Alright, now for another mad-libs style fun fest picking apart the rantings of Mike Reagan, of the ironically-named "Making Sense" column:
Take That, George Bush
Making Sense By Michael Reagan
If you believe the Washington Post George W. Bush is an insensitive lout devoid of compassion for the victims of the horrendous tragedy in South Asia.
I don't believe that. He is an insensitive lout devoid of compassion for the victims of the horrendous tragedy in South Asia, Iraq, Sudan, Afghanistan and pretty much anywhere outside of Florida.
Because he had the temerity to win re-election President Bush has also won the undying enmity of the Washington Post which seems determined to slit his throat every chance they get, no matter how outlandish their complaints.
First of all, grammar alert. And don't ever start a sentence with "Because."
Moreover they have their correspondents cooling their heels in Crawford Tx., deprived of so much as a glimpse of the president. In the egotism of the media elite, Bush should be wining and dining them on his ranch which they can’t get near, as he enjoys the solitude of a needed respite from their constant abrasive presence.
Oh please. Poor widdle Bushie, always in the press's spotlight. Now who's the girlie man? The guy has logged 12 press conferences in four years. With each one running less than an hour, that means that Bush has been in the "constant abrasive presence" of the press for .03 percent of his entire term. And besides, we in the media are too poor to be considered "elite." The "elite" are people who buy ranches and yachts.
And so they dredge up an imaginative indictment charging that the president is seen by many as being insensitive to what they call to "a humanitarian catastrophe of epic proportions."
OK, Mr. Reagan. If you can give me one good reason why the deaths of 100,000 people and a chain reaction leading to disease and famine in one of the world's most populous regions should only be referred as a humanitarian catastrophe of epic proportions in the confines of quotation marks, I'd love to hear it. And no, the indictment is not imaginary when one considers that the richest nation on the planet donated slightly less aid money than the planned budget for the inaugural festivities. Common Right Winger Tactic No. 2134: Take a real issue and start referring to it as "nonsense," "imaginary" and "simply untrue." If you repeat it enough, your base will undoubtedly begin to believe it.
In a slanderous piece entitled "Aid Grows Amid Remarks About President's Absence" they cited just one source for this charge, who of course remains anonymous, and another who doesn’t quite say the President lacked sensitivity and informs its readers that "Bush's decision at first to remain cloistered on his Texas ranch for the Christmas holiday rather than speak in person about the tragedy -- showed scant appreciation for the magnitude of suffering and for the rescue and rebuilding work facing such nations as Sri Lanka, India, Thailand and Indonesia."
Someday they should make a winger doll that says four different phrases: "SLANDER, "TREASON," "FREEDOM" and "JESUS." That pretty much covers it, but it is a formula that seems to resonate with people. Let's put Mr. Bush's supposed "sensitivity to the test. From the Miami Herald:
The numbers are staggering: 117 deaths from the storms and their cleanup, $42 billion in damages estimated by state economists, more than 25,000 homes destroyed and 40,000 seriously damaged as estimated by the American Red Cross, nearly 1.2 million applications for disaster assistance and almost $3 billion in approved state and federal aid so far.
1/1000 the deaths, 100 times the aid money in Florida. Once again, the responsibility lies with the people of Southeast Asia. If they had the good sense NOT to be brown, they could have gotten a lot more help from the US.
And they added this piece of garbage: There was an international outpouring of support after the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, and even some administration officials familiar with relief efforts said they were surprised that Bush had not appeared personally to comment on the tsunami tragedy. "It's kind of freaky," a (unnamed, of course) senior career official said."
Could it be that the president might have been occupied with putting together what is now the largest aid package headed for the victim countries as well as working out the details of a massive rescue effort on a scale never before seen? That he might have been so occupied with this responsibility that he simply had no time to go parade himself before a sullen media in Bill Clinton style to bite his lips and tell the victims how much he feels their pain?
