Notes on the Atrocities
Like a 100-watt radio station, broadcasting to the dozens...

Thursday, December 04, 2003  

From the first edition "Atrocities" dictionary:

bizarro world (n) The alternative reality created by the Bush administration in which logic runs backward or forward, or both, in order to justify whatever it is the Bushies are trying to justify at the moment. Bizarro world logic is not beholden to the laws of physics or scientific fact. In a triumph of appropriation, the Bush administration is the first, truly postmodern regime: everything is subjective.

Example: Saddam Hussein is a nuclear risk, so the US must invade. The absence of any evidence that he was actually in possession of, or even trying to make nuclear weapons, is therefore a triumph of the US's policy to stop them.

Or, if you prefer, Bush's derring-do to visit Baghdad for Thanksgiving was an example of how much the President is committed to his troops. What a great guy, a down-to-earth guy, having turkey with the boys, never mind the personal risk he was taking. It wasn't for the press, it was for the troops.

But outside of bizarro world, things looked a little different:

In the most widely published image from his Thanksgiving day trip to Baghdad, the beaming president is wearing an Army workout jacket and surrounded by soldiers as he cradles a huge platter laden with a golden-brown turkey....

But as a small sign of the many ways the White House maximized the impact of the 21/2-hour stop at the Baghdad airport, administration officials said yesterday that Bush picked up a decoration, not a serving plate....

White House officials do not deny that they craft elaborate events to showcase Bush, but they maintain that these events are designed to accurately dramatize his policies and to convey qualities about him that are real.

"This was effective, because it captured something about the president that people know is true, that he really cares about the soldiers and gets emotional when he sees them," Mary Matalin, a former administration official, said about the trip to Baghdad. "You have to figure out how to capture the Bush we know, even if it doesn't come through in a speech situation or a press conference. He regularly rejects anything that is not him."

And something else that's real: Bush's approval numbers jumped following the stunt. You just, you know, have to show the "real" President. Even if he's standing in front of a fake turkey.

posted by Jeff | 11:14 AM |
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