Thursday, April 15, 2004

What channel am I receiving?
Maybe I'm just reading the wrong newspapers, the non-informative magazines, the without-a-clue web sites....or...maybe it's the cable service that I'm contracted with that is streaming me versions of reality that other viewers are not privy to. That must be it. What else could explain the non-reaction (correct that.."the lack of negative reaction" or "reaction of disbelief") of the media to Tuesday night's Presidential Q & A. I'm not talking about the 15 minute spiel that opened up the "press conference"; that was canned propoganda formulated to serve as appetizers for the main course of pointed questions by our independent press and understandable answers by our dependent Prez.

I realize that Mr. Bush spends 40% of his time in the vacation spots of Crawford, TX, Kennebunkport, ME, and Camp David, MD. That doesn't bother me that much; I'm hoping he uses his time wisely there, in preparation for dealing with the face-time that is occassionally required of him as...well, yes, as our president. That 40% spent away from his job could be viewed as cramming for "tests", those presidential exams like meeting with foreign "digninatories" (his word,not mine), staff meetings, and press conferences. Heck, this is the first time he's been prez, so he should be studying up on things to make himself better.
The fact that he's on the job only 60% of the time just goes to show that he is consistent, if not fully committed, in how he views a job. Trying to come up with timesheets to document that he actually served in the National Guard should have been a clue to us that we should not have been expecting a full-time president, with Dubya in office.

Given all that, I expected an admirable performance by Mr. Bush on Tuesday night. He had prep time. He had speechified about his Iraq commitment. The event was even scheduled well before 10:00 p.m., so he had the audience at a time when he is usually awake. Things should have been interesting, informative, encouraging and understandable. Instead, my tv was receiving signals that reflected limited intelligence in the White House.
The questions, it should be stated, were usually 3-5 sentences long. Sometimes, they overflowed to 7-9 sentences. Granted, these lengthy questions posed problems of comprehension, as evidenced by the deep furrowing of our president's brow. Juggling multiple ideas has not been his strong suit. But, jeez...all that time he had to practice! As a reporter finished his question, the camera focused on Mr. Bush's face. AS the Q & A went on, this focus revealed a deeper and deeper look of confusion and incompetence (yes, it was actually possible to see a face reeking with incompetence). At times, it was difficult to ascertain whether he mis-understood the question, mis-applied his stock answer (usually a loop of phrases, heavy on the words "Freedom" and "duty"), or mistook his wife for a hat (sorry, just had to tuck that Oliver Sacks thing here). My ever-loving wife, the esteemed Hockey Critic L.J. Zimmerman, was begging me for mercy. "Please turn the channel, this is cruel and unusual..", she pleaded. Well, she was never a fan of standing on the corner and watching the oncoming car accidents. Dubya's performance was riveting, because it was an ongoing accident; I couldn't believe his absolutely idiotic answers. His "giving the Mid-East, Freedom" repetitive phrase made the U.S.A. seem as if it was your grandmother cajoling you with threats of punishment as she shoved a cooking spoon of castor oil down your throat. I didn't realize Freedom was so off-putting.
Then, there was the question regarding his and Cheney's secret and un-taped testimony to be given to the 9/11 commission. This guy (Bush) had been adamant about not having a investigative commission for the Sept 11, 2001 events. He had put extreme presuure on the financing provided to the commission ($7 Million v. $60 million provided for the witchhunt of Bill Clinton's sexcapades). Then, he had the chutzpah to say how eager he was to discuss all of the issues, "in complete honesty" with the long as he can do it with his puppetmasater, Dick Cheney. When a reporter asked ( make sure Mr. Bush understood the question), why Dubya wouldn't talk to the commission alone (as so requested), rather than with Cheney (as the White House insisted on), you realized what an incompetent and ill-spoken man was (sort of) elected to represent our country.

It was a sad, sad sight. The worst part was not reading any major media web sites mentioning any of the fumbling and dittering. Is John Ashcroft that scary an individual? Tough and honest questions were asked? Why weren't they all re-printed in the following day papers? Must have been just my tv signal, then.

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