Monday, February 09, 2004

Smirky Mumbles: God, he is annoying to listen to. He did a decent job of dodging the tough questions as he fed back the party line, but to anyone watching him duel with Russert (which is like taking an 18th century rapier to a fight with the Terminator) cannot have any confidence in this man's ability to formulate ideas, make decisions, or command his followers.

His best moment was deflecting the National Guard issue. Rather than respond with substance ("Listen Russert, I did x y and z before most of America woke up in the morning!") he passes off whatever he did with "I did my duty." and then, and this is the great part, makes the attack on him an attack on the entirety of the National Guard and those who have served under its mantle. Ingenious.

His nadir came with respect to war and taxes:
Russert: That's a very important point. Every president since the Civil War who has gone to war has raised taxes, not cut them.

President Bush: Yeah.

Russert: Raised to pay for it. Why not say, I will not cut taxes any more until we have balanced the budget? If our situation is so precious and delicate because of the war, why do you keep cutting taxes and draining money from the treasury?

President Bush: Well, because I believe that the best way to stimulate economic growth is to let people keep more of their own money. And I believe that if you raise taxes as the economy is beginning to recover from really tough times, you will slow down economic growth. You will make it harder.

See, I'm more worried about the fellow looking for the job. That's what I'm worried about. I want people working. I want people to find work. And so, when we stimulate the economy, it's more likely that person is going to find work. And the best way to stimulate the economy is not to raise taxes but to hold the low taxes down.
See, the question is about how to fund the government when you're spending more than ever but reducing the tax receipts. Bush turns this into why tax cuts are good for people who are out of work. Not only did he not answer the question, he didn't even acknowledge it. Russert buys into it and moves on, unfortunately.

He did get Russert's first name correct, however.

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