Okay, quickly: Bush was visiting some wounded soldiers at Brooke Army Medical Center, which is admirable, and surprising, for him. Then, to show off his admirablity, he took some questions from reporters. Before dodging all the toughies about spying, Abramoff etc., he spoke to the valor of the soldiers he'd just visited. He's "just overwhelmed" by their strength of character. Great, so are we. We'd have tried to say it a little better, but we're liberal academic elitists. Then he goes way, way off the reservation (italics, as always, ours:)
"As you can possibly see, I have an injury myself -- not here at the hospital, but in combat with a Cedar. I eventually won. The Cedar gave me a little scratch. As a matter of fact, the Colonel asked if I needed first aid when she first saw me. I was able to avoid any major surgical operations here, but thanks for your compassion, Colonel."Two comments, one long and one short:
1) Had he made this joke at his ranch or even in the White House press room, it would just be another silly Bush fumble. But he didn't. He said this at the hospital among men and maybe women who lost limbs and eyes fighting his stupid-ass trumped-up bring-it-on war-of-choice. It is so far beyond tasteless that the word may not have been invented yet to capture it (we'd nominate our coinage, "bushesque".) It undercut everything he meant to do with the photo-op and utterly dissed every man and woman who ever has, does, or will wear the uniform.
Standing Eight is a known detractor of the man, but we have rarely, no in fact we have never, been so galled by his idiocy. All those who doubted that you can support the troops without supporting the president, Bush just proved you wrong. He trashed the troops worse than any anti-war protester ever could. When a hippie calls you a 'baby-killer' it shows that they appreciate the monumental scale and importance of your job, and also happen to disagree with you. When Bush equates his klutziness with Corporal Umpdefratz's limb-sacrificing heroism, it shows that he does not understand or respect the military he Chiefly Commands any more than he understood or respected the Texas Rangers or the Oil Biz he Chiefly Executive Officered
But it's worse than that, because nobody respects the Texas Rangers. We should all respect the troops, but surely that respect is learned from the top down. Right now we've got some pretty bad teachers at the top. Remember the "purple-heart" band-aids that popped up at the Republican convention last year as a slimy slur against Kerry's service? Eventually cooler heads made enough of a ruckus about that, and Bush and the convention officials ran away from the display, saying the band-aids had sprung up grassroots-style (as if anything unscripted happens at a convention.) His tacky joke at Brooke was worse. A resounding boo to you and your boo boo, Mr. President. (Notice that we can still respect the office? It's not hard.)
That was several comments, and quite long, and we may regret the prose in the morning, but we are steaming mad. Here is comment number...
2) Dollars to donuts (we're gonna get fat winning all these donuts,) that it wasn't a cedar injury, and that was a cover story for him having another boil lanced or a bump of some kind biopsied. (Actually we'll never get those donuts, since they'll never admit it, but the way he said the cedar line was awkward and liar-ish, and the shape of his cut was suspicious.) Laugh at us if you will. We're confident in this one. And of course if we're right, we do not wish the man any ill, we hope whatever was removed was benign and that he'll live another 50 years. As a disgraced impeached resigned former president.