October 16, 2004

Things That Make You Go "Hmmm..."--Not! Departmetn

That's it. If you aren't convinced that there is something very, very wrong inside the White House after watching this, you are dead:

Matthew Yglesias: Things That Make You Go "H*** F****** S***": I have a hard time believing this video of Bush addressing the Iraq Survey Group is real. But it's obviously real, you just can't fake something like that. But it's so . . . weird. Disturbing, really. Hard to understand how something like that could even happen or what could possibly have been going on. Evidently, someone form the ISG leaked it to Kos but the references to David Kay seem to indicate that it was made some time ago.

The first thing that makes this certain evidence that something has gone very, very wrong here is that the White House sent it out--either nobody thought that they could get a better performance out of Bush, or nobody dared say, "Hey, this is really bad. We need to either get a better take or simply cancel the whole thing."

The second thing that makes this certain evidence that something has gone very, very wrong here is that it is very clear that it is neither someone who is confused and whose brain isn't working quite right, nor the "surrender monkey"--someone who knows he has messed up badly and is feeling guilty. It's very clear that it is both.

Posted by DeLong at October 16, 2004 08:14 AM | TrackBack
Comments

Do you mean 'if you are *not* convinced there is something very, very wrong...'?

Posted by: MaryLou at October 16, 2004 08:52 AM

I'm not from Texas, but I know the definition of really, really scary...

Posted by: Scott Lemieux at October 16, 2004 09:03 AM

1) This post is unreadable in Mozilla, probably something to do with double hyphens.

2) I've watched this video three times and I think it's time for our side to stop and take some deep breaths. This is an informal taped thank you that was never intended for broadcast, so there was no need for rehersals and high production values. I would be more worried if it was very polished. Has anyone heard the tape of LBJ ordering pants from Hanes? Some things are just never meant to be recorded and saved for posterity.

Posted by: Brian at October 16, 2004 09:05 AM

We are so embarrased to be an American under Dear Leader's residency. This is but another example of W pushing a political agenda . . . asking the truth finders to support his version of the truth.

Posted by: Liz at October 16, 2004 09:21 AM

I gotta see that even as a proud, though peonic, member of the order of the shrill, I don't see what's so horribly wrong here. Looks like any other chief executive's "inspirational corporate video" I've seen: mediocre banality incarnate.

Posted by: Anarch at October 16, 2004 09:27 AM

You're overreacting, Brad.

This, unfortunately, is nothing special.

Posted by: rdg at October 16, 2004 09:48 AM

It's an unimpressive performance, but I have to agree that kos & company are making way too much of this.

Posted by: Rand Careaga at October 16, 2004 09:50 AM

The word 'Department' is misspelled as 'Departmetn' in the heading.

Posted by: Piranha at October 16, 2004 09:56 AM

This looks like mediocre Bush rather than scary Bush

Posted by: sm at October 16, 2004 10:05 AM

wtf? this is just bush reading a script. it doesn't look like anything bad -- very standard stuff. did the clip get cut off before he starts doing something crazy? i'm confused.

Posted by: clerkin' at October 16, 2004 10:07 AM

The thing I find ironic is he's calling the ISG "truthfinders." But then he also says he wants them to find the "truth about his evil nature," and "the true nature of evil." Sounds like he's already made his conclusions, and he's looking for evidence to back it up. If he REALLY viewed them as "truthfinders," he'd wait until he had his evidence before jumping to conclusions.

Posted by: Joe Greene at October 16, 2004 10:09 AM

Brad and Matt are missing the point. This was a shameless attempt to influence the conclusions of the report.

Posted by: praktike at October 16, 2004 10:22 AM

Agree with the above posters: you're making a mountain out of an anthill. Bush's extemporaneous "thank you" belies nothing about him or his White House that we didn't know already.

Posted by: JR at October 16, 2004 10:23 AM

I don't see the point here either. Is the objection to the content of the speech, as praktike says, or to the manner of delivery?

The delivery is certainly not smooth, but I don't see anything abnormal about it.

Posted by: Bernard Yomtov at October 16, 2004 10:46 AM


YEah, if anyone thought Bush wasn't inarticulate and delusional, this might help them see that he is. Our problem, however, is the gathering threat that an electoral college plurality of our fellow citizens know that he's inarticulate and delusional, but want to elect him anyway. Now *that* is scary.

Posted by: Ottoe at October 16, 2004 10:53 AM

I can't decide which is more disturbing, that demonstration of how disengaged and doddering W has become, or the cluelessly defensive acceptance of it displayed by the above sycophants.

And the content I found hilarious, it clearly puts the bald lie to Bush's claim that finding WMD's were "not really the issue", if he was willing to beg people to work in conditions like that to please please help him find the snipe.

