Random commentary and senseless acts of blogging.
The first Republican president once said, "While the people retain their virtue and their vigilance, no administration by any extreme of wickedness or folly can seriously injure the government in the short space of four years." If Mr. Lincoln could see what's happened in these last three-and-a-half years, he might hedge a little on that statement.
Prisoners of Azkaban
Tuesday, July 22, 2003
A lot of people had quite a lot of fun mocking Bill Clinton's "Clintonian" evasions, but at least his cleverly-parsed statements were actually true. In his most notorious line, Clinton said:
Q Mr. President, I want to, before I go into a new subject area, briefly go over something you were talking about with Mr. Bittman.
Clinton was not discussing a statement made by himself, but his attorney's inaccurate description of an affadavit by Monica Lewinsky. And since the statement is plainly in the present tense, and made long after the physical relationship between Clinton and Lewinsky had ended, it is technically accurate.
By contrast, Bush's defense of technical accuracy relies on pretending that "learned" and "said" are synonyms. And even that makes sense compared to this exchange from the very first press briefing given by Scott McClellan, a man who, in the words of a prominent figure in the SCLM "May not give you all the information, but he'll never lead you astray."
Q Two quick questions, one on Iraq. When the President said of Saddam Hussein, we gave him a chance to allow the inspectors in and he wouldn't let them in, why didn't he say that, when the inspectors went into Iraq?
When Bush says Saddam wouldn't let inspectors in, he meant he obstructed the inspectors he did let in. What could be clearer?