Watch this Kinky Friedman commercial.
Thomas Shannon, the nominee to replace Roger Noriega as assistant secretary of state for hemispheric affairs, worries about Chavez-style “populism.” “The United States went through a similar process of populism, and our party structure found a way to contain it,” he said at his confirmation hearing. That’s what these people mean when they pretend to support something they call democracy: doing the minimum necessary to hold off populism. Shannon says he wants to engage Chavez in a “battle of ideas,” which would be a change of pace from his predecessor, unless “You suck” is an idea.
Bush today went further, I believe, than he has before in putting the blame for 9/11 squarely on Bill Clinton (and Reagan too, I guess):
To leave Iraq now would be to repeat the costly mistakes of the past that led to the attacks of September the 11th, 2001. The terrorists saw our response to the hostage crisis in Iran, the bombings in the Marine barracks in Lebanon, the first World Trade Center attack, the killing of American soldiers in Somalia, the destruction of two U.S. embassies in Africa, and the attack on the USS Cole. The terrorists concluded that we lacked the courage and character to defend ourselves, and so they attacked us.Bush’s language strikes me as getting even odder, more disjointed, with more going back and rephrasing things: “Now, look, they’ve been successful on attacks. They were successful here. They’ve been successful in London and Madrid. In other words, they have had attacks.”
He explains the philosophical underpinnings of his foreign policy: “See, democracy trumps their view of the world. Democracy trumps Taliban-type regimes, because it’s free.”
Not 90 minutes later, displaying no sense that he was aware of any contradiction, he was welcoming the King of Jordan to the White House, telling him, “Your Majesty is a leader and the United States of America respects his leadership a lot.”