Join 3,572 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


George Says
April 13, 2004 7:06 PM   Subscribe

George Says Did the president fail to answer your questions tonight? Put the words right in his mouth.
posted by ColdChef (98 comments total)

 
Via aboyandhiscomputer.
posted by ColdChef at 7:09 PM on April 13, 2004


Pandagon had a great live play-by-play.
I was appalled and disappointed...and we still don't know who or what will be taking over in Iraq in June.

That's fun, but after watching the real thing, could never be as absurd or depressing.
posted by amberglow at 7:13 PM on April 13, 2004


There's vaguely similar PDF goodness over @ georgewbush.org.
posted by MaxVonCretin at 7:31 PM on April 13, 2004


That was simultaneously the worst and best (and funniest) press conference in the history of press conferences. Just wow. The 'brown-skinned people' one was just amazing.
posted by Ryvar at 7:36 PM on April 13, 2004


and "Secretary of State Rumsfeld"!?! God forbid!

was that tie was a planned distraction--or a wardrobe malfunction?
posted by amberglow at 7:41 PM on April 13, 2004


I couldn't believe what I just saw. He was lost and confused the whole time. Running in rhetorical circles, losing his talking points, etc. This is what I blogged as I watched it.
Oh man, this is just hilarious. He's claming the "enemy" (whoever that is this week. Saddam? AlSadr? BinLaden?) is for these things: extreme ideologies, for theocracy, taking away civil rights of women, etc. Err, thats EXACTLY what this administration has been doing here. Its like 1984 come to life, except when its real its fucking scary.

What a terrible performance. He can't even come up with a decent excuse on why his master Cheney must be with him when they confront the 9/11 commission. He's messing up all his lines, all his talking points, - everything. I'm certain this half-hour just cost him a few million votes. Keep it up Bush.

I swear he's drunk. He's failing to make sense on so many levels and he's answering his own questions. This is his "Nixon/Kennedy debate" except he's just debating himself.

I thought he was going to completely break-down on the second to last question. Just raving and ranting for five minutes. Its embarassing for our country. And they called Howard Dean crazy. Man, I just looked into the eyes of a full-blown lunatic. Bush almost randomly yelling, "FREEDOM IS A GIFT FROM THE ALMIGHTY" as he shakes and looks lost and confused will forever be burned into my brain.
In retrospect, the drunk comment is a low blow, but he did come off as if they just gave him 8mgs of Klonopin before showtime.
posted by skallas at 7:50 PM on April 13, 2004


The tie was a bold yet subtle statement against the evil that is NTSC.
posted by Vetinari at 7:50 PM on April 13, 2004


was that tie was a planned distraction--or a wardrobe malfunction?

you are hypnotized by the tie.
do not look him in they eye.
posted by nyoki at 7:51 PM on April 13, 2004


It seems to me that he was pretty much ignoring the questions and speechifying. This in itself wouldn't be so bad if he had something other than the same tired platitudes he's been spouting since January:

"Saddam was a threat."

"This war will make the US more secure."

"We will finish the job -- just so long as it doesn't go past June 30th."

I nearly fell out my chair when he did his smirky little, "we have problems with freedom in this country," routine. No shit Dubya, maybe it has something to do with the fundamentalist nutcase you made Attorney General or your wholesale roundup of immigrants and insistence on holding people without charge or due process. Putting that big old Texas schwang away and not pissing on the Constitution every chance you get might help with that 'freedom' thing.

It's a shame he was more concerned with his self image than with reality. The man seems truly incapable of acknowledging anything less than perfection on his part, this scares me in anyone, even more so in someone as powerful as Bush. That steely glint in his eye... that wasn't determination, he's just batshit insane.
posted by cedar at 7:55 PM on April 13, 2004


I should also mention that the website in the original post is by MetaFilter's own RylandDotNet.
posted by ColdChef at 7:58 PM on April 13, 2004


I'd post my questionably hilarious George Says images, but I'm pretty sure my server would die. So let me just assure you that I'm an EXTREMELY FUNNY FELLOW.
posted by cortex at 8:02 PM on April 13, 2004


And you'd think he would have rehearsed more--even his answer to the softball question from the Fox guy was messed up. What did he expect this press conference to do, show that he got a nice tan on his vacation? sorry coldchef, the reality beats that comic
posted by amberglow at 8:02 PM on April 13, 2004


Did you catch him babbling about how rough things are in the Caucus area? Or his two Secretaries of State? Or how he almost obsessively referred to multiple deaths in the singular, regardless of context?

