Friday, July 07, 2006

Bush press conference: words mean different things to different people

Bush had a press conference today, and the gimmick is that it wasn’t in Washington but in Chicago. Which explains the windiness.

On immigration: “And when you make something illegal that people want, it’s amazing what happens -- got a whole industry of smugglers and innkeepers and document forgers that sprung up.” Innkeepers?

On democracy: “You win elections by believing something.” That your brother and Katherine Harris will make sure the votes against you aren’t counted? That you have a lock on the US Supreme Court?

On diplomacy: “It’s kind of painful in a way for some to watch because it takes a while to get people on the same page. Everybody -- not everybody thinks the exact same way we think. There are different -- words mean different things to different people, and the diplomatic process can be slow and cumbersome. This is why this is probably the fourth day in a row I’ve been asked about North Korea -- it’s slow and cumbersome.” Also, of course, other countries aren’t as selfless and altruistic as we are, and clearly when they disagree with American foreign policy it must be because they’re greedy self-interested bastards: “Some nations are more comfortable with sanctions than other nations, and part of the issue we face in some of these countries is that they’ve got economic interests. And part of our objective is to make sure that national security interests, security of the world interests trump economic interests. And sometimes that takes a while to get people focused in the right direction.”

On defining success in a war: “This is a compassionate nation that cares about people, and when they see people die on their TV screens, it sends a signal, well, maybe we’re not winning.”

On defining democracy in Asia: “the region is relatively peaceful except for one outpost; one system that’s not open and transparent; one system that doesn’t respond to the will of the people; one system that’s dark, and that’s North Korea.” It’s official: China is open, transparent and responds to the will of the people. Who knew?

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