Bush vs. Zeon Pigs. I missed the press conference, but a friend reports that GWB looked like John Gill on the original Star Trek series, "kept drugged by his Jacobin lieutenants while they recreated the Third Reich." The difference, though, was that Gill was actually a good, albeit doped up guy, who was sequestered in a locked studio and never interacted with the press, and here, from what it sounds like, the reporters had rifles pointed at them from off camera to keep them on script (with the occasional token "hard question" for credibility). This inspired a daydream where one of those gutless bastards actually stood up and said, at the beginning of the Q&A:

"Excuse me, Mr. President, but you didn't let Helen Thomas ask the first question. That's been something of a tradition here for six Presidencies, and all of us feel as a matter of protocol you should do it. Otherwise you'll get no more questions from us tonight." (Murmured assent from press corps.)

If this person wasn't immediately felled by an Ekosian bullet, the Boy Emperor would be forced to deal on camera with this unexpected revolt, and we might get to see him in a full blown alcoholic rage. The press conference would be a disaster, Bush's poll numbers would plummet, the troops would be recalled...

And then I woke up.

- tom moody 3-09-2003 8:47 am

speaking of poll numbers, maybe this had slipped your radar. i guess the dems should just run as unnamed democrat because any one of them alone is probably worse.
- dave 3-09-2003 10:33 am

I did see that, and it's encouraging, but what's going to be the tipping point when Junior stops being Teflon II and the press does a Carter on him? How low do the numbers have to go? Rove's gotta be telling him to let the bombs fly soon so he can be a wartime leader and of course the press'll have to rally behind him. But so far they've been with him through every outrage. I don't see them turning on him. Half are afraid to speak out and half actually love the li'l rascal.
- tom moody 3-09-2003 11:18 am

Editor and Publisher offers "13 questions we wish they'd asked" at the press conference. These are pretty good.
- tom moody 3-09-2003 6:31 pm

Sorry, I'm going to have to use the comments to this post to vent. The NY Times today has very sensible arguments on the Op-Ed page from Jimmy Carter for why Bush's war plans are totally nuts. But meanwhile, on the front page, they've got this heavy hype piece by Elisabeth Bumiller about Bush preparing himself in quasi-religious solitude for this grave crisis. But he created it! Why should we feel the least bit of sympathy for "what he's going through" at the moment? The only reason he's freaking out is that his eleventh-hour armtwisting at the UN--where he needs support for the sake of his poll numbers--is probably pretty stressful. Poor baby.

Oh, well, if you're going to have a newspaper section called Standoff With Iraq (What standoff? Did Iraq threaten to invade somebody?) you have to fill it up with something, I guess.
- tom moody 3-09-2003 10:22 pm

Someone close to me just pointed out that the press conference was, after all, televised, so it would be stupid for the reporters to exhibit overt hostility. Many, many voters imagine that they are George Bush, muddling through in the face of tough questions from smartypants professionals while all the time focusing on the necessity of kicking The Hated One's ass. So the press doesn't want to increase sympathy for the guy. I forget these things because I can't bear to watch this stuff on TV--I just read the transcripts later. I did get to have an argument with a war supporter recently, a small businessman based here in NY. In a nutshell his argument was "The terrorists murdered thousands and destroyed the economy of NYC, so they must be brought down hard." I pointed out that Osama and Saddam aren't one and the same but he didn't care. He lost employees and his business was hurting and he was consumed with anger. He's from Peru, where he said guerrillas are given no quarter. He suggested I had no real authority to speak because he'd led a much harder and more dangerous life in Peru than me, or implicitly, than any soft American. I figured it wasn't worth telling him that my Boy Scout troop in West Texas was more hellish than anything he'd ever been through because he was basically a freak. It scares me, though, that there are lot of Americans thinking this way, and GWB is their point man. This country is way too powerful to have a wounded child thrashing around in its brain pan.
- tom moody 3-10-2003 9:00 am

youre an american, goddammit, you should have put that foreigner in his place. didnt they teach you anything in the boy scouts? when the incan empire rises from the dust then youll worry about whats going on in peru, or if theres any oil to liberate, whichever comes first.

these foreigners are like the mice in my apartment. you think youve killed them all but a week later theyre crawling around like they own the place. eat shit and spread disease, thats all theyre good for. there ought to be a law, or a tactical nuke to get rid of the lot of them.

now ive got to go and watch my man bill o'reilly bust some lib'rul skulls.
- dave 3-10-2003 9:20 am

The BBC is willing to ask hard questions, and to insist on responsive replies. Oh how I wish we had such a tradition in this country; perhaps politely requesting intellectual integrity would not be seen as beating up on elected officials.

to add to the 13 questions above ... perhaps without the polish of the BBC ...

14. You continue to tie Saddam to the September 11 attacks on America. Isn't this rhetorical assertion a fallacy intended to distract the American public from your failure to capture bin Laden?

15. Hey, how's it going? Afghanistan is not yet reconstituted as a country. The national government in Kabul controls little outside of Kabul. Yet you have failed to expand the International Security Assistance Force. Why are you compelled to start another war when it is manifestly apparent that you lack the resolve to finish the last one?

and ...

16. To follow-up on a previous question, is this personal?

- mark 3-11-2003 10:06 am

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