That was the most baffling, gibbering bit of oration I've seen since Gollum. He was utterly shit-scared until he started talking about Jeebus, and then the sails of his delusion caught the breeze, and off he went into his own little universe.
posted by stonerose at 8:03 PM on April 13, 2004


George Says?

George says.
posted by rafter at 8:14 PM on April 13, 2004


That was the most baffling, gibbering bit of oration I've seen since Gollum.
posted by homunculus at 8:17 PM on April 13, 2004


stonerose: "brown-skinned people" and his mistatement that Saddam IS a threat. The latter was such a giveaway that he was simply mentally hitting replay it was really frightening. I mean, this man is, as he pointed out, the person ultimately making many of the major decisions that affect the world.

Ah well. I always wanted to live out the Road Warrior dream.
posted by Ryvar at 8:18 PM on April 13, 2004


I think this post could have saved the White House a lot of grief.Tonight's conference was disturbing. I had flashbacks to speeches from the politburo, the ones where you had to scratch your head and wonder why the Soviets couldn't find someone slightly more articulate and compos mentis than Brezhnev, Chernenko or Andropov.

Have you every heard a person rehash talking points so often, and look so damn uncomfortable? Even Rove looked worried, and if Rove ain't happy, nobody happy.
posted by gesamtkunstwerk at 8:21 PM on April 13, 2004


The man seems truly incapable of acknowledging anything less than perfection on his part

Yeah I found it strange he couldn't think of a single mistake he had made since 9/11. (like he could of admitted that "Bring 'em on" was a poor choice of words) I heard it suggested that he has some mental problem in admiting fault, in that he couldn't even bring himself to state the expression "Fool me twice, shame on me."

And that tie was odd.
posted by bobo123 at 8:21 PM on April 13, 2004


I appreciated what the President said. I also happen to think that he is correct on issues of national defense, the military, and the war on international terrorism.

Cute link, tho - I typed something arguably non-MeFi-like.
posted by davidmsc at 8:21 PM on April 13, 2004


Rafter: Great link. Thanks.
posted by ColdChef at 8:22 PM on April 13, 2004


Bush was on message and already affecting his "folksy" and "man of the people image." He got smacked by basically every question -- I loved the part where he grimaced for about 15 pregnant seconds trying to think of anything he did wrong since September 11. But he's going to be tough to beat in November, no matter what MeFi says.

He's got no case on many of the issues -- WMD (still there!), counter-terrorism planning (?), Iraq clusterfuck (We're staying the course and we'll send as many troops as necessary), economy, jobs, deficit. But people love him.
posted by zpousman at 8:46 PM on April 13, 2004


He's like a puppy. A bewildered, deranged puppy.
posted by ColdChef at 8:48 PM on April 13, 2004


I think it was the most embarassing performance I've yet seen from any politician.
posted by homunculus at 8:51 PM on April 13, 2004


This man is the most powerful man in the world, and he can't handle a simple declarative sentence. That's scary.
posted by Vidiot at 8:54 PM on April 13, 2004


"I appreciated what the President said"

I respect your opinion, but can you say that the president answered questions or criticisms directly? A leader is someone who leads, not someone who repeats talking points.
Tonight's was repetitive and derivative of other people's arguments; there was nary a peep that hadn't been uttered by Condi Rice last week.

This was the gibbering of a nervous follower, not a statesman. Would Kennedy, Churchill, FDR or even GHW have mimicked their staffs? Would Clinton have brought Gore along to testify at his hearings? Can you quote any line from tonight's speech that was clearly GW Bush?
posted by gesamtkunstwerk at 8:56 PM on April 13, 2004


Can you quote any line from tonight's speech that was clearly GW Bush?
There actually was one--the "I'm not quick on my feet" line.
posted by amberglow at 8:58 PM on April 13, 2004


Is there a video somewhere or a transcript that non-Americans might view?
posted by dobbs at 8:59 PM on April 13, 2004


my Google-fu seems to have taken the night off -- can someone point me toward an actual transcript of the press conference ....
posted by anastasiav at 9:00 PM on April 13, 2004


Transcript here.
posted by Vidiot at 9:03 PM on April 13, 2004


transcript of opening script here
posted by cruelfate at 9:04 PM on April 13, 2004


dobbs, there is streaming video at c-span. Real Audio, but Real Alternative is doing me just fine.
posted by rafter at 9:06 PM on April 13, 2004


http://www.nzherald.co.nz/storydisplay.cfm?storyID=3560503&thesection=news&thesubsection=world
posted by bargle at 9:10 PM on April 13, 2004


just because the white house site refuses to open for me for some reason...
posted by bargle at 9:11 PM on April 13, 2004


I only watched about the first 25 minutes, but the first thing that really grabbed me was this response to a, "How is the war justified?" question:
I went to the U.N., as you might recall, and said, either you take care of him, or we will. Any time an American President says, if you don't, we will, we better be prepared to.
Bush is running on his percieved strength and revolved, but what he is literally doing here is saying, "America doesn't back down," or, more blatantly, "Stubborness got us into this." I realize this isn't what Bush meant to get across, but as a response to justification for the war it is chilling to hear him say, "Because once I told the U.N. what my plans were it was too late to back down."
posted by rafter at 9:15 PM on April 13, 2004


But he's going to be tough to beat in November, no matter what MeFi says.

