Unable to get into the “town hall” to take part in the debate personally, I went looking for a place to watch it. Sadly, the Sox game pre-empted the debate at most bars, but the Drunken Fish was showing it, with subtitles only.
Regarding the debate, Oliver Willis has a clip titled “watch your President flip out of his gourd” and everybody is asking is this Bush’s Dean Scream™? One commenter writes “Bush came unhinged!! He was out-of-control and this particular episode shows it in fine detail. Bush DID NOT look presidential AT ALL.”
Rayden comments at OlliverWillis:
At the 1 hour, nineteen minute mark Jonathan Michaelson asked Bush a question about selecting a supreme court Justice. During the answer, Bush drifted into rambling almost incoherently about the Dred Scott case. He came to a point when he said… “… that’s not what the constitution says! The Constitution of the United States says we’re all… y’know …it … It doesn’t speak to the equality of America….” As he blinks, lowers his head to gather himself, pops his jaw and slips into, and tries to recover from, another struggling Freudian stammer. It reminded me of the famous gaff involving the “Fool me once” parable where he physically couldn’t say “shame on me”.
Now, the first time I watched the debate, the thind I found stunning was the fact that he said that the constitution didn’t speak to the equality of America. Then I dismissed as a Bushism, and assumed that he meant that the constitution does speak to the equality of America. Because it does. Obviously.
Thankfully, I have TIVO. I watched the debate again and discovered this particular moment. I was shocked, and horrified that this sitting American President, in a moment of ease could not utter the words, “We’re all equal”. He physically couldn’t say it. My God. Who have we allowed, hired to run our country?
Decide for yourself, the iTunes Music Store has it online for free, along with the other debates. I listened, it’s there, between 1:18 and 1:19 in the iTunes file: “… that’s not what the constitution says! The Constitution of the United States says we’re all… y’know …it doesn’t say that… It doesn’t speak to the equality of America….” (Emphasis added, liberally.)
But there’s another question about whether Bush is getting prompted, or wearing a wire. It started with some pictures of an odd bulge on Bush, supported by no end of speculation. Here’s some from IsBushWired:
A funny thing happened at the December 15th presidential press conference. Asked to comment on an earlier statement by Howard Dean regarding his alleged foreknowledge of 9/11, Bush stumbles about the stage, clearly caught off guard by the question, then delivers the line: “It’s an absurd asinuation.”
…it could not be more clear that Bush was provided the words with which to answer. At first, Bush stumbles about, repeating his previous line that “there’s a time for politics.” During this time, he’s avoiding eye contact, shrugging, and delaying. Then, the answer is given to him, presumably through a wireless ear piece. Bush then suddenly delivers his line that “it’s an absurd asinuation.” The suddenness of his reply, after having been speechless, the smile in his eyes when he’s given the correct answer, and his incorrect pronunciation of the word “insinuation” all lead to [the] conclusion that he was prompted to provide this answer.
Finally, DefrenseTech pops the lead: the ACLU has a crib sheet to explain how our rights have been watered down by the Patriot Act.