Monday, February 21, 2005

Oh, The Irony

I'm sorry, but I'm a day behind the news cycle. Anyway, here's my favorite quote of this long holiday weekend and it was uttered by none other than President Bush. This is Bush speaking about how he'll chat with Russian Presdient Vladimir Putin, who has been cracking down on dissent and consolidating power in the executive office:

I want him to be able to have a chance to say he's done it for this reason or done that, so I can explain to him as best I can, in a friendly way, of course, that Western values are, you know, are based upon transparency and rule of law, the right for the people to express themselves, checks and balances in government.
There is absolutely no irony in this statement. Either President Bush is totally divorced from reality and inhabiting his own bizarro world or he's the greatest face-to-face liar since, well, President Clinton.

Within the same front page story we see how important the lesson of transparency is to the Bush Administration. Writing about the President's schedule for his European tour, Elisabeth Bumiller of NYT tells us:

There is also a round-table discussion scheduled with pre-selected Germans and Americans in Mainz, a format adopted after administration officials decided that a 'town hall' meeting with Mr. Bush and German citizens was too politically risky.

The proposed town-hall meeting raised the inevitable issue, said Wolfgang Ischinger, the German ambassador to Washington, of 'Do you know what kinds of folks you are going to have at that meeting and what kind of questions they might ask?'

Naturally, we won't know because Bush likes his transparency opaque and his people not too expressive.

-- M. Wood