And this is what never ceases to bewilder the god-fearing fuck out of me.

I actually thought his folksy 'well, ah ain't so clever and all, but I b'lieve in what's right' stuff probably played well to the heartland folks.

That said, the 'gibbering, half-bright puppet-president' criticisms are bang-on, nonetheless. How awful, and how unsurprising and embarrassing it should be to everyone, whether they support him and 'his' policies or not, that he has been so rarely propped up to answer for himself, even back when the lips of the press were more firmly socketed to his butt than they are now.

Some of the questions were slightly tougher than I had expected, actually, at least during the last 30 minutes that I caught on BBC World, but still, most were very, very lightweight. And he failed even to rise to the challenge those. Dear me.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 9:19 PM on April 13, 2004


Dating myself?
posted by scarabic at 9:24 PM on April 13, 2004


Video link here (use "Open Location" in RealPlayer):
http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2004/04/20040413-20.v.smil

Clicky-link here.
posted by rajbot at 9:26 PM on April 13, 2004


Can you quote any line from tonight's speech that was clearly GW Bush?

Two separate uses of the phrase "turkey farm". Also, "homicide bombers" are now "suiciders".
posted by Armitage Shanks at 9:27 PM on April 13, 2004


I watched this with a bunch of staunch conservatives. Not the moral, Christian kind (one was stuanchly atheist), the kind that aren't liberal because they make too much money to be. Anyway as Bush was bumbling I go "My god, he can't even answer a question, is this the best out of all the Republicans you guys could muster?"

And of course they go into a "well I don't care how he speaks" rant and it was basically impossible to argue how he worded somethings (which any good high school debator could have flown holes through).

What caught me by surprise is that they were angrier at the justifications for war. "Shouldn't Bush be spending less? I thought that's why I voted Republican," and "why doesn't he just admit we went to war to corporatize Iraqi oil. Get done with that and move on." I had to agree with them on all that, and they seem disenfranchised with their ideological Christian leader, not the Republican they voted for.

Then I remembered I used to like the Republican ideals (small government, hands off) and can't believe I'm so liberal. In reality I don't think I'm a Sweden welfare-state liberal but more of a Goldwater Democrat liberal. My point being that the Republicans have done such a good job trying to win the South they basically became the party of the South. They're moralists who have a "let God sort 'em out".

My favorite moment came when one of the most staunch of the conservatives even poked fun at the president Mystery Science Theater style. When Bush went something to the effect of "the almighty", he quickly added "Our Lord Jesus Christ, the true Christian God". At least they get it.
posted by geoff. at 9:32 PM on April 13, 2004


anyone really can be the president
posted by tsarfan at 9:42 PM on April 13, 2004


I have a policy of not listening to anything any president or his cabinet says. what's the point? it's all just scripted damage-control, no matter who it is. I can't think of any less enlightening, except for maybe a metatalk thread about "newsfilter."
posted by mcsweetie at 9:42 PM on April 13, 2004


Two words: Turkey Farm
posted by y2karl at 9:45 PM on April 13, 2004


A friend of mine was watching and I stopped by for a couple of minutes. He made a solemn promise to down an entire beer the moment Bush actually answered the question... later this was downgraded to dodging the question yet saying something reasonably coherent and on-topic, but no such luck...

My question is - were you expecting anything different?

On a somewhat similar note, more caption fun at the Kerry Sloganator.
posted by Krrrlson at 9:48 PM on April 13, 2004




(/troll)

(sorry.)
posted by kaibutsu at 10:01 PM on April 13, 2004


I think I'll have a turkey sandwich tomorrow for lunch. With mustard.
posted by Vidiot at 10:03 PM on April 13, 2004


well, with all this great new material, maybe the o'franken factor won't be so god awful boring tomorrow.
posted by bluno at 10:15 PM on April 13, 2004


"A country that hides something... Is a country that's trying not to get caught."

