Friday, October 14, 2005

Hilarious New Miers Defense

Matthew Scully, "special assistant to the president and deputy director of speechwriting for President Bush from 2001 to 2004," offers an indignant rebuttal to the critics of Harriet Miers who dared to expect distinction and brilliance from a Supreme Court nominee.

But the best part about Scully's defense is the fact that he rips on former Bush staffers who've gone on to betray Bush by daring to tell Americans what goes on in the White House.

Why is that so great? Because Scully then inadvertently does it himself. Here's the money quote from his NY Times op-ed:

It is true that Harriet Miers, in everything she does, gives high attention to detail. And the trait came in handy with drafts of presidential speeches, in which she routinely exposed weak arguments, bogus statistics and claims inconsistent with previous remarks long forgotten by the rest of us. If one speech declared X "our most urgent domestic priority," and another speech seven months earlier had said it was Y, it would be Harriet Miers alone who noted the contradiction.
So, Harriet Miers, the former Texas State Lottery commissioner, was the thin line of truth between the Bush White House and the American people. More to the point, the entire speechwriting apparatus, which includes Bush and his top aides, didn't know from speech to speech what Bush's most urgent domestic priority was!

(As an aside, he also says, "Whenever she was in the room, calmly listening and observing, you knew that on any matter, great or small, at least one person involved had in mind only the interests of the president, the office and the nation." So, at least one.)

But on to domestic priorities. While the White House speechwriters, and speech-vetters and speech-readers (i.e., Pres. Bush) didn't know what his top priority was, that didn't claim him from telling people was. And apparently Miers wasn't even particularly good at this task, either. A quick search of the White House web site reveals that, while education is the leading contender as "the" top priority, sometimes it was just "a" priority, and sometimes there seemed to be other priorities. Here, from the White House web site, is a summary of Mr. Bush's domestic priorities (so far):

"Education has got to be one of the top domestic priorities." - March 12, 2002, Washington, DC.

"We've got a priority to make sure our homeland is secure." - April 15, 2005, Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

"I want to speak to you about a few key domestic priorities. When I address Congress, I will urge them to pass my plan to strengthen our economy and help more Americans find jobs." - January 25, 2003, radio address.

"Strengthening and improving Medicare is also a priority for my administration in the coming year." - January, 25, 2003, same radio address, but a little later.

"Making sure every child learns to read and making sure every child is educated is a -- the number one domestic priority." - January 5, 2004, St. Louis, Missouri.

"Public education is a top domestic priority." - January 8, 2004, Knoxville, Tennessee.

"When I came to Washington, I made schools my first domestic priority." - October 27, 2004, Lititz, Pennsylvania.

"When I came to Washington, I made schools my top domestic priority." - October 27, 2004, Vienna, Ohio.

"Reforming Social Security will be a priority of my administration." - November 4, 2004, White House.

"With resources already provided to continue to fight the war on terror and to protect the homeland, we have held to the fiscally responsible limits Congress and I agreed to and still adequately funded our domestic priorities like education, health care, and veterans' programs." - November 20, 2004, presidential statement.

"I'm eager to move ahead with one of my top domestic priorities: strengthening and saving Social Security." - February 26, 2005, radio address.

"[Association Health Plans] are a fair, innovative, and commonsense approach to make health insurance more affordable and accessible, one of my top domestic priorities." - July 26, 2005, presidential statement.
Seems like lately, Mr. Bush's priorities are all over the map (literally, in the case of Louisiana and Mississippi). You almost have to wonder who's left to remind Bush what his priorities are. You have to wonder where Harriet Miers is these days, now that Bush needs her.

Oh, yeah.


Anonymous said...

Someone ought to prioritize the purchase of a dictionary-thesaurus so the Bushies can understand what the word priority means and how to use it.

Better yet, they probably should hire one of those continuity experts the Hollywood folks use when filming those big budget blockbusters now that Harry is too busy to double check the script. I'll bet Arnie could set 'em up with one.

Sportin' Life said...

I read that op-ed supporting Miers. Wow, that was faint praise. I got the distinct impression that he had been ordered to write something against his will.

Anonymous said...

A person can have MANY priorities, dumbass. And when someone uses the term "number one priority," that's not necessarily meant LITERALLY. Idiot.

But it's cute how you use Google for 10 minutes and think you've "dug up" some
brilliant contradictions."

Newer Post Older Post Home