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News & Politics

Don't Not Stay The Course

If this is what winning in Iraq looks like, you really, <i>really</i> don't want to see what losing looks like.
If you need more proof that President George Bush is as clueless as a goldfish on a leash in a space shuttle, you obviously didn't see him in all his counter-intuitive glory this week adamantly refuting the slogan of "staying the course" while keeping its policy exactly the same.

That's right; George Bush is cutting and running from "stay the course." This doesn't mean he's a Defeatlican, though. Because "we are winning in Iraq and will continue to win." And you'd better hope we do, because if this is winning, you really, really don't want to see what losing looks like.

He went on to speak of the differences between "a timetable" and "benchmarks," declaring one to be the way of the winner and the other the path to Loserville City. Now, as to which is which, your guess is as good as anybody's. And that probably includes his own staff. It definitely includes Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki who either has or hasn't agreed to benchmarks or timetables or touchstones or yardsticks, although a Donald Rumsfeld yard sign looks to be entirely out of the question.

Straight lines. Stark choices. Bold differences. Say what you will about Mister Bush, that's what he's always stood for. "Us versus them." "Good versus evil." "Black versus white."

Now, that may be a great world view...for an eighth grader, but hey, in the last six years of fighting for the hearts and minds of American voters, it's worked. Nuance is for sissies. Shades of grey: the way of the girly man. The White House is a place where the "b" in subtlety is not necessarily silent.

Of course, now that polls reflect we midterm electors are evidencing a wee bit of reluctance continuing in the President's lemming footsteps marching lockstep over the Iraqi cliff of doom, Mr. Bush is determined to prove himself...flexible.

Yes, the giant clanking Oval Office robot is intent on demonstrating he has morphed into one of those pliable 14-year-old female Olympic gymnasts with that rubberizing agent still in their bones. President Iron Giant is no more. Long live President Olga Korbut.

The President did admit that he may be dissatisfied, but he's not disillusioned. He's patient, but his patience is not unlimited. Flexible but not spongy. A little bit country. And a little bit rock and roll. You say goodbye; I say hello.

The war is going according to plan, but it's a limber plan. Not a stay the concrete course plan, but an elastic sort of course plan that we're either staying or not. Kind of like one of those road races where you can cut across to the other side between the bales of hay.

So even the President has agreed that the phrase "stay the course" is a dirty word. And to all the Republicans candidates whom he seduced into repeating that phrase often enough to be used for opposition election ads, it won't be long before the phrase "George Bush" is also a dirty word. And I envision a day not too far in the future when just mentioning the President's name on the radio will result in getting hit by the FCC with a $350,000 fine... for obscenity.

Will Durst is a political comic, syndicated columnist, AM radio talk show host and defense liability.
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