Laughing my god-damned ass off.
posted by kaibutsu at 10:29 PM on April 13, 2004


So this Bush... It vacillitates??!?
posted by keswick at 10:30 PM on April 13, 2004


The tie was a bold yet subtle statement against the evil that is NTSC.

Thank you Vetinari that was one of the funniest things i've read all night.
posted by quin at 10:32 PM on April 13, 2004


It was just bad . . .embarrassing. Even the Pro-Bushies will have to admit that.

Oh man, this is just hilarious. He's claming the "enemy" (whoever that is this week. Saddam? AlSadr? BinLaden?) is for these things: extreme ideologies, for theocracy, taking away civil rights of women, etc. Err, thats EXACTLY what this administration has been doing here. Its like 1984 come to life, except when its real its fucking scary.

I'm happy the irony was not shared by us alone. He was rattling off the list of things the "bad brown-skinned radicals" supposedly support - and my wife and I just kind of looked at each other and we both said "sounds like he's describing the U.S."

I mean really - why couldn't he have just said "I apologize to the families of the 9-11 victims, and I personally apologize for those things leading to the tragedy that I now see we could have done better." It seems like if he wants to get reelected, such a statement would have won him HUGE points. And I don't think Kerry would try and use an apology to the victims families as an opportunity to criticize dubya.
posted by sixdifferentways at 10:34 PM on April 13, 2004


I just spent some time reading the transcript, and was surprised to find that the opening speech reads well. And a number of the questiosn.

Every time I hear the man speak, I think "bluffing liar". Hitting the written word is a bit different. There's still some strikeouts, and definitely some things I disagree with... but it's interesting to me that I find Bush more palatable written than spoken.
posted by weston at 10:48 PM on April 13, 2004


Well, weston, it goes without saying, I'd think, that he didn't actually write the opening speech himself, and that it is pretty clear that most of his 'answers' to various questions were scripted.

It was pretty baldly obvious when he was transitioning at any given point from extemporaneous stumble-bumming into scripted, memorized stretches of speechifying. Comically obvious, even. You could almost see bad Fred Flintsone Dubya perched up there on his left shoulder every time it happened, wiping his brow and going 'whew - back onto the beaten path!'
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 11:12 PM on April 13, 2004


I watched tonight along with my neighbors whom approve of Bush policies no matter the issue, and even they said he looked ridiculous. I couldn't help but point out every time he didn't answer a question and the only response I could get from them was, "That's how they all do it."
posted by JakeEXTREME at 11:14 PM on April 13, 2004


I just spent some time reading the transcript, and was surprised to find that the opening speech reads well.

I agree. But there are some classic Bushisms in there:

"One of my hardest parts of my job is to console the family members who have lost their life."
-- Does he use a Ouija board for this?

"I presented a Purple Heart to some of our wounded"
-- Did they have to share it?

and my fave -- "One thing is for certain, though, about me -- and the world has learned this -- when I say something, I mean it." -- I'm sure Secretary of State Rumsfeld will be pleased to hear that.

Prior to reading the transcript, I was thinking he was going to catch a lot of heat for the 'brown-skinned' comment, but in reading the text, its actually a great thought:

"Some of the debate really center around the fact that people don't believe Iraq can be free; that if you're Muslim, or perhaps brown-skinned, you can't be self-governing and free. I strongly disagree with that. I reject that, because I believe that freedom is the deepest need of every human soul, and, if given a chance, the Iraqi people will be not only self-governing, but a stable and free society."

I think he's very clear here in separating himself from "people" who don't think that Iraqi, Muslim, or other non-white people can self-govern, and I applaud him for that. I'm as anti-Bush as they come, but I will say that he has personally been consistently anti-predjudice, from his speech on the evening of September 11th to the multi-faith memorial services and right through until this statement tonight. I just hope that his government gives the Iraqi people the chance to self-govern, because I also note he doesn't say that we will give them the chance ... but maybe I'm parsing far too much delicacy into Bush's language here.

Thanks to everyone who posted transcript links.
posted by anastasiav at 11:31 PM on April 13, 2004


You miss the wonderfully long pauses in the transcript version.
posted by gluechunk at 12:06 AM on April 14, 2004


"Some have said we must not act until the threat is imminent. Since when have terrorists and tyrants announced their intentions, politely putting us on notice before they strike? If this threat is permitted to fully and suddenly emerge, all actions, all words, and all recriminations would come too late."

Bush, State of the Union
Jan. 28, 2003


-

"There was nothing in there that said, you know, there's an imminent attack. There was nothing in this report to me that said, 'oh, by the way, we've got intelligence that says something is about to happen in America,'"

Bush, responding to questions about the Aug. 6, 2001 PDB
Apr. 13, 2004

posted by McBain at 12:21 AM on April 14, 2004


My favorite line was the one about how "a free Iraq is going to be a major blow for terrorism."
posted by majcher at 12:28 AM on April 14, 2004


Perhaps he forgot to add the word '-job', there, majcher.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 12:36 AM on April 14, 2004


I barely made it through the first paragraph of the transcript before having to stop and post: "This has been tough weeks in that country."

On one hand, I'm glad that whitehouse.gov isn't censoring or altering transcripts. On the other hand, jesus h. christ. I just got through two weeks of moot court, where people constantly pepper you with questions and you have to respond to their questions persuasively, directly, and with coherent sentences and paragraphs. And we're freaking students. Does this guy watch himself on C-SPAN and quiver at his total lack of erudition? Or does he honestly, sincerely, not give a fuck?
posted by PrinceValium at 12:39 AM on April 14, 2004


Sometimes I hate this community.
posted by geekyguy at 1:08 AM on April 14, 2004


You miss the wonderfully long pauses in the transcript version.

He sounded like he was channeling Christopher Walken.
posted by y2karl at 1:29 AM on April 14, 2004


He sounded like he was channeling Christopher Walken.

Sometimes I love this community.

(Sorry, geekyguy.)
posted by swerve at 2:17 AM on April 14, 2004


I've not watched the performance yet as it was on at 1:30am blighty time. It is interesting to note though that the response from Metafilter is one of near universal embarrassment. For the sake of balance, here are a couple of responses from elsewhere on the political spectrum...
Andrew Sullivan...
I've just watched the press conference later on C-SPAN. Not only was the transcript encouraging. I found the president clear, forceful, impassioned, determined, real. This was not an average performance. I found it Bush at his best. He needs to do it more.
ASM
I am damn proud this man is my president. His resolve, his determination and his sincerety are just some of the reasons I will be voting for him in November.

From where I'm sat, there seems to be no point in anyone campaigning for the November elections, everyone is so entrenched in their positions. Me, I'm just really fucking annoyed that Fox postponed 24. Tell me, did he use the phrase "The Sky if Falling" at all?
posted by chill at 2:24 AM on April 14, 2004


Me, I'm just really fucking annoyed that Fox postponed 24.

Amen chill, i've got about six episodes TiVoed, and i've been waiting to do a marathon block. Now i'm going to have to find a bit torrent or something.

[grumbles: stupid government... interrupting my entertainment.]
posted by quin at 3:05 AM on April 14, 2004


It seemed to me that after he'd uttered that "brown-skinned" comment, he immediately knew he'd done bad. That's why he kept repeating with increasing forcefulenss how much he "rejected that".

I'm sorry. I can't be swayed. The man is a puppet. I would love for this all to end now. But it is he and his who forced us into this. They could have been more creative about getting what they wanted so that nobody would notice. But noooo.

So here we are.
posted by crasspastor at 3:40 AM on April 14, 2004


"I've got some "must calls," I'm sorry. "


This spooks me. Why are certain reporters guaranteed questions?


"I hope I -- I don't want to sound like I've made no mistakes. I'm confident I have. I just haven't -- you just put me under the spot here, and maybe I'm not as quick on my feet as I should be in coming up with one. "


And that just tickles me so... shit.
posted by moonbird at 4:13 AM on April 14, 2004


It seemed to me that after he'd uttered that "brown-skinned" comment, he immediately knew he'd done bad. That's why he kept repeating with increasing forcefulenss how much he "rejected that".

No, that was very much on purpose, and he's made similar comments before; it's a way to accuse anti-war people of racism.

I dunno, I'm against the guy too, but I have to say this was among his better performances. I mean, his speech was generic and the delivery was stilted, and it was clear most of the answers were basically memorized (he basically admitted as much at some point, saying he hadn't practiced an answer to the question about mistakes...), but he mostly managed to pull it off, and I'd bet that it reassured some portion of people.

He did seem kind of desperate though, and he did admit to how bad things have gotten in iraq, and his main point seemed to be "well it's too late now", which may not sit well with people once it really sinks in... on the other hand, if they believe success is probable in the end, then staying the course is just doing the right thing.
posted by mdn at 4:36 AM on April 14, 2004


Q Mr. President, why are you and the Vice President insisting on appearing together before the 9/11 Commission? ...

THE PRESIDENT: ... because the 9/11 Commission wants to ask us questions, that's why we're meeting. And I look forward to meeting with them and answering their questions.

Q I was asking why you're appearing together, rather than separately, which was their request.

