BUSH AND SOCIAL SECURITY....Over at Tapped, Sam Rosenfeld provides a play-by-play of George Bush's responses to questions about Social Security at today's press conference:
The president got a tad petulant when fielding questions on Social Security. His emphatic response to any and all queries about his position on the subject was an indignant, righteous refusal to answer: “You’re not going to get me to negotiate with myself,” he repeatedly told the perplexed reporters. “I know what you’re trying to get me to do. You’re trying to get me to answer ‘Why this,’ ‘why that,’ to take positions — don’t bother to ask me.” Rather than merely dodge the questions, Bush seemed intent on staking out an explicit, principled position in favor of dodging the question.
That's our president! A man of principle in all things.
—Kevin Drum 3:34 PM Permalink| TrackBack (1)| Comments (22)
What I would like to see more of from the press is a focus on the fact that this administration, and the President in particular, refuse to answer any question above a 3rd grade level. Any pointed question asking for an explanation or further details of a policy are either dismissed in the above manner or are returned with sarcastic non-answers.
While the President may feel complete abhorrence for the media, he still has a responsibility to explain his policies to the American public, or at least demonstrate that he understands the policies he is enacting. Yet due to the few and far between public addresses that rise above the level of campaign speech, the press corps is the only body in place to get these answers from the administration.
Careful and complete control of the administration's message of the day is a hallmark of this administration. Discipline is not a bad thing, however, when it results in an under-informed populace that is lied to by the leaders of this country, its time for the press to take a stand.
While is may be extreme, the press either needs to force coherent and substantial answers from the President, or refuse to cover his remarks with anything more than the perfunctory nature the President treats his questioners.