Friday, April 29, 2005

Who are these mystery people?

The President, at his press conference, said "There will be no price-gouging at gas pumps in America." It's hard to imagine he really said that, right out in public, in front of cameras. I'm taking the word of the media for this, because I have to admit I didn't watch it--I can't stand to watch the guy--but I'd guess he assumed a don't-mess-with-Texas pose at that point.

The New York Times report did not mention, nor I would guess did the various TV reports, that Exxon-Mobil's recently announced quarterly profits were up 44%, ConocoPhillips were up 80 %, British Petroleum were up 35%, and Royal Dutch Shell's profits increased 28%. If we actually had a liberal media, you'd think they would accompany Bush's no-price-gouging claim with some relevant facts, like those foregoing.

Maybe Bush was was being smirky and legalistic. Most of us know that the guy who sells the gas at the pump is not the guy doing the gouging. Bush certainly knows it.
The newsprint version of the press conference made it sound pretty listless, consisting of vague affirmations from Bush that yes, he is really serious about all the silly stuff he has been saying all over the country.

Who does watch these so-called press conferences? I have a hard time imagining real people watching or listening to Bush do his lame and stupid stand-up. He can screen his road show audiences and plant shills to ask questions (with the cowardly White House press corps, who needs a shill?), but he can't really screen his nationwide TV audience. I'm guessing that they screened him. Out. I would be disappointed in our nation if I found out otherwise.

Idyllopus, in the blog Meanwhile back at the ranch, was talking about how Bush and Delay were hard to listen to, and I mentioned in a comment that not only did I find Bush insincere (not very startling), but that his accent, if not strictly phony, is not one he grew up with. I found something he said before the TV cameras in a political campaign, his father's I think, in the 1970s. It was a short clip, but it was enough for me to notice that he sounded very East Coast, much as you would expect of a man raised in the family of a Connecticut patrician, who was sent off to boarding school at Phillips Andover, and who, deservedly or not, graduated from Yale and then was awarded a Harvard MBA. If he’d had the aw shucks accent when he went to off to prep school, his little peers at Andover would have soon beaten it out of him.

I jokingly suggested that he might have had a voice coach, or maybe he could have watched old Lyndon Johnson TV clips and practiced, maybe with a mouthful of grits at first. Or possibly he just has a good ear, and learned to talk that way naturally back in the oil business in Texas after Harvard.

Because I have lived all my life with smarmy Texas politicians, I hate the cadences and the attitude, as well as the content. Bush now has mastered whole presentation perfectly.
It's depressing to realize it, but there have to be people who believe his act. And not just people who think pro wrestling is real.

Maybe if we could find a cure for a national tin ear, we could send Bush and Delay and Frist into retirement.

No comments: