Today On Holden’s Obsession With The Gaggle

Pony Blow must be out… I don’t know, blowing ponies or something — because Dana Peroxide handled today’s gaggle.Dana is nothing if not a True Believer.

Q Just days before the State of the Union, there is a back and forth, escalating and escalating. How is the President handling this back and forth, up and down Pennsylvania Avenue, as he’s getting ready to deliver this major speech? Is he weary a bit? Because we’re hearing some things that he may be a little bit tired from the Iraq fight?

MS. PERINO: I was fortunate enough to see him yesterday in a meeting.He didn’t seem at all weary to me. He —

Q Is he tired of the fighting?

MS. PERINO: I think that he’s always disappointed in the partisan tone in Washington. But, no, I would not characterize him as weary at all. He has the courage of his convictions. He believes that what he has done in setting up this plan is the right thing to do. He believes that it’s in the best interest for not only the Iraqi people and the region, but for this country. And so he feels quite confident in that.

Holy Crap! Anyway, Dana assures us that the Assministration bears no responsibility for the “tone in Washington”.

Q I just wanted to follow up on something you said a minute ago about the President being disappointed about the tone in Washington. Does the White House not bear some responsibility for setting that tone? We heard from the White House during the campaign, for instance —

MS. PERINO: I think in this particular issue we’re looking at the Iraq new way forward that the President announced, that we have unprecedented extensive outreach to members of Congress. The President listened to all that they had to say.


Q They complain that they weren’t properly consulted, that the decisions had already been made on the policy before they were talked to.

MS. PERINO: I’ve heard that criticism and I can understand where it comes from, in part. However, it was no secret that the President had been undergoing this review for many months. The President had many meetings with members of Congress on all sorts of issues. Especially right after the election, we had many members down here. Everyone knew the Iraq Study Group was coming forward with its plans, and the President has an open door. And so if they had an idea or a plan prior to that, that they wanted to share, we welcomed their ideas then, and we welcome them now.

Here Dana gets all protective when Speaker Pelosi tells it like it is.

Q You talked about seeking consensus with Congress. Speaker Pelosi said today that on Iraq, the President has dug a hole so deep that he can’t even see the light. She says it’s a historic blunder. Do you have any reaction to that? And given that statement, how do you reach a consensus?

MS. PERINO: Well, I think one of the things that’s happening up on Capitol Hill is there is a sound bite war going on. For Pelosi to say, “The President knows that because the troops are in harm’s way that we won’t cut off the resources, that’s why he’s moving so quickly to put them in harm’s way” is poisonous, and it’s certainly not in keeping with the bipartisan spirit and civility that the Democrats pledged and that we looked forward to. The President will again call for that in his State of the Union.

Speaker Pelosi was arguing, in essence, that the President is putting young men and women in harm’s way for tactical political reasons, and she’s questioning his motivations, rather than questioning his policies. The one thing you can say about President Bush is that he’s not moving forward with this new plan because he thinks it is popular; he is doing it because he thinks it is right. He is sending troops to Iraq quickly because he wants to win. General Petraeus and many of the President’s military advisors believe that we still can win and that securing Baghdad is the way to do that.

Q Has he contemplated the cost of what he thinks —

MS. PERINO: Absolutely.

Q — the number of people are going to die in this?

MS. PERINO: President Bush has talked about the sobering calculations of his decision and about the situation in Iraq and what is in the best interests of our country. Recent policies, plans that have been announced on Capitol Hill don’t take into consideration the consequences of a Baghdad that would collapse — that would certainly cause Iran to come in, feeding into the militias. You’d have the possible collapse of the government, the fracturing of the military, much for violence, entrenched radicalism and a recruitment for al Qaeda.

Q But if you’re sending two brigades or seven brigades in, whatever it is, aren’t you also going to cause more violence?

MS. PERINO: As the President said, it could get worse before it gets better, and he fully understands that. But we also believe that by securing Baghdad — which you cannot ignore the situation in Baghdad; you must secure it, because if you don’t, all of these other things I just mentioned could happen, and that’s the way you go in to get to peace, and that’s the way that you also, frankly, are going to get to the political and economic reforms that everyone says that they want to have.


