Bush says of European leaders, “We have a common objective, which is to convince the Ayatollahs not to have a nuclear weapon.”
Bush has been explaining democracy to Putin. Things like checks and balances. On a totally unrelated note, Afghanistan, which elected a president last October, today missed the deadline for announcing parliamentary elections in May. Like 6 months with only one functioning branch of government being elected wasn’t bad enough, it could now be a year.
Actually, the White House website doesn’t headline Bush & Putin talking ‘bout democracy, but rather “President and President Putin Discuss Strong U.S.-Russian Partnership.” They make it sound so exciting, just sitting around discussing the strong US-Russian partnership:
Bush: You know, Pootie Poot, the US-Russian partnership is really strong.Bush: “the sign of a healthy and vibrant society is one where there’s an active press corps”. But enough about Jeff Gannon’s sex life. He added, “democracies have certain things in common: They have a rule of law and protection of minorities, a free press and a viable political opposition.” For example, we’ve got Guantanamo, a ban on gay marriage, Fox News, and the Democratic Party. So we’re set.
Putin: Yes, is strong like Russian women weightlifter at Olympics.
Bush: Strong like Condi’s thighs.
Putin: Strong like Yeltsin’s breath.
Putin: Fuck yes.
He adds, “I live in a transparent country.” Dude, you’re back on the weed again, aren’t you?
He says of his relationship with Putin, “we’ll have a very frank and candid and open relationship. ... a relationship where, when a person tells you something, you know he means what he says, and, ‘yes’ means yes, and ‘no’ means no. Sometimes in politics yes means ‘maybe,’ and no means ‘if.’ This is the kind of fellow who, when he says, yes, he means, yes, and when he says, no, he means, no.” ‘Cuz he knows Bush only understands words of one syllable.
On democracy in Russia, Putin said that the guarantee for democracy is the Russian people, while Bush said that the guarantee was Putin’s statement of support for democracy. OK, neither of those is particularly confidence-inspiring, but you’ll note who has the clearer grasp of what democracy means. If the health of a democracy depends on the support of its president, it’s fucked.
Putin added that his decision to replace the system of popular election of regional governors with appointment by Putin himself is just like the US Electoral College, “and it is not considered undemocratic, is it?”
And here’s Bush on the press: “Obviously, if you’re a member of the Russian press, you feel like the press is free. And that’s -- feel that way? Well, that’s good. (Laughter.) But I -- I talked to Vladimir about that. And he -- he wanted to know about our press. I said, nice bunch of folks.” Putin adds, “I’m not the minister of propaganda.”
Pictures of Bush, out and about in Slovakia: