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THERE HE WENT AGAIN! Bush is still playing the voters for fools. Michael Janofsky allows it:

THERE HE GOES AGAIN: As Joe Klein said to Paula Zahn, it’s the emotional heart of Bush’s “pitch” (see THE DAILY HOWLER, 7/16/04). Yesterday, he made his pitch to West Virginia voters, whom he treated, as always, like a big bunch of rubes. Michael Janofsky does the play-by-play in this morning’s New York Times:
JANOFSKY: In West Virginia, Mr. Bush repeated his criticism of Mr. Kerry for voting against the $87 billion spending bill for Iraq and Afghanistan, pointing out that Mr. Kerry on Thursday called his vote ''complicated.''

'”There’s nothing complicated about supporting our troops,'' Mr. Bush said to loud applause.

Really? There was “nothing complicated” about that spending bill? Then why did Bush threaten to veto the form of the bill which he opposed? Why did Bush say he would veto that $87 billion? When we ask ourselves that, we can’t help thinking that the bill was less simple than Dissembler One says. And we wonder how loud that applause would have been if Bush had treated those voters like citizens and had told them about his real conduct.

Indeed, let’s run our thought experiment again. Here’s the transcript of Bush-and-the-rubes in Beckley, West Virginia:

BUSH (actual remarks): I assure you, ladies and gentlemen, the cause of freedom is in really good hands.


BUSH: I'll make sure our troops have the best. They deserve the best. And that's why last September I proposed supplemental funding to support our military in its mission. This legislation provided funding for body armor and other vital equipment, for hazard pay, health benefits, ammunition, fuel, spare parts. In the Senate, only a small, out-of-the-mainstream minority voted against the legislation. And two of those 12 senators, two of the 12, are my opponent and his running mate.


BUSH: When asked to explain his vote, Senator Kerry said this, “I actually did vote for the $87 billion before I voted against it.”


BUSH: End quote. Now he's offering a different explanation. Earlier this week, Senator Kerry said he is proud that he and his running mate voted against the funding for the troops.


BUSH: And yesterday, he said that his vote against funding for our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan was complicated. No, there's nothing complicated about supporting our troops.


BUSH: As the Commander-in-Chief of a great United States military, I will make sure they have what is necessary so they can do their jobs.


Yep— those voters were laughing, applauding and booing. But how effective would that “pitch” have been if Bush hade been honest for once in his life— had said this:
BUSH (revised and made truthful): And yesterday, he said that his vote against funding for our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan was complicated. No, there's nothing complicated about supporting our troops.


BUSH: Of course, I threatened to veto the $87 billion! Heh! I was going to veto the money altogether!

What would have happened if Bush had said that? We’d guess that the Beckley crowd’s [APPLAUSE] would have given way to [PUZZLED LOOKS]. But there’s little chance we’ll ever find out. Because there’s little chance that the Cherry Picker in Chief will ever tell the truth to real voters.

Which brings us back to Michael Janofksy, typing this crap for the New York Times. When will the Michael Janofksys get up on their feet, be brave boys and girls, and supply some context for their readers? Like Kerry, Bush opposed one form of this bill and supported the other. Kerry voted against the form he opposed; Bush threatened to veto the form he disfavored. But Bush is now playing the voters for fools. And Michael Janofsky allows it.

VISIT OUR INCOMPARABLE ARCHIVES: Jim Lehrer also allows it. See THE DAILY HOWLER, 7/15/04.

Joe Klein also allows it (no surprise there). See THE DAILY HOWLER, 7/16/04.