webb at 4:34 PM on July 5, 2002


It's amazing how far up your own ass your partisanship can force you.

This coming from someone who's partisanship has him eyeballing his own prostate on a daily basis.

As for me, I'm not even a Republican. But again, don't let the facts get in the way of your rant. You never have before.

No, we've just shown that Bush never once said something

Of course you haven't. You know for a fact he never once said it? I didn't think so.
posted by ljromanoff at 4:43 PM on July 5, 2002


Okay, you're obviously just being obtuse now.

I'm disappointed, Ty. It took you at least 5 posts too many to figure that out. A bit too much celebrating yesterday? :)
posted by mediareport at 4:56 PM on July 5, 2002


You know for a fact he never once said it? I didn't think so.

We don't know that you've never abused children, either. There's no record of it, but I suppose by your standards we have to assume you're a paedophile. Keep looking out for tyranny, though.
posted by riviera at 7:07 AM on July 6, 2002


We don't know that you've never abused children, either. There's no record of it, but I suppose by your standards we have to assume you're a paedophile.

Boy, it's not tough to confuse you, is it, riviera? I'm not the one making the affirmative claim of lying, nor am I the one making the impossible to prove negative claim that Bush never said the trifecta comment while campaigning. That burden is on Ty Webb and Dana Milbank and anyone else laboring to make the charge. So far all I've heard from them are assumptions, wishful thinking, deception, and distortion. Pretty much business as usual, really.
posted by ljromanoff at 8:36 AM on July 6, 2002


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