The Bush-Blair news conference yesterday was a double national humiliation with a cherry on top. What were Bush’s handlers thinking, putting him on stage live next to an articulate, thoughtful, and decent national leader who upstaged him every time they opened their mouths? Who left him lamely saying at one point, in effect, “yeah, what he said”, in a pathetic moment of poodle-leash reversal? What were Blair’s people thinking, putting him on stage next to the guy whose incompetence he hitched his reputation and his country to, so everyone could see what a lapse of judgment he made?
Bush finally admitted two mistakes! And it was entirely appropriate and a fair summary of the state of things that the first he came up with was rhetorical (talking too tough) and only mattered in “certain parts of the world”, and the second he instantly sloughed off onto someone else (Abu Ghraib). Entirely appropriate, too, that it took him three years to figure out “bring it on”, among his zillion ‘big hat, no cattle’ moments. This is not an administration that lacks for real, on-the-ground, body-count, blunders and failures, indeed, looking around at the wreckage recalls TV footage of the lower 9th ward: is there anything to salvage…that tricycle, maybe, could be fixed up? But leave it to W to think the only thing he did wrong was a hasty choice of words, once.
“…only thing he did wrong”, because he instantly pointed out that he didn’t do Abu Ghraib; that one just “happened”, and “the people who committed those acts were…tried and convicted”, so it doesn’t count anyway. Five and a half years of incompetence, fecklessness, and cowardice and someone thinks an event like this will make him look good; incredible. Can mindedness, finally, be at a scale that justifies the prefix nano?