Friday, October 01, 2004

Blumenthal on the first debate.

Link (the Soros commercial is short)
"Kerry's analysis of Bush's 'colossal error of judgment' in Iraq was systematic, factual and historical. The coup de gr?ce was his citation of the president's father's actions in the Gulf War. 'You know,' said Kerry, 'the president's father did not go into Iraq, into Baghdad, beyond Basra. And the reason he didn't is, he said -- he wrote in his book -- because there was no viable exit strategy. And he said our troops would be occupiers in a bitterly hostile land. That's exactly where we find ourselves today.' With that, Kerry touched on Bush's most ambivalent relationship, the father he recently called 'the wrong father,' whom he compared with the 'higher Father.'

In response, Bush simply insisted on his authority. 'I just know how this world works, and that in the councils of government, there must be certainty from the U.S. president.' He reverted to his claim that Sept. 11 justified the invasion of Iraq because 'the enemy' -- meaning Saddam Hussein -- 'attacked us.' A stunned but swift-footed Kerry observed: 'The president just said something extraordinarily revealing and frankly very important in this debate. In answer to your question about Iraq and sending people into Iraq, he just said, 'The enemy attacked us.' Saddam Hussein didn't attack us. Osama bin Laden attacked us.' In his effort to banish all doubt, Bush had retreated into a substitute reality, a delusional version of Iraq, ultimately faith based."

1 comment:

S.W. Anderson said...

Bush did indeed revert and retreat into the alternative reality he and his neocon conquistadores have concocted.

But part of what Bush was doing, almost whining as he was doing it, I really believe, was working as best he could off the two-page briefings and scripts his people programmed him with.

I can't prove it, but from watching him closely for nearly four years and from reading about him, I really believe he knows he's got a shallow depth limit when it comes to intellectual pursuits. Partly by native preference, partly as a defensive measure, he insists on "cut to the chase" memos and briefings, avoiding in-depth presentations, discussions and, most of all, reading assigments, like the plague.

This gives him and probably many of his acolytes and minions the impression of working quite well when he's in the White House and can operate in "I'm the president, so it's my way or the highway" mode. But put him up against a real, live questioner who can't be blown off and, worse, a real, live opponent who's better informed and making more sense, and Bush is in trouble. What's more, on some level he knows he's in trouble.

I think that's what we witnessed Thursday night.