Skip

More PR...
October 13, 2005 10:40 PM   Subscribe

Bush teleconference with troops staged. Nothing in the article says who is responsible for organizing the staged question and answer session, The White House, military officials, or others in the defense department. Just that it infact was staged, and that the troops were coached for 45 minutes prior to the actual teleconference. When Bush, in an unscripted move, asked an officer if he had anything to say, he stammered through a sentence, in stark contrast to the well put together responses to all the other questions, thanking the President and saying, "I like you." More PR from the Bush administration.
posted by SirOmega (173 comments total)

 
Additional news articles regarding this available here via google news.
posted by SirOmega at 10:42 PM on October 13, 2005


That doesn't make any sense. Scotty said it WASN'T staged and he never lies.
posted by dobbs at 10:46 PM on October 13, 2005


Do these fools know how to tie their fucking shoes?
posted by wsg at 10:50 PM on October 13, 2005


I don't think there's anything embarassing fact that can come out on this Administration that would actually surprise me at this point. Expectedly disappoint, yes; surprise, not really.
posted by clevershark at 10:51 PM on October 13, 2005


Woah. For a second I thought this was a double because I knew I'd seen it before. Then you reminded me that I caught it on Google news.

Yeah, that was a pretty interesting article. I'm interested to know how/why the White House let that reporter observe the interview and write that story.
posted by dazed_one at 10:55 PM on October 13, 2005


there was a piece on npr's 'all things considered' about this very same topic. enlightening *and* informative.
posted by slogger at 11:02 PM on October 13, 2005


er, that is, here
posted by slogger at 11:03 PM on October 13, 2005


When I hear this on NPR, I cracked a smile and thought "Now that's reporting." You know the media is annoyed by you when they start pointing out that events are staged.
posted by drezdn at 11:06 PM on October 13, 2005


The fact of the thing itself doesn't bother me. The "we all know it's a big lie, but fuck you" thing bothers me.

Also the "So long as I'm the president, we're never going to back down, we're never going to give in, we'll never accept anything less than total victory," Bush said. thing bothers me. He does know it's just the two terms, right?
posted by Smedleyman at 11:13 PM on October 13, 2005


This surprises anyone? Administrations have been doing this for a long time.
posted by Dagobert at 11:36 PM on October 13, 2005


Administrations have been doing this for a long time.

Yeah, but they're not usually stupid enough to lie about it when there's both video and audio of the rehearsal.
posted by dobbs at 11:42 PM on October 13, 2005


What bothers me most about these sorts of things is that I really, honestly, want to believe the members of the military are people who prize honour and intelligence. I really want one of these fake setups to happen and one of the 'coached' participants stand up on the live camera and drop the charade for all the world to see.
posted by Kickstart70 at 11:45 PM on October 13, 2005


I saw this live on TV this morning and it was obvious the thing was staged. I guess I blame the media more than the politicians for this - they've been demanding this kind of canned news for years. It's pretty much the only way to reach the general public anymore.

How is this any worse than the presidential "debates" that are actually more like dueling monologues?
posted by b_thinky at 11:55 PM on October 13, 2005


"Thank you very much for everything," he gushed. "I like you."
posted by blacklite at 12:13 AM on October 14, 2005


posted by b_thinky I guess I blame the media more than the politicians for this - they've been demanding this kind of canned news for years. It's pretty much the only way to reach the general public anymore.

Actually, it's the American people who are demanding this kind of canned news. "The media" are just giving them what they want. The only surprising part of this story is the fact it's being reported; I'll be amazed if it's being discussed the day after tomorrow.
posted by fandango_matt at 12:14 AM on October 14, 2005


Holy shit, there's that thing on his back again!


posted by fandango_matt at 12:24 AM on October 14, 2005


I always figured that thing on his back was one of these.
posted by Pinback at 1:01 AM on October 14, 2005


Looks like padding over both shoulders, to be honest, although if it were a life-sucking demon mouse, I wouldn't be surprised.
posted by NinjaPirate at 1:40 AM on October 14, 2005


The president appears to have his finger lodged deep, deep in his left ear.

Poor the president. I hope he finds what he's looking for.
posted by scaryduck at 1:43 AM on October 14, 2005


I think it's more 'coached' than staged.

It's a matter of semantics and again, not that surprising.

Whenever there are stage events with ANY administration, staff members go into the audience and regularly vet the questions that will be asked and get some background info on the person in question.

I maintain this is nothing new or newsworthy.
posted by Dagobert at 1:49 AM on October 14, 2005


Worse than the fact this was staged, why is the president being allowed to use the military this way? How is this any different than using them to campaign?
posted by Goofyy at 1:50 AM on October 14, 2005


Uh a Republican "leader" ..yeah an oxymoron I know I know...that doesn't use the military for propaganda ? Color me uninmpressed.
posted by elpapacito at 2:11 AM on October 14, 2005


Sorry to play the cynic, but does it matter?

Even if this event was not staged, but real - there is only one single use for it, which is pure propaganda.

It's the fucking POTUS. He does not need to ask soldiers for information that he doesn't have otherwise. He would not listen to their advice anyway. The whole purpose is to bolster patriotism by showing how Bush cares about the troops. It's really the same bullshit whether it is staged or not.

The same applies for turkeys on thanksgiving, aircraft carriers and the like. The fuss is always about how these events are staged. How about making a fuss about them happening in the first place?

The media is there (should be) for reporting and information about events concerning world events, not your respective propaganda officer.
posted by uncle harold at 2:16 AM on October 14, 2005


He does not need to ask soldiers for information that he doesn't have otherwise. He would not listen to their advice anyway. The whole purpose is to bolster patriotism by showing how Bush cares about the troops. It's really the same bullshit whether it is staged or not.

While I agree with you to a certain degree, you are forgetting another reason why the President does these things: morale. I know for a fact that a lot of Soldiers are really jazzed by a visit from the President (Clinton being an exception) and like the questions he asks. The point isn't for him to get some whizz bang intel that somehow the entire defense infrastructure falied to pass on, the point is that he is asking. That counts a lot to the Soldiers.
posted by Dagobert at 2:22 AM on October 14, 2005


BTW, that applies to every president and country, not just Bush.
posted by uncle harold at 2:22 AM on October 14, 2005


Dagobert: That was exactly what I meant, I just called it "propaganda". These things should not need to happen in a free and democratic nation. If the soldiers happen to be more encouraged by the president than by a common cause, perhaps that is another problem (i.e. the soldiers believing he actually cares).
posted by uncle harold at 2:28 AM on October 14, 2005


Jesus, man. Get it together. You're bitching that someone could be encouraged by Bush? That's what you've got? Really? "...in a free and democratic nation..."? Come on.
posted by techgnollogic at 3:34 AM on October 14, 2005


the point is that he is asking. That counts a lot to the Soldiers.

Message: I care? Are you kidding me?? Your implication is that soldlers are so childlish, so infantile, that even though they've been put -- ill equipped, unnecessarily and indefinitely -- in harm's way, all it takes for them to feel better is a videoconference with the President?

This may be true, but if it is, the mentality boggles my mind.
posted by psmealey at 3:55 AM on October 14, 2005


Puppet Police!
posted by furtive at 3:59 AM on October 14, 2005


Dagobert: I maintain this is nothing new or newsworthy.

That's because you're not the vast majority of Americans. None of us are, in this echo chamber. This is newsworthy to all those people who think that Bush is a sincere buddy to the rest of us. All those people who see him and think "Hey, that's me!"

So many people don't get that many things they see are propaganda. All we can hope is that they see this and finally, finally get it.
posted by Swervo at 4:00 AM on October 14, 2005


techgnollogic: Jesus, man. Get it together. You're bitching that someone could be encouraged by Bush? That's what you've got? Really? "...in a free and democratic nation..."? Come on.

Read my comments. I'm not bitching about Bush, but about events which use is obviously PR. For politics.

And those events don't make a "free and democratic nation" less so, it's just that free and democratic nations usually don't require such theatrics. While any nation can be democratic, a democracy can only be effectively free and just if its population is enlightened enough to make informed decisions at election time. If it has come to the point where the majority of the electorate is swayed by propaganda actions (and obvious ones at that), "freedom and democracy" become just labels you can slap onto anything.

In doubt refer to any other western nation, and how often you see their governments do such stunts. Until recently, such in-your-face staged look-how-we-stand-together bullshit was reserved for China etc.
posted by uncle harold at 6:05 AM on October 14, 2005


Administrations have been doing this for a long time.

Actually, as far as staging TV events, it started with the Reagan administration. GHWB did it, so did Clinton. It's the dirty little secret the TV networks don't feel we regular Americans need to know.

That's why Bush's "town hall meetings" on Social Security have gotten so little play. They're all scripted as heck, and the "normal people" talking to Bush are all lifelong GOPers.

I am shocked, shocked, that President Bush would try and manipulate us.
posted by darren at 6:09 AM on October 14, 2005


Here is video of the conference.
posted by Alison at 6:11 AM on October 14, 2005


I maintain this is nothing new or newsworthy.

It is only newsworthy if one is claiming or presents the event as sincere.
posted by rough ashlar at 6:12 AM on October 14, 2005


Scratch that... wrong link.
posted by Alison at 6:17 AM on October 14, 2005


Just curious...can anyone pinpoint the last time Bush talked to regular people? Not a press conference, not an address or speech where the audience wasn't pre-screened or selected in some way, but a plain ol' public appearance?
posted by Vidiot at 6:23 AM on October 14, 2005


Worse than the fact this was staged, why is the president being allowed to use the military this way? How is this any different than using them to campaign?

