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Like Alice’s trip into Wonderland, let’s go inside George W’s head for a moment. Being Bush must be a wonderful existential experience – fantasy is reality, lies are truth, and history is what you say it is.
Take the White House’s recent surreal wrestling match with Bush’s own tongue. For months leading up to the congressional elections, George had used the phrase “Stay the course” both to define his war “strategy” in Iraq and to impale critics, implying that they did not have the moral fortitude to do the job. But – whoa – as the war news grew ever more grim and the public turned against Bush’s policy, “Stay the course” was not a politically helpful metaphor… so it was jettisoned.
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But then things turned really barmy in the wonderland of BushWorld. Rather than just drop the phrase, White House press flack Tony Snow insisted that Bush had “never” said it. Then, bizarrely, Bush himself denied his own tongue: “Listen,” he barked to ABC News, “we’ve never been ‘stay the course.'”
But… people had heard him say it. OK, Snow finally confessed, we’ve now done a Google search of George’s speeches and, “to be fair, the President did say ‘stay the course’ eight times.” So big deal, Snow said, it just proves that Bush barely used the phrase.
Only… it was a big deal, since the MadHatters of BushWorld were still lying about it. After Snow’s “correction,” MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann ran video clips of George saying “Stay the course” not eight times – but 29! Also, other reporters found Bush using the phrase 52 times. Moreover, the White House’s own record of press releases contains 160 uses of “Stay the course.”
This is Jim Hightower saying… So Bush wrestled with his tongue… and the tongue won! This would merely be comically embarrassing for the White House, except that it shows that Bush’s capacity for self-delusion and public deception knows no bounds.
“Countdown: Making adjustments to the language of adjustments,” www.crooksandliars.com, October 25, 2006.
“Most Ridiculous Moment?” The Washington Post, October 31, 2006.