And Then, As If To Prove the Rude Pundit Correct . . .:
So yesterday, after an entry in which the Rude Pundit talked about how shamelessly the Bush Administration merges the campaign with policy, how clear the script is, how cheerily it sees no distinction between serving the "public" and serving themselves, like a dog that figures out people will look away when it licks its own anus, President Bush made a major policy announcement on the redeployment of troops from Europe and Asia. But he did it in the context of what seems to be a campaign speech to the cranky old fuckers of the VFW (motto: "We were soldiers once, bitches; now change our Depends"). Bush went through the usual litany of lies and spin connecting Iraq and September 11 without actually connecting them and stated flatly that "America and the world are safer because Saddam Hussein sits in a prison cell" without actually offering any evidence to support that assertion (and, really, and c'mon, we could use something to show us we're safer - one goddamn thing, motherfuckers). Then, just before announcing that over the next 10 years Bush wants to bring home 60-70 thousand troops, Bush mocked John Kerry's vote on the supplemental funding request that Bush himself threatened to veto: "When pressed, he explained his vote -- 'I actually did vote for the $87 billion before I voted against it.' (Laughter.) He went on to say he was proud of the vote, and the whole thing is a 'complicated' matter. There's nothing complicated about supporting our troops in combat."
On Inside Politics, CNN's Dana Bash said, "This is a major policy announcement from the sitting commander-in-chief. But this event was paid for not by the White House or the taxpayers but the president's reelection campaign. And it came at the end of a very intensely political speech by the president." (This was followed by Bill Schneider stating that there was a good chance the troops would be re-deployed to Iraq.) The administration's defense of its announcement is that this was something that was in the works for "years." Yet, seriously, if you make a policy announcement in the middle of a campaign speech, how can you be surprised when some might think you were playing politics with the troops? It'd be like if you went to a whorehouse, made yourself the meat in a hooker sandwich, and then had a drink on the way out. Sure, you could say you were at the whorehouse to grab a shot of whiskey, but ultimately you went there to do some fucking.
Again, the Rude Pundit will say: the White House website should not contain a speech on the "compassionate conservative" agenda Bush made to the Knights of Columbus. "Compassionate conservatism" is a crude political phrase; it is not the official policy of the government. (Oh, and by the fuckin' way, the speech, which received very little coverage, is pretty fuckin' scary, what with its constant discussion about the interaction between "God" and humanity: "The Almighty God is good at changing hearts . . . Human life is a creation of God" and the like. God, too busy looking on, appalled and sickened, at Najaf, had no comment.) And the speech should not be mentioned on the same page as the President's signing of a treaty. Link to the shit if you want, but don't give Bush's mindless campaign blathers the same weight as policy.
It ain't that fuckin' complicated. The White House website, and, indeed, the White House should not simply be an arm of a presidential campaign. The Rude Pundit is not an idiot: he knows that all Presidents campaign through the office. But the business of the people of America is not the campaign of the president. Check out John Kerry's Senate website. Nothing about his campaign or campaign stops. Kerry understands that the office and the man are two separate entities. Bush, frighteningly, wants us to believe otherwise.
P.S. At a Traverse City, Michigan rally, the crowd said "Booo" (with three o's) at the exact same point as they did in Sioux City and Panama City, according to the White House transcript of Bush's speech there.