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Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Okay, okay, the really interesting thing in Bush's Washington Times interview was not his claim that he doesn't "see how you can be president without a relationship with the Lord," which is what is getting all the play in the hand-wringing lefty blogosphere. (Bush -- who has been repeatedly proven to be hugely ignorant of Judeo-Christian history, theology, and the Bible -- clearly doesn't remember any of the nasty-bad kings of Israel recounted in the Samuels, Kingses, and Chronicleses, none of whom were on very good terms with the Gal Upstairs.)

No, the interesting part was this passage:

"I think people attack me because they are fearful that I will then say that you're not equally as patriotic if you're not a religious person," Mr. Bush said. "I've never said that. I've never acted like that. I think that's just the way it is."

Now, the only way to read this statement literally is that he "thinks" that it just "is" a fact that irreligious people are "not equally as patriotic," though people have the wrong idea about him because he would never say it out loud. Except, of course, to a prominent conservative news media source.

But because no one ever takes the President at his word, his comment will be taken to mean that the "that's just the way it is" refers to the fear and not to his actual thoughts. And because he was talking to the news media, he probably meant something like that, because he's no dummy. Moreover, he made a clearer distinction later in the interview, when he contrasted America with the Taliban. That's heartening, I guess, if your expectations are in the cellar.

Yet I'm not inclined to give him a pass. He insists on "strict constructionism" from his appointed judges, why shouldn't we apply the same standard to him? After all subtlety from Kerry was blasted away, I'm sick and damn tired of the media giving Bush a pass when he trips over his tongue in meaningful statements.

So. Headlines:
President Feels "Attacked" By People Afraid He Will Say What He Thinks
Bush Says Non-Religious "Not Equally As Patriotic," Though He Would Never Say So Out Loud
Bush: "It's Rude To Acknowledge That Atheists Hate America"
Bush: "God Is My Co-Pilot"
Bush: "He Ain't Heavy, He's My Lord"

 3:51 PM

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