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August 26, 2007

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For you, however, this can also serve as an open thread.

Thanks, because I missed the boat in the previous Bush speech thread and I wanted to quote Wolfgang Pauli:

"This isn't right. This isn't even wrong."

A childish mediocrity like Bush knows in his gut that baffling us with bullshit is his only hope...

hilzoy, it looks like you will be bringing several new readers/commenters over here this week. A brief tutorial on posting rules might be approrpiate, somehow.

As a few other comments pointed out on the original thread, you are completely misinterpreting his use of Pyle. Bush thinks Pyle was right, that people like Greene who accuse Pyle of "dangerous naivete" are wrong. He is probably basing this on the Audie Murphy version of Pyle in the first movie adaptation of the book (which Greene condemned as "American propaganda"). Obviously Bush is completely turning the book upside down and making the mocked Pyle into a hero. I'm sure this is why Bill O'Reilly lists "The Quite American" as one of his favorite books, as well. They look at Pyle and they see themselves -- as they should. Most sane people would see that as a bad thing. They see it as a good thing.

The "Greene Argument" Bush is referring to is "you are dangerously naive and don't understand Vietnam and you should leave." Bush thinks this is wrong because "leaving Vietnam led to genocide and caused 9/11." That's his (insane) argument: i.e., "you call Pyle dangerously naive, but YOU are dangerously naive. Long live Pyle!"

He is NOT comparing Iraq critics to Pyle. He is comparing critics of Pyle (Greene) to Iraq critics. Yes, it makes you dizzy, but that is what he seems to be saying...in his usual muddled way.

I can't let pass the opportunity to nominate Hunter S. Thompson's characterization of the Muskie campaign in 1972--not really on-point for the specific question, but a good overall characterization of the Bushite project in Iraq and environs: "like a bunch of junkies trying to build a rocket to the moon to check out rumors that the craters were full of smack."

I can't let pass the opportunity to nominate Hunter S. Thompson's characterization of the Muskie campaign in 1972--not really on-point for the specific question, but a good overall characterization of the Bushite project in Iraq and environs: "like a bunch of junkies trying to build a rocket to the moon to check out rumors that the craters were full of smack."

I can't let pass the opportunity to nominate Hunter S. Thompson's characterization of the Muskie campaign in 1972--not really on-point for the specific question, but a good overall characterization of the Bushite project in Iraq and environs: "like a bunch of junkies trying to build a rocket to the moon to check out rumors that the craters were full of smack."

tim: I think you're right. I thought about saying so on the post at Andrew Sullivan's, but decided that it would make an essentially slight post too complicated, and that I should therefore reveal my original error in all its, well, erroneousness.

Dubya invoking Vietnam as a justification for staying in Iraq is like Camilla Parker-Bowles doing the eulogy at Princess Diana's funeral...

It's like a draft-dodger politician who routinely savages decorated and badly wounded veterans saying that his critics don't support the troops.

Anyone notice the similarities between the "intelligence" that led to the Iraq War and that in _Our Man in Havana_?

Anyone notice the similarities between the "intelligence" that led to the Iraq War and that in _Our Man in Havana_?

Hmm, I'm having a hard time coming up with a good analogy. Still, Bush's attempt at making a literary argument (and getting it exactly wrong) made for great comedy. I hope it's a new trend. I can't wait to hear him compare the Democrats to Smerdyakov from "The Brothers Karamazov".

I can think of a couple:
1. Since it actually happened: Ronald Reagan invoking Bruce Springsteen's "Born in the USA" as a message of hope for America's future.
2. If Hillary Clinton or any advocate of single-payer health care were to invoke the evilness of James Taggart's (of Atlas Shrugged) toast to the "Power of Pull" as an example of why private industry is preventing single-payer health care systems.
3. If Bush were to claim that his critics are engaging in "doublethink" when they criticize him for restricting protesters' access to any area within a mile of him while "benefiting from the protections of free speech that exist because of the GWOT."

My entry. I especially liked "a more nuanced reality".

I agree with with the commenter that says you are misunderstanding Bush's speech: he is comparing *himself* to Pyle. Which makes it even more bizarre.

It's like King Leopold comparing himself to Kurtz. Like the pedophile comparing himself to Hubert H. Or, like Dick Cheney praising Big Brother's effectiveness at fighting the War on Terror.

I think the White House' speech writers have a collective crush on Brendan Fraser.

Like Bush invoking Esmeralda as an example of show best to show compassion for disabled people.

Honestly, I think my brain is about to explode. Where is Lou Reed when you need him? This one brings to mind Lou's great song "Sex with Your Parents." And, yes, W is definitely doing a mind-meld with his version of Pyle -- virtuous and true. Heaven help us.

THis doesn't contain the exact analogy you seek but it's very worth reading:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/chris-kelly/bush-attacks-greeneland_b_61809.html

It would be like citing Nurse Ratched in defense of electroshock therapy.

it's like Bob Novak criticizing Vlad the Impaler for being too ghastly.

Well, there actually was a Roumanian movie made under Ceacescu that portrayed Vlad the Impaler as a much misunderstood man and a pioneer hero of the nation whose firm hand with dissidents was a vital element in the national defence. That's a reasonably close match.

and Vlad fought against an Islamic foe too as I recall.

I think a better analogy would be Novak rebuking Vlad for being insufficiently Vampiric. or moderate, politically.

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