Heh. Heh heh. Heheheheheheh…
I love the extremely rare cases when reality forces our “president” to change his mind about something.
July 10, 2003:
We’re making steady progress. A free Iraq will mean a peaceful world. And it’s very important for us to stay the course, and we will stay the course.
This quote is from an article titled “U.S. Will Stay the Course in Iraq, Bush Says,” by Casie Vinall, written for the American Forces Press Service. It appears in a cached version of the article that Google retrieved on Oct. 18. Now, just 6 days later, as the Bush administration backpedals from its “stay the course” mantra, the main link to the article no longer works. Hmmm…
We will stay the course until the job is done… And the temptation is to try to get the President or somebody to put a timetable on the definition of getting the job done. We’re just going to stay the course. … And the citizens of Iraq need to know we will stay the course.
And that’s why we’re going to stay the course in Iraq. And that’s why when we say something in Iraq, we’re going to do it.
We will stay the course, we will complete the job in Iraq.
November 23, 2005: Outstanding cartoon commentary from Mark Fiore: “Stay-the-Course Man.”
We will stay the course, we will help this young Iraqi democracy succeed, and victory in Iraq will be a major ideological triumph in the struggle of the 21st century.
September 18, 2006 (this one is Laura Bush, who seems intelligent enough on the surface; but I suspect that she may actually be a Stepford First Lady):
Well, I say exactly what the President says, that we need to stay the course…
October 11, 2006 (the backsliding begins)
And I think the characterization of “let’s stay the course” is about a quarter right. Stay the course means keep doing what you’re doing. My attitude is, don’t do what you’re doing if it’s not working; change. Stay the course also means don’t leave before the job is done. And that’s — we’re going to get the job done in Iraq. And it’s important that we do get the job done in Iraq.
October 22, 2006 (in an interview with George Stephanopoulous: who, us?):
Listen, we’ve never been stay the course, George. We have been — we will complete the mission. We will do our job and help achieve the goal, but we’re constantly adjusting to tactics.
October 23, 2006 (press briefing with Tony Snow—batten down the hatches!)
Q Is there a change in the administration “stay the course” policy? Bartlett this morning said that wasn’t ever the policy.
MR. SNOW: No, the policy — because the idea of “stay the course” is you’ve done one thing, you kick back and wait for it. And this has always been a dynamic policy that is aimed at moving forward at all times on a number of fronts. And that would include the international diplomatic front. After all, the Iraq compact is something we worked out with the Iraqis before visiting the Prime Minister in Baghdad earlier this year.
So what you have is not “stay the course,” but, in fact, a study in constant motion by the administration and by the Iraqi government, and, frankly, also by the enemy, because there are constant shifts, and you constantly have to adjust to what the other side is doing.
I think you also see much more aggressive efforts on the part of the Iraqi government because the Prime Minister understands the importance — the vital importance of reconciliation. The third reconciliation conference will be taking place next — is it next week, week after next — on the 4th. He is working on the reconciliation front. There has been considerable, and continues to be, action on the economic front. And obviously, we’re continuing to cooperate in security. That is not a “stay the course” policy.
Q Tony, it seems what you have is not “stay the course.” Has anybody told the President he should stop calling it “stay the course” then?
MR. SNOW: I don’t think he’s used that term in a while.
Q Oh, yes, he has, repeatedly.
MR. SNOW: When?
Q Well, in August, because I wrote a story saying he didn’t use it and I was quite sternly corrected.
MR. SNOW: No, he stopped using it.
Q Why would he stop using it?
MR. SNOW: Because it left the wrong impression about what was going on. And it allowed critics to say, well, here’s an administration that’s just embarked upon a policy and not looking at what the situation is, when, in fact, it’s just the opposite. The President is determined not to leave Iraq short of victory, but he also understands that it’s important to capture the dynamism of the efforts that have been ongoing to try to make Iraq more secure, and therefore, enhance the clarification — or the greater precision.
Q Is the President responsible for the fact people think it’s stay the course since he’s, in fact, described it that way himself?
MR. SNOW: No.
[ Image source: http://www.sinkers.org/posters/staythecourse/index.html]