With gratitude to Salon.com's "Right Hook" column (which is where "Thin Line" borrowed the idea), I offer you a highly selective sample of opinion appearing in the national media last week, surrounding President George W. Bush's press conference.
Watching his performance, it's easy to recognize Bush's contempt for the Washington press corps, but the love these days from the right-wing even seems to be increasingly harder to come by—at least from a few notable sources.
Considering the violence erupting in Iraq recently, Larry Miller, a Weekly Standard contributor, wrote: "Anyone who ever reads past page two has known since President Bush landed on that aircraft carrier that Fallujah was the headquarters, the homeland, the core of everyone who ever worked and killed for Saddam Hussein. ... What in the world did anyone imagine was going to sprout up there in the last 12 months? A chamber of commerce?"
Chances are, Alibi readers don't subscribe to the Weekly Standard and probably have never heard of the political journal. It's notable, however, that among the neo-cons staffing the White House, it is said to be a popular choice.
Perhaps sharing the sentiment of other guilt-ridden Conservatives that tacitly support Bush even while deep-down his demeanor and incompetence makes them cringe, Miller confessed last week that Dubya's flight suit stunt and accompanying "Mission Accomplished" banner last year was a mistake.
"It made me wince like a big sip of sour milk," wrote Miller last week, "and I never said it then, because I didn't know why, and it didn't seem helpful, and it's surely not helpful now. But I'm saying it anyway, because I just realized what bugged me so much. It was an end zone dance, and I hate end zone dances. And because the game isn't over by a long shot."
Following Bush's press conference, William Kristol, conservative strategist and founder of the Weekly Standard, told the Los Angeles Times: "I was depressed. I am obviously a supporter of the war, so I don't need to be convinced. But among people who were doubtful or worried, I don't think he made arguments that would convince them. He didn't explain how we are going to win there."
Hell, it would have been nice if Bush just explained why he'll only appear in front of the 9-11 commission with Dick Cheney by his side. If you saw the press conference, you remember how Bush blatantly ducked that question. If you missed it, David Brooks, the conservative columnist at the New York Times, aptly described his answer as "pure stonewalling."
Last but not least, here's an assessment of Bush's future: "President Bush is sinking into the morass that Iraq is threatening to become. If things are this messed up over there next October, Kerry won't have to say a word. He can wave at the voters, and they'll wave him right in. ... So George W. Bush has to stabilize things in Iraq over the next few months, or he goes the way of Lyndon Johnson."
The author? Fox News' conservative icon Bill O'Reilly, writing on his website www.billoreilly.com.