Posted by: melior at October 16, 2004 11:00 AM

Aw, c'mon. I am a bone-deep Bush Hater, and I didn't see anything in that video that made my neckhairs stand up. And, believe me, I already have serious doubts about Bush's mental capacity.

His performance at that press conference a few months ago was MUCH scarier.

Posted by: Palladin at October 16, 2004 11:10 AM

The enablers are out today, Brad.

Last night I watched Moore's 9/11 movie. In it
is a clip of aWol speaking about 10-12 years
ago. While short, the clip shows him to be
able to articulate his thoughts clearly.
He simply cannot do that today on camera.

Posted by: SEC Overreach at October 16, 2004 11:12 AM

Aw, c'mon. I am a bone-deep Bush Hater, and I didn't see anything in that video that made my neckhairs stand up. And, believe me, I already have serious doubts about Bush's mental capacity.

His performance at that press conference a few months ago was MUCH scarier.

Posted by: Ciel at October 16, 2004 11:16 AM

Put me down with Palladin and Ciel.

Posted by: Bernard Yomtov at October 16, 2004 11:23 AM

Are you guys expecting Martin Sheen? I'd tried to find a clip from that LBJ phone call on NPR, but no luck. Talk about embarrassing.

And what's that matter with telling truth finders to go out and find what you believe to be the truth? If W didn't believe that there were WMD and he was telling them to go out an manufacture evidence, then that would be a problem. I don't think anyone doubts that he swallowed the WMD idea hook, line, and sinker.

You guys need to stop drinking the kool-aid. Yes, he's a clumsy speaker, but try telling us something that every single person who voted for him four years ago didn't know.

Posted by: brian at October 16, 2004 11:30 AM

mega dittos on Bernard.

There ain't no body who cringes when hearing Bush speak like I do, and I don't see anything remarkable about this clip.

I can point to at least 10 debate moments that scare me more than this thing.

Someone tell us, what are we missing?

Posted by: mario at October 16, 2004 11:38 AM

Uh ... mmm ... I ... uh ... do see ... uh ... uh ... a person unable to read ... to read a script ... uh ... without ... pausing ... unable to make it ... through a sen ... uh ... tence ... like a normal human being ... uh ... uh ... a normal human being without some sort of ... cog-ni-tive dis-a-bil-i-ty.

I can understand stumbling in debates, when he's having to think on his feet, but even there, when you look at the clips of his 1994 gubanatorial debates, it's as if you're watching two entirely different people.

http://www.adbuzz.com/bushbuzz/BrainTenYrs*.mov

Posted by: abf at October 16, 2004 11:47 AM

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=1507155

4:30 in, LBJ ordering Hagar slacks.

Posted by: Brian at October 16, 2004 11:54 AM

"This post is unreadable in Mozilla"

Yes, the two consecutive hyphens in "!--NOT" in the entry title are repeated by moveable type in a comment; within the comment the consecutive comments are meaningful - - see http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/www-validator/2004May/0216.html
so this page fails when run through a validator.

It is moveable type that introduces the error.

Since moveable type titles become comments, one needs to avoid '--' in entry titles until they fix it.

Now that I know why I can't read the first paragraph of the entry, I'll download the filmclip and see what we're talking about.

Posted by: TomR at October 16, 2004 12:11 PM

If that was a script, it must have been one he wrote himself.

It continues to surprise how little he really has to say. Nothing much more than "evil, evil, evil." Everything after that is just filler. I hear it's hot in Iraq!!!!

Who insists on making these tapes?

Posted by: emt at October 16, 2004 12:25 PM

If that was a script, it must have been one he wrote himself.

It continues to surprise how little he really has to say. Nothing much more than "evil, evil, evil." Everything after that is just filler. I hear it's hot in Iraq!!!!

Who insists on making these tapes?

Posted by: emt at October 16, 2004 12:28 PM

Ok.. imagine that was your first exposure to BUsh. What would you think?
Come on.. you're blinded by four years of media propaganda. That is not the performance of someone in control of his faculties. Also, he looks drugged, frankly---just as he did in all of the debates, especially the last one.
If you didn't watch the last debate and see an out of touch President doped to the gills on some meds, you weren't watching the same debate I saw.

Combine this with the fact that he kept wearing the device on his back in roughly the same place for all 3 debates and you have to conclude something is quite wrong. That device is probably medical in nature. Many people have noted that it matches in profile a portable defibrillator.
If he had a fibrillation, could they be giving himlots of drugs to dampen that, and would that make him dopey-looking?

