This Week’s BOW Award!

June 14, 2008

I have been asked by a few how it’s possible that I’ve been giving out BOW (Buffoon Of the Week) Awards for so many weeks now, and have yet to give one to our Buffoon in Chief.  I have to admit that I share their astonishment.  I would have thought that Dubya would have earned one of these babies long, long ago.  But this week is the perfect example of what happens. The week began with a spate of bone-headed moves from Ole George, and I thought, “Great!  This is the week!  We’ll have a special George W. Bush Lifetime Achievement Award.”  But wouldn’t you know it, fate intervened, and a dark-horse has run away with this week’s award.

But let’s start with our befuddled President.  His buffoonery actually began with last week’s Saturday radio address, in which he called on Congress to do more for American troops who are currently in harm’s way by sending him a military funding bill he could sign.  Right.  Do more for the troops.  Thing is, the Senate has already passed a funding bill that he has threatened to veto.  Why?  Because it contains a pay raise for soldiers and an expanded GI Bill giving more educational benefits to returning soldiers.  That’s right.  He wants Congress to do more for American troops, but only if it doesn’t cost too much.  Funny that he’s not worried about his tax breaks for wealthy Americans costing too much.

Then there was this blast from the past, which became especially relevant this week as average national gas prices topped $4.00/gallon.  Jon Stewart showed the clip on The Daily Show:  Bush was asked at a press conference in March what he intended to do about rising gas prices when analysts were predicting that gas would soon top the $4.00 mark.  Bush’s response?  He said that he hadn’t heard that analysts were predicting $4.00/gallon gas.  Is that really possible?   Could a journalist have access to economic analyses that the White House didn’t have?  The way I see it, there are several possible explanations for this.  1) Someone did indeed tell the President that gas would soon be above $4.00, but having the attention span of a 4 year-old and the intellectual curiosity of a Cocker Spaniel, he didn’t really pay any attention.  2) Someone did indeed tell him this, and he lied about it during the press conference.  Or 3) the White House is so out of touch and so disfunctional that he really didn’t have access to the information.  None of these possibilities reflects well on Bush or his Administration.

And finally, this tidbit from  The Department of Justice gives grants to many crime prevention programs that are targeted toward American youth.  These programs are prioritized and given a numerical ranking.  Don’t get me wrong:  all of these programs have merit, but they have been ranked and you’d think that these rankings mean something.  The number two program on the list has been unable to secure funds.  The number 47 ranked program has gotten funding.  Why?  Funny you should ask.  The number 47 program is the World Golf Foundation’s First Tee program.  And its honorary chairman is former President George H. W. Bush.  Draw your own conclusions.

So this is what I had on Tuesday, and I thought that this would finally be Dubya’s week.

But then the Presidential contenders weighed in.  Barack Obama, in a moment of what appears to have been unbelievable carelessness, appointed former Fannie Mae CEO Jim Johnson to his Vice Presidential vetting committee without properly vetting him.  Johnson, it turns out, had received favorable mortgage rates and, as a board member at several other corporations, had been in a position to approve the types of obscene golden parachute settlements for former CEOs that Obama himself has railed against.  Johnson did nothing illegal, but all of this looked bad, and after defending Johnson early in the week, Obama had little choice but to accept his resignation on Wednesday.  Very stupid.  The Obama campaign has been exceptionally well-run, but this episode could and should have been avoided.

Chances are that before long Obama’s Johnson fiasco will be forgotten.  It’s the type of inside-the-beltway stuff that rightly or wrongly fails to capture the public’s attention.  On the other hand, John McCain’s first big mistake of the week could well come back to haunt him later in the campaign.  Interviewed on NBC Wednesday morning, McCain said this in response to a question about whether he has any sense of when he might begin bringing troops home from Iraq:  “No, but that’s not too important.  What’s important is the casualties in Iraq.”  He went on to make the point that he’s looking at a long-term occupation with American troops no longer in immediate danger, kind of like American deployments in South Korea, Japan, and Germany.  Okay, I always hate it when my candidate’s statements are ripped out of context and made into a big deal, and that’s what Democrats have been doing with this one.  But this is entirely a problem of McCain’s making.  This is campaign season.  He should know better.  There were several ways to make the same point — “We all want to see the troops brought home as soon as possible, but there are other matters to consider…”  Something like that.  “That’s not important”?  He really should have been more careful.  The DNC has already made an online ad using the quote, and you know we’ll be seeing the clip for the next half year.

McCain had a couple of other moments of buffoonery.  At one point, while trumpeting his foreign policy experience, he talked about how he had met several times with Vladimir Putin, the President of (wait for it….) Germany!  Oops!  And when asked whether he would have room in his Administration for Dick Cheney, quite possibly the most unpopular politician in America, he said, “Hell, yeah.”  Republicans must be pulling their hair out worrying about what stupid thing McCain is going to say next.

McCain also had a town hall meeting late this week. His campaign initially claimed it was a meeting with independents and Democrats disillusioned with their party’s nominee.  Later the campaign had to admit that in fact the meeting hall was filled with Republican party loyalists.  Oops again!

Conservative commentator Ralph Reed was on the Daily Show earlier this week, talking to Jon Stewart about the evangelical vote in this year’s election.  Stewart remarked that according to some polls, Obama could draw as much as 40% of the evangelical vote come November.  Reed responded this way:  “I don’t think that’s supported by the polling data. I think if you look at most of the general-election polls, McCain’s getting about 60 to 65 percent of the evangelical vote.”   Hmmmm.  If McCain is getting about 60-65% of the vote, doesn’t that leave Obama with, well, close to 40%?

But as I said at the beginning of this lengthy post, we have a dark horse winner this week.  This one took me by surprise this morning in my local paper.  Turns out my own Congressman, Blue Dog Democrat Lincoln Davis (TN-4), has yet to endorse Barack Obama.  When asked why this might be so, Fred Hobbs, a member of the Tennessee DEMOCRATIC PARTY Executive Committee, said, “I’m not sure we know enough about him. He’s got some bad connections, and he may be terrorist connected for all I can tell. It sounds kind of like he may be.”  THIS IS A DEMOCRAT SAYING THIS!!!  When the reporter to whom Hobbs made these remarks went to Beecher Frasier, Davis’ Chief of Staff, for clarification, Frasier said that he “didn’t know for sure” whether Obama was “terrorist connected” but that he assumed he wasn’t!!!  Only a day later did the Congressman’s office clarify again and make it clear that Rep. Davis will be supporting Obama and that the idea that Obama has any terrorist connections is ridiculous.  But it took three rounds of quotes to get there.  Quotes from Democrats.  We have enough trouble with Republican operatives and Fox News making these disgusting, baseless, and ludicrous suggestions.  Now we have Democrats doing it too?  Yes, Obama has dark skin.  Yes, he has a name that’s a bit different from the norm for a Presidential candidate.  Yes, his father was raised Muslim.  He’s different.  None of that makes him a terrorist.  Geez!  I can’t believe that any of this actually needs to be said!

This week’s BOW Award is given, I am deeply ashamed to say, to the Tennessee Democratic Party, which, it seems, remains mired in ignorance, racism, and fear of anyone who isn’t a white Southerner.  Take a BOW there folks.  You’ve earned it.  And when you’re ready, join us in the 21st Century.


2 Responses to “This Week’s BOW Award!”

  1. Brian said

    “Laugh out loud funny”- Brian of KS

    “Who woodda thunk it” -Brian of KS

    Wow. period.

    -Now changing subjects–

    Now that I think back to 2000, gas prices were almost half what they are today. Do you think Dubya will be surprised when he has to go fill up the tank again? (Im assuming he will be doing his own driving when he leaves office)

  2. davidbcoe said

    I think George is going to be in for a lot of surprises. The price of gas, the price of milk. The fact that once he’s out of power lots of people won’t bother pretending to respect him….

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