The less obnoxious of the Two Bolts of Bush (chief of staff Josh Bolten, not UN excoriator John "Mustache Pete" Bolton) was on Meet the Press yesterday. He was actually pretty solid on the situation in Lebanon (even I, who am ready to bite people's throats out merely for suggesting that my views on Israel are not 104% correct, didn't find much to complain about other than his hilarious statement that America's support of Israel is nothing more than a manifestation of our support of the right of all people everywhere to be free); he was a little more at sea on Iraq, claiming to the lack of any supporting evidence that there is ample cause for optimism and dismissing in an extremely creepy fashion that hectoring statements by the (democratically elected!) Iraqi foreign minister were "just what you'd expect" from...well, he didn't say "those people", but he came as close as the law will allow. Still, it wasn't until Tim Russert started bird-dogging him on stem cell research that his little ship sailed away into the lonely empty waters of Indefensibilia. Russert showed Tony Snow's dingbat press conference where he explained that the President's position on stem cell research is that it's murder; he (Russert) then asked Bolten if, given that Bush's primary spokesment says stem cell research is murder, that means that the president in so many words is completely fucking out of his mind. Bolten, who looked like he'd been caught putting his dick in the caviar at Daddy's dinner party, did his level best to hem and haw and change the subject, but he ended up echoing Bush's "it's hard work!" claim about the Iraq war, saying stem cell researcn was a "very difficult, very complex issue", and that was why the President's policies made no goddamn sense whatsoever. The best moment was when Russert quoted Karl Rove as saying that adult stem cell research had shown more promise in medical research than embryonic tissue research -- a claim which no scientist whatsoever has made, as far as I can tell. Bolten agreed with this patently ridiculous statement, and Russert asked him how he could agree when there was no scientific research to back it up. At this point, the following hilarious exchange took place:
BOLTEN: "Well, I'm no scientist."
RUSSERT: "Neither is Karl Rove."
BOLTEN: "Oh, he knows a lot of things."
Anyone in the mood for further rumblings about politics is advised to check out James Wolcott's posts of the last few days. He's been on a roll lately, both with links and original thoughts, and for the most part, his views of the Israel/Lebanon crisis are my own.
Oh, also, this.