Monday, February 12, 2007

If Baghdad looked like most of the rest of the country, we wouldn’t be having this conversation

Shrub started a Black History Month event today talking about how in this “special month... we reflect on the many ways African Americans have shaped our nation’s history,” and then immediately started talking about... the Super Bowl.

During the event, he got sleepy and decided to use a black woman as a pillow.

That’s Xernona Clayton, executive director of something called the Trumpet Awards. “Xernona” is my new favorite name. Say it with me: Xernona.

And then he had a little moment with New York subway hero Wesley Autrey, who I’m guessing just by looking at him used to be in the Navy. Also, he’s wearing a sailor suit.

In an interview with C-SPAN today, Shrub was asked what the next president will inherit in Iraq. Said Bush, “A society in Iraq that is learning to live with themselves... a country that’s heading toward more unity”. But it won’t be all heading toward more unity: “There will be violence. There will be criminality. But they will also see a country in which the security forces are better equipped and better adapt at dealing with the extremists.” So that’s more unity and better adapt.

He says that in 20 years Iraqis, “if we can help this government be able to create the conditions so that a mother can raise their child in peace, I think people will look back and they’ll be thankful of America.”

Asked if he will watch any of the Congressional debate on Iraq on C-SPAN, he acknowledged Congress’s authority as a co-equal branch of government said he’ll be busy and “it’s not as if the world stops when the Congress does their duty” and anyway “I already know what the debate is.” Yes, he knows what people are going to say before they even say it, he’s just that good. When you laughed at those grammatical errors earlier in this post, he knew you were going to do that.

He put the whole Iraq thing in perspective: “Most of the country is in good shape. The truth of the matter is, if Baghdad looked like most of the rest of the country, we wouldn’t be having this conversation.” And if Baghdad looked like Neptune, everyone would be breathing hydrogen and resemble giant squids, what’s your point?

He said again that “if one of those endless opinion polls reached into the White House and said, are you approving of Iraq? I would say to you, Stephen, no, I’m not.” I don’t think Iraq is particularly approving of you either, George.

He called the talk of war with Iran “noise” and “endless chatter” and said it was “political.”

He said, “The Iranian people are good, decent, honorable people. And they’ve got a government that is belligerent, loud, noisy, threatening”. I wonder what that’s like. Actually, he makes it sound like those obnoxious neighbors we all had in the apartment above us in the first place we lived after college. Quiet up there, Ahmadinejad! “And so our objective is to continue to keep the pressure in hopes that rational folks will show up and say, it’s not worth it, it’s not worth the isolation.” So we’re waiting for some rational folks to show up. That’s the plan.

The interviewer started to ask a question about Goldwater Republicans, Rockefeller Republicans and Reagan Republicans, and Bush began laughing at the very notion of people still following ideologies from the past, and warned against “stereotyping mentalities in a constantly changing political dynamic.” Thing is, this was right after he’d been asked whether the presidency had changed him and he’d said that he had exactly “the same set of principles that I came with and I’m going to leave with.” I guess adapting to a changing political dynamic and learning from experience are for lesser beings.

Says he’d like his presidential library to go to Southern Methodist because “it’s a great school, and really fine academics are taught there and I would like to contribute.” OK, you can clean the chalkboards.

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