Thursday, April 20, 2006

What do you mean by a democracy?


Saw a commercial for Steve Westly, one of the D’s running for governor in California. It says he’d be a “different kind of governor.” Thank you for making that clear, or we might have thought you planned to be another Austrian-former-bodybuilder-action-film-star-married-to-a-Kennedy-harasser-of-women kind of governor. No, you plan to be different from that. Not the same. Dissimilar.

Karl Rove has given up one of his titles... no, not Boy Genius, but rather “deputy chief of staff for policy.” I’m wondering if his pay will go down accordingly. OK, I’m not really, but shouldn’t it?

Jay Rosen at Salon thinks that Scott McClellan’s incompetence (“McClellan’s specialty was noncommunication; what’s remarkable about him as a choice for press secretary is that he had no special talent for explaining Bush’s policies to the world. In fact, he usually made things less clear by talking about them.”) was the reason he had the job in the first place: “Not to be persuasive, but to refute the assumption that there was anyone the White House needed or wanted to persuade -- least of all the press! ... The very notion of persuasion conceded more to democratic politics than the Bush forces wanted to concede. ... McClellan was there to make executive power more illegible... The intended result: a presidency that is less questioned in the eyes of the world. That’s not news management; it’s a new balance of power between them and us.” Read it. It’s an interesting argument, but whether or not you are persuaded by it, which comes down largely to whether you believe the Bushies are smart enough to have that coherent a strategy, it is an explanation that fits the facts, and that’s frightening enough.

Bush met Chinese President Hu Jintao today. Said, “The United States and China are two nations divided by a vast ocean -- yet connected through a global economy”. That must be the ocean we used to think would protect us. Afterwards, they took questions from reporters, a reversal of the earlier plan to avoid such an encounter, a plan for which the WaPo editorially spanked the White House (they rather adorably assumed it was Hu and not Bush who wished to avoid questions). One reporter asked Hu when China would become a democracy. Hu replied “what do you mean by a democracy?” I hope he didn’t look to GeeDubya to explain it to him.

Bush says the US & China have a common goal “that Iran should not have the nuclear weapon, the capacity to make a nuclear weapon, or the know-how to how to make a nuclear weapon.”

But fuck the nukes issue, what Bush is really interested in is sports. He mentioned a Chinese basketball player, the visit of the US ping pong team to China 35 years ago, the Olympics, and here he is with Michelle Kwan.

Multiple picture caption contest:




No comments: