Thursday, March 25, 2004

Mean and nasty people


Times headline on Blair’s meeting with Qadafi: “Democrat and Dictator Unite Against Terror.” Blair is which one again?

As I understand it, at the annual radio & tv correspondents’ dinner, George Bush put on a show. “Is my integrity under this cushion? Where did I put my believability?” Ha ha, I’m kidding of course--even George knows he never had integrity or believability. No, he made jokes about not being able to find Iraqi WMDs. This reminds me of another time he tried to make a joke. I don’t remember where or the exact details, but he made a joke about there being arsenic in the drinking water, which was stolen from the movie Erin Brockavitch. Except he missed what made that scene (moderately) amusing: the PG&E officials were claiming that their plant hadn’t polluted the ground water, and at that moment Julia Roberts tells them that the water in their glasses came from the site. When the joke is made by Bush, the man who wants to put arsenic in drinking water, it’s not funny but creepy. In the same way: I am allowed to make jokes about Bush lying, he is not. I want that clear.

So we’re nearly at the end of a whole week where the Bushies did nothing except try to destroy the credibility of one man. (And by the way, Richard Clarke is a right-winger who would happily start wars and bomb and assassinate all over the world, so I’d appreciate it if the left would stop making him out to be a great humanitarian and public servant.) The smear probably wouldn’t have taken, even before the wildly popular “we failed you” apology, which wouldn’t be a big deal, except he is apparently the only person in Washington willing to make any apology (on McNeil-Lehrer today Rumsfeld was asked if that made him do any soul-searching; I didn’t hear his answer since I was laughing so hard at the idea that Rummy has a soul). Imagine Fox News going to the White House to ask it to waive the confidentiality of a briefing Clarke gave them. And they waived it, even knowing that the Valerie Plame thing is still being investigated. Unbelievable. The short-term gain for this briefing, like that memo they dredged up, has to be so slight anyway, claiming that there’s some horrible contradiction in his not telling his bosses exactly what he thought of them, which would only seem like a contradiction to someone who has never actually had a boss.

Thing is, as Clarke pointed out, they had his book for 3 months before they allowed him to publish it, so they had an awfully long time to prepare a rebuttal, and this is the best they came up with. Clarke: “These are mean and nasty people, when it comes down to it.”

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