Saturday, October 21

:: Bully Politics

The Washington Post’s Dan Froomkin shares more
highlights from Bill O’Reilly’s recent interview with the President.

O’Reilly never gets credit for his ongoing contribution to society, mainly through the rich fodder he provides for students of abnormal psychology. Occasionally, the big oaf’s clumsy attempts to fawn over a guest go so hopelessly wrong that the audience benefits not only from a good laugh but some unintended insight. Take this exchange, regarding the White House’s strategy to work with a Democratically-controlled Congress:

O'REILLY: But you have to plan for it, right? Worst case?
BUSH: No, not really.
BUSH: Because -- I mean, there will be times to adjust, but I don't intend -- I really believe we're going to hold both. I recognize it's a tough fight."
D’OH! That’s the trickiest kind of “gotcha” question – the one that comes disguised as a softball lobbed to you by a drooling lackey. You’ve got to be pretty special to mess up one of those. I can just imagine Bush lying awake the night before, imagining the scenario and struggling to come up with the worst possible response.

And the really sad thing is that somewhere in the White House there's probably some poor policy schmuck who has been working on the strategy, heard this and ground through the last of his molars.

There’s also this exchange on critics of the President. The big oaf tries on his best Dr. Phil, telling the President that he feels his pain and admires his stoicism:

O’REILLY: You're more philosophical. See, I'm sitting there going oh, if I had this guy's neck, you know.
BUSH: Well, I'm not as big as you are, so I can't -- you know -- I wouldn't be able to get away with that.
Of course! Its not a matter of respecting different opinions in a free and pluralistic society, or maybe the therapeutic value of brush-clearing - its just knowing you’re not strong enough to get away with crushing those with whom you disagree. In other words – its strategery.

Its a revealing snapshot of the President: a man who doesn’t think its necessary to prepare for challenging situations, because if you are powerful enough you can do whatever you want anyway.

Not even O’Reilly could dress that up.

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