Unscripted, W continuously reveals himself for who he really is. Fortunately for us, on his weekend gallivant to Grand Rapids, MI sponsored by your taxpayer dollars, he exposes himself again, albeit to a very friendly audience. Really, have a look at these softballs (Q's only as the As only serve to further the W, Rove and Co Agenda):
Q How do you think the new Democratic Congress will (inaudible)?There were a couple of inaudible questions mixed in there, but you get the idea. These folks look like plants from the GOP.
Q Thank you, Mr. President. What's the next step for the United States, or even the United Nations, in dealing with the belligerent behavior of Iran with regards to nuclear development?
Q I think that's a great idea. I was wondering, we did have a group -- a commission, I believe, here, that was discussing how to solve our Iraq problems, but we really haven't implemented the advice from --
Q -- Baker-Hamilton commission. I was wondering how we were going to be able to convince the countries that participate in this conference in Egypt that we will actually consider implementing their advice --
Q Mr. President, thanks for coming to the west coast, first.
Q You mentioned in your comments, sir, about the American patience. What's the Prime Minister's take on that? What is his understanding of American patience?
Lucky for us, they let one subversive in who got to ask the last question. Have a look at W's response and you can see how twisted his logic is.
Q Mr. President, I really appreciate your emphasis on the universality of freedom. I'm wondering if and how the United States can promote liberal democratic reform in countries like Saudi Arabia, and whether you could address specifically whether it is, perhaps, American support for these autocratic regimes that are creating such an Islamic backlash against the United States?Now that seems like a complex and legitimate question, no? The President of the United States aught to have something cogent to stipulate as an answer. Let's have a look.
THE PRESIDENT: That is a -- boy, I don't want to be Mr. Gratuitous, say, fabulous question, but it's really one of the fundamental questions that has caused a lot of debate in Washington, D.C. about my freedom agenda.Your "freedom agenda?" Hmmm... Well, for a minute there I thought he was going to delve into the complexities of the issue. But of course, W sets himself up to begin his first point of argument with the usual Rovian straw man. Really, whom is W referring to by suggesting some would say promoting democracy and liberty is the wrong thing to do? Name that person?
There are some who say that promoting democracy and liberty in the Middle East is a waste of time.
What a ridiculous argument. No one argues with this, it's the means by which you think you can accomplish this that are in contention...but let's let W continue to plow forward...
I happen to believe that, kind of, managing stability doesn't address the root cause of the problems that caused 19 kids to get on an airplane and kill 3,000 of our citizens.What? I don't think the Nine Eleven hijackers were kids, were they?
And so part of our strategy to defend the country is the promotion of freedom around the world.So, that is a logical and cohesive cogent connection?
I also, in my second inaugural address, believe in the interests of the United States to challenge tyranny wherever we find it.Right, and that's exactly the point of this person's question, which you are not really answering...but I digress.
As an aside, and I'm not suggesting my friends here, the scribblers over here are saying this, but some have called him hopelessly idealistic to believe in the power of freedom to transform parts of the world that seem impervious to liberty.What? Is W, moving to the Dole mode of referring to himself in the third person? What does he mean, "the scribblers over here?"
I believe it is the only realistic way to protect ourselves in the long-term, and that is to address the conditions that create hatred, envy, and violence.Okay, but that's why the person asked the question the way s/he did, no? Might we not be engendering the hatred by our continued relationship with the repressive regimes in the Middle East?
The other thing that's important to note is that societies, depending upon their past, take a while to achieve freedom as we define it. In other words, some move at snail's pace, some move, obviously, quicker. And all the societies will reflect their own traditions and histories. So when you hear me talk about the freedom agenda, it's not like, I expect Jefferson democracy to be blooming in the desert.Huh? Jeffersonian Democracy? Blooming in the Desert? What kind of democracy are we expecting from our allies in Saudi Arabia?
Secondly, friendship with leaders makes it easier to have a frank and candid discussion in a way that doesn't offend. And my friend -- I do have a good, very close relationship with King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, and I'm proud of that relationship. It gives me a chance to be able to share with him ideas about -- in a private way, obviously not so private now -- (laughter) -- why I believe giving people move voice in the affairs of their government is in the interests of their government. Same with my friend, President Mubarak, of Egypt. I have made it clear, for example, that -- and by the way, the Egyptians had a presidential election that was quite modern and different. And I don't believe that it's going to be possible to be able to have a less-free presidential election during the next round.Friendship leads to frank conversations? Then why not go talk to folks in Iran, Syria, etc....why blame Nancy Pelosi for opening a dialog that was stagnant and stymied by the W, Rove and Co?
