Tuesday, March 20, 2007

The proposal I put forward is the proposal

While I was taking a nap, Bush spoke to reporters about the firing of the US Attorneys. Of course, the only error was in the PR, not the policy: “Neither the Attorney General, nor I approve of how these explanations were handled.”

And of course we can’t have anyone testify under oath with transcripts: “if the staff of a President operated in constant fear of being hauled before various committees to discuss internal deliberations, the President would not receive candid advice, and the American people would be ill-served.” If the possibility of having to repeat what you say privately in public produces “constant fear” in you, maybe you shouldn’t be saying that stuff in private either.

“Yet, in this case, I recognize the importance of members of Congress having -- the importance of Congress has placed on understanding how and why this decision was made.” Phew, for a minute there, he almost acknowledged that there exists a right of Congressional oversight, before he caught himself and said that it’s only Congress that places importance on this. Even then, he notes that Republicans don’t believe in this, describing his offer of limited, secret, unsworn, interviews as being “offered to the majority in Congress”. But “we will not go along with a partisan fishing expedition aimed at honorable public servants.” The word “partisan” in this context is a gratuitous insult of the motives of members of Congress, more so when coupled with a description of Karl Rove et al as “honorable.” The denunciation of “fishing expeditions,” of course, is the last refuge of people with a whole lot of rotten fish to hide (is that a mixed ichthyological metaphor?). He went on to warn Democrats against “head[ing] down the partisan road of issuing subpoenas and demanding show trials”. Will a reporter ask him who is demanding show trials? I can’t wait to get to the Q&A part of the transcript and find out.

He says it is common for people to complain about the US attorneys. “Some complained about the lack of vigorous prosecution of election fraud cases, while others had concerns about immigration cases not being prosecuted.” The choice of the word “cases” suggests that there in fact were cases, i.e., violations of the law requiring prosecution, which the attorneys chose to ignore.

He tells Democrats it’s “not too late... to drop the partisanship” and not “waste time and provoke an unnecessary confrontation”. Wow, that wasn’t partisan and confrontational at all.

In the Q&A, he repeats that the admin did nothing improper, but since the US attorneys “serve at the pleasure of the president,” this is rather like saying the US doesn’t torture, using a ridiculously high standard for what constitutes torture. Bush repeated the “pleasure of the president” thing, adding, “I named them all.” You know, Stinky and Big Guy and Lammikins and Igloo-man...

“And I put forth what I thought was a rational proposal, and the proposal I put forward is the proposal.”

Bush is, of course, the only person in government who matters. Asked if Gonzales can be effective when no one supports him, Bush said, “Yes, he’s got support with me. I support the Attorney General. I told you in Mexico I’ve got confidence in him; I still do.”

Q: How about now, Mr. President?

Bush: Yes.

Q: And now?

Bush: Yes.

Q: Well, what about now? ...

His eyes are following me, aren’t they?

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