THE PRESIDENT: Because it's a good chance for both of us to answer questions that the 9/11 Commission is looking forward to asking us, and I'm looking forward to answering them.
That's the point where I almost put my foot through the television. He could have just said, "that's a very good question, now LOOK AT THE MONKEY! LOOK AT THE SILLY MONKEY! Time's up. Next."

I'm positive that's going to have to be tonight's Daily Show Clip, because outside of the Turkey farm line there couldn't have been a more blatantly evasive and stupid answer than that anywhere else in the press conference.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 4:55 AM on April 14, 2004


As he turned away after failing to answer that question (why together) there was just the hint of a snarl, of the thing that lies beneath.

Apart from that moment I have to confess that, though no fan of the man or his policies, it was a vintage example of the best speechwriting that money can buy, perfectly measured and delivered with conviction.

The mis-speaks, the 'brown-skinned' reference come over as courage or at least pluck. Where do I sign?

In a minority here.
posted by grahamwell at 5:27 AM on April 14, 2004


He sounded like he was channeling Christopher Walken.

Do not besmirch the good name of Christopher Walken. There's a difference between wit + timing and awkward stumbling pauses. Walken has one, Bush has the other.

This is why, when I'm rich and eccentric, Walken will be in my overwrought vanity film project and Bush will not. (And Steve Buscemi will kill Steve Gutenberg in a knife fight while the opening credits roll.)
posted by cortex at 5:33 AM on April 14, 2004


This is his "Nixon/Kennedy debate" except he's just debating himself.

That cracked me up, skallas.

Unfortunately, I think most of his supporters care no more about Bush's lack of intelligence or knowledge than Clinton supporters cared about whether their man got a blow job near the oval office. That the left doesn't get this is troubling. I was watching a documentary about Ollie North's senate race a few days ago and one of the lines that struck me was his campaign manager saying something like "the Democrats don't understand that people don't like [North] despite of Iran-Contra, they like him because of it." It's often hard to see clearly what the other side cares about and what it doesn't.
posted by callmejay at 5:51 AM on April 14, 2004


I have to disagree with a lot of my colleagues on this one: I thought the president's speech was perfect, and honest. In no public speech has he yet been so plain about what his intentions are for America in the Middle East. Mind you, he's completely lost his mind if he thinks democracy can be shared and spread like the clap, but at least he's finally said what a lot of us have known for some time: that it is our Divine goal to bring Civilization to the brown people of the Middle East, as we have done with those cretins in Germany and those slant-eyed short fella's out East. We brought it to them, we can bring it to you, too.

The question & answer section, however, was ludicrous. No national head of state, and certainly not one as powerful as the United States, should ever let itself be lead by such a complete buffoon. Aren't they supposed to prep him a little before these things? If you watched carefully, you can see the point where George is no longer talking in stringed-together cliche's and his brain is actually trying to work. That brainfart he had on the "regrets" question was a perfect example.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 5:52 AM on April 14, 2004


Er, I mean, no nation should ever let itself be led.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 6:11 AM on April 14, 2004



posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 6:54 AM on April 14, 2004


callmejay has made an excellent point. (I saw that Ollie North doc and had the exact same thought at that line.)We can't sit around here just calling him Dumbya or screaming about missing WMD and expecting that to be enough. People DON'T WANT him to admit that he's made any mistakes. People LIKE that he's swinging his balls around without regard for the facts or the opinions of other countries. People LIKE that he doesn't come off as an Ivy League debater.

Support is slipping for the war, but Bush isn't going to lose the election on his foreign policy or his personality. If he's going to lose, it will be because of jobs and the budget and trade deficits, or because he's not a "real" fiscal conservative.

We modern democrats have forgotten: It's the economy, stupid.
posted by jpoulos at 7:42 AM on April 14, 2004


More precisely, it's the stupid, stupid. They must be appeased and coddled and their vanity appealed to.
posted by rushmc at 7:59 AM on April 14, 2004


My husband and I were talking about this...and the various other weirdness emanating from the White House of late, and we've decided that the Bilderbergs have decided to dump Bush. They're just giving him enough rope, I swear it. I've never heard so many "uh" and "ums" from a public speaker in my life. When he's not scripted, he's just not good.

He has some amazing speechwriters...you'd think they would have prepped him better. This conference just shows how badly the puppet performs when the act is not rehearsed. Good lord, it's English man, you've spoken it all your life...can tense and verb agreement really be that difficult for you? I blame Yale.

