Tuesday, January 30, 2007

half glass full of shit

In a sprawling and vapid interview with NPR’s Juan Williams, President Bush was asked about apparent daylight between his own prognostications regarding the situation in Iraq, and those recently tossed off by his boss number two, Dick Cheney.

I think the VP is a person expressing a half-glass-full mentality.

Let’s assume, just for the sake of yucks, that Bush actually knows the expression is “glass half full,” and let’s also assume the president knows what it means (I know, I’m asking you to assume a lot. . . and when you assume. . . .). So, if Cheney is a glass-half-full kind of guy—in other words, an optimist—then what does that make Bush? Or, more to the point, if Cheney is looking at a situation that is 50/50 at best (literally half full/empty), and he is insisting it is all still going great guns, then he really isn’t so much an optimist as he is a delusional lunatic. . . or a liar.

One might be led to follow up, “Is that glass half full of blood, Mr. President?”

Which leads me to another thing about that interview: Juan Williams was, as he almost always is, very soft on his subject. There were only a few slightly challenging questions, and even fewer follow-ups. Most specifically, how many times are we going to have to hear Bush assert that if we pull out of Iraq, the terrorists are going to follow us here? And how many times are we going to have to hear that assertion without having someone—Williams or any other member of the establishment media who hears this—then ask the president something like: What evidence do you have that that will happen? On what do you base that assertion? Can you give any examples? Don’t most internal and external reports state that the US presence in Iraq is actually manufacturing more terrorists?

I mean, come on! This isn’t that hard, is it? It occurs to me right away—is it really possible that none of these follow-up questions pop into the minds of the professionals privileged enough to ask the questions?

If anyone can find an example of a professional journalist following up this “terrorists will follow us home” fabulation with one of the questions I suggest above, I will post it here and throw in some suitable reward.

Like maybe a half a glass of something. . . something other than bullshit.

(And, yes, I think I just made up the word “fabulation.”)

(Oops, nope, just looked it up; Robert Scholes beat me to it. But I’d like to bring the word into common usage with a broader meaning: a completely fantastic assertion. "Fantastic" meaning “the stuff of fantasy” and not “excellent,” of course. . . but I digress. . . .)


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