George W. Bush held one of his relatively rare press conferences yesterday morning, supposedly to report to the American people about the War in Iraq. The fact that it was his second in a month shows how worried he is about the election. This edition followed his typical scenario, reading from a prepared speech at some length and then grudgingly taking a few questions from reporters of his choosing. Bush hates answering questions in such a forum, because his ignorance and lack of reasoning are usually amply revealed in the process. Today was no exception.
The War is a fiasco and so is the Republican campaign to hold onto Congress. The War is now perceived by most Americans as a failure, as is the Bush Presidency and the Republican controlled Congress. Republican candidates are running away from Bush. Lacking any better option and out of frustration, Bush had to come forth and use the power of his office to try and reassure Americans about the War, and collaterally about the value of keeping a Republican Congress. It did not work.
The opening speech was a bland presentation of what we have heard before, except for a sugar coated admission that the enterprise did not go as well as Bush expected and there is still much “hard work” to be done. (Bush must secretly see irony in his constant references to hard work, since he has never done any hard work in his life).
The speech and the Bush answers to the questions of reporters were most notable for what was not said. Since the American people have now caught on to the misrepresentations, there was no talk of Iraqi WMD other than to perfunctorily admit disappointment that none were found, no belated outrage over the gassing of the Kurds, no lies about Saddam harboring al Qaeda terrorists or even any righteous sermon about promoting democracy. The real reason we invaded and occupied Iraq was mentioned by Bush several times in passing, that it was necessary for the security of America to have access to the Iraqi oil fields. It was about the oil.
The semantical manipulations of the Bush Administration continue in strained supposed nuances. Stay the course did not really mean that, strategy is not much related to tactics, benchmarks are not timetables, some timetables (such as any proposed by Democrats) are artificial, sectarian violence is not civil war, a unity government exists even if rendered with splits, and standing something up in order to stand something else down is a matter of fluid definition.
Bush proved his lack of reasoning ability when he pointed out he refuses to answer any question he labels as hypothetical, without giving any reason for the practice. Bush is a practitioner of the power of positive thinking, or rather the power of positive believing. His answers were peppered with “I believe”, the refuge of a person who cannot justify his position with facts, evidence or logical reasoning. For a person with expansive executive and military powers not to consider hypotheticals is outrageous. Such retarded analysis contributed significantly to getting us into the mess in Iraq. Bush and his cohorts refused to consider such questions as “what if there are no WMD" and “what if they do not welcome us as liberators” and “what if sectarian violence breaks out”, all legitimate hypotheticals that were raised by people outside the Administration before the invasion.
Bush did find a portion of the morning enjoyable, when he was able to launch into his dog and pony show speech about Democrats being soft on terrorism and wanting to tax every single American, including your children, $500 more. This is all the campaign garbage he has left, and he will continue to spew it, primarily behind closed doors in front of the Republican contributors who are saving millions in taxes, the ones who skew the tax payment averages that Bush uses to distort the real impact of tax increases on our children. Any minuscule current tax saving our children might see will be annihilated by the future taxes they will have to pay because of the huge national debt Bush incurred in giving tax cuts to the rich and in misleading us into the fiasco in Iraq.
Here is a retro-active hypothetical the American people seem to be asking themselves, “Suppose we had never allowed George W. Bush to claim the Presidency and the Republicans to control Congress.” Bush said today the Republicans will control Congress for the rest of his term. This election is a chance for the American people to show Bush that he is wrong in so many ways.