You aint seen nothing yet, wait until you see him use them to keep the peace against the citizen "terrorists" during the next national emergency. This is where I predict the terms "liberal" and "terrorist" will finally merge as one in the public psyche.
posted by any major dude at 6:26 AM on October 14, 2005


For a second I thought this was a double because I knew I'd seen it before.
It's not a double; ericb mentioned it yesterday in the politics of terror thread, including links to videos of the practice run, the press conference, and a Pentagon communications aide prepping the soldiers.
posted by kirkaracha at 6:26 AM on October 14, 2005


I maintain this is nothing new or newsworthy.

You're right that bush faking an event is not new but what seems new to me is that the MSM is calling him on it. In the past they've just gone along with the charade and aired clips of it and reported on it as if it were a real event. But when I see an AP headline like this, "Bush Thanks Soldiers in Rehearsed Talk," I start to think that the reality distortion field that this administration has so successfully used in the past is not going to work anymore.
posted by octothorpe at 6:28 AM on October 14, 2005


Well, total victory is definitely at hand, now that we know who's really behind all the terror.

/no pun intended
//you'll see
posted by greatgefilte at 6:39 AM on October 14, 2005


you are forgetting another reason why the President does these things: morale.

Having a leader who makes sure the troops have armour, ammo for training, not having to ask (or beg) others for batteries, sniper scopes or even soft cloth to clean optics via going to Congress and ask for a rise in the tax level to pay for the freedom, democracy and terror-smashing action would seem to be a better moral booster.

But perhaps that's why I'm not El Jefe. Rather than words as armour, actual armor as armor.

Perhaps some spiritual armour will do?
posted by rough ashlar at 6:41 AM on October 14, 2005


I really want one of these fake setups to happen and one of the 'coached' participants stand up on the live camera and drop the charade for all the world to see.

That happened last year, when Spc. Thomas Wilson asked Donald Rumsfeld why US soldiers had to armor their vehicles with scrap metal from junkyards, prompting Rumsfeld's famous reply, "As you know, you go to war with the army you have, not the army you might want or wish to have at a later time." (In a parellel with this photo-op, Wilson's comment was suggested by a reporter.)

Our soldiers are still buying their own body armor without getting reimbursed (BYOBA) and still driving poorly-armored vechicles. Support the troops!
posted by kirkaracha at 6:42 AM on October 14, 2005


Helen was pissed off. Another good exchange from the briefing yesterday:
MR. McCLELLAN: Yes, I think you might want to talk to the Department of Defense. ... Just three years ago, the Iraqi people were under a brutal, oppressive dictator, a dictator that killed thousands and thousands of people.
Q How many have we killed?
MR. McCLELLAN: We've liberated 25 million, both in Iraq and in Afghanistan.
Q How many have we killed?
MR. McCLELLAN: Helen -- I'm sorry, Bob, I just can't let this go -- our men and women in uniform go out of their way not to target innocent civilians. They go out of their way to target those who are enemies and to bring them to justice. They are making the world safer for our children and grandchildren.
posted by smackfu at 6:49 AM on October 14, 2005


"I think it's more 'coached' than staged."

Dagobert, have you watched the video of the "rehearsal"? If not, please do so immediately. There is a woman at the podium who reads off questions that the president will be asking. Her wording for the questions is not general, it is specific and prepared. She then makes sure the soldiers know who is going to take each question, and further informs the soliders that, in the event that the actual President strays from the "scripted" (her words, not mine) questions, that only one particular person should say anything, everyone else should stay quiet.
posted by odinsdream at 6:52 AM on October 14, 2005


Dagobert ...President (Clinton being an exception)...

This sort of ponderously smarmy — and in this thread, utterly irrelevant — rhetoric irritates the shit out of me. Hey, I was a grunt (11-Bravo) in the Army, have acquaintances, friends and relations that are still part of the Armed Services, and none of them share your uniform bias, Dagobert. And it is yours, so cease from applying it to vast numbers of people you don't know, okay?

As for supporting the troops, my memory of that was simply wanting equipment that wasn't fucked, and a reliable mail call. The Internet has seen to the latter; apparently the former is still handled by corrupt idiots.
posted by Haruspex at 6:54 AM on October 14, 2005


I am sorry to disagree but the majority of US military I meet do and did not care for Clinton.

I was bring the point up because for the most part, the US President has had the approval of the Armed Services in the past. The only exception I have seen first hand was Clinton.

It was not intended as a slam on the men and women of the military nor President Clinton.
posted by Dagobert at 7:00 AM on October 14, 2005


The thing on Bush's back is clearly one of these...
posted by Lazlo Hollyfeld at 7:02 AM on October 14, 2005


Interesting unintentional symbolism in that the divisions of the composite display make it look like Bush has the soldiers in the crosshairs.
posted by George_Spiggott at 7:04 AM on October 14, 2005


NBC/WSJ poll gives Bush 2% approval rating among African-Americans.

Ouch.
posted by fungible at 7:09 AM on October 14, 2005


It looks like the media is finally getting some balls. The scripted nature of the Bush's teleconference is all over the place now, on TV news, in the newspapers. Further, McClellan's press conference was a shambles. His attack on Helen Thomas was not just shameless, but impotent. The post 9-11 press honeymoon is over and it looks like Scotty can't take the heat.
posted by caddis at 7:10 AM on October 14, 2005


but the majority of US military I meet do and did not care for Clinton.

As you say "
Everything I say must be assumed to be false.
"

If the military is 'all volunteer' and someone enlists or re-enlists when someone doesn't care for the Commander in Chief, it must not bother that someone all that much.
posted by rough ashlar at 7:12 AM on October 14, 2005


Dagobert, do you have any poll numbers to back up your assertion that Clinton did not have the "approval" of the armed services?
posted by odinsdream at 7:12 AM on October 14, 2005


Well, very few actually receive orders from his mouth directly. There is the chain of command in place.
posted by Dagobert at 7:14 AM on October 14, 2005


and none of them share your uniform bias, Dagobert.

Thank you for calling him out, Haruspex. That sort of fetid bullshit (the troops only like Republican presidents) bugs the fuck out of me, too.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 7:17 AM on October 14, 2005


rough ashlar, I'm sorry, but you must select one spelling of "armor" and stick with it.

That said, your point is a good one. Can anyone, even the anti-Clinton crowd, claim that our servicemen and -women give more of a damn about staged photo ops than the life-saving equipment that shows someone really does care whether they live or die?

I would like to believe otherwise, because to believe that they care more about this kind of bargain-basement propaganda is to believe that they're morons. And even if the PR aspect were their priority, what now? Is anyone going to step up and claim it helps troop morale to present them all as stooges carrying water for a president in free fall?
posted by soyjoy at 7:17 AM on October 14, 2005


Dagobert - sample size of 1.

W00t Statistically Significant Sample Sizes!

He W1nZ!.!!!@!
posted by AspectRatio at 7:20 AM on October 14, 2005


The Third Congressional District, which includes Jacksonville, gave President Bush a 23-percent margin over Al Gore in 2000, and even favored Bob Dole over Bill Clinton by 15 percent in 1996.

"The military group is solidly in Bush’s corner, supporting the president more strongly than the nation as a whole. Two-thirds of respondents said they approved of the president’s job performance. Similar polls of the public before Saddam’s capture found Bush’s approval rating hovering around 50 percent.

One likely factor in that support: Military members are much more likely to identify themselves as Republicans. Recent polls show about one-third of Americans consider themselves Republicans, but 57 percent of those surveyed by Military Times identified with the GOP."

-ArmyTimes Poll, 2003 (surely to have changed due to patht he war is taking. More and more voice dissatifaction over Bush's handling of War In Iraq)


I am not saying that no one supported Clinton, I am saying that a majority of the Military that I have spoken to did not.
posted by Dagobert at 7:26 AM on October 14, 2005


Just curious...can anyone pinpoint the last time Bush talked to regular people? Not a press conference, not an address or speech where the audience wasn't pre-screened or selected in some way, but a plain ol' public appearance?
posted by Vidiot at 9:23 AM EST on October 14 [!]


Well, when did he go teetotaling/born again?

My money's on close to that period.

I give a big, wet, sloppy kiss to the numbnuts who prate about every other Administration doing the same thing. This most wonderful revisionist history will keep us excusing everything done until the rapture.

This whole event rises no bile of mine, but they're handling of it seems, off. This should be a no-brainer. And after 5 years of this President weeding out dissenting attendants via thought police, why start harping on it now?

Oh, that's right, the press corps grew a pair during Katrina. I just hope they stay distended.
posted by Busithoth at 7:29 AM on October 14, 2005


MSNBC.com has Andrea Mitchell's report. Look for "Video: Was Bush chat with troops staged?" When NBC shows segments like this, I know the country is changing its attitude toward Dubya...at last.
posted by Carol Anne at 7:30 AM on October 14, 2005


Dagobert, it's ridiculous to say "a majority of the Military that I have spoken to did not [approve of Clinton]" and actually believe you've spoken to anything close to a representative sample size. Firstly, the numbers aren't sufficient, and secondly, your sample is self-selecting.

If you recognize this, why do you continue to state this as if it matters? If you don't have any actual evidence to support your assertion, please stop.
posted by odinsdream at 7:38 AM on October 14, 2005


Ha ha!! I posted this yesterday.
posted by Balisong at 7:39 AM on October 14, 2005


If you don't have any actual evidence to support your assertion, please stop.

