November 03, 2003

W's Sic Press Conference

Buzzflash commentary on the _resident' s "press conference:" W.'s open-air ramblings were an
embarrassment of simplistic repetition and all-too
obvious mental straining, not to mention an unsightly
temper, transparent deception, laughable
contradictions, tawdry blame laying and frequent
unintelligibility.

Show up for Democracy: Defeat Bush in 2004!

http://www.buzzflash.com/carpenter/03/11/pmc03211.html

November 3, 2003
P.M. CARPENTER ARCHIVES
W's Sic Press Conference

by P.M. Carpenter

"Iraq's a dangerous place ...

"It is dangerous in Iraq ...

"It's dangerous in Iraq ...

"It is dangerous in Iraq ...

"I can't put it any more plainly. Iraq's a dangerous
place. That's leveling. It is a dangerous place ...

"Iraq's a danger place and I can't put it any more
bluntly than that. I know it's a dangerous place ...

"Iraq is dangerous."

Thus waxed elegant within the span of a couple minutes
the leader of the free world last Tuesday. The
occasion was his first press conference in months, a
pitiable 48-minute event skulked midday in the Rose
Garden.

The presidential performance again confirmed why no
presidential aide would even think of putting the
bossman in front of television cameras at any actually
watched time of day. W.'s open-air ramblings were an
embarrassment of simplistic repetition and all-too
obvious mental straining, not to mention an unsightly
temper, transparent deception, laughable
contradictions, tawdry blame laying and frequent
unintelligibility. He made one long for the flashy
showmanship of Calvin Coolidge, the easy eloquence of
Dwight D. Eisenhower, the simple honesty of Richard
Nixon.

What's more, the president's wretched little show
unfurled even under the best of sheltered
circumstances; which is to say, the White House frowns
on follow-up questions. That sort of thing simply
isn't done in the Boy King's presence. So a compliant,
obsequious press lobs soft balls his direction and W.
lobs them back with an unaccountability that would
curl the British hair of loyal oppositionists during
Question Time.

Will the president cooperate with the independent
commission investigating the administration's pre-9/11
screwups? Sure he will. Said W., "I want to be
helpful" -- a contention thrown a bit into question by
his steadfast intransigence on the matter. It is, he
continued, just that the requested documents (one of
which reportedly warned of al Qaeda's plans to hijack
airliners a full month before 9/11) would get
"politicized."

Any reporter worth minimum wage would leap to point
out to the president that, however inadvertently, he
just confirmed the existence of damning evidence
since, by his own admission, it is indeed
"politicize-able." The reporter might also point out
that in a free and open society these things do indeed
get politicized. But sorry, next question. We must
move along.

What great strides have we made in Iraq, ones worth
hundreds of American lives? Let's see, beamed 43, one
"very important achievement" has been the introduction
of "a currency without the picture of the dictator."
Understandably stunned, reporters of yesteryear might
thereupon ask if that was some kind of sick joke. But
sorry. Next question. Move along.

Who are the "suiciders" -- as W. called them --
causing so much death and destruction in Iraq? Ah,
here's one to knock out of the park. "I would assume
that they're either/or and probably both Ba'athists
and foreign terrorists." Despite this revealed insight
-- especially the part of "either/or" -- we might then
want to know why billions spent on crack intelligence
leaves the boss having to assume the cutthroats'
identity. But no time for that, either/or.

Why is asking about troop levels a year from now a
"trick question"? Why, just weeks after finally
denying any connection between Saddam Hussein and
September the 11th, do you, Mr. President, persist
here again in connecting Saddam Hussein and September
the 11th? How, Mr. President, can you say you're
"focused on the security of the American people" when
you spend as much time off the job as Al Capone in the
1930s?

In the absence of hard questions, one consolation is
that George W. Bush wouldn't, or couldn't, answer them
anyway. So perhaps it no longer matters that the press
corps and White House have settled on a kind of "don't
ask, don't tell" conspiracy. But one hopes no
democracy-aspiring Iraqis were watching last week's
presidential amateur hour -- for the entire, sorry
affair made the imitation of American-style governance
of exceptionally dubious value.

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P.M. Carpenter holds a Ph.D. in American History and
is a syndicated columnist.

Copyright 2003, P. M. Carpenter




Posted by richard at November 3, 2003 11:33 AM