As time goes by

On Monday, Fox News Channel ran with the story that former presidential press secretary Jen Psaki made an error, or lied, when her new book claimed President Joe Biden did not look at his watch during a dignified transfer of the remains of troops killed in Afghanistan.

New York Post manufactures an overblown Page One

Fox went crazy, the New York Post played it on Page One and right-wing radio started humping the story Tuesday.

To which I say, who gives a flying flock?

This is news? 

Yes, to the right-wing jackals making a mound of poop out of a mole hill. And it was a giant megaturd on antisocial media.

But — wait!

Remember the left-wing jackals doing the exact same thing when George H.W. Bush glanced at his watch during a 1992 debate with Bill Clinton and Ross Perot?

U.S. News and World Report took that to be a sign of disengagement, but at least apparently got Bush to admit he was tired of the debate. Political advisers immediately start warning clients not to wear wristwatches during debates.

OMG! George H. W. Bush glances at watch during debate

With Biden glancing at his watch, the Right was wetting their panties as if he had been checking emails on his cell as the remains of our heroes were being transferred. For the Right it was a twofer — a clean shot at Psaki, with a carom hitting Biden.

Checking your watch might be habitual, it might be to see if a ceremony was on schedule, it might have been because you have a following event, or, OK, maybe you were bored.

“Simple gestures” reflected “deeper meaning,” USN&WR found an expert to say.

You can find an expert to say anything you want to hear, believe me.

The Post also found some Gold Star families to complain.

I have nothing but the utmost sympathy and respect for families of the fallen, but that doesn’t mean their hurt feelings are valid.

This is what our national discourse has become — a perpetual, partisan, polarizing game of gotcha, with each side desperately grasping for anything, no matter how fragile, to use as a bludgeon.

Washington political reporters are the biggest weenies on the planet with their overwrought language, mixed with their desire to create controversy. I remember the hysteria on the Right when Al Gore left his podium and walked up to George W. Bush during a debate, clearly to rattle him. Bush turned his head, looked at Gore, nodded, and kept talking.

There was even greater panic on the Left when Donald J. Trump left his podium and stationed himself behind Hillary Clinton as she was speaking during a debate. Trump wasn’t within five feet of her, but Dems were calling it assault, almost a #MeToo attack.

Is it me? Am I insenstive?

More people remember the wristwatch from 1992 than anything any of the candidates had to say.

It’s time for the commentators to grow up.

I know. Fat chance.

9 thoughts on “As time goes by”

  1. Interestingly, I don’t believe Ms. Clinton cared a lick or was intimidated at all by that orange idiot coming up behind her. She knows better than anyone that he is a big pussy, as are all bullies.

    1. I didn’t say SHE panicked. I said it was the Left and they were batshit.
      Same with Bush the Younger. HE brushed it off but the GOP had a conniption.

  2. As my trial law professor said > 50 years ago: when you don’t have the law on your side, bang the facts; if the facts are not on your side, bang the law; if you have neither, bang the table. Much too much table banging going on in the media…and the pols.

  3. Interesting account about President Bush 41 saying he was “tired of the debates.” Not doubting it but I heard him give a different account in his post-Presidential interviews saying that he was trying to compare how much time the moderators were giving the other candidates to respond vs what they gave him. It seemed like a fair point.

    Yes, these silly stories based on optics are basically lazy uncreative journalism. Important issue is that on Afghanistan, both Biden and Trump were failures. Biden did what Trump was going to as well, which is the inconceived pullout, breaking a promise to countless vulnerable women and children to protect them from the heinous acts of the Taliban.

    1. I very carefully said USN*WR “apparently” got Bush to admit, because it is unclear to me that is what actually happened.
      On your last point, I have never written about this, but my opinion that our withdrawal from Afghanistan was a huge mistake. We had only a few thousand troops there and fatalities had dropped to almost nothing. The residual force was enough to hold the Taliban at bay. Biden’s “over the horizon” plan was BS.
      Both Trump and Biden lost their nerve in the face of “endless war” chants, although I think Trump would not help ANYONE, other than Putin.

      1. It was Trump who negotiated the withdrawal deal with the Taliban. In the process he excluded the Afghanistan government for the discussions and released 5000 Taliban fighters from prison.

        As for the the “endless war”, Vietnam War was an endless war. Prior to WWII the Vietnamese were fighting the French Colonial Government, during WWII they fought the Japanese, then after they fought the French, and when the French were clearing losing, America stepped in only to lose.
        You are old enough to have lived through the Vietnam War, you may not remember the history of it. Afghanistan, like Iraq was an endless war. American military initially defeated them on the battlefield. We failed by not having a Marshall Plan to create stability.

  4. I understand the crux of your article is the (over?) reaction does not proportionally fit the action.

    That said, having spent my entire career in sales, both Presidents should have known better. There’s a long list of things you can’t do when you are addressing your clients/constituents directly. You can’t check your phone (or watch), you can’t pick your nose, you can’t scratch your privates, you can’t yawn… and the list goes on and on.

    Clients/constituents are smart and can read through these transgressions. The conveyed message being sent is “I would rather be somewhere else.” Tighten it up, folks!

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