Waffles for Sunday breakfast

plate of waffles

Rumsfeld and Rice give Clintonesque performances

It was déjà vu all over again! This morning on Meet the Press (which I saw) and This Week (which I couldn't see because it is on at the same time), Donald Rumsfeld, Secretary of Defense, gave a performance fully worthy of Bill Clinton's parsing of the word is. Giving no ground, he maintained — with a straight face, amazingly — that the President's statement in the state of the union address was "technically correct" because British intelligence did say that, nicely sidestepping the fact that US intelligence services thought the evidence was too flimsy to rely on.

Continuing with the grammar lesson, Rumsfeld parsed terms like "major combat operations," "war," "several," and "after" [the war].

On Fox News, Condoleeza Rice took the same tack: "But the statement was indeed accurate. The British government did say that."

I hope Bill Clinton was watching, for it would surely have given him a big belly laugh to see his erstwhile opponents squirming and tap dancing. As for me, all these waffles just give me a belly-ache.

Wish I'd said that. Writing in the NY Times, Maureen Dowd hit the nail squarely on the head when she characterized the White House as a Waffle House:

More and more, with Bush adminstration pronouncements about the Iraq war, it depends on what the meaning of the word "is" is.

W. built his political identity on the idea that he was not Bill Clinton. He didn't parse words or prevaricate. He was the Texas straight shooter.

So why is he now presiding over a completely Clintonian environment, turning the White House into a Waffle House, where truth is camouflaged by word games and responsibility is obscured by shell games?

You go, girl! She got it exactly right. Wish I'd said that. But then, I guess that's why she writes for the NY Times and I write for Chez Paul in the desert.