In dagobert's defense, I remember hearing this repeatedly all throughout the Clinton presidency. I never bothered to research it, so I'm just as guilty for believing it if it is true. I do distinctly remember that Jesse Helms suggested he wear a bulletproof vest if he visted military bases in NC, and that I recall little if any outrage over that kind of ridiculous statement.

Was it just a right wing talking point that that Clinton was unpopular with the military? Was it not true at all?
posted by psmealey at 7:48 AM on October 14, 2005


psmealey, I'm just as much to blame for allowing this to derail the thread.

Back on topic: Dagobert, have you or have you not viewed the video of the rehearsal? (Tip: Your answer does not include the word "clinton")
posted by odinsdream at 7:50 AM on October 14, 2005


Caddis suggests:

"It looks like the media is finally getting some balls."

How many times can this be said before we realize that not only are the media never going to grow balls back, but that it is now absolutely, constitutionally incapable of growing balls at all - even those of others? (Blogosphere tends toward mass media status, not the other way. Viz. - "HuffPo".)

Since Katrina, this notion that the media's been getting its mythical mojo back has circulated like some kind of nostalgic, delusional mantra.

News flash: people like us dig Metafilter because Major Mass Media, quite unlike fora such as this, take direct, active interest in facilitating your exploitation by status quo interests.

If you're thrown a bone from the dwindling carcass of "critical reality" every now and again by the MSM/MMM, just think - they don't even need to 'stage' fake news on their own (ahem - JAYSON BLAIR, etc - cough - ahem JIMMYJEFFGANNONGUCKERT - choke - JUDY MILLER thinking she's STEVEN F***KING BIKO - vomit) anymore to capture your credulity and confidence. They just need to report - inconsequentially - on someone else's fake news.

Thus, it's only worse - and the credulity of critical hope-seekers is at its peak - when they lead you to believe that they're being whatsoever critical in anything like a responsible or effective fashion. My understanding of the coverage of this staged thing hasn't been "Oh my god, what does this mean about the state of democracy?", but more like - "Oopsie! A Nip-Slip from Bushie in his Pentagon dress!"

The MSM/MMM is like your basset hound.

Just because your Basset Hound quite amusingly resembles a portrait of Ludwig Wittgenstein every now again does not, I repeat does NOT mean that your Basset Hound will ever be capable of writing the Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus.

Wait for it to happen the same way you expect the mass media - including the "Daily Show" - to ever get "serious."

Sometimes I don't know what's worse: FOX with its blatantly plastic "fact-constructions" and plainly murderous ideology, or The Daily Show with its obscene milking of Big Laughs out of such serious issues as Abu Ghraib, Katrina, Iraq and the collapse of democratic legitimacy in the United States. At a certain point, humor is an irresponsible response to the news. (I can almost see the satirical "Arbeit McFly" headline floating over Jon Stewart's shoulder now...)
posted by objet at 7:50 AM on October 14, 2005


Ha ha!! I posted this yesterday.

So, what do you want, a medal, or will a staged photo-op suffice?
posted by soyjoy at 7:51 AM on October 14, 2005


I maintain this is nothing new or newsworthy.

You're right that bush faking an event is not new but what seems new to me is that the MSM is calling him on it.

posted by octothorpe at 9:28 AM EST on October 14 [!]


Bingo. There is nothing new or newsworthy about a president staging a PR event. Everything he does is staged. But when the Associated Press story focuses entirely on the staging of the event, a sea change has occurred. And that is new and newsworthy.
posted by CunningLinguist at 7:52 AM on October 14, 2005


This one goes out to Kansas, Kentucky, and Alabama.
posted by The Jesse Helms at 7:59 AM on October 14, 2005


Bingo.

The power of the president to manage the physical space around him (to deter assassination) has in recent administrations been utilized to restrict press access as well. So, the press have been forced to chose between manipulated access and zero access. E.g. the recent post about Mount Rushmore and forced camera angles. Maybe they're finally figuring out how to push back a little and regain in practical terms what they're already supposed to have: freedom of the press.
posted by scheptech at 8:04 AM on October 14, 2005


Dagobert, have you or have you not viewed the video of the rehearsal?

I am unable to do so from where I am. I am basing my reactions solely on what I am seeing reported. And while the dynamics were planned in great detil (the order of who speaks etc.) I did not see any report of the Soldiers being told expressly what to say by the White House. That was probably done by local command and/or their PAO.
posted by Dagobert at 8:05 AM on October 14, 2005


NBC/WSJ poll gives Bush 2% approval rating among African-Americans.

Ouch.


That's okay, they'll never get the opportunity vote anyway.

Dang voting machine glitches.
posted by Imperfect at 8:14 AM on October 14, 2005


I guess the "teleconference" was as spontaneous and honest as any of the so-called "town hall meetings" during the electoral campaign where all the participants were previously screened for loyalty to the leader...

Then again this doesn't change my opinion on whether the Administration is believable in the slightest. It isn't.
posted by clevershark at 8:28 AM on October 14, 2005


That's okay, they'll never get the opportunity vote anyway.

Dang voting machine glitches.
posted by Imperfect at 8:14 AM PST on October 14


Lol!

In any case, I'm just glad such news is getting reported. The spin machine is finally losing its iron grip...
posted by slf at 8:38 AM on October 14, 2005


Harry Shearer: The Sharks Read the Polls
posted by muckster at 8:54 AM on October 14, 2005


techgnollogic : Jesus, man. Get it together. You're bitching that someone could be encouraged by Bush? That's what you've got? Really? "...in a free and democratic nation..."? Come on.

It would be a refreshing change if Bush supporters would actually offer some substantive support of the President's policies, actions, and choices, rather than merely tearing down the President's critics. Even if one succeeds in showing that some Presidential detractors are silly or misguided, it does not follow that the President is therefore doing a good job, or that he is deserving of one's support.
posted by Western Infidels at 8:55 AM on October 14, 2005


"Did you bring the pre-whacked snakes?"
posted by destro at 9:12 AM on October 14, 2005


The disturbing part isn't the lies. As has been pointed out by many an apologist, this has been going on forever. What is disturbing is that the lies, like almost every other aspect of the administration, are incompetently and contemptuously done.

If you must lie to between 350 million and 6 billion people you should at least do it well. You're the head of the most powerful nation on earth not a grade schooler with a pocketful of shoplifted licorice.

I think there are snakes loose on air force one.
posted by srboisvert at 9:15 AM on October 14, 2005


It would be a refreshing change if Bush supporters would actually offer some substantive support of the President's policies, actions, and choices, rather than merely tearing down the President's critics.
posted by Western Infidels at 10:55 AM CST on October 14


This is unfair. For one, "Bush supporter" is a loaded term. I am not a Bush supporter, but I get labeled as one because I argue against anti-Bush rhetoric. That being said, there are definitely some policies of his I agree with, and can and do offer substantive reasons and support for them. Likewise, there are definitely an equal number of policies of his I disagree with, and can and would offer substantive reasons for the disagreement. But on a topic like this, does one have to be a "Bush supporter" to disagree with the premise that is something to complain about? What is the substantive point on this topic upon which a dialogue can occur?

But don't act as if their are substantive critiques of this president. We aren't hearing very many substantive arguments against his tax policy or social security. Most of the criticisms of Bush are petty personal snipes. Why do they demand substantive defense?

If you want a dialogue of substance, then start the discussion off on a substantive topic. I am not sure some faux-outrage about a presedntial press event is something that illicits any sort of substantive dialogue beyond "other presidents do it, it is done."

I'm all for more substance, but to act as if the dearth of substance is more prevalent on the support side is wrong---criticisms are more often devoid of substance then not.
posted by dios at 9:16 AM on October 14, 2005


Bush tax cuts.

Social security.

On top of substance like this, he's also a compete fuckwit, subjectively speaking of course.
posted by bardic at 9:36 AM on October 14, 2005


I argue against anti-Bush rhetoric.

And you do such a fine job.

Why do they demand substantive defense?

That is part of the fine job you do, not giving into demands.
posted by rough ashlar at 9:37 AM on October 14, 2005


Just for the record, the guy who "stammered" through his response was an Iraqi officer. He was part of the PR charade, there to demonstrate how the Iraqi Army will soon be ready to take over the security of Iraq's brave new democracy. Total garbage. But you can't blame him for his English -- his stammered comments were just as scripted as the rest of the thing.
posted by haricotvert at 9:37 AM on October 14, 2005


dios, how about, for starters, having a real participatory dialogue about the nature of our so-called enemies in the "war on terror" instead of having a video-conference with a handful of soldiers whose jobs are literally defined by their obedience?

Can you imagine that? Bush and people from his cabinet attending a multi-day, televised, completely open conference on the nature of islamic fundamentalism, guerilla war tactics, imperialism (or just the pretense of), and how each is intertwined with the other; along with hundreds of scholars and experts on the subjects... during which people are actually allowed to discuss the reality of the threat and workable responses to it?
posted by odinsdream at 9:42 AM on October 14, 2005


how about, for starters, having a real participatory dialogue about the nature of our so-called enemies in the "war on terror" instead of having a video-conference with a handful of soldiers whose jobs are literally defined by their obedience?

Are those things mutually exclusive? Might there be some value to the troops in terms of morale to have the president listening directly to them? One might argue that, and if it that is the case, then it seems the president ought to spend a few minutes doing that. Should he avoid making substantive argument about the nature of the enemies? No. He should make the argument. And, as I recall, he did so a week or two ago in a speech. That is not a televised debate, but that isn't what president's do. They make speeches, and Bush did so. He can't keep re-making the same speech over and over. And there is opportunity and, arguably, value in doing what he did yesterday.

