Tuesday, October 03, 2006

This may be the day when, at long last, reading Bush speeches makes my head explode

Rep. Tom Reynolds, who tried to get ABC to suppress the Foley emails, held a press conference today to deny any responsibility. Naturally, he had all his Republican friends bring their little children, then dared reporters to ask about sexual predation. Even when they’re not trying to use minors for sex, they’re trying to exploit them for something.

The black & white picture is by the Buffalo News’s Harry Scull Jr. The video you may have already seen at Firedoglake or elsewhere.

(I just noticed: is that kid wearing an Attica t-shirt?)

Bush went to a fundraiser last night in Reno (Mott: “We have the biggest little hookers in the world”) for Dean Heller, running for Congress, and another today in Stockton for Richard Pombo. I don’t know who they are, but it’s not like Bush does either.

He did his world famous Dave Barry imitation, saying the enemy “want to establish a caliphate that ranges from Indonesia to Spain. I’m not making this up.”

Bush enumerated the lessons he’d learned from 9/11: “Now, the lesson I have learned from September the 11th was two -- one -- many, but two of the most notable ones were, if you find somebody harboring a terrorist, they’re equally as guilty as the terrorists and must be held to account.” That’s not actually a lesson per se... and he never said what the second one was.

He also wasn’t so good at counting the number of members of Congress. Hint: it’s more than one. “And I want the people of this district to know, plain and simple, that if Richard’s opponent wins, your taxes will go up. Make no mistake about it.”

He worked on his punctuation again: “Ultimately, when this chapter of history will be written, however, it’s going to be a comma -- the Iraqis voted, comma, and the United States of America understood that Iraq was a central front in the war on terror and helped this young democracy flourish so that a generation of Americans wouldn’t have to worry about the extremists emanating from that country to hurt the American people.”

Again he said that the D’s are “the party of cut and run.” “They talk tough on terror, but when the votes are counted, their softer side comes out.” “If you don’t think we should be listening in on the terrorist, then you ought to vote for the Democrats.” It’s not his contempt for Democrats that irritates me so much, but his contempt for the electorate, his idea that this level of discourse is the sort of persuasive rhetoric that we deserve.

Note how he talks about key votes: on warrantless surveillance: “they consistently oppose giving our personnel the tools they need to protect us”. On the Patriot Act renewal: “Senate Democrats filibustered it -- that means, tried to talk it to death. That’s what filibuster means up in Washington-speak. ... They voted for it before they voted against it.” On the Detainee Detention Act: “Almost 80 percent of the House Democrats want to stop a program that has provided invaluable intelligence that’s saved American lives.” There is no intellectual engagement, no real argument, he doesn’t refute the Democrats’ reasoning on these bills because he does not acknowledge that they have reasons. A visitor from Mars hearing this could only conclude that these people called Democrats must be insane or want Americans to die.

In the middle of that, he did actually say something wise. By accident, of course. During the debate on the Detainee Detention Act, one Democrat he said (he means Leahy) “compared the brave Americans who question these terrorists to the Taliban and Saddam Hussein. This exposes a dangerous mind-set on the part of Democrats in Congress. You can’t defend America if you cannot tell the difference between the CIA officers who protect their fellow citizens and brutal dictators who kill their fellow citizens.” Yes, that was precisely our point in opposing indefinite detention without trial and torture: you cannot defend America if you can’t tell the difference between CIA officers and brutal dictators.

He also visited... wait for it... the George W. Bush Elementary School in Stockton. Its motto seems to be “Where Eagles Soar.” That doesn’t seem like quite the right slogan for the George W. Bush Elementary School. Let’s see, “The Literacy Rate of Our Children Are Appalling”? “No Child Left Behind” – no, that’s former Congressman Foley’s motto... Any suggestions?

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