(don’t!) stay the course

https://i2.wp.com/www.sinkers.org/posters/staythecourse/staythecourse_color.jpgHeh. 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…

December 15, 2003:

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.

April 16, 2004:

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.

August 4, 2005:

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.”

August 30, 2006:

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 courseis 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 notstay 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]

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8 responses to “(don’t!) stay the course

  1. I thinking I might just take some more time off from school and hibernate until, oh, early 2009. Hopefully we’re not all dead and/or stupider by then.

  2. I think we always have to remember that policy statements (whether by Bush or Blair or any “political figure”) are card-player’s bluff: you pretend you have a certain hand until the other player calls your bluff or it becomes convenient to pretend something else.

    “Staying the course” in Iraq is just an example. They are not going to say “We’re not sure we can carry this off but we’re trying” because that would give aid and comfort to the opposition though it is probably what Bush and Co were thinking all the while. Now they need a new bluff. It is that they can soon withdraw from Iraq because the government of Iraq will be able to look after itself.

    When they do quit and it becomes evident that the Iraqi government cannot look after itself, a new bluff will be needed.

    An important tool in bluffing is denial: you have to admire the way a politician can look you right in the eye and deny he ever said what he is on record as having said. Maybe they all have a copy of Orwell’s 1984 in their briefcases.

  3. It’s a shame that this blithering idiot made it to office. He’s worse than Dan Quayle mispelling potatoe. What’s equally shameful is his staff that allows him to say the dumb SugarHoneyIceTea that comes out of his gaping wide a-hole of a mouth. Forgive my crassness, but I’m so sick of him and his less than steller word smithing.

  4. Ben, I gave all-too-serious thought to moving to Canada after the last election. I’m still scared, but at least there’s a modicum of hope in the upcoming elections. For instance, there’s a fairly good chance that our congressional district will be reclaimed by the Democrats from a truly idiotic Republican. I happen to live in one of the battlegrounds, so we’ve been overrun by visits from George, Laura, and Dick lately. Ick.

    Tiger, “1984” is exactly what came to mind when I read the recent attempts to deny ever using “stay the course” as a mantra. They’re so used to getting away with whatever they want that they still think people will believe whatever they say. Fortunately, after the glaring lack of WMDs in Iraq, the downward spiral of the war, etc., the press and the public are finally getting some backbone and beginning to question the Bushies’ version of “reality.”

    Blu, As I’ve said before, I can’t stand to listen to him talk — the sound of his voice causes a physical negative response. A couple of days ago NPR had a piece about ballot initiatives in California, and they played a long clip of a speech by Bill Clinton. Hearing that voice was like going home again — warm, intelligent, well-spoken… . Now HE was a president.

  5. Bush Family — 98,842 acres and a Mule
    by Steve O @ 2:02 pm Bring It On! blog http://www.teambio.org/2006/10/bush-family-98842-acres-and-a-mule/
    It has been reported that George W. Bush has recently purchased a 98,842 acre farm in Northern Paraguay. What on earth does the President of the United States need a 98,000+ acre farm in Northern Paraguay for?

    On the surface it looks all very innocent, but lets add the very quiet trip that Jenna Bush made to the country earlier this month in which she met Paraguayan President Nicanor Duarte and his family at their official residence. She also met with U.S. Ambassador James Cason. Could it be that our little drunken Jenna is all grown up and playing diplomacy?

    This all still seems very innocent on the surface, but now lets add the five hundred U.S. troops that arrived in Paraguay with planes, weapons and ammunition in July 2005, shortly after the Paraguayan Senate granted U.S. troops immunity from national and International Criminal Court (ICC) jurisdiction. Neighboring countries and human rights organizations are concerned the massive air base at Mariscal Estigarribia, Paraguay is potential real estate for the U.S. military.

    Does Bush plan on being charged with something in the future? Does Bush foresee a collapse of the United States and feels a strong need to have a place to cut and run to, or does Bush just need a nice secret little place other than Gitmo where he can send people he doesn’t like?

    Now things don’t look so innocent.

    Mr. Bush, could you please tell us what your intentions are and whether these intentions are hostile toward the people of the United States, or do you just intend on retiring to Paraguay?

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  7. Hi.
    Good design, who make it?

  8. The truth is that they are not and there is a growing industry to prove it.

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