Bush and people from his cabinet attending a multi-day, televised, completely open conference on the nature of islamic fundamentalism, guerilla war tactics, imperialism (or just the pretense of), and how each is intertwined with the other; along with hundreds of scholars and experts on the subjects... during which people are actually allowed to discuss the reality of the threat and workable responses to it?

These things exist. Why should the president be there? I'll tell you one thing I don't want in my president: someone who sits down and discusses things to no end. Who spends everyday in deep discussions. Decisions and policy are not made that way. In many ways, that was the fault of Jimmy Carter. While a good man and brilliant, he was a horrible president because he thought things through too much and ultimately could never actually go forward on anything.

These dialogues do exist and the American people should participate in them. I am sure the President is aware of the people who oppose him and his cabinet is well aware of the substance of those who disagree with them. What is served by having the president at this sit down thing? They can exist independent of him.

What I suspect you are really asking for is something along these lines: you are asking for the president to sit down and listen to people who disagree with him for long enough in hopes he changes his mind. That is not what a leader does. He was elected based on certain principles. It is not his place to sit down and be convinced that they are wrong. Hopefully you can concede that there is a valid disagreement on certain things and the president doesn't need to sit down with people who tell him he is wrong because they are on the other side of disagreement merely for publicity purposes.

No leader would do such a thing. You don't run on a "I'm cutting your taxes" platform and then spend your presidency giving voice to people who are demanding that taxes be raised.
posted by dios at 9:52 AM on October 14, 2005


I will add one quick additional point: it is certainly the case that the president and cabinet should be aware of the criticisms, and I am certain they are. But if we are going to have a substantive dialogue on the nature of Islamic extremism (and I believe we should), that is something we as a country need to do on our own. People should make an effort to be knowledgeable

But the nefarious thing in your argument is this: the assumption appears to be that if he would just listen, then he would certainly change his mind. That is an assumption borne out of a belief that you are right and he is wrong, and you must consider the possibility that you are wrong and there might be a reasonable basis for disagreement. If that is possible, and it is, then it seems less reasonable to demand that the president listen to you and the scholars who are like you.
posted by dios at 9:58 AM on October 14, 2005


But the nefarious thing in your argument is this: the assumption appears to be that if he would just listen, then he would certainly change his mind. That is an assumption borne out of a belief that you are right and he is wrong, and you must consider the possibility that you are wrong and there might be a reasonable basis for disagreement.

then you are either a Bush supporter or somebody with no opinion whatsoever.

I'll tell you one thing I don't want in my president: someone who sits down and discusses things to no end.

then you are a Bush supporter. he's somebody that certainly doesn't "think things out" like invading and controlling countries, or wars on terror, or deficits.

also, please say "substance" one more time if you could.
posted by destro at 10:10 AM on October 14, 2005


I'll tell you one thing I don't want in my president: someone who sits down and discusses things to no end.

I like how you threw in "to no end," as if that's at all what I was suggesting. Do you consider conferences like the G-8 to be just as meaningless? I was suggesting a monolithic event designed to produce results, not an ongoing lecture series. Ironically, even though you oppose events without end, you seem to support the as-yet-undefined mission in iraq.

These dialogues do exist and the American people should participate in them.

Could you provide me a list? How about even the first item on the list?

... the president and cabinet should be aware of the criticisms, and I am certain they are.

Funny, where did you get that idea?

But if we are going to have a substantive dialogue on the nature of Islamic extremism (and I believe we should), that is something we as a country need to do on our own.

Again, funny - I thought earlier you said these dialogues "do exist" and that the American people just aren't participating. Which is it?

But the nefarious thing in your argument is this: the assumption appears to be that if he would just listen, then he would certainly change his mind.

Those are your words, not mine. I expect participation in dialogue because dialogue is productive - not because dialogue supports my "agenda."
posted by odinsdream at 10:17 AM on October 14, 2005


Yeah, honestly dios... your argument isn't making a lot of sense here. This was a ridiculously crass PR move and your inference that: "... there is a valid disagreement on certain things and the president doesn't need to sit down with people who tell him he is wrong because they are on the other side of disagreement merely for publicity purposes." is completely inane.

I find it quite ridiculous that you can have such an attitude in a situation like this where the president and his propaganda machine are in full swing. The fact that you go so far as to call his detractors the ones who are promoting their message for "mere publicity purposes" is beyond laughable, given the current situation.

You seem to complain quite frequently that nobody sees any authenticity in "the goals" and "the message" of the president. If this situation does not shed the light on that answer for you, I do not know what will. And if this does not help you realize that there is just as much authenticity to the resistance of his policies then there is nothing that will.
posted by prostyle at 10:24 AM on October 14, 2005


Argue with dios? I'll do something more productive and argue with mountains that they should move out of my way.
posted by clevershark at 10:31 AM on October 14, 2005


In many ways, that was the fault of Jimmy Carter. While a good man and brilliant, he was a horrible president because he thought things through too much and ultimately could never actually go forward on anything.

Never? Forward? Anything?

The raid to free the hostages seems to be a forward action - not like he had any way to prevent the crash in the desert.

The attempt at an actual energy policy looks like a forward attempt.

VS the idea of 'lets use Hydrogen as a fuel' plan.

VS 'lets go get Osama Bin Laden' plan as executed.

VS (insert whatever hare brained thing done under any other leader. Gold standards/Not gold, IRS/VAT tax, breaking away from England, using lead to eat off of....whatever floats your boat)

But to rate Carter as 'horrable' because 'never actually go forward on anything.' - the data set I'm seeing doesn't support it.

(And a pro-Nixon comment: Seems using Natural Gas to power electrial plants was forbidden by his administration. That move is gonna look very forward thinking in 20 years)
posted by rough ashlar at 10:33 AM on October 14, 2005


Crooks and Liars has reactions from Keith Olbermann and NBC Nightly News.

Might there be some value to the troops in terms of morale to have the president listening directly to them?

Maybe, if he were actually listening instead of fumbling for his script or fiddling with his earpiece. And my morale wouldn't have been improved by him saying this:
I wish I could be there to see you face to face and thank you personally. Probably a little early for me to go to Tikrit. Perhaps one of these days the situation will be such that I'll be able to get back to Iraq.
In other words, "It's too dangerous for me to be there, but it's OK for you to be there."
posted by kirkaracha at 10:34 AM on October 14, 2005


Look, did the President give a speech a couple of weeks ago outlining his views on the war? Yes he did. Does he need to remake the speech again this week? No he doesn't. He can't be a president if his job is constant marketing.

Now we have this event, which exists independently of other considerations. He didn't forego an international conference on terrorism for this event. Examining this event in isolation, ask yourself this question: might this event have some benefit for the troops who feel like their Commander is listening? If the answer to that question is yes, then the fact that it was poorly implementend and sold to the media is irrelevant. That just goes to show general ineptitude of his press secretary. If this "plays" over in Iraq to make the troops feel better, then it is a Good Thing.

But arguing over this event as if it is a disaster of democracy is a bit too much. Can you not see how silly it is to make a big deal out of this?

Should there be more substance in our national dialogue? Sure. Does that begin by saying that the president's little troop chat was staged, no.

I watched a debate between Mark Danner and Christopher Hitchens over the war in Iraq. It was interesting and is something that people ought to watch and the people should be engaged in. Should the president be the one out debating Mark Danner? Of course not. The need for a national dialogue is something that is incumbent on the American citizens. The press should be facilitating that. The President made his contribution with the speech a couple weeks ago. That is what we should be talking about. This nonsense about how something was staged is not a topic of substance or worthwhile to the national dialogue.
posted by dios at 10:37 AM on October 14, 2005


might this event have some benefit for the troops who feel like their Commander is listening

but by scripting the event it no longer looks, even to the troops I would bet, that he is listening.
posted by caddis at 10:43 AM on October 14, 2005


... the president and cabinet should be aware of the criticisms, and I am certain they are.

Funny, where did you get that idea?
posted by odinsdream at 12:17 PM CST on October 14


Please. This is the kind of petty arugments I am referring to. How are we to have a dialogue when you make such an absurd argument? No thinking individual can believe that the people in power are completely oblivious to the daily criticisms that occur on television, radio and in print. How does a substantive dialogue ensue when time has to be spent addressing petty snarks?
posted by dios at 10:45 AM on October 14, 2005


caddis writes "but by scripting the event it no longer looks, even to the troops I would bet, that he is listening."

That's only because it was ultimately found out. It's a bit like those people who say "oil is more expensive now, ergo it couldn't possibly have been the reason for war" -- things don't always turn out the way one would hope. Next time W should go the whole hog and actually hire actors for these little set pieces; who'll be any the wiser?
posted by clevershark at 10:52 AM on October 14, 2005


... the president and cabinet should be aware of the criticisms, and I am certain they are.

Funny, where did you get that idea?
posted by odinsdream at 12:17 PM CST on October 14

Please. This is the kind of petty augments I am referring to.


How about this then:

Dios:

You have made this claim:

the president and cabinet should be aware of the criticisms, and I am certain they are.