Posted by: marky at October 16, 2004 12:29 PM

But: http://mondediplo.com/2004/10/02usa

Like Jonathan Chait, I despise George Bush "with the white-hot intensity of a thousand suns," but feel that perhaps he really _deserves_ another term.

http://www.latimes.com/news/politics/2004/commentary/la-oe-chait8oct08,0,1780084.column?coll=la-headlines-elect2004-comment

Posted by: jm at October 16, 2004 01:12 PM

What I'm surprised by is that someone in the ISG leaked this to Kos. If that person had really wanted to hurt Bush, I imagine that they would have better material with which to do it. Of all the leaks that have sprung in the last year, this is one of the wierder...

Posted by: jackmormon at October 16, 2004 02:51 PM

It's true -- if you're using Mozilla, half of Brad's post is missing and senseless!

Now that I've resuscitated Explorer briefly, it's only to discover that one has to have seen that video which is undownloadable when you're on a 19th century phone line (let's see -- this area was settled in 1830. Must have been installed shortly after that).

But anything showing Bush goofing up is probably accurate. Even though it's odd the video was leaked to Kos... Don't ask me why -- instinct tells me not to rule out a plant...

Posted by: Bean at October 16, 2004 03:35 PM

Like many others, I didn't find anything surprising about this video. But then again, the bar is so low, I wouldn't be surprised if Bush starts referring to himself as the Messiah...on video, that is. I did feel though, that if I were a "truthfinder," I'd be like, stop with the thanks, the gratitudes and the appreciates. Give me something solid in return.

Posted by: chickensoup at October 16, 2004 09:02 PM

Just another tempest in a teapot from partisans always on the lookout for an excuse to attack their enemies. Bush was his usual slow-talking, dimwitted self, no more, no less. I'll be worried about his mental health (more than I have been for the past two years) about the same time I'm outraged at Kerry for outing Mary Cheney.

Posted by: rps at October 16, 2004 09:26 PM

Really, this is Bush just being himself. No big deal in and of itself, this video, until you remember the context. The men this video was made for were sent on a fool's errand, and Bush is joking about the weather.

Posted by: dl at October 16, 2004 09:56 PM

Really, this is Bush just being himself. No big deal in and of itself, this video, until you remember the context. The men this video was made for were sent on a fool's errand, and Bush is joking about the weather.

Posted by: dl at October 16, 2004 09:57 PM

It wasn't a script, it was, unfortunately, himself.

I saw weirdness. His manner was aw-shucks as usual, but he was afraid. Fear was all over his face, makes me wonder what was off-camera. What couldn't we see? A pissed-off Rove? Cheney, glowering because it was W's fifth take?

Posted by: NewInsurgent at October 16, 2004 10:36 PM

It wasn't a script, it was, unfortunately, himself.

I saw weirdness. His manner was aw-shucks as usual, but he was afraid. Fear was all over his face, makes me wonder what was off-camera. What couldn't we see? A pissed-off Rove? Cheney, glowering because it was W's fifth take?

Posted by: NewInsurgent at October 16, 2004 10:39 PM

The Gamma Quadrant and Orbit of Pluto are bad places? How do you know that?

That's too bad. I was hoping to visit them very soon. Now leaving the reality-based community.

Posted by: wood turtle at October 17, 2004 12:19 PM

The halting performance and stumbling remarks are not pretty. But what do you expect- you try taping a 'thank you' to the group who's head (David Kay) had just informed you he has no good news to report. You try being told that all your bluster and self-assured statements don't appear to be correct and then tell them to keep up the good work.

That video is a classic "Thank You Sir, May I Have Another" shot.

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Am I the only one in the world for whom the clip comes across as damaged. (Not Bush, but the mpeg itself.) I've pulled this clip up from three or four different places in the last few days, and everytime, I get a video that is so halting that I can't come close to judging whether the president is halting.

Am I the only one? Are you all really willing to judge on the basis of such a horrendous reproduction? Or can somebody present a cleaned up version where I can view Bush speaking at the pace he actually spoke?

Posted by: wilson at October 18, 2004 02:01 PM

Am I the only one in the world for whom the clip comes across as damaged. (Not Bush, but the mpeg itself.) I've pulled this clip up from three or four different places in the last few days, and everytime, I get a video that is so halting that I can't come close to judging whether the president is halting.

Am I the only one? Are you all really willing to judge on the basis of such a horrendous reproduction? Or can somebody present a cleaned up version where I can view Bush speaking at the pace he actually spoke?

Posted by: wilson at October 18, 2004 02:04 PM

I think LBJ's classic line in ordering his pants is for the tailor to make extra room in the crotch for 'my balls,' or something like that.

I am underwhelmed by this video as showing anything new about Bush. If anything, it's at the higher range of his performances.

Anytime the 'Zen' pResident gets through remarks without saying exactly the opposite of what he presumably means to say is a reasonably good performance for him, grading on a dismal curve, of course.

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