Uh, it could be. But it's probably not. I love how wingers are always the ones to try and say that Bush is too busy to appear on television or before large crowds. It's not a busy issue. It's the fact that the man is practically the most agoraphobic president in history. Besides, he's on vacation. Who has time to fly to the world's larges Muslim population and do some outreach?
That’s exactly what the Posties wanted, it being their preference for style over substance. They believe that emotion trumps substance - tears, biting lips and barely suppressed sobs are what such tragedies demand.
Um, yeah. 100,000 people dead and more on the way due to insufficient sanitation is something to cry over. It's not an aesthetic thing, it's what comes with having a heart.
The Post also tells us "Clinton urges coordinated aid effort," giving a boost to Mr. Clinton’s reported ambitions to replace Kofi Annan as Secretary General of the United Nations. Or perhaps it just a case of nobody having told Bill Clinton that he is no longer the President of the United States, a delusion he shares with Jimmy Carter.
Well, when the President is off clearing brush in the midst of a calamity, SOMEone needs to start acting presidential. I do hope that becomes part of the vernacular. Fiddling while Rome Burns = Clearing Brush while Indonesia drowns.
Well it now appears that while the media were cooling their heels in their isolation from the seat of power, putting together a coordinated aid effort was precisely what George Bush was doing. But to the Post, that doesn’t matter. What does matter is that the president failed to recognize his solemn obligation to hobnob with the media at moments such as this.
Grammar violation No. 2. The media seems to be cooling their heels a lot. Time for a new cliche, my friend. And a press conference is not "hobnobbing." And the press are not complaining that Bush hasn't been spending enough quality time with them. The Post is complaining that the man seems to have such a case of ADD that he can't even tear himself away from one of his many, many vacations to pay attention to a humanitarian crisis. Perhaps it's not that nobody told Clinton that he was no longer the president. Perhaps nobody told Bush that he WAS.
It doesn’t appear to have occurred to the Post that there are times when a president has to do things behind closed doors. Not all presidents like to be out in front of the press saying in effect, "Look at me, I’m important, I’m biting my lip, I know how to cry" before going back inside and laughing at a media stupid enough to fall for his act.
Oh come on. If any President is laughing about how the media (and by extension, the viewing public) is happily eating every shovelfull of horseshit he can pitch their way, it is the smirking little twit that offered Charlie Gibson wood on national television. Bush knows exactly how to play the media, he just doesn't do it on his own. He has help from people like Reagan.
Reagan's whole point is a classic bait and switch- the Post complains that Bush barely gives an ailing continent enough money to make a crappy movie (Troy cost six times as much) and Reagan makes it about the "Liberal Media's" need for attention and emotional drama.
This whole thing is typical liberal mishmash – it’s all about feelings. The Post would be happy if the president didn’t give a dime as long as we saw him cry.
Um, no, they wouldn't be happy. It's not about crying, or feelings. It's about a president's duty, something that you will not hear too many people like Reagan talk about at length. The ironic thing is that Bush's public representation, what the voting public supposedly loves about him, is that he "feels" for them, he acts on his "feelings," that he has "moral values." There is no substance there to discuss. The Post and the Times are not slandering the president by saying that 30 million is a paltry sum and undoubtedly a missed opportunity to reach out to the greater Muslim world (hence presenting a more sympathetic face of the US, hence maybe causing one young Indonesian Muslim to think, hey, maybe I shouldn't tape dynamite to myself and blow up a subway car in defiance of the Great Satan?). They are presenting a valid point. But like most valid points, this one will be decried at every moment by the Savages, Coulters and Medveds of the world in favor of the much more colorful "the Liberal Press Slanders our Good Leader" angle.
What we are seeing here is what we’ll be seeing for the next four years. The Post didn’t want George Bush in the White House for another term and they won’t let up, even if they have to create stories about such nonsense as alleged presidential insensitivity.
They have no shame.
No, it's not that they have no shame. They have no fear. And thank God for that.