Wednesday, September 18, 2002

ANATOMY OF A BUSHISM: The White House press core was slightly taken aback yesterday when, speaking off-the-cuff at a Tennesee school, George W. Bush inappropriately invoked the lyrics of Pete Townshend's Won't Get Fooled Again.

Making the case, once again, that Saddam Hussein cannot be trusted, Bush said:

"There's an old saying in Tennessee--"

Wait a minute ... I really have no idea if they say it in Tennessee ... for all I know, they might have a completely different set of sayings here. I'd better cover myself ...

"I know it's in Texas, probably in Tennessee -- that says--"

What am I thinking about? What's my point? Concentrate! Concentrate!

"--fool me--"

How does that go again? Does it start with fool me once, or fool me twice? Let me think... Fool me twice, shame on... no, that doesn't make any sense! It's gotta be...

"--once, shame on--"

Me? You? Me? You? Let me try it both ways ... Foolmeonce,shameonme,foolmetwice,shameonyou...? No -- that doesn't make sense. Or does it? Oh, hell, why do I ever stray from the prepared text? Gotta say something! Gotta take a chance! Let's try...

"--shame on you."

Yeah! Nailed it! Halfway home!

"Fool me--"

What did I just say five seconds ago? Did I say "once?" Did I already say "twice"? Damn! Which is it? Once or twice? You or me? Shame on -- oh, hell, I'm completely lost. I'm going to look like a complete idiot. Exit strategy. How does that old song go?

"--you can't get fooled again."

Whew! Close enough for government work...


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