Notes on the Atrocities Like a 100-watt radio station, broadcasting to the dozens...
Friday, February 20, 2004
Scott McClellan's grilling this week inspired today's post. Happy Friday satire--
Question: Scott, the last couple days you've been backing off the President's jobs forecast. Before that it was the poor budget numbers. Of course, there's the WMD question, which the President still calls an "intelligence failure."
Scott McClellan: Roger, before I--
Q: I haven't asked my question, yet, Scott.
Scott McClellan: Go ahead.
Q: The question is this: is the President really as incompetent as he seems, or is he a liar?
Scott McClellan: What?
Q: All right, another example. Last year Larry Lindsay estimated the war would end up costing $200 billion and the White House made a big public show about how wildly inaccurate that was. They even went so far as to fire him.* Then the President asked for expenditures totaling $150 billion for the year, with estimates of at least $50 billion this year. So what was it? Did the President really have no clue about what the war might cost, or was he just misleading the public?
Scott McClellan: Thanks for the question, Roger. You bring up an important point that hasn't been made recently. The President of the United States made the world a safer place last year by removing a violent dictator and a dangerous terrorist. Your question highlights exactly how important it is to keep our eye on the ball and not get caught up in details.
The President said he would address the threat of terror and he has. The President said he would bring democracy to Iraq and he has. His focus has always been the safety of the American people, and it will remain there.
Q: Did you hear what I just asked?
Scott McClellan: I heard you.
Q: Would you mind answering the question, then? We get the press releases, but I'd like to know how the White House plans to spin all these disjunctures with reality. So what is it, incompetence or lies?
Scott McClellan: Oh, come on, Roger, I'm not going to answer that.
Q: Because it's rude? Would it help if I reframed the question?
Scott McClellan: What are you asking, Roger?
Q: Let's stick with the cost of the war. Why did the White House deny the war would cost $200 billion?
Scott McClellan: You know as well as I do that budgetary estimates are notoriously hard to make. The President wasn't willing to commit to a figure.
Q: Well, while we're on budgets, why did the President omit Iraq expenditures in this year's budget? Why was the number used to justify the Medicare legislation lowballed by a third? The list is as long as my arm, Scott, you pick the example,--
Scott McClellan: I'll be happy to go through them with you--
Q: --but my point is the President's credibility. Why should anyone believe anything he says?
Scott McClellan: Nobody bats a thousand, Roger. He's as accurate as anyone.
Q: So you're going with incompetence?
Scott McClellan: This line of questioning is out of order. How dare you question the President. He's got more character than you'll ever have, you little punk. He tells you what you need to know. The American people know that and trust it.
Q: You mean liar, then? But in a good way. I just want to get it right.
Scott McClellan: That's enough. Yeah, Angela?
Q: Scott, we're still wondering when the President is going to account for the months in 1973 when the National Guard has no records of his presence...