And jpoulos is right. The war isn't going to hurt Bush come election time. The two sides of that issue were drawn up before the first shot was fired. The big issue for Bush is going to be the economy. And right now, big investors are just as unhappy as proles...Bush isn't a fiscal conservative by a long shot...and that, if anything, will keep real conservatives out of the polling places. They won't vote for Kerry...but they're not happy with Bush.
posted by dejah420 at 8:01 AM on April 14, 2004


The Daily Howler promises to discuss the press conference over the next couple of days. (For the uninitiated, nothing on the Web quite duplicates the Howler's combination of comically exaggerated outrage and insanely meticulous close readings.)
posted by Prospero at 8:17 AM on April 14, 2004


More precisely, it's the stupid, stupid. They must be appeased and coddled and their vanity appealed to.

It's always worth remembering that half the population are below average.
posted by biffa at 8:34 AM on April 14, 2004


but it's interesting to me that I find Bush more palatable written than spoken.

The gym I visit has a half-dozen televisions set with the volume off and closed-captioning on. I happened to be down there when Bush gave his campaign startup speech, and I was surprised to find how much less irritating he was when I couldn't hear his voice. He still doesn't sound smart, exactly, but when all you get is his face mouthing the words to a prepared speech, it actually isn't that bad. This made it a bit easier to understand why otherwise-sapient Americans might actually be able to support the guy; tastes differ, and it's clear that there are plenty of people who either don't notice Bush's wretched delivery of English or simply find it endearing.
posted by Mars Saxman at 8:49 AM on April 14, 2004


More precisely, it's the stupid, stupid. They must be appeased and coddled and their vanity appealed to.
&
It's always worth remembering that half the population are below average.

Such arrogance.

Are these the same "stupid" people that kept Clinton in office for eight years, or allowed the Democrats to control Congress for thirty years? Are these the same "stupid" people that not only developed, but maintained, the greatest economy this world has seen?

Here's some free advice you're more than welcome to ignore: If you don't understand a concept or idea, perhaps it's because you're ignorant, not "them".

On topic, many people on this site fail to remember that many, many Americans are still pro-life. They believe in the superiority of the American military, regardless of international agreement. They believe that Bush handled the Taliban effectively and that Saddam's capture was a historic victory. Further, and most important, the sitting President has a much better chance of dealing with current threats than a newbie, who needs a large amount of time to acclimate.
posted by BlueTrain at 9:11 AM on April 14, 2004


the greatest economy this world has seen?

Slightly OT, but largest does not equal greatest. You would do well to remember that there are many of us out there who believe that strength should be measured in terms of compassion, wisdom, and a commitment to equal treatment among humans both at home and abroad, rather than brute size and force. Do please try to forgive us for being frustrated with the minority.
posted by stonerose at 10:00 AM on April 14, 2004


The speech made him look like the ham handed idiot Texan he is.

The nice thing I like to remember is that he'll be taking 4 out of every 10 days off for vacation, just like he's done thus far. And that's 4 days less that he can destroy the universe.
posted by fenriq at 11:12 AM on April 14, 2004


Saletan in Slate has a great piece on last night: Trust, Don't Verify
Three times, Bush repeated the answer he gave to Edwin Chen of the Los Angeles Times: "Had there been a threat that required action by anybody in the government, I would have dealt with it." Outside Bush's head, the statement was patently false: The 9/11 threat required action, and Bush failed to deal with it. But inside Bush's head, the statement was tautological: If there were a threat that required action, Bush would have dealt with it; Bush didn't deal with it; therefore, there was no threat that required action. The third time Bush repeated this answer—in response to a question about whether he owed an "apology to the American people for failing them prior to 9/11"—he added, "The person responsible for the attacks was Osama Bin Laden." This is how Bush's mind works: Only a bad person can bear responsibility for a bad thing. I am a good person. Therefore, I bear no responsibility.
posted by amberglow at 11:14 AM on April 14, 2004


the sitting President has a much better chance of dealing with current threats...

I hope --      I don't want to sound like I       have made no mistakes.         I'm confident I have.   I just haven't --           you just put me under the spot here,     and maybe I'm not as quick           on my feet as I should be     in coming up with one.

Emphasis on sitting?
posted by y2karl at 11:26 AM on April 14, 2004


"Because it's a good chance for both of us to answer questions that the 9/11 Commission is looking forward to asking us, and I'm looking forward to answering them."

