Congress

Bush Competes with Colbert

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Aspiring pundit George W. Bush of Washington, D.C., gives an ominous warning to an incoming Democratic legislature ("Democrats will control the House and Senate, and therefore we share the responsibility for what we achieve.") and indulges in some Colbertish political irony over at the Wall Street Journal.

First, he straightfacedly refers to the need to "to build a bipartisan consensus to fight and win the war" (a war that 61 percent of citizens in this democratic republic think wasn't worth fighting) and later to his firm belief in "spending restraint" (as the president whose first term saw real discretionary outlays increase about 35.8). If he had recorded himself speaking these straight-faced absurdities in front of a camera, it would be an instant You-Tube comic classic.

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  1. Well, it’s not like he actually wrote it himself.

  2. Virtually everything that comes out of Bush’s mouth is a “straight-faced absurdity”, cameras rolling have never stopped him before.

  3. I don’t see the “irony” here, per se. The official GOP platform, talking points, etc., never changed. They have and will continue to spout horseshit about financial restraint, even as they do shit like sneak in the biggest welfare entitlement handout in the history of this country under the dark of night, while using blackmail and out-and-out lies to help achieve it.

    As for the war, no irony there either. Bush has never wavered from his fucking retarded position that this “war” is “winnable”…as if 1400 +/- years of sectarian feuding can be ended by, um, throwing a bunch of tanks and guns at it. It’s not so much “irony” as it is idiocy, arrogance and ignorance. Whether or not 61% of the country supports it is far, far beside the point. Reality doesn’t conform to the whims and desires of 50.1% of the populace.

  4. I come from the Catholic tradition, where we learn that reconcilliation and forgiveness require genuine repentance, and a request for forgiveness.

    The Republicans in Congress and the White House have spent the past five and a half years indulging in the Rove/Delay partisan wedge strategy. Even when there weren’t actual differences in political philosophy, such as over whether to go after Al Qaeda in Afghanistan or whether to create the DHS, the Republicans deliberately whipped up dissention by accusing Democrats of siding with terrorists. And they did this while they were planning to send a couple hundred thousand of our troops into harm’s way.

    I will believe that this party is interested in responsible, bipartisan governance when they admit what they did to rip this country in half, and express regret for it.

  5. Trust me, joe. A more pacifistic response to the attack on the US would have also ripped the country in half, because an awful lot of people would have opposed it and thought it wasn’t nearly enough.

  6. Am I the only one who considers it odd that the President has taken to writing letters to the editor? I guess the “bully pulpit” isn’t what it used to be.

  7. Tom Delay used to say that passing a bill with 65% support was a waste. When there was the chance of such a thing happening, the Republican leadership would lard it up with deliberately provocative, right-wing red meat, in order to make it unpalatable to any Democrat who supported it.

    There needs to be a price for behaviior like that. Absent a public change of course and admission of error on the part of the Republicans, any effort by the Democrats to re-establish bipartisanship is akin to a battered wife letting his abuser back into the house.

  8. RC,

    That’s exactly the point – there were no Democrats calling for a pacifist response to 9/11. They were calling for an invasion of Afghanistan, just like the Republicans. The straw man of a “pacifist response” to al Qaeda was completely made up by the Republicans, for the purpose of beating up on it, and pretending the Democrats put it out there.

    Remember the Karl Rove speech, in which he said liberals wanted to “offer the terrorists counseling and hugs?” That was completely made up, for the purpose of making Democrats and Republicans hate each other.

    The Republicans didn’t rip the country in half as a consequence of b

  9. I’m waiting for some technogeek with a cool sense of humor to insert laugh tracks in the sound during all of the pauses in Bush’s speech during his State of the Union Address, then at least we could all laugh.

  10. …ad policy, but as a goal unto itself. They wanted to rip the country in half, and get Americans at each other’s throats, because they figured they could get the bigger half.

    Look through some issues of National Review from the fall/winter of 2001 sometime. They are quite explicit about the political strategy that led George Bush to call Tom Delay “not concerned about the security of the American people” for the horrible crime of wanting DHS officials to be civil servants instead of political appointees.

  11. It’s hard to utilize the true power of the bully pulpit when your public speaking ability is on par with Jimmy Volmer (Th-thanks folks, what a tuh-tuh-tuh-terrific awdience!) Much easier to get some lackey speechwriter to slap together some bullshit, lies and pandering tripe, put your own name on it, and send it to the Wall Street Journal.

  12. However that same poll is split down the middle as to whether we should leave Iraq or not.

  13. joe,

    Not to defend the Republicans, but I very much recall relatively fringish Democrats who advocated a pacifist response to 9/11, featuring primarily a dramatic retrenchment of all overseas US presence. Obviously that wasn’t going to fly and was never backed by anyone politically more important than Maxine Waters, but it was out there.

    Of course, its main effect was to give disingenuous Republicans a stick with which to beat said fringesters’ occasional fellow-travellers, that is, mainstream Democrats.

    And are you actually saying that Tom DeLay was ever concerned about the security of anything other than Tom DeLay?

  14. Oops, that should read “Tom Daschle.”

    I stand by everything else, including the elipsis.

  15. The straw-man is no straw man.

    Dems, if they had the power, would not have invaded anyone, anywhere.

    Think about it, and let history be your guide. The Dems would have engaged in a series of international, diplomatic efforts to hunt down the bad guys, there would have been economics sanctions, the UN would have been with us, very few – if any troops would have been moved anywhere except for some token show here or there.

    All in all, an insanely ineffectual effort at international law enforcement with more attacks on American soil following after 9/11.

  16. Not to defend the Republicans, but I very much recall relatively fringish Democrats who advocated a pacifist response to 9/11, featuring primarily a dramatic retrenchment of all overseas US presence.

    Which ones were those? Names, please.

  17. joe,

    I don’t know which version of Catholicism you’re using, but you’re supposed to forgive someone whether they apologize or not. Make peace with your opponent on the way to court, you know.

    That said, I hope Bush burns in fucking hell.

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