And so there is progress being made toward more liberty, in a part of the world that most people said had no chance to be a place for democracy to take hold.Really, and who would "those people be?" Shall we take W at his word here?
I will give you the -- in Yemen there was an election that was supervised by international bodies. They came out and said, it's a fair election. There are women now serving in Kuwait parliament. Jordan, the King of Jordan is making moves toward liberalizing his society. I think, slowly but surely -- and by the way, this is a long process. Remember, I talked about the aftermath of the Korean War. This is like -- we're talking 55 years later. It takes a while.Is it me, or does it seem to me like he is really just making up excuses for bad performance here? Would your boss accept this kind of explanation for not getting your job done on time, or would you get fired?
And the fundamental question facing the country is, will we be engaged in the Middle East helping moderates defeat and fight off radicals -- hopefully not militarily every single time, hopefully rarely militarily -- but by defeating an ideology with forms of government.Huh? Is it really possible to defeat ideology with a form of government, let alone one that was bolstered and built only by military might?
And it's really going to be an interesting debate. I have staked my claim for the first part of the 21st century. I will tell you, I am worried about our country becoming isolationist and protectionist.Really, so again I ask, why did you protest Nancy Pelosi's visit to the Middle East? Did that look like isolationist behavior?
We have been through isolationist and protectionist spells in our history. One of my concerns is that people say, it is not worth it to be engaged as heavily as we are in parts of the world, particularly the Middle East. I'm concerned about that. I'm concerned because I believe it will be missed opportunity to help people realize that -- if you've got a Muslim brotherhood doing a better job of providing health care and education, the way to deal with that is to do a better job than they are, as opposed to ignoring the realities on the ground.Okay, W's losing me here. What is he trying to say? Can you figure this out?
And that's what open societies that have got an election process force people to do.What? Excuse me, Mr. President, but we just had an election here. You may remember it, no? The will of the American people, it seems, is directly contrary to your vision for us. Why do you shun this election result so vehemently when you suggest elections are such righteous things.
I was criticized by some that upon insisting that the Palestinian elections go forward. I believe elections are the beginning of the reform process, not the end. I believe elections have the capacity to show the elite what's right and what's wrong.And so, why do you refuse to listen to us, the people who voted in the last election here in America?
And I believe the Hamas elections in the Middle East made it clear that the Palestinians are sick and tired of corruption, and government that was not responding to their needs.Sound familiar? I, for one, am sick of the corruption and unethical operation of the American Government.
I wasn't happy with the outcome of the election -- sometimes that happens, you're not happy with the outcome of elections. (Laughter.)Really, you can't have your cake and eat it too, Mr. Bush. If you think that elections are meaningful in one country, they should likewise, be meaningful her in the good old U.S of A.
But I was inspired by the fact that the Palestinians went to the polls and said, in the fairest way possible, we're sick of it. Arafat has let us down; no peace. We want to live in peace. Where's the prosperity? Let's get us another bunch in there and see if they can do the job.Here, here. Regime change begins at home.
The problem is, is that the new crowd they have in there refuses to recognize Israel's right to exist, which runs contrary to our policy. And, therefore, we will continue to take the posture we're taken, because we're interested in peace.The problem is, the W, Rove and Co refuse to listen to the American people.
I'm interested in helping the Palestinians develop a Palestinian state. It's all along the same agenda, by the way, which is the freedom agenda.And by the "freedom agenda," we mean if you don't like our way, we will squash you and kill your civilians...
I believe the only way for Israel to have secure peace in the long run is for there to be a democracy living side by side with Israel in peace. I'm afraid that Israel will ultimately be overrun by demographics in order for her to remain a Jewish democratic state.What exactly does it mean to be "overrun by demographics?"
And yet, Hamas wins. And you can't expect an Israeli democratic elected official to negotiate with a group of people who have avowed to destroy them.But is there another pathway to peace here? If so, we are all ears.
And hopefully, at some point in time, the situation will get clarified, if the people have another right to express themselves, and that right ought to be, are you for a state or not for a state?Oh, I see, hope is the strategy and what else?
Are you going to have people that prevent a better future for emerging from you? By the way, this all started with the elections. And they said, oh, you shouldn't have elections, you shouldn't have been fighting against them. Why would I fight against elections? I'm for elections. I think elections are important for society. I think -- and I think they're equally important here as they are in the Middle East.Oh yes, hope and elections. That's the pathway to peace in the middle east? By the way, did I mention we had an election here in 2006 that appears to be meaningless to the W, Rove and Co. Why is that?
And the fundamental question, really, facing in the long-term on this is, will the United States believe that the value system that has enabled our country, by the way, to emerge -- and it took us 100 years to get rid of slavery, for example.Slavery? I don't think this person asked about the emergence of democracy in America, but slavery? Why is W bringing that up?
