Bush, spinning furiously, begins to circle the drain

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Jeffrey Feldman writes at HuffPo about "The Five Words Bush Wants Americans to Repeat." from Bush's temper-tantrum press conference yesterday about deflectng accountability for the executive branch in the prosecutor PurgeGate scandal:

... as is par for this President's course whenever the White House is faced with a crisis, the goal of Bush's press appearance was not to inform the American public of any facts, but to force the White House's carefully scripted keywords into the debate--with the hope that journalists and Democrats would repeat them.

The five keywords--and their real meanings--are below:

resignation = firing
leadership = loyalty
explanation & incomplete = deceit & lies
fishing = searching for the truth

Feldman summarizes:

Given that the scandal his about the Attorney General giving false testimony under oath, it is more than reasonable for Congress to reject President Bush's offer to interview the advisers implicated by this scandal not under oath. Since the goal is to find the truth that was obscured in a previous official testimony, any implication that finding the truth is "partisan" or is little more than an aggressive attempt by President Bush to attack his attackers as a way of creating political cover for himself.

[...]

The President has every right that comes with his office to speak to the American public. But unless we want to help President Bush to hide the truth in a smokescreen of PR tactics, it is our responsibility not to repeat the keywords he tried to force into the debate in his press appearance, yesterday.

It looks as if Congress has called Bush's bluff: CNN writes that the House Judiciary subcommittee voted this morning to authorize subpoenas for administration officials who don't volunteer to testify under oath. It's time to turn on the klieg lights that Bush fears so much and start questioning his cronies.

As Glenn Greenwald observes, Fox/White House spinner Tony Snow will no doubt support Bush's defensive claim of executive privilege, despite having attacked Clinton for making the same argument during Monicagate:

Taken to its logical extreme, that position would make it impossible for citizens to hold a chief executive accountable for anything. He would have a constitutional right to cover up. [...] Most of us want no part of a president who is cynical enough to use the majesty of his office to evade the one thing he is sworn to uphold -- the rule of law.

[...]

You know, the president could solve a lot of this problem if he wouldn't hide behind executive privilege, if he'd just come out and tell the American people the truth.

Conspiracy, obstruction of justice, lying to Congress...this scandal has the GOP trifecta, with Gonzales at the center of the maelstrom. Bush's statement "I do have confidence in Attorney General Al Gonzales" sounds suspiciously like his remarks about Michael "heck of a job" Brown in the wake of Katrina. If I were Gonzales, I wouldn't accept any hunting invitations from Dick Cheney. (Speaking of coincidences, the 18-day gap in Monday's 3000-page document dump is eerily reminiscent of the 18-minute gap in the Nixon tapes.) Will further parallels emerge? Is it time for a special prosecutor?) One can only hope.

For snark, check out TBogg's "Little Big President" (h/t: Atrios) analysis of "President Petulant Pissypants" and his little snit at the presser:

As bad a president as George W. Bush has been [...] he is a worse person and it shows whenever he is under pressure; he melts down into a greasy little puddle of glares and smirks and incipient panic. But tonight was special. Tonights performance lays to rest any notion other than the fact that he's not a very bright man who has nothing but contempt for a world that refuses to dumb down for him.

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This page contains a single entry by cognitivedissident published on March 21, 2007 4:30 PM.

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