“Stay the Course”

One thing that amazes me about the Bush administration is their willingness to make outright, bald-faced lies that can be easily refuted.  The latest example, as nicely summarized at Think Progress, was Bush disavowing “Stay the Course,” now that Republicans have realized this slogan is a failure…

STEPHANOPOULOS: James Baker says that he?s looking for something between ?cut and run? and ?stay the course.?

BUSH: Well, hey, 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.
Constantly.

The reality:

BUSH: We will stay the course. [8/30/06]

BUSH: We will stay the course, we will complete the job in Iraq. [8/4/05]

BUSH: We will stay the course until the job is done, Steve. 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. [12/15/03]

BUSH: And my message today to those in Iraq is: We?ll stay the course. [4/13/04]

BUSH: 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. [4/16/04]

BUSH: And so we?ve got tough action in Iraq. But we will stay the course. [4/5/04]

Dan Froomkin's latest column nicely summarizes what this all really boils down to:

But as I wrote in Friday's column , even the best and most flexible tactics, in pursuit of an ill-chosen strategy, will not achieve the desired goals.

Cutting
through the rhetoric, it's quite clear what Bush's Iraq strategy has
been up until now. In short: American troops will be there to provide
security as long as it takes for a democratic central government to
take hold. But there will be no clearly defined metrics against which
to measure success, no ultimatums to the Iraqi government, and no
timetables — because those would embolden the enemy.

Thus far,
Bush has remained steadfast in this strategy — even as American
casualties spike, as the country descends into a state of civil war,
and as the central government has yet to provide any evidence
whatsoever of its ability to take real control over anything.

The administration does this because they count on the so-called liberal media not calling them on their outright lies.  It will be interesting to see what happens in this case.

About Steve Greene
Professor of Political Science at NC State http://faculty.chass.ncsu.edu/shgreene

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