White House spokeswoman Dana Perino said President Bush "was pleased with the attorney general's testimony" before the Senate, when he was called on the carpet to clarify his role in the firings of eight U.S. Attorneys.
Before the Scoreboard officially declares this one of the most absurdly obvious lies in the annals of White House lies, let's examine some theories under which this wouldn't be a lie. Now, this is challenging, because the average Special Olympics competitor could have watched Attorney General Gonzalez's performance for any ten minute period and recognize that this was an inept man flopping around like a fish on a hook. He stammered, he back-tracked, he obfuscated, he couldn't remember major meetings and events that occurred just a few weeks ago. It was, in fact, an embarrassing, wretched performance by any standard. How could Bush have been pleased with it? It is truly a mystery.
Well maybe he hates Alberto Gonzalez, and really was pleased to see him humiliated in a public forum. But that can't be right: President Bush is almost the only person in Washington who doesn't want Gonzales to resign, and is paying a huge political price to stand by his old friend. If his real objective was to extend Alberto's pain, why would Bush do it to his own political detriment?
So it can't be that. Hmmmm. Could it be that Bush actually felt the Attorney General did better than Bush expected? This possibility is almost too frightening to contemplate. How could Gonzalez possibly have performed worse? Oh, I suppose his head might have spun around and then projectile vomited green ook on Senator Specter. He could have launched into a falsetto rendition of "All I Want for Christmas is My Two Front Teeth," or begun a raunchy strip tease. But unless Gonzalez has been in the habit of doing any of these things behind closed doors at cabinet meetings, it's hard to imagine that Bush's expectations were so dire.
OK, how about this: Bush is the only one aware that the Attorney General has been abducted by space invaders and replaced with an android duplicate. Bush can't divulge the truth, or poor Gonzalez will be fried by a laser gun, so he was hoping against hope that the android doppelganger would perform so badly that the senators would have to realize that it was a fake and alert the FBI, or Mulder and Scully, or somebody. But that can't be right either. The android, if indeed it is an android, didn't perform badly enough to tip off the senators, so why would Bush be pleased? He should be disappointed, as in "Drat that infernal android! It came off exactly as incompetent and clueless as the real Attorney General Gonzalez!"
No, there's no escaping it: President Bush was not pleased, but for some reason feels that it's better to hand an obvious lie to the public than admit that Gonzales disgraced himself, because then he'd have no argument against the legions who say he should can the Attorney General faster than a greased eel heading down a toboggan run.
That clears up that mystery, but it only uncovers another. Why in the world would Bush---why would anybody--- think it is better to be thought a lying fool rather than just a loyal fool for sticking with his incompetent friend? Wait a minute! Maybe Bush is the one who has been replaced by an alien android andů