Where are you getting your data that 'makes you certain'?
posted by rough ashlar at 10:55 AM on October 14, 2005


dios, I think the whole idea of having a dialogue between the president and those opposed to his policies is not that those opposed are trying to subvert the president and make him appear a weak leader (although they probably are trying to convince him of the validity of their opposition). Rather, it would give the president an opportunity to defend his views against a reasoned and cogent opponent. I think that merely having the president provide rationale for his actions in response to actual criticisms would go a long way toward pacifying those of us who see him as willfully ignorant of disagreement. As it is, a staged appearance is worse than even an "echo chamber": he's not just hearing what he wants to hear, he's hearing what HE'S SAYING, and that is not a discussion in good faith, or, in fact, a discussion at all.
posted by jenovus at 10:58 AM on October 14, 2005


dios, when you say, the President give a speech a couple of weeks ago outlining his views on the war? do you mean this speech?

b/c if so, that speech had sweet fuck all with regard to substance. it was bascially a rehash of the same empty rhetoric he's been spouting for years. in fact, even an anonymous admin official said, "The myth that you can change minds with this kind of speech doesn't work. Bush will be able to only reinforce the ones who already believe."

you're far too intelligent to be satisfied with something like that. if you're speaking of a different speech, please hip me to it.
posted by lord_wolf at 10:59 AM on October 14, 2005


Where are you getting your data that 'makes you certain'?
posted by rough ashlar at 12:55 PM CST on October 14


Because the alternative is an impossibility. Why would one need data to know that? What kind of idiot/hack would believe that the executive branch is somehow clueless about criticisms?

Do they live in a vaccum with no exposure to the media? Were they just not paying attention in the last election when they had to address the criticisms of Kerry, et. al.? Did they forget the argument they had in the UN and during phone calls to Chirac? Did they forget the internal arguments they had within the administration? Are they oblivious to everything? In politics, its your job to know the criticisms against you.

No thinking individual can believe the president and cabinet do not know about the criticisms they face. If you are asserting that such a statement is false, then are clearly showing that reasonable dialogue is impossible because we cannot advance past such asinine pettiness.
posted by dios at 11:01 AM on October 14, 2005


dios writes "Please. This is the kind of petty arugments I am referring to. How are we to have a dialogue when you make such an absurd argument? No thinking individual can believe that the people in power are completely oblivious to the daily criticisms that occur on television, radio and in print. How does a substantive dialogue ensue when time has to be spent addressing petty snarks?"

HOW CAN YOU EXPECT ME TO ARGUE POINTS WHEN YOU ARE BEING INSULTING, YOU UNTHINKING, ABSURD, PETTY BASTARD.

(1:1 serious:snark ratio is acceptable, right?)
posted by jenovus at 11:02 AM on October 14, 2005


He should give up on town hall type crap when he doesn't really want to listen. If he wants to motivate the troops give them a scripted speech, a real rah, rah type. Speeches are supposed to be scripted. Tailor it right to the troops, say something meaningful, and they will get a morale boost. After what happened with Rumsfeld and the guy who asked for more armor (what ever happened to him anyway - did he become like the guy who ran over Gotti's son) they are probably smart not to encounter the troops unscripted with cameras rolling. That only works when you actually care about the troops and the troops feel that you care.
posted by caddis at 11:04 AM on October 14, 2005


dios: This is unfair... "Bush supporter" is a loaded term...

It's unfair for me to suggest that a "refreshing change" is possible? If you don't like the term "Bush supporter," substitute something contextually appropriate. It won't change the point I was making.

The rest of your comment is a long and thinly-vieled insult to the intelligence of anyone who's ever said anything negative about the President. ("But don't act as if there are substantive critiques of this president.") Another chance to enumerate what he's doing well and why, blown in favor of calling his critics shallow, stupid, and petty. A perfect illustration of the phenomenon I had in mind when I wrote my original remark.
posted by Western Infidels at 11:05 AM on October 14, 2005


Dios:
What I suspect you are really asking for is something along these lines: you are asking for the president to sit down and listen to people who disagree with him for long enough in hopes he changes his mind. That is not what a leader does.

....

No leader would do such a thing. You don't run on a "I'm cutting your taxes" platform and then spend your presidency giving voice to people who are demanding that taxes be raised.



Don't get out much, eh? In British style parliamentary democracies, the prime minister has to listen and debate people who disagree with him every day Parliament sits. And there is a definite point to this exercise: even with majorities, the opposition can draw enough attention to misguided policies or scandals that often cabinet ministers get sacked, inquiries are held, and governments fall. More to the point, the constant real debate that the leaders must engage in leads to more substantive debate in the wider public sphere and a more informed and engaged electorate.

A "democracy" whose leaders never step out of the echo chamber and who only rub up against the press or the public in aggressively staged and controlled encounters is hardly worthy of the name. Someone above correctly noted that this is the sort of thing that is routinely called against authoritarian systems like China.
posted by bumpkin at 11:11 AM on October 14, 2005


Dios - How nice of you to make a claim, then refuse to back it up. Good job.

Thank you for showing every one how empty a vessel you are.
posted by rough ashlar at 11:11 AM on October 14, 2005


bumpkin, that's what I'm talking about exactly. I think the US goverment could use a little bit more real debate.
posted by jenovus at 11:13 AM on October 14, 2005


Western Infidels: you missed my point. You are demanding a substantive defense of the president. On what? The criticism in this thread isn't substantive; why would the defense be so? Please direct a substantive argument about the president's policies, and I'll either agree or disagree substantively.

lord wolf: that speech had substance. It wasn't the best speech; it could, of course, been better. But there was substance in there. He made some some cogent points about the nature of the enemy---specifically, the imperialistic and absolutist nature of a particular form of Islam. Those are not points of empty rhetoric. They might be disagreed with, but they have substance. Books are written on it.
posted by dios at 11:14 AM on October 14, 2005


the point is that he is asking. That counts a lot to the Soldiers.

If Bush was really confident of that he wouldn't have staged the event. I just wonder why people are starting to wake up to this or starting to care now. The commercials he's been airing as news or the handpicked, staged town hall meetings were more upsetting to me. Nothing, nothing about this guy surprises me at all. The deep burning hatred I have for this guy has convinced me I will never vote Republican for anything ever again in my life.
posted by xammerboy at 11:24 AM on October 14, 2005


Argue with dios? I'll do something more productive and argue with mountains that they should move out of my way.
posted by clevershark at 10:31 AM PST on October 14 [!]


Dios isn't encumbered with things like facts.

No 'argument' is possible with someone who makes statements then doesn't the mental ability to back 'em up.
posted by rough ashlar at 11:35 AM on October 14, 2005


dios: ...you missed my point. You are demanding a substantive defense of the president.

I said it would be a "refreshing change." And I meant it. How on Earth do you get to "demand" from there?

dios: The criticism in this thread isn't substantive; why would the defense be so?

1) Support is not quite the same as defense, since defense is usually a specific response to a specific attack. Support requires neither the same degree of specificity nor an attack to respond to. It's a bigger umbrella, and it's the better term here.

2) Why shouldn't defense and support of the President be substantive, at all times? Why should the merits of a criticism dictate the quality of the rebuttal? Why would you allow your adversaries to dictate the depth of your thought?

In matters where the President is doing a clearly outstanding job, it should be child's play to point out.
posted by Western Infidels at 11:42 AM on October 14, 2005


And now, a masterful post of off-topic-ness:

1. Does it surprise anyone that a person who refuses to be swayed by logic does not want a preznit who is willing to be swayed by logic?

2. Hey, why are we talking about Bush at all? Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes are having a baby!
posted by davejay at 11:50 AM on October 14, 2005


While a good man and brilliant, he was a horrible president because he thought things through too much and ultimately could never actually go forward on anything.

President Carter's handwritten first draft of the Camp David Accords of September 17, 1978 is presently in the Carter library.
posted by y2karl at 12:14 PM on October 14, 2005




There seems to be a lot of evidence in the public record that Bush is less aware of criticism than he should be.

Any evidence to the contrary? dios?
posted by bashos_frog at 1:11 PM on October 14, 2005


Thanks, bashos, you beat me to it. What's even better is that dios' argument was that it would be ridiculous to suggest exactly what your evidence points out.

Dios has egg on his face.
posted by Space Coyote at 1:17 PM on October 14, 2005


Bonus points for providing a single example of the President giving a direct, substantive, concise, on-topic response to any criticism of his foreign or domestic policy.
posted by bashos_frog at 1:17 PM on October 14, 2005


What is the substantive point on this topic upon which a dialogue can occur?

See, I just think the anology is seeing a drunk pissing on your lawn. You yell at him to stop and he doesn't. If you confront him (while he's pissing on your lawn) he says: "I'm not pissing on your lawn."

I kept hearing "It's a character issue" all around the Clinton blowjob debacle. While I disagreed with the inqiry, I agreed with the sentiment that if a guy will lie about that (once he's on the hook for it), he'lll probably lie about other things.

This is much worse. Even when revealed, Bush refuses to acknowlege the truth. In the same sense Clinton should have said "Yeah, but it's none of your business." since it was his private life.

This is a matter concerning public affairs. How then is it not substantive?
posted by Smedleyman at 1:42 PM on October 14, 2005


Bonus points for providing a single example of the President giving a direct, substantive, concise, on-topic response to any criticism of his foreign or domestic policy.


"Walk softly and carry a big stick"
posted by Smedleyman at 1:44 PM on October 14, 2005


Look, did the President give a speech a couple of weeks ago outlining his views on the war? Yes he did. Does he need to remake the speech again this week? No he doesn't. He can't be a president if his job is constant marketing.

A speech is not the same thing as a dialogue. Dialogue is not marketing. Speeches are marketing; you're "selling" your position to a passive audience. The president will continue to make the same speech over and over again, despite the fact that it's completely useless to do so, as you and I both agree.

Should there be more substance in our national dialogue? Sure. Does that begin by saying that the president's little troop chat was staged, no.

