Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Commander Clueless

By Libby Spencer

I'm afraid I have to disagree with Carl. While I also like to think the best of others, I don't see any evidence that Bush has learned his lesson. People seem to be focusing on Bush's remarks about AQ in Iraq during this interview conducted shortly after the shoe throwing incident in Baghdad. But I thought this exchange was just as telling:

Raddatz: It's also considered a huge insult in this world, the sole of a shoe, throwing a shoe.

Bush: I guess. Look they were humiliated. The press corps, the rest of the Iraqi press corps was humiliated. These guys were just besides themselves about, they felt like he had disgraced their entire press corps and I frankly, I didn't view it as, I thought it was interesting, I thought it was unusual to have a guy throw his shoe at you. But I'm not insulted. I don't hold it against the government. I don't think the Iraqi press corps as a whole is terrible. And so, the guy wanted to get on TV and he did. I don't know what his beef is. But whatever it is I'm sure somebody will hear it.

I guess that interview was conducted before the thousands of Iraqis marched in Baghdad in support of the reporter's release. Followed closely by the roar of approval heard all across the Arab Street, hailing the insult "as a proper send-off to the unpopular U.S. president."

It's tempting to think Bush is just being deliberately obtuse, but I have a feeling he's been living in the bubble for so long, he simply believes his own propaganda. This response does nothing to dissuade that notion.

Bush: Well, first of all I think a president's legacy is going to take time. We've accomplished a lot in my administration. Like No Child Left Behind; 52 months of uninterrupted job growth; PEPFAR, which is the AIDS initiative in Africa; fighting malaria, where there's poverty; faith based; I mean there a lot that people will be able to judge this administration on.

Indeed there is, and never shall public opinion and Bush's own rosy revisionist fairy tale meet.

(Cross-posted at The Impolitic.)

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