Q To say that this is “poisonous” — didn’t you just escalate it by calling it “poisonous,” if there’s a war of words going on? Is this not an escalation just now?

MS. PERINO: I think that questioning the President’s motivations and saying that he is sending troops into harm’s way for political reasons was the one that — I think she was being provocative in that statement this morning. And I don’t think that just because — I think that we should be able to defend the President’s policy and his decision and his beliefs without necessarily calling that an escalation.


Q Thank you. Going back to the word “poisonous,” do you think that that is a good word to use as he is going to the Hill?

MS. PERINO: I’m sorry, which word did you say?

Q Poisonous. Do you think that was a good word to use as he’s going to the Hill?

MS. PERINO: I think those particular comments were poisonous. I think questioning the President’s motivations and suggesting that he, for some political reason, is rushing troops into harm’s way, is not appropriate, it is not correct, and it is unfortunate, because we do have troops in harm’s way. And they need to know that we are having — if we’re going to have a debate, let’s have a serious one, and let’s have one that talks about the realities of the plan that we’re trying to put forward.

Sending two carrier groups into the Persian Gulf = a “commitment to… peace”.

Q Could you respond to Majority Leader Reid’s assertion that the President does not have the authority to launch military action in Iran without first seeking congressional authorization?

MS. PERINO: I’m puzzled about that press conference, because there seems to be fanning of flames where there’s no fire. The President, Secretary Gates, Secretary Rice, Joint Chairman Pace, Tony Snow — you want to add him in — have all said that our focus is on Iraq, that if there is targeting or intelligence that says that there will be harm to our troops or to Iraqi civilians or Iraqi troops by Iranian influence, that we are going to deal with that. But they’ve all said that we can deal with that inside of Iraq. So there is no provocation here, except for on the part of the Iranians, who continue to be meddlesome in Iraq. And we are going to deal with that, but deal with that inside of Iraq.

Q There’s also a second carrier group in the Persian Gulf now, in a move that Secretary Gates says was specifically made to show Iran that we’re not tied down in Iraq.

MS. PERINO: And the other thing that he said is that it is our commitment to show our allies in the region that we are committed to peace in the Middle East.

2 thoughts on “Today On Holden’s Obsession With The Gaggle

  1. I didn’t know “…the President has an open door.” Is she out of her freaking mind? The man lives in a bubble.
    And this “…The President, Secretary Gates, Secretary Rice, Joint Chairman Pace, Tony Snow — you want to add him in –” had me singing ‘One of these things just ain’t like the other ones, one of these things just ain’t the same’. The President is elected by the people, Secs. Gates and Rice and JCoS Pace are confirmed by the Senate. Tony Snow is a political staffer. Who gives a crap what he says?
    My prediction is that Gordon Johndroe is WH Press Secretary by the end of Bush’s second term. Snow will be back at Fox after a writing a book. Dana Perino isn’t the stone cold toady that Johndroe is so I think he’ll leap frog her. Then the press corpse will waste it’s time even showing up to ask questions because Johndroe combines the worst attributes of Scottie and Pony Blow – stonewalling and stupid – in one bootlicking package.
    OT: Any plans to publish a compilation of Holden’s Obsession with the Gaggle near the end of the Bush years? It seems like a worthwhile historical document. You could just do a bang-bang job on the editing and publish it on Lulu. But I think it would sell in small numbers for a long time (The Long Tail). I’ll bet you could get Ari Fleisher to write a jacket blurb. Have your people call my people.

  2. “MS. PERINO: I think that he’s always disappointed in the partisan tone in Washington.”
    She thinks he’s Elvis.
    She also thinks he’s doing some FABULOUS planning, like he does FOR ALL OF HIS DISASTERS.
    He’s very meticulous.
    His genocide of Iraq, for instance, has been planned down to the slightest think-tanked goad or act of nameless cruelty the sickos could think up.
    I really do understand why those lizards shoot blood from their eyes.

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