August 06, 2004

you're a stupid dumbass

I'm sick like a sick dog with some nasty flu bug, but I just couldn't resist this. You know, I don't really believe that Bush is a stupid dumbass. But when he says stuff like this, I really have to wonder about my beliefs.

(Context is Bush's speech today to the UNITY: Journalists of Color conference)

Mark Trahant, Seattle Post-Intelligencer and member, Native American Journalist Association: "What do you think tribal sovereignty means in the 21st century, and how do we resolve conflicts between tribes and the federal and state governments?"

President Bush: "Yeah. Uh, tribal sovereignty means that, it's sovereign. You're a... you're a... you've been given sovereignty and you're viewed as a sovereign entity. (pause, audience laughter) And therefore the relationship between the federal government and tribes is one between sovereign entities."


(Full text of speech and Q&A at, er, gov)

Posted by Gene at August 6, 2004 10:21 PM | TrackBack

Bush is as a dumb as a stick. He should never be allowed off the teleprompter. Whenever he attempts to speak 'off the cuff', his brain seemingly never engages with his mouth. I'd laugh if I wasn't so embarassed to have such a sorry excuse as a president. If his name didn't happen to be Bush, he'd probably be a short order cook at Denny's.

Posted by: Tim at September 11, 2004 05:49 PM

Another American president who also came to the White House by way of Texas once said of an antagonist, "He's so dumb he couldn't pour piss out of a boot if the instructions were written on the heel." That was LBJ. No real point there, just a good opportunity to relate a great presidential quotation.

I don't think Bush is that stupid, really. He does have a rather severe and unfortunate problem with disfluency in his native tongue, that's for sure. His politics? Another issue for another topic.

But I would also invite anyone else here to answer the same basic question: "What do YOU think tribal sovereignty means?" Sounds like a crappy question designed to setup the person answering for failure
to me...

Posted by: Toosh at September 25, 2004 04:31 AM

It's not a crappy question, imho. It's only a setup if the person answering the question hasn't thought about the complex policy issues and emotional baggage of how to treat the native American nations that are increasingly becoming economic and political powers in their regions. I don't expect a random person off the blog to have expertise in this, but I do expect our president to have a credible understanding and maybe even a position.

Or maybe Bush has a position, but it's extreme, and it was better to appear to fumble around, than to say that the indies should just stay drunk and stay on the res. Just speculating, mind you.

Posted by: gene at September 25, 2004 11:29 AM

Well, I still believe that the question, especially having been constructed using the term "tribal sovereignty", is crappy. It's crappy because no establishment politician is going to give you the straight answer: tribal sovereignty isn't sovereign. You're either going to get a lot circular yammering a la Bush, or some other load of total BS.

Sovereignty requires total independence-- something that the reservation system doen't have. All tribal laws are subject to Congressional review. So you can bet that if a tribal law were passed that deeply offended our New World sensibilities, the feds would swiftly intercede. Imagine, if you will, that we had within our borders the Aztec nation...

OK, I have to admit I take a dimmer view than most of the practice of redefining words so that we'll feel better about ourselves. And of course, in this case, I'm talking about feeling better about the near mass extermination of an indigenous people. It bothers me to see such a disingenuous phrase loaded into a question at press conference, and then to subsequently judge the intelligence of the respondent on his answer.

But your right, it's a valid policy question in spirit, however I think it's one that is full of details that at least need to be singled out within the question, and not all glommed together under the phony banner of "tribal sovereignty".

Posted by: Toosh at September 26, 2004 05:53 AM
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