(From the Tongue-In-Cheek department of Grand Rants)
Washington (GrantRants) – In my many years involved in politics, observed and reported from both sides of the political fence, I’ve learned a number of age-old tricks used by politicians of either party.
One of the most frequently used techniques: “Whenever you receive a difficult question, validate the question in a way that makes whatever bullsh*t you throw back at them seem believable and appropriate. If necessary, throw someone under the bus as long (as it is a subordinate.)”
In other words, precede your lies with “That’s an excellent question…” then proceed to unload the boatload of manure.
No Press Secretary in recent history has had to do more of that than Robert Gibbs. Last month, NASA Administrator Charles Bolden’s stated that President Obama made it clear that one of his top priorities of NASA under his administration was to (quote):
“find a way to reach out to the Muslim world and engage much more with dominantly Muslim nations to help them feel good about their historic contributions to science, math and engineering.”
Bolden also made a similar statement in February. The mainstream media must have been sleeping, because it got no press coverage then. Last month, it did. Yesterday, after Gibbs had the week-end to prepare a believable response to the resulting outcry, he finally had to address the issue at the morning White House briefing. When asked if Bolden’s statement was, in fact, the Obama plan for NASA, Gibbs was ready:
“That’s an excellent question,” was his response.
The problem, however, is in the answer Gibbs had. He denied that Bolden was asked to focus on Muslim outreach altogether. Apparently Gibbs hadn’t gotten the memo that last week the President backed Bolden’s comment, stating he wants NASA to engage with the world’s top scientists by partnering with countries like Russia and Japan as well as collaborating with Israel and many “Muslim-majority countries.”
But what, exactly does this mean? Over in realclearpolitics.com, Mona Charen seems to have it figured out as she writes:
How in the world would NASA help Muslim nations to “feel good” about themselves? Would NASA hold science fairs in Tripoli or Tehran? Produce and circulate propaganda films about Great Muslim Men (careful, never women) of Science? Stress our global debt to Muhammad ibn Musa al-Khwarizmi, the father of algebra? (That’s risky, since al-Khwarizmi reportedly learned his math from the Indians.) How would Obama’s NASA chief undertake to alter the civilizational self-esteem of a billion people?
Of course, it’s entirely possible (pace Bernard Lewis) that the Muslim world does not lack for self-esteem on the matter of science or anything else. Certainly, scientific know-how has not been lacking in nuclear-armed Pakistan or (would be) nuclear Iran. Besides, hasn’t Obama heard? The whole self-esteem myth has been exploded. Though millions of tax dollars and God only knows how many wasted instructional hours have gone toward making American kids think they are really, really special, it turns out that there is zero correlation between such drilled self-esteem and academic performance. (See Scientific American, January 2005)
All this is fine, but what I want to know is what hidden agendas has “The Last Truthbender” established for other government agencies? Here’s what I’ve come up with so far (please note: None of these have been confirmed as of this writing):
National Institute of Health (NIH):
Reach out to the people of Cleveland to assist them rebuilding their self-esteem in the wake of LaBoob James’ bolting to Miami because he feared he wouldn’t win a Championship in Cleveland.
National Security Agency (NSA):
Implement a “Visit The Gulf!” tourism program to encourage all Americans to spend their vacation dollars in the Gulf States to help them rebuild their economy. Note: as Doug powers so adroitly points out at Michellemalkin.com, final details are being worked out as the First Family vacations in Maine.
Central Intelligence Agency (CIA):
Reach out to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and point out to them that their credibility ain’t worth squat until the Doobie Brothers are Duly Inducted.
Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI):
Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh: Plug their damn holes!
We will continue to expose more scandals as they are uncovered.