Bush: “We’ve never been ‘stay the course.'”

President Bush denies ever having advocated that we “stay the course” in Iraq. Two points to anybody who can twist logic sufficiently to claim that this is not a bald-faced lie.

Published by Waldo Jaquith

Waldo Jaquith (JAKE-with) is an open government technologist who lives near Char­lottes­­ville, VA, USA. more »

19 replies on “Bush: “We’ve never been ‘stay the course.'””

  1. Um… I could use the points, but I doubt I can finesse that out of bald-faced territory. Even using imaginary numbers, quantum physics, or string theory.

    Do you still give out points for rhyming?

  2. Waldo, what about this do you not understand? When President Bush was talking about “staying the course” in 2003 and 2004 in all those public quotes, he was talking about an intent, not a plan of action. The fact that it has always been his intent to stay the course does not mean that he has actually been able to follow through in fact or in action.

    It is not Bush’s fault that his Neo-Con faction has been duking it out with his Oil Industry faction ever since we set foot in Baghdad. The Neo-Cons insist upon privatizing Iraq’s oil and busting up OPEC. But that wouldn’t be at all good for Big Oil, which wants Saudi Arabia to maintain control of the flow so the price per barrel can stay over $50.

    Poor President Bush. He has put forth all his effort in trying to force these two groups to work together so we could stay the course, but now he has to admit defeat. Why? Because staying the course would mean openly taking a side against one or the other, and he’s indebted to both. So it’s time to come up with a face-saving exit strategy before it gets any uglier and he gets lynched by a Democratic Congress.

    Do I get any points? :::best ingenuous look:::

  3. I don’t know, but for some reason, when I hear ‘stay the course’, I think of the “Mr. Ed” TV show theme.

    Stay the course, of course it’s a horse.
    What else would we do but stay the course?

    We’ve helped our friends, and they’ve helped us too
    So staying the course is all we can do.

    A little Seuss-ian as well, I reckon.

    Not as much as the situation is Freudian.

  4. In the words of Eric Cartman:

    This must be the biggest bold-faced lie since “I did not have sexual relations with that woman.”

  5. [i]I don’t know, but for some reason, when I hear ’stay the course’, I think of the “Mr. Ed” TV show theme.[/i]

    Except that “Mr. Ed” didn’t require us to suspend disbelief :-).

  6. It’s a “flexible freeze” position. Besides don’t we have a hot button political issue to take the public’s mind off of Iraq? The constitutional amendement to prohibit the burning of the America Flag? Sorry, wrong decade, wrong President Bush. I meant the constitutional amendment to stop gay marriage. (There should also be bonus points awarded to folks who can name the other two amendements Virginians will be voting on.)

  7. Heh. I think the best, most plausible, explanation would be that this is an excellent example of Bush being a less-than-stellar extemporaneous speaker.

    Speculating: I’d guess he probably intended to say something like “we’ve never been ‘stay the exact same course’, George. We change tactics all the time. We just intend to finish the job.”

    More specifically, he probably intends to say that our overall strategy and goals haven’t changed, but our tactics change all the time. That’s a perfectly reasonable, if unexceptional, thing to say.

    It’s not what he said, of course, which brings us back to the whole ‘less-than-stellar’ remark.

  8. The use up to this point of “stay the course” by Bush has been to “complete the mission.” I understand the difference between course and goal, but it has always been clear to me that that is how he has used them.

    Even if he has changed that meaning, what about all those times he has said we will “stay the course” in the past? Didn’t he just admit to not “staying the course” after telling people he would on the several occasions transcribed and linked below the video?

    That’s the logic trap Bush is stuck in as I see it anyway. Any which way you twist it. He lied… or at the least didn’t do what said he would… which is sorta like lying…

    Trying to think of rhymes.

  9. I wish we had a president who, when presenting with facts that conflict with what he thought to be true, would change his opinions and plans accordingly. I never thought I’d have to wish for that, at least not until 2001 came around.

    He thinks that it makes him look weak to change his mind. But the world is a very different place now than it was on September 12, 2001. This “I’m a war president” schtick has worn thin. His inability to adapt to change circumstances makes him look far weaker than changing his tack might ever have made him look.

    I have to wonder what would have happened if he’d lost that Supreme Court decision in 2000. Would he have attempted to occupy the White House anyhow? To “stay the course” towards the presidency? At what point does reality enter his bubble and cause him to correct accordingly?

  10. It’s not about the words, Waldo. It’s never about the *words*. No, it’s about the intent. When Stephanopolous says “Stay the course” he obviously means “sticking with a dead-end plan that’s just going to get a lot of people killed and/or angry.” When Bush used the words “Stay the course” earlier, he meant “Using dynamic and fluid tactics to fit the situation, ensure that we do not leave until Iraq is properly freed.” You see? Similar spellings, two completely different meanings.

    So, to recap: Stephanopolous said “stay the course” with a tactical inflection, and when Bush said it, he said it with a strategic inflection. The sad thing is, I’m pretty sure that’s how he believes it in his heart.

    Alternately, he could have just fessed up to lying over the past several years. They’ve never “been” stay the course, but sure, they’ve said it many, many times.

  11. Oh boy, President Bush is going to need to put up some damage control, and fast. This will spread quickly, and not replying to the hasty replies will allow this statement to take hold and greatly impact his legacy.

  12. We’ve never been stay the course.
    And I can state, without remorse,
    That Saddam Hussein is a bad man.
    And we face threats from Iran.
    And terrorists threaten us from Iraq.
    You know that’s true, that’s a fact.
    I say what I mean, and I mean what I say.
    We won’t pack up, we won’t go away.
    But, when I speak, consider the source,
    ‘Cause we’ve never been stay the course.

  13. “This will spread quickly, and not replying to the hasty replies will allow this statement to take hold and greatly impact his legacy.”

    Impact his legacy? Hahahahahahahahaha…like his legacy hasn’t already been impacted by being politically inept internationally and domestically. The only thing that he was good at was passing himself off as electable twice. That is his legacy.

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