Okay. I don't even understand how the second sentence follows from the first. Clearly, discussing what the president is doing is very much a part of the much-needed national dialogue. The event was scripted*, that is not up for debate any longer. The options are: discuss the event, ignore the event, or accept the event at face value.

*scripted is not my wording - it is the wording used by Allison Barber, deputy assistant defense secretary, who stood at the president's podium during the rehearsal:
"If he [THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES] gives us a question that's not something that we've [THE DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE] scripted, Capt. Kennedy you're going to have the mic and that's your chance to impress us all."

Does it not embarrass you that the president can't even write his own goddamn questions? All the accusations of propaganda aside... are you not astounded at what a goddamn pussy the fucking President of the United States is that he can't even say to the Pentagon, "You know what, guys, I've got this one covered. I wrote up some questions last night that I want to ask the soldiers, so I'm just going to use my own, okay?"

What does it say to you that the president can't even feel comfortable talking on his own to 10 Bush supporters hand-selected from the military, which he commands, plus one iraqi soldier?
posted by odinsdream at 1:49 PM on October 14, 2005


Bush is aware of criticism? Who would tell him. It is established that Bush does not like bad news and his people are afraid to share it with him. His staff has meetings to decide who is going to be the bearer of bad tidings.

The president's chief of staff, Andrew Card; his deputy chief of staff, Joe Hagin; his counselor, Dan Bartlett, and his spokesman, Scott McClellan, held a conference call to discuss the question of the president's early return and the delicate task of telling him.

It's apparent that Bush prefers to remain as unaware of criticism as possible.
posted by wsg at 1:50 PM on October 14, 2005


HOW CAN YOU EXPECT ME TO ARGUE POINTS WHEN YOU ARE BEING INSULTING, YOU UNTHINKING, ABSURD, PETTY BASTARD.

Don't get out much, eh?

Thank you for showing every one how empty a vessel you are.

No 'argument' is possible with someone who makes statements then doesn't the mental ability to back 'em up.

Dios has egg on his face.

That's a lot of undeserved nastiness and condescension aimed at one MeFite, especially given that he was the one who comes off looking like an adult in this debate. Stick to refuting his arguments (basho's review of GW's news reading habits was a great comeback to one of dios's assertions) and you might look like you actually have a more valid point than dios.
posted by caddis at 1:54 PM on October 14, 2005


Smedleyman, as much as I admire Teddy R., I meant the current President.

T.R. also had this to say:
"The president is merely the most important among a large number of public servants, Roosevelt explained in 1918. "He should be supported or opposed exactly to the degree which is warranted by his good conduct or bad conduct, his efficiency or inefficiency in rendering loyal, able and disinterested service to the nation as a whole.

"Therefore it is absolutely necessary that there should be full liberty to tell the truth about his acts, and this means that it is exactly necessary to blame him when he does wrong as to praise him when he does right. Any other attitude in an American citizen is both base and servile.

"To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that we are to stand by the president, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public. Nothing but the truth should be spoken about him or anyone else. But it is even more important to tell the truth, pleasant or unpleasant, about him than about any one else."
posted by bashos_frog at 1:55 PM on October 14, 2005


All those ANSWER protests? Staged. Disgraceful... apparently.
posted by techgnollogic at 1:58 PM on October 14, 2005


TR had personal courage, a quality all too lacking in our current president. He has petulance instead.
posted by caddis at 2:01 PM on October 14, 2005


There's a substantial difference between 'staged' and 'scripted'.

All planned events are 'staged.' Q & A sessions, and town hall meetings are not supposed to be scripted, even though we all know better by now.
posted by bashos_frog at 2:04 PM on October 14, 2005


Smeldleyman got me thinking...
Bush's foreign policy:
Stomp loudly, and wildy swing any convenient stick (near the hornets' nest).
(You swing the stick you have, not the stick you want or wish to have.)
posted by bashos_frog at 2:05 PM on October 14, 2005


All those ANSWER protests? Staged. Disgraceful... apparently.
posted by techgnollogic at 4:58 PM EST on October 14 [!]


So other than your political agenda, a scheduled protest march has any logical connection with Bush being unable to think for himself whatsoever, because...? ? ?
posted by Rothko at 2:29 PM on October 14, 2005


It's telling that the New York Times's coverage of the story had no byline. For all the bad press the President is receiving, no one wants to sign their name--after all, careers are at stake here. Mark Hetsgaard wrote a book on the relationship between the press and President Reagan entitled On Bended Knee. The book on the relationship between the press and the Bush administration could be titled On Its Back, Whimpering And Peeing on Its Belly.
posted by y2karl at 2:31 PM on October 14, 2005


CNN just broadcast a report that senior military officials are "outraged" that the President and his staff "used troops as props" in forwarding a political message on television.
posted by ericb at 3:31 PM on October 14, 2005


dios: What kind of idiot/hack would believe that the executive branch is somehow clueless about criticisms?

Seriously, dios, you should read The Price of Loyalty, by Ron Suskind and Paul O'Neill (Bush's former Treasury Secretary). The Treasury Secretary is the highest-ranking domestic cabinet official, and a member of the National Security Council. From O'Neill's account, Bush is incredibly insulated. Even cabinet meetings are scripted.

I agree that a public debate between Bush and a critic is probably not appropriate; but there should be some way for Bush to privately listen to dissenting opinions. You remember the op-ed from General Brent Scowcroft, George H. W. Bush's National Security Adviser (and a close associate of GHWB), opposing the Iraq war? That's a sign that there was no other way for Scowcroft to get his message across to Bush.
posted by russilwvong at 3:53 PM on October 14, 2005


Scott McClellan blamed the Department of Defense during his press briefing, and the Pentagon released a statement:
No one intended to tell them what to think or how to express themselves; going through likely questions in advance was meant solely to help the troops feel at ease during an obviously unique experience.
The administration blamed the military for the Mission Accomplished banner, too.
posted by kirkaracha at 4:09 PM on October 14, 2005


...It's not surprising that it led this site today, but the attention this story is receiving in the wider newsiverse would suggest something...new.

Yet anybody who's been paying attention knows that virtually every public, or semi-public event of this administration--every "town meeting", every "Presidential conversation", every meet and greet--every event where a camera and microphone have been, through the generosity of this admninistration, been allowed to be present, has been scripted and staged to the Nth (or, perhaps, in honor of Mike Deaver who invented all this, the Mth) degree. It's news, big news, making the evening news now for one reason, and that reason is called Under Forty Percent.
Harry Shearer/Huffington Post
posted by y2karl at 4:14 PM on October 14, 2005


Along those lines...Brian Williams in his own words:
"We've all been party to media events and blatant photo ops. Members of the media have known full well when events in the past have been thoroughly scripted to bring about the desired response. While this kind of thing gets reported when germane, it's a given in political campaigns, just as it was a given during the series of town meetings this President held, the guests were invited and questions were at very minimum strongly encouraged by subject manner, if not outwardly planted. It's what the home team gets to do. It's part of politics and both parties have made it something of an art form. In this case, however, the advance billing and final execution were at odds. And what we witnessed -- the comments first rehearsed then repeated verbatim with minor deviations once the President entered the discussion -- was rather stunning to see on television..."
posted by ericb at 4:19 PM on October 14, 2005


Does it not embarrass you that the president can't even write his own goddamn questions? All the accusations of propaganda aside... are you not astounded at what a goddamn pussy the fucking President of the United States is that he can't even say to the Pentagon, "You know what, guys, I've got this one covered. I wrote up some questions last night that I want to ask the soldiers, so I'm just going to use my own, okay?"

Not even that! To simply read a rehearsed question from a goddamned notepad or repeat what comes through the earpiece without stuttering, mumbling and multisecond pauses in the middle of the sentence. He can't even do that!

Look, did the President give a speech a couple of weeks ago outlining his views on the war? Yes he did.

Dios, dude, it wasn't HIS speech. Someone wrote it for him and he just read it off the page. He can't put two words together himself. What exactly are you trying to defend?
posted by c13 at 4:25 PM on October 14, 2005


Sometimes it is the excess which brings on the reform. If the press gets it in its head that all such future scripting should be called out, then perhaps it will diminish. This is an issue which transcends the current administration.
posted by caddis at 5:45 PM on October 14, 2005


Dan Froomkin points out that "after all that rehearsing -- and maybe because of that rehearsing -- the event seemed awkward at best."
Pay close attention -- here's the transcript, here's the video -- and you'll notice that the answers Bush gets to his questions are not very responsive, as if Bush didn't ask the questions in the order the troops were expecting.

Bush asks if the Iraqi troops have improved, and Capt. Steven Pratt tells him about all the rehearsals for voting day.

Bush asks what the locals think, and Capt. David Williams explains that voter registration is up -- and then describes what someone else has heard from the locals, since he himself evidently hasn't spoken to any.

Bush asks how life has changed since the troops first got there, and Master Sgt. Corine Lombardo tells him about the time she met Bush before in New York after 9/11 -- and then answers his earlier question about whether Iraqi troops have improved.
posted by kirkaracha at 5:58 PM on October 14, 2005


At a certain point, humor is an irresponsible response to the news. (I can almost see the satirical "Arbeit McFly" headline floating over Jon Stewart's shoulder now...)

