You're trying to do a tap dance on his political grave, aren't you? You don't understand how effective Blair is...And Talking Points Memo has video of Bush refusing to answer a simple question: Did he personally send Card and Gonzales to John Ashcroft's hospital bedside in an effort to get his signature on their illegal wire-tapping scam?
He happens to be your prime minister, but more importantly, he is a respected man in the international arena. People admire him...
It's not just the American president who admires him...A lot of people admire him...And so he's effective...
There's a lot of blowhards in the political process, a lot of hot-air artists, people who've got something fancy to say. Tony Blair is somebody who actually follows through with his convictions.
The funny thing about this dodge is that the president is saying not only that the nature of the program is highly classified and must be kept secret, which may be true, but that his apparent order for Gonzales and Card to go squeeze the semi-concsious John Ashcroft is also highly classified and must be kept secret. Somehow I just don't get that one. The president's refusal to answer tells the tale. The president gave the order and even placed the call, as James Comey all but told us yesterday.Juan Cole also has some informed commentary:
At one point, a reporter asked Bush point blank if he was the cause of Tony Blair having to step down as prime minister.As the Guardian reported it:
Now, when you get a question like that as a politician, surely you have a lot of options for answering. You could reply with a self-deprecating joke. Or you could insist that Blair is a statesman in his own right whose record stands on its own. Or something.
What you wouldn't want to do is to grant the premise of the reporter's question.
Bush, with his deer in the headlight gaze, actually answered the question.
In the affirmative.
Mr Bush winked at a British reporter who had asked whether the president was responsible for Mr Blair's resignation. "I haven't polled the Labour conference, but ... could be."Cole suggests a follow-up question:
He added: "The question is, am I to blame for his leaving? I don't know."
Are you responsible, Mr. President, for sending the Middle East up in flames?