The Clarification of “So”

Last week Dick Cheney summarized his entire career in public service in one word, and went on to display his style by lying in the face of reality anyone could look up, talking with a straight face about “fluctuations” in public opinion polls and “improvement for the better.”

Needless to say, such a pithy response to the concerns of the American people about death, destruction, corruption, and stagnation over there, not to mention looming national bankruptcy over here, might elicit some questions at the next press conference. And so they did.

Q The American people are being asked to die and pay for this, and you’re saying they have no say in this war?

MS. PERINO: I didn’t say that, Helen. But, Helen, this President was elected —

Q Well, what it amounts to is you saying we have no input at all.

MS. PERINO: You had input. The American people have input every four years, and that’s the way our system is set up.

Q Every four years.

MS. PERINO: And we listen to —

Q It sounds familiar.

MS. PERINO: — different points of view. The President, in fact, had many meetings with members of Congress leading up to his decision about the surge.

Q Supposed to be a government for the people, of the people, by the people?

MS. PERINO: I would submit to you that people across America, if asked what type of a President do you want: one that stands on principle or that one that chases polls? And I think that they would want —

Q What’s the principle of going to war against the people who did nothing to us?

MS. PERINO: Helen, the President went to war to remove Saddam Hussein. He talked all about this yesterday in his speech. I’ll refer you to that.

“The American people have input every four years, and that’s the way our system is set up.” Whaaa?

A president “that stands on principle” — that principle being he “went to war to remove Saddam Hussein.” Bu bu bu but — Saddam Hussein was removed nearly five years ago! If that’s the principle cited by the President’s very own Press Secretary, why in blazes are we still there?

And this woman, who couldn’t tell the Cuban Missile Crisis from the Bay of Pigs, presumes to refer the Dean of the Press Corps to the President’s speech? Oy!!

The one (and only) thing to miss about the exit of Don Rumsfeld in 2006 is the absence of Mad Hatter ramblings enriching the national lexicon. Sensing that void, I’m sure, Dana Perino came along. But which Lewis Carroll character does she most resemble?

Ideas are welcome.

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