I think I love you, objet.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 6:09 PM on October 14, 2005


In the words of David Cross...
posted by iamck at 6:59 PM on October 14, 2005


Look, you guys, Bush is a fucking idiot. He's dumb. He's cranky. He has a bad memory. This makes it really hard to do stuff like this. C'mon guys, have a heart-- feel for the staffers... it's not easy.
posted by cell divide at 7:30 PM on October 14, 2005


feel for the staffers

On one level I have to agree ... poor Scott McLellan these days. NBC News did a segment on how he has to parse his words vis-a-vis whether or not the President still supports Karl Rove. His answers were way off the mark from those he had in July. The guy has to tap-dance ... and he doesn't even have the right pair of shoes!

But, hey, if you sign up to be a "hack" for anyone ... ya' gotta' roll with the punches.
posted by ericb at 8:05 PM on October 14, 2005


Not even that! To simply read a rehearsed question from a goddamned notepad or repeat what comes through the earpiece without stuttering, mumbling and multisecond pauses in the middle of the sentence. He can't even do that!

Exactly. The only thing that amazes me more than the venal cynicism of this administration is the incredibly low standards America seems to have now for its most important job. Note this question, for instance, as phrased in the rehearsal:
    BARBER AS BUSH: I'm interested in how your pre-elelection operations are going. Can you give me a quick update on what you've been doing for the last couple of weeks?
When it comes Bush's turn to deliver this astoundingly clear and simple question, what part does he forget in his stumbling "ad-lib" version?
    BUSH: Let me ask you some questions, Captain, if you don't mind. One of the, you know, questions I have is about the pre-election operations, about what you've been doing, and what are the -- what's your strategy, and how do you think it's going for -- to make sure the people have a chance to vote.
Yes, it is "one of the, you know, questions" for the session all right, very good. But what's the premise of your asking the question? That you're interested in how things are going.

At least his father could correctly read and repeat the words "Message: I care." Not only is Bush barely literate, he can't even remember to pretend that he's interested in the troops.
posted by soyjoy at 8:39 PM on October 14, 2005


astoundingly clear

er, except for "pre-elelection." I don't think it was said that way, at least, not by Barber. I copied the block quote off of Americablog.

posted by soyjoy at 8:43 PM on October 14, 2005


Ouch!
"George W. Bush — what a newsmaker. In the true sense of the word. This morning, he made it up.

The videoconference his handlers set up with U.S. soldiers in Iraq was staged, as the AP's Deb Reichmann just pointed out.

But here's another part of the flack attack you may not know: The soldier on the left side of the front row was actually a flack herself, though she didn't reveal it during the regime's 24-minute infomercial.

Her name is Corine Lombardo, and I hope she stays safe in Iraq. It's a dangerous place even for flacks. But the fact is, as my sharp-eyed colleague David Axe tipped me, Lombardo probably sees more action watching CNN than action. (For a sample of her work, click here.)

I'm glad Lombardo is safe, and I mean her no harm, and it's nothing personal, but I don't believe a fucking word she says, because her job is to make the Bush regime look good.
Psst...burn!!!
posted by ericb at 9:38 PM on October 14, 2005


Stick to refuting his arguments

And when asked to provide the data - Dios doesn't provide any data.

Perhaps his data *IS* right, but if he's unwilling to show the data, I'm not swayed. Without data, dios posts are handwaving.
posted by rough ashlar at 10:21 AM on October 15, 2005


Bush is doing so many things, so well, that his critics have to resort to whining about the organizational particulars of a public relations and troop morale-boosting event. "And did you see the man's tie?! What a Hitler! There was stammering! God help us! Im-imim-peach him!" and on... and on... and on...

Have a nice weekend wallowing in substantive critique, hippies!
posted by techgnollogic at 12:01 PM on October 15, 2005


"What's wrong is what is developing into the major theme of this administration — the precise reason why George Bush is losing independent voters who once either voted for him or at the very least gave him the benefit of the doubt on issues such as the war. On this issue we see a classic case of an administration that has first of all displayed truly amateurish p.r. management (Bush must be asking 'Who is the rocket scientist that let the media watch the run-through?').

And, secondly, and most importantly, once again this administration has been caught in a controversy because [it] has said one thing (what reporters believed they were told by McClellan), done another (not a freewheeling event with people picked at random who were all typical soldiers), then contended it didn't do or say what it did and said in the beginning.

Where was the basic problem? In the administration's description of what this event would be — and what it really was.

Net result: future events like this will likely be cheered by the administration's staunch supporters but will have little impact in the future on other voters who, polls are showing, are starting to tune out.

This may be the kind of issue that gets the juices going with partisans, but the big issue remains one of credibility." [source]
posted by ericb at 12:19 PM on October 15, 2005


Bush is doing so many things, so well

That's right...and that's why only 28% of Americans believe the country is headed in the right direction and more Americans say Bush’s presidency will be judged as unsuccessful than those who say it will be seen as a success.
"People were inclined to say Bush’s policies have made things worse on a wide range of issues such as the federal budget deficit, the gap between rich and poor, health care, the economy, relations with U.S. allies, the tax system and education."
You're doing a heck of a job Bushy!
posted by ericb at 12:27 PM on October 15, 2005


So many flip-floppers, you'd think John Kerry could win an election.

So hey, Bush is having trouble with those polls (except the ones that - uh - elected him... twice). I didn't say he was good at everything.
posted by techgnollogic at 12:38 PM on October 15, 2005


one of the soldiers at that staged, coached, rehearsed thing wasn't even a soldier, but a pr person from the pentagon.--...Bush could have told the American people that he had at least one public-affairs person flacking them this morning. I mean, a public-relations person spouting the regime's line back at us? Instead, he pretended that they were all combat soldiers, not spokespeople.

It's bad enough that the videoconference itself was shamelessly an infomercial. ...

posted by amberglow at 12:47 PM on October 15, 2005


Heh. I like having the Village Voice tell me who is and isn't a soldier. Having them tell me that Public Affairs officers simply can't be trusted is just very telling icing on the cake.
posted by techgnollogic at 12:56 PM on October 15, 2005


I also like the line of logic implying she has no business talking about what's going on in Iraq because she hangs out in a fortified compound WHERE ALL THE REPORTERS ARE. God bless the Free (idiot) Press!
posted by techgnollogic at 12:59 PM on October 15, 2005


Bush is doing so many things, so well...

Ha ha ha ha..

[this is good]
posted by c13 at 2:15 PM on October 15, 2005


techgno, since when is hanging out in a fortified compound a good measure of anything happening on the ground, whether with soldiers or iraqis (that goes for both reporters and flacks, btw)
posted by amberglow at 2:47 PM on October 15, 2005




...another GI who didn't pass the smell test.

I've dug further into the history of First Lieutenant Gregg Murphy of the 278th Regimental Combat Team and found that there's more to Murphy than meets the lens. His pro-Bush rhetoric is sprinkled throughout the media in articles dating back to 2003.

This begs the question: how could one soldier get so much face time?


Was Murphy like the other soldiers, giving Americans a frank assesment from the field -- as Scott McClellan claimed at his White House press briefing Thursday -- or could he be part of a larger scheme to stack the media deck with seasoned propagandists and spin the war to Bush's favor? Let's review the evidence. ...

posted by amberglow at 3:13 PM on October 15, 2005


He didn't ask her what was happening "on the ground."
posted by techgnollogic at 3:23 PM on October 15, 2005


Bush is doing so many things, so well...

Name one.
posted by mr.marx at 4:07 PM on October 15, 2005


Killing terrorists.
posted by techgnollogic at 4:38 PM on October 15, 2005


Like that pesky Bin Laden, techgnollogic?
(What a troll...)
posted by Skeptic at 4:49 PM on October 15, 2005


Bush is doing so many things, so well

Show us the courage of your convictions by providing a list of these 'so well done' things.

Have a nice weekend looking at the data then engaging in substantive critique! (corrected the verbiage for ya techgnollogic)

Once you actually provide a list of these 'so many things so well' then your claim can be substantively critiqued. Without data, the claim is handwaving.
posted by rough ashlar at 4:54 PM on October 15, 2005


Got him too? You sure? Anyway, I was just talking about the thousands of other ones.
posted by techgnollogic at 4:56 PM on October 15, 2005


Killing terrorists.
posted by techgnollogic at 4:38 PM PST on October 15 [!]


Kinda weak - got a list of numbers? Locations?

The person who has been pointed to as being the 'man behind' the Sept 11th, 2001 airplane attack is still not either officially dead or in custody.

If progress in the killing was being made - why have worldwide terror numbers not went down VS the money being borrowed to kill all them thar terrorists?
posted by rough ashlar at 5:11 PM on October 15, 2005


Google it, lazy. Jeez.
posted by techgnollogic at 5:22 PM on October 15, 2005


Killing terrorists.

Huh?
posted by mr.marx at 5:33 PM on October 15, 2005


Google it, lazy. Jeez.
posted by techgnollogic at 5:22 PM PST on October 15 [!]


It? What it?

I can look through the Iraqbodycount.net and see a different set of numbers than the claims of the pentagon. Or the Lancet. Or the UN. And many links claim many civilian deaths are mis-labeled as terrorists.

I can read the 'patterns of global terrorism' (by the US Government) and see INCREASES in reported attacks and deaths.

More deaths of civilians, the spreading of heavy metals over other people's land, in Jan 2003 "Cost of War On Terror has so far cost $65 billion" and for exactly HOW many terrorist killed?

Oh, you don't know. And can't be bothered to provide data.
posted by rough ashlar at 8:05 PM on October 15, 2005


the spreading of heavy metals over other people's land

hahaha.

Does your therapist know you're infested with cliches?
posted by techgnollogic at 8:35 PM on October 15, 2005


I mean I am really glad I didn't spend any time link-mining and post-composing for you. No offense.
posted by techgnollogic at 8:36 PM on October 15, 2005


the spreading of heavy metals over other people's land

hahaha.
Lots to laugh about.