<tomservo>Just not this question</tomservo> :)

This was one of the ones he missed, so obviously he may as well have said "because I'm afraid of the deep end of the pool."
posted by weston at 11:49 AM on April 14, 2004


Bush basically confirmed (yet again!) Mark Crispin Miller's analysis of his (Bush's) speech patterns and gaffes -- he argues that Bush only misspeaks when he attempts to express compassion or sympathy for others, which is part of the definition of a sociopath. The fucker could say "Bring It On" in twenty different languages in his sleep, but is literally, physically incapable of mustering up the language to acknowledge a mistake or regret.

This is why, when I'm rich and eccentric, Walken will be in my overwrought vanity film project and Bush will not. (And Steve Buscemi will kill Steve Gutenberg in a knife fight while the opening credits roll.)

*starts hustling up money to fund cortex's vanity film project*
posted by scody at 1:15 PM on April 14, 2004


"Q Thank you, Mr. President. You mentioned the PDB and the assurance you got that the FBI was working on terrorism investigations here. The number they had used was 70. But we learned today in the September 11th hearings that the Acting Director of the FBI at the time says -- now says the FBI tells him that number was wrong, that he doesn't even know how it got into your PDB. And two of the commissioners strongly suggested the number was exaggerated. Have you learned anything else about that report since that time? And do you now believe you were falsely comforted by the FBI?"

Gee, tough question, Fox News. How do they live with themselves?!

And here's my George Says: "Apologize for what? God chose me to be President. You see, if I'm wrong, God is wrong. And God is never wrong."
posted by eperker at 1:46 PM on April 14, 2004


Your god might be.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 1:55 PM on April 14, 2004


I used to always think of King Of New York as Dances With Homies. Wonder if you could do a King Of Iraq ? ... Oh, it's being done.
posted by y2karl at 1:58 PM on April 14, 2004


Further, and most important, the sitting President has a much better chance of dealing with current threats than a newbie, who needs a large amount of time to acclimate.

Not too many Bush fans were pushing that argument when they elected the man who had never travelled overseas and was demonstrated not to even know where some fairly major countries were over the man on a first-name basis with many world leaders who had been on the inside for years.

In any case, you are once again setting up a straw man. I am not talking about those who support Bush for considered ideological reasons; I'm talking about the people—and make no mistake, they are legion—who support him without bothering to understand the facts of the situation, often counter to their own self-interest. In my book, they are indeed "stupid," but you are free to soften that in any way that you like.
posted by rushmc at 2:06 PM on April 14, 2004


Since we are so evenly polarized and the race will depend so much upon the undecided, rushmc, tell me this--do you see him picking up any swing voters from last night? You'd have to have had drunk a lot of kool aid to say yes.
posted by y2karl at 2:35 PM on April 14, 2004


an Emperor's New Clothes thing, from sadlyno : >
posted by amberglow at 6:19 PM on April 14, 2004


I'm a lefty Bush hater, but I didn't see anything last night that made me hate him more. He's always been a bumbling speaker and it hasn't hurt him yet.

Democrats might be better off denouncing Bush for pre-empting American Idol and 24. It seems to be what people
really care about in this country.

I remember the soap opera junkies were really mad when the Iran-Contra hearings went on for so long. If you think the vast majority of the people in this country actually know what's going on in the world and give a shit, you're mistaken.
Clinton won by out-lying the Republicans -- I still remember his last-minute ads hammering Bush for breaking his no tax pledge as if Clinton was a principled tax cutter. The essential dishonesty of our politics seems to require dishonesty all around. I'd zero in on the brown-skinned comment, even though he was trying to seem racially progressive with it.
But the "Bush is stupid" meme is a non-starter, because most people are stupid, so it just creates sympathy for the guy.
Plus he's not that stupid -- he's just stupider than the smart people who were at Yale with him. Guess what? People don't like those smart people. People didn't like Gore because he seemed like the kid who was always first to raise his hand and not only have the answer but point out that the teacher made a mistake in the question. Bush is a poor public speaker.
But he ain't that stupid -- he stole the presidency, didn't he?
posted by Slagman at 9:03 PM on April 14, 2004


I remember the soap opera junkies were really mad when the Iran-Contra hearings went on for so long.

The Contras... I remember them. It's funny you should mention that.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 11:08 PM on April 14, 2004


rushmc, tell me this--do you see him picking up any swing voters from last night?

Honestly, I think the whole notion of swing voters is greatly overrated. I just don't think there are that many of them out there anymore. How many people do you know who have yet to form an opinion of Bush?
posted by rushmc at 9:32 AM on April 15, 2004


Get Your War On's take
posted by amberglow at 6:17 PM on April 16, 2004


Mistakes were made (wmp/real)
posted by amberglow at 9:23 AM on April 18, 2004


« Older Know a tune, but can't identify it?...   |   Buying Up the Right to Pollute... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments