Saturday, April 09, 2005

Speak no evil

Still being on active duty, I have been told that I am not allowed to use "contemptuous words" toward the president (although I'm not sure that's correct, as I am a noncommissioned officer, not a commissioned officer, as the article states).

So, to be on the safe side, I'll just put this out there, sans comment.

It seems that, in order set himself apart from Bill Clinton, who said the Pope might have a "mixed legacy," Bush decided to have a chat with the press on Air Force One and praise the Pope again and again. This caught my eye:

Q Your predecessor suggested that the Pope would leave a mixed legacy, even though he was a great man. Since you differed with him on the war to such a great degree, do you also think it will be a mixed legacy?

THE PRESIDENT: I think Pope John Paul II will have a clear legacy of peace, compassion, and a strong legacy of setting a clear moral tone...

Let me make sure I go back to the first answer on His Holiness. I said -- I think my answer was, is that -- what did I say?

Q I asked if you thought it was a mixed message, and you said, "I think John Paul II will have a clear legacy of peace" --

THE PRESIDENT: A clear and excellent legacy, if you don't mind adding the word "excellent."

Q Clear and excellent.

THE PRESIDENT: Yes. In other words, a strong legacy. I wanted to make sure there was a proper adjective to the legacy I thought he left behind. It was more than just "clear."

MR. McCLELLAN: You said "strong," too, in that answer.

THE PRESIDENT: Okay.

Q Yes, you said, "strong legacy of setting a clear moral tone."

THE PRESIDENT: Fine. Okay, good...

I would define Pope John Paul II as a clear thinker who was like a rock. And tides of moral relativism kind of washed around him, but he stood strong as a rock. And that's why millions -- one of the reasons why millions came to admire and love him.

(Contemptuous... Words... Rising... Must... Fight...)

Is this pandering? Is it morally relativistic to use the Pope's term "a culture of life" despite holding the record the most executions ever overseen by any governor? Is there cognitive dissonance in declaring that the state should "err on the side of life" after having started a war based on cherry-picked intelligence? Hmmm...As an active duty soldier I can't say -- at least not without losing rank.

Perhaps CJ (or others) could come up with an appropriate description of the President's discourse?

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