75 tons, 300 tons....at 2000 tons if you if the US expended 2000 tons of depleted uranium, that makes, at a concentration of 0.2%, 3,826 kilograms of pure U-235. Only 60 kilos of U-235 was used at Hiroshima.

1 ton is 907184.74000 grams
1814368000 grams of DU (at 2000 tons)
473072000000 square meters of land

That means 0.0038 grams per square meter, if spread evenly over the land mass of Iraq.

Good thing the Derived Air Concentration based on 20 mSv/a, breathing rate of 1.6 m3/h, working time of 1800 h/a is 63.4 micro grams per cubic meter is considered safe for 'workers' when using depleted natural uranium sources.

Good thing the m^3 of Iraq is so BIG.

And all that m^3 air space is an Iraq problem.

Guess that is what makes adding 2000 tons of DU so funny! Bet its even MORE funny when its just 75 tons.
posted by rough ashlar at 9:34 PM on October 15, 2005


techno, if Bush has "killed terrorists," why did his own State department write a report that concluded that worldwide terrorism is on the rise? If you didn't hear about this, that might have something to do with the white house asking the State department to stop publishing the report.

Google it, lazy. Jeez.
posted by odinsdream at 11:07 PM on October 15, 2005


techgnollogic, I'm a conservative. Don't be on our side ok?

This reminds me of the gun nuts on the pro-gun side. There are well reasoned cogent arguments for gun ownership beyond even the constitutional provisions. But it seems every time I see an argument its some nut saying Jesus wants us to have guns. Charles Heston was a decent actor but a serious mistake for our side.
Any decent thinker could have ripped Michael Moore's strawmen an asshole (since I wouldn't think strawmen would be set up for waste disposal so one couldn't rip a 'new' one).

Off the cuff I think rolling back the restriction on assassinations was an honest step. I'd like to see congress involved, but there shouldn't be a need to send in an army to nail one small group or one guy.
Increasing the FBI's budget 60 percent - decent move.
Blanketing warrants (much as I hate the PATRIOT act) - smart; no need to get multiple warrents for different jurisdictions.
He's vastly increased R & D into defense against biological, chemical, nuclear, and radiological weapons which is an excellent idea.
He boosted the Coast Guard and maritime security units.
Living in Chicago I'm a big fan of the Great Lakes Legacy Act which authorizes the fed to cleaning up pollution in the Great Lakes.
He's doubled the National Science Foundation budget over the next 5 years.
First republican to appoint an openly gay man in his administration (Scott Evertz).
Inflation has remained fairly level.
Perhaps most controversial I agree with his position on the Kyoto Protocol. I see no reason to cut China a break. (Although I agree we should drastically cut greenhouse gasses and fund alternative fuels).

This is not to say I'm a Bush fan. Quite the opposite. But he has done some good things. The man isn't a complete catastrophe (as of yet). Certainly some of the above points are debatable.
On the whole I think Harding was a better president, but Bush isn't as bad (yet) as say Andrew Johnson, or Hoover or Grant.
Well, Johnson anyway.

But I wonder how much of this is the times?

Consider: Teddy Roosevelt didn't charge up San Juan Hill.

In that case of course the event was not a complete fabrication (he charged up Kettle Hill) as this is. But ever since Nixon lost because of his five o'clock shadow the PR around politicians have devoured more and more reality.

Can he be blamed for being part of it?

I don't know. I know I don't like it. But to quote Tom Wolfe: If you're going to work in a whorehouse there is only one thing to be: the best whore in the house.
posted by Smedleyman at 3:01 AM on October 16, 2005


Smedleyman, as much as I admire Teddy R., I meant the current President.


bashos_frog, I prefer my own reality where I don't have to read anyone else's posts clearly before posting.


I gave this due consideration (Bush responding directly to criticism) after discovering my mistake. I can only say the man is oblique. If you consider the speeches where he says "Some say..." than I'd call that an answer.

But again, thoughts aren't big in the modern political scene.
(Oddly I find myself thinking of Steve Darnell and Alex Ross' work: Uncle Sam)
posted by Smedleyman at 3:09 AM on October 16, 2005


Smedleyman - thank you for a list.

Off the cuff I think rolling back the restriction on assassinations was an honest step.

It may be honest (as there have been assassinations, err unfortunate arranged deaths) but I do not see such leading to an effective and low cost foreign policy.

How do you get people to change?
1) Talk them into it via logic, reason and demonstratable actions
2) Pay them
3) Force

Of the 3, convincing them to change via talk is lower cost and more effective.

Assassinations makes it hard to claim the moral high ground.

Increasing the FBI's budget 60 percent - decent move.

Just because the budget increases doesn't mean that money is being well spent.

An example of a questionable spending priority is looking to hire porn surfers.

I also believe copyright enforcement should be via the courts as a civil matter, but Congress doesn't see it that way - DCMA et la.

[snip] (how many of the snipped were just attached to laws he signed from Congress?)

Living in Chicago I'm a big fan of the Great Lakes Legacy Act which authorizes the fed to cleaning up pollution in the Great Lakes.

Authorize != funding. And pollution is what is definded by various government agencies.

If one decides something is no longer pollution at level X and is now pollution at level Y, is the whatever now less of a threat, or was the defition changed so it could be declared no longer a threat?

W/O funding, it is an empty, useless law...only to be used if someone wants to play GOTCHA with the laws.

He's doubled the National Science Foundation budget over the next 5 years.

So? Have the demands on the foundation doubled? Is the extra funding going to education? Basic Science?

In 1997 the budget was $3.27 billion. Estimate of $5.48 billion for 2004.

But now exactly HOW is putting out a paper asking for a $10 billion budget in 2010 gonna result in a $10 billion dollar budget?

Example - Clinton asked for a billion dollar bump in funding (that would be MORE than a doubling in 5 years - if asked for each year) Congress gave 'em a 13.6% bump. Going back farther requires access to data I'm not willing to pay for just to joust with you...but I don't see that request as 'special' - other residents of the federal govenment have asked for or gotten similar %age increases - on either side of doubling every 5 years.

First republican to appoint an openly gay man in his administration (Scott Evertz).

Sad that an action like this is worthy of a list of 'doing well things'. Guess such is far below my radar.

Inflation has remained fairly level.

If you are using the governements numbers, you might believe it.

Yet, the price I pay for items that use oil is up, food is up, my local water/waste bill is up while consumption is the same/lower, all the building supplies I'm buying are up.

Even the government debt is up to $7.994 trillion.

So....do I believe The Government or my wallet WRT inflation?


Perhaps most controversial I agree with his position on the Kyoto Protocol. I see no reason to cut China a break. (Although I agree we should drastically cut greenhouse gasses and fund alternative fuels).

That routes back to the reply about diplomacy and the ability to use rhetoric to obtain goals. When 43rd Bush says " We need an energy bill that encourages consumption" CO2 levels are not the issue - CO2 levels are the waste product that need to be addressed.

How is China involved , other than the talking heads who don't like Kyoto point to them and say 'see? That's why!'. I see statements about China WRT Kyoto to be an excuse.

And a poor one. Because data and science are showing CO2 to be a problem which future generations will inherate.

But to go from the $5.66 trillion to $8 trillion - All the "good" you site worth the debt levels to the future?
posted by rough ashlar at 6:48 AM on October 16, 2005


Living in Chicago I'm a big fan of the Great Lakes Legacy Act which authorizes the fed to cleaning up pollution in the Great Lakes.

VS

What some call the worst environmental president in 50 years
posted by rough ashlar at 9:00 AM on October 16, 2005


Smedleyman: techgnollogic, I'm a conservative. Don't be on our side ok?

Just wanted to highlight that. [applause]
posted by russilwvong at 11:17 PM on October 16, 2005


"...all.."
posted by rough ashlar at 6:48 AM PST on October 16 [!]

I did concede it was debatable.
I didn’t say I wanted to debate it.
*smile*

Honestly, it would take a lot more effort than I’m prepared to expend. My heart just isn’t in that fight.
We can debate whether Bush has done more harm than good, but I agree with techgnollogic on general principles.
Even an ill wind blows someone some good.
I don’t want to resort to the “despots make the trains run on time” argument, (is it a Godwin if you compare someone to Hitler favorably?) but if the political situation in Iraq does work out, it’d be a big feather in his cap and a tally in the ‘good’ column.

It’s an ‘if’ tho.

Let me put it this way - as much as I disliked Clinton, I wanted him to succeed. It’s in my self-interest.
I feel similarly about Bush.

I think we’re better served focusing and working with that.
Not that I wouldn’t keep the criticisms at hand.
As much as I rail against my side on not shying from criticism (e.g. - pointing out the disconnect between supporting the death penalty and supporting gun rights in the whole ‘trust’ and less govt. intrusion thing) I have to point out that there were a LOT of things Clinton did wrong that the left let slide. And there were things that were good that happened that he had little to do with that Clinton got credit for.
One could make similar arguments for Bush (the Libya thing comes to mind).

The point of contention is not whether Bush is a good president, but whether he’s done any good at all.
Clearly to argue that he’s done no one any good, ever, is non-sensical.
posted by Smedleyman at 9:10 AM on October 18, 2005


techgnollogic, I'm a conservative. Don't be on our side ok?

Don't worry, he's not, no matter what he may be telling himself.
posted by sonofsamiam at 9:18 AM on October 18, 2005


« Older Deposit coin, and try your call again.   |   ArtsConversations Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments



Post