Far be it from us to say we're perfect. We had a great Constitution,I think it may be a slip of the tongue, but he may be right here - we "had a great Constitution," until his administration tore it to shreds
...but our history has been scarred by treating people like chattel, with slavery, which is an abhorrent part of our past. But nevertheless, it takes a while. And it takes patience. But it also takes great faith and certain value systems to help societies emerge.So far, for the "Freedom Agenda," we have hope, elections, faith, and "a certain value system" to make it work. Isn't W forgetting something?
The other question is on trade. And by the way, I happen to believe isolationism and protectionism go hand in hand.Oh, yes, that's right. The "Freedom Agenda is about trade, and above all, this person really was interested in getting some information about isolationism and protectionism.
As you know, I'm an open-market trader. I believe in free trade. I think competition and trade not only helps the United States, I think it's the best way to alleviate poverty around the world. And that doesn't mean you don't enforce trade agreements. Recently we've enforced trade agreements with China -- not trying to shutdown trade, but trying to enhance trade, trying to make trade more palatable to people in the United States, recognizing that there is such thing as fair trade, as well as free trade.Wowie, zowie, he is really diverging from answering the question now isn't he?
But I'm concerned about people saying, well, it's just not worth it, shut her down,The war in Iraq? I thought we were talking about terrorists and terrorism and fascist regimes in the Middle East...Nope...
let's make it harder to trade. There's going to be some interesting trade votes coming up in front of the Congress here -- free trade agreement with Peru and Colombia are coming up. And we'll find out whether or not the leadership and both Republicans and Democrats are truly committed to not only our neighborhood, but trading in a way that enhances prosperity for both sides of the equation.Really. How did you make the transition from the "Freedom Agenda" to Free Trade, or is Free Trade part of the "Freedom Agenda?"
Oh, I see how you got to the discussion of tyranny in the Middle East and trade, there's a WTO conference coming up in Doha
We're in the middle of negotiations on the Doha round of WTO. I hope some of you are concerned about world poverty. I certainly am. And the best way to deal with world poverty is to encourage prosperity through trade and opening up markets. And we're in complex negotiations, and I'm dedicated to getting this round completed in a way that meets our interests, but also meets other interests.This was not a question about poverty, now was it folks?
I want to share with you one other thing, then I've got to get out of here. You know, Laura says, you get up there and all you do is talk and you love to hear yourself talk. (Laughter.) I want to share one other aspect of our foreign policy. I believe to whom much is given, much is required. And I want to share something about this great, generous nation, for which you deserve a lot of credit.I see, you are trying to make a smooth exit from a complex question that you didn't really answer. Smooth, very, very smooth, Mr. President. Let's see, how are you going to divert our attention from the fact that you didn't answer the question at all...
Whether it be on HIV/AIDS or malaria, the United States is in the lead. And when I got elected, I was deeply concerned about the fact that an entire generation of folks on the continent of Africa could be wiped out by a disease that we could not cure but halt.Ah, AIDS and Africa, which have everything to do with terrorists, terrorism and our relationship with flawed regimes in the Middle East.
And I set up what's called the Global Fund for AIDS. And yet it kind of sat there empty. It was a deal where everybody could contribute, and then the United States would match to try to encourage commitments, but it didn't fill up. And so I went to Congress and asked that they spend your money on a unilateral initiative where we would take on I think the 17 most or 19 most affected countries in the world and deliver antiretroviral drugs.W is, of course, setting himself up for a wonderful close. Drum roll please...
Foreign policy is more than military.What?
It is more than just spreading freedom.Really?
It's also, in my judgment, in our interest to base it upon that admonition, if you're blessed, you ought to help others.And...
And as a result of the American people, we spread antiretrovirals or got antiretrovirals to 850,000. That's up from 50,000 in three years.Gee willikers Mr. President, why do the terrorists hate us so if we are so magnanimous and benevolent?
We're all interconnected in this world. What happens overseas matters here at home, from a security perspective, but I also believe it matters here at home from the perspective of keeping our spirits strong.Thanks for the pep talk Mr. President.
It's in the interest of this country that we be engaged in freeing people from tyranny, the tyranny of government and the tyranny of disease and hunger.Oh, I'm so convinced now, Mr. President. You are right and your policies correct, and I am wrong. Holy shit, did you just see him go from Saudi Arabia to terrorism to the freedom agenda to aids and to the fact that we should now be fighting tyranny around the globe? Well, folks, I suggest we start that fight right here at home.
I appreciate you giving me a chance to come and visit with you. God bless. (Applause.)