Bush takes a firm stance on tribal sovereignty


Say what you will, at least he’s quick on his feet.

Just when I thought my respect for the monkey couldn’t sink any lower.

To be fair, I have no idea how I’d answer that question either, beyond maybe asking the person who asked the question to clarify or illustrate with some specific examples.

You’re not the president.

True. But being president doesn’t confer special mental or cognitive abilities on someone. We have ample evidence of that! No state leader can be expected to be able to answer all questions on arbitrary political subjects. That’s what domain specialists, researchers and advisors are for. His mistake in that clip was in trying to bluff an answer by latching onto the word ‘sovereignty’ when he clearly didn’t understand what was being asked. Now, that in itself may betray a personality flaw but really, it’s petty to dwell on such little incidents. Frankly, I’m more concerned about the things he says and the decisions he reaches on important matters after due thought and consideration.

The president tries to bluff his way through something instead of actually getting the information needed and you think that " it’s petty to dwell on such little incidents".

To me it speaks volumes about his pattern of behaviour, and I’d argue that thousands have died in Iraq because of the exact same character flaw…


Incidents like a slip of the tongue or trying to dodge a question at a townhall meeting or whatever the ‘tribal sovereignty’ venue was I consider to be petty, yes. Equating incidents like this and big picture issues like his constantly shifting justifications and rationale for invading Iraq just sounds strident and ultimately undermines valid criticisms of the man.

But hey, if you want to come across as a frothing ideologue ready to pounce on the man and declaim ‘Satan!’ any time he so much as farts in public, feel free. In the end you’ll just be dismissed as not worth listening to.

Slip of the tongue - amusing, but not really indicative of anything

Trying to dodge a question - more sketchy, but somewhat understandable given our current environment of media saturation and soundbites

Answering a question when you have no idea what you’re talking about - really slimy. Combine this with the head of our nation and you get: Really slimy and really scary

You say it “sounds strident and ultimately undermines valid criticism of the man.” Why is it strident? Why does it undermine valid criticism? It seems like he’s revealing a fundamental character flaw: the inability to say “I don’t know”, combined with a contempt of the intelligence of everyone around him.

If this were an isolated event, then you might attribute it to an off day, or something like that. But Bush has repeatedly done this kind of crap throughout his presidency. (and before) In addition, his cavalier disregard for such mundane things as “facts” or “reasoned analysis” is the source of his numerous fuck-ups while in office. Noting such character flaws isn’t petty or distracting from valid criticism… it is a valid criticism.

Remember that Clinton guy? Remember how you could ask him a question like this and he’d actually have an answer? Those were the days…


He could also express it.


Ok, how many times can you guys use the word sovereignty in a sentence? Gaff? Come on, if this is his thinking on his feet, I hope we are never attacked…

That’s one way to go about it. Another is to elect people who aren’t incurious idiots - like, oh, Clinton, who at least knew what you were talking about on virtually every subject.

Look, I wouldn’t have expected him to have a well thought-out position on tribal sovereignty in the can just in case he ever got asked about it. It’s a fairly back-burner subject. I don’t fault him for not having a prepared answer, or even a solid stance on the issue.

What scares me, frankly, is that he didn’t even know what the hell tribal sovereignty is.

Brewers, you don’t have a well thought-out stance on the issue, I take it; but you know what is meant by the phrase “tribal sovereignty,” right? Everyone here knows what is meant by the phrase “tribal sovereignty,” right?

Because the President of the United States of America doesn’t.

Quick on his feet? It took him 7 minutes to think of what to do after he was told America was under attack. This is just more evidence of that same sharp mind.


Like I was saying :)

I think most high school debate team members could have a better answer than that. What was he trying to do? Define the words? I don’t think President Bush did very well on essay questions at Andover, Yale or Harvard.


Well to be fair, the question did include the words “what does tribal sovereignty mean…”

Now we’re getting somewhere. Rather than being worth a throw-away chuckle or two, this incident can be used to point to – or, at least, argue for – a more fundamental character flaw. That’s the kind of criticism that should be leveled against the man. It’s far more effective and far more damning than just pointing to the gaffes for a chuckle. That’s really all I’m saying.

I dunno, I haven’t been around here very long, so maybe you already have a tacit understanding about Bush’s public gaffes – that they’re more than just Quayle-isms.