Mistakes? What Mistakes?Bush, Blair Concede Missteps was the screaming headline of the week. It was a terrifically depressing headline too. It's a sad state of affairs when admitting a mistake - for anyone - should be front page, 72-point, above-the-fold, news - doubly so for two important world leaders.
Of course, the Infant-in-Chief has a renowned fear of admitting mistakes. Once asked if he could think of anything he'd done wrong in his first term, the Perfect One said, "Nope. Don't think so," as resolutely as the captain of the Titanic as his shoes grew damp. In fact, Shrub is so pathological in his fear of mistakes he even manages to admit an error, and then tell you it was actually the right thing to do, in the same breath.
"Mr. Bush, was it a mistake to invade Iraq?"
"Why yes, it was a mistake, but I'd do it again even knowing what I know now."
However, the pain doesn't stop at his paradoxical ability to make a mistake, but do it in the "right" way. The other depressing part of the George and Tony Perfect People Telethon was George's ability to wander completely off topic. In most politicians, this is a finely honed skill to deflect attention from embarrassments or hot issues. In the Bloviator-in-Chief's case, it seems more like some sort of Reaganesque dementia.
He always starts by restating the question- indicating he took the information in - but before he gets to an answer, wanders off for a walkabout in the rhetorical outback and never comes back. For example, a question about Iraq might start there but pass through Ecomonicsville, Education City, Global Warningsylvania, and end up at Texas Ranger Congratulations Town after they won their last game. Clearly, George doesn't take the Logic Express. Instead, he prefers the scenic, slow whistle-stop local.
I'm convinced this isn't an overt attempt to be vague. I think he is just vague by nature. To prevaricate that well suggests he swims in the deep end of the family gene pool rather the kiddy pool where he's normally drowning. I think he truly believes he's answering the question. There simply must be some sick, miswired, and twisted logic he's following like a bloodhound on a convict's trail. The problem is, there's no convict and the bloodhounds are more lost than he is.
The other problem he has is an odd sense of comfort at the podium. While his eyes and mannerisms are those of the proverbial deer in the headlights, his body language is something else entirely. He not only leans on the podium, he lounges, yawns, fluffs, and brings a pillow. For him, the podium is a Sleep Number bed. His mind may be terrified, but his body is staying behind for a quick nap atop the stump. Maybe he isn't a moron, maybe he's just sleepwalking.
So, were the headlines justified? Probably not.
While he did "admit" mistakes, they were limited to unfortunate turns of phrase like "Bring 'em on!" or "Wanted, dead or alive". As he once said, "I'm from Texas. We don't do subtlety in Texas." The fact that the world is a smoldering heap of crap isn't something he sees any responsibility for. There was nary an admission for any of the BIG MISTAKES. Iraq, Katrina, spy scandals, wire-tapping, nothing of any consequence had any admission attached to it. Just a few humble words he admitted to misusing, but then quickly forgave with a cavalier, "Sure, it was a mistake. But not a big one. And I didn't really mean it. It was an accident, but I can't be held accountable for it. I was right to say it anyway."
If you ask me, making him President was the biggest mistake of all. And for that, we can't blame him.
Truth Told by Omnipotent Poobah, Friday, May 26, 2006