Thursday, April 15, 2004

More on Bush's big press conference

I could round up my favorite bits of analysis, but Howard Kurtz does such a great job, why reinvent the wheel?

One of my favorite bits, however, is worth a cut & paste - if for no other reason than it makes me think of frosh Gov (honors, thank you very much) with Jack Pitney and, of course, Strunk & White:

Slate's William Saletan goes further, describing Bush's performance as downright alarming:

"Given the stakes in Iraq and the war against terrorism, it would be petty to poke fun at Bush for calling credibility 'incredibly important.' His routine misuse of the word 'incredible,' while illiterate, is harmless. His misunderstanding of the word 'credible,' however, isn't harmless. It's catastrophic.

To Bush, credibility means that you keep saying today what you said yesterday, and that you do today what you promised yesterday. 'A free Iraq will confirm to a watching world that America's word, once given, can be relied upon,' he argued Tuesday night. When the situation is clear and requires pure courage, this steadfastness is Bush's most useful trait. But when the situation is unclear, Bush's notion of credibility turns out to be dangerously unhinged. The only words and deeds that have to match are his. No correspondence to reality is required. Bush can say today what he said yesterday, and do today what he promised yesterday, even if nothing he believes about the rest of the world is true.
[emphasis added]

He's right, of course. Read the full article.

And one more Kurtz clip, from AndrewSullivan:

"Two friends of mine, one conservative and one liberal, called me after the conference. The conservative said that 'Bush looked like the first year (law student) who didn't do his reading and just wouldn't admit it to the [socratic] prof[essor].' The liberal said 'The sad part about this is that conservatives are going to call it a strong performance. We now have a President whose not much different from a Special Ed student. We clap and cheer every time he has his shoes on the right feet.'"

Poetry, no? And that law student line is for my friends - you know who you are - and you agree, admit it!

And lastly - a nice articulation of Bush's strategy shift from The New Republic's Jonathan Chait:

Bush has sought to change the question from his competence to his intent. 'Had I had any inkling whatsoever that the people were going to fly airplanes into buildings,' he said at his press conference last night, 'we would have moved heaven and earth to save the country.' But of course no serious person is saying Bush deliberately ignored the threat. It's as if former Boston Red Sox manager Grady Little responded to questions about his baffling failure to relieve Pedro Martinez in Game 7 against the Yankees by insisting that of course he wanted to win the game.

Ok, happy reading, Jr.Phoblogs, while I catch up on your comments from yesterday . . . .

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