Mr. Bush, I have some impertinent questions for you
January 19, 2007 7:46 AM   Subscribe

An Impartial Interrogation
One of the things I miss about my eighteen years in the US Senate are the stories of the old Southern Democrats. I didn't always vote with them, but I loved their technique of responding to an opponent's questions with a humorous story. Once when Senator Sam Ervin of North Carolina had to handle a tough question from Mike Mansfield, he said, "You know, Mr. Leader, that question reminds me of the old Baptist preacher who was telling a class of Sunday school boys the creation story. 'God created Adam and Eve and from this union came two sons, Cain and Abel and thus the human race developed.' A boy in the class then asked, 'Reverend, where did Cain and Abel get their wives?' After frowning for a moment, the preacher replied, 'Young man--it's impertinent questions like that that's hurtin' religion.'"
posted by nofundy (17 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
An excellent summary of all the questions that should - and may never be - answered about what the Goon was thinking, and continues to think, about the quagmire he's poured the water into so carefully.

McGovern never descends into outright rudeness, but the questions are pointed, and probably would hurt if they could get through the Goon's "Somebody Else's Problem' field.
posted by mephron at 7:55 AM on January 19, 2007

and mr president, most important of all, have you stopped beating your wife?

here's two better questions - under what circumstances would you bomb iran? ... under what circumstances would you conclude that the iraq war can no longer be won?

listening to him avoid answering them would be interesting in itself
posted by pyramid termite at 8:01 AM on January 19, 2007

Sadly, it's easy to predict exactly how W would answer most of these questions. "Tenet said it was a slam dunk case for WMDs," "we're spreading democracy to the Middle East," "Saddam was a threat," "we're working hard," etc. The trick is the ability to ask follow up questions, and that will never happen in any meaningful way.
posted by brain_drain at 8:08 AM on January 19, 2007

"Why should we believe anything you say?"
posted by edgeways at 8:09 AM on January 19, 2007

1972 Electoral Map
posted by matteo at 8:17 AM on January 19, 2007

That map lists Nixon's home state as New York, but it was actually California. That's all I got.
posted by spaltavian at 8:30 AM on January 19, 2007

I was hoping for more cute Southern Baptist stories, not the well-spoken and endearing yet still somehow predictable and well-worn diatribe I found.

As I listened to a breakbeats DJ on the radio rant about how the government was in the hands of a lying stupid murderer, I was shocked to find myself thinking "yeah, yeah, shocking. That's really inventive - and bold! Wow! Speaking truth to power this late in the game takes a personal moral strength that not many people have. If you don't count the ones which breathe." I worry I am becoming jaded by the anti-administration discourse.

Granted, I live on the Left Coast, and recognize there are still a lot of people for whom the state of things comes as a difficult surprise. But is there a danger of making a cliche out of criticizing the Administration for the same old stuff over and over, adding only hyperbole each time? In a culture so ruled by fashion and novelty, might the point be over-made and thus undone?

Might these "Evil, Machiavellian" schemers make use of that? What might we be missing while we chant and howl that War In Iraq Was a Bad Idea and that We Were Lied To about it?
posted by freebird at 9:00 AM on January 19, 2007

but it was actually California

then maybe McGovern should ask for a recount!
posted by matteo at 9:32 AM on January 19, 2007

Dude! you were in the Senate? WTF you doin' hangin out here?
posted by MapGuy at 9:46 AM on January 19, 2007

I worry I am becoming jaded by the anti-administration discourse.

we need to start hearing what people want to DO about all this ... and if it gets shot down in flames by the white house, so be it, but at least make him do it instead of playing pattycake with him

the opposition in this country needs to be willing to lose ... if they're not, they'll never win
posted by pyramid termite at 9:49 AM on January 19, 2007

we need to start hearing what people want to DO about all this
Looks like John Edwards agrees with you.

Edwards chastised Democratic leaders in Congress for their non-binding resolution opposing the troop build-up. If they are truly opposed to the build-up, Edwards said Democrats should put back their words with action by voting against funding measures. Because, if complaining is all the Democratic leaders want to do, Edwards asked: "Why don't we go stand in the corner and stomp our feet like an 8-year-old?"

Heh, this guy is growing to be very agreeable to me.
posted by nofundy at 9:53 AM on January 19, 2007

I have one: "Mister President, do you plan on giving members of your administration preemptive pardons as you leave office, in order to protect them from prosecution for your criminally mis-guided interpretation of the US Constitution?"

I'd love to hear him answer that one. Says yes, and it's an admission that people will need them. Says no, and he will have a hard time going back on his word to help the henchmen once he's out of power.
posted by popechunk at 10:37 AM on January 19, 2007

I'd think he could duck out of that one with "I've been doing nothing but living, breathing and acting on my oath to defend the Constitution and the people of this great nation against those who want to destroy us and all we stand for," etc.

Naw, I kind of like the "Why should we believe you" one, and what's more, I think a lot of other people -- other recent past Presidents, and some putative candidates for the job hereafter -- ought to have (had) to answer that one as well.
posted by pax digita at 10:59 AM on January 19, 2007

[H]ave you not at least read or been briefed on the terrible costs of that ill-advised and seemingly endless American war in tiny Vietnam? [...] Do you know this recent history in which 58,000 young Americans died in the process of killing 2 million Vietnamese men, women and children? If you do not know about this terrible blunder in Vietnam, are you not ignoring the conclusion of one of our great philosophers: "Those who are ignorant of history are condemned to repeat it."
I have a pet theory that Bush started our current war (or at least eagerly agreed with the plans laid out by his masters in Bushco) in no small part because of deep-seated shame over his conduct in the TANG during the Vietnam war. He's not merely a chickenshit rich kid who failed upward his whole life; he is an outright deserter from military service. Our current quagmire is really a product of one little man's desperate attempt to undo his past and regain his manhood. So, no, Bush doesn't no anything of the history and lessons of the Vietnam war. All he knows is that he's a struttin' "war president" who loves, and in turn is loved by, the enormous, rapacious US war machine. And that's how he sleeps at night.
posted by oncogenesis at 11:05 AM on January 19, 2007

I don't think Bush had any reason to start this war other than Cheney strong-armed him into it. Bush really is not that deep, or reflective. He thinks it's kind of a big joke, knowing that he's always gotten away with the bullshit before, so why should this be any different?

Genuinely evil people, the Bush administration, all of them.
posted by rougy at 11:46 AM on January 19, 2007

"why did he send an opposite message to the Pope? "
Only someone who hasn't waded into the fetid swamp that is the evangelical mind would ask this question.
posted by 2sheets at 12:09 PM on January 19, 2007

That map lists Nixon's home state as New York, but it was actually California. That's all I got.

Nixon was a New York lawyer before running for President in 1968. After losing the California gubernatorial race in 1962, Nixon moved to New York City, where he became a senior partner in the law firm of Nixon, Mudge, Rose, Guthrie & Alexander. Nixon was elected president from New York, and was a legal resident of the Apple in 1972.

The 1972 map is correct. That's all I got.
posted by rdone at 2:24 PM on January 19, 2007

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