Republicans are kind of like children: They can be counted on to tell the truth from time to time. And when they do, the truth is often so elegantly simple, so almost innocently blunt that you almost can’t help but feel a twinge of affection for even them. Even the worst of America’s political manhandlers aren’t beyond those occasional moments of childlike honesty; and it’s always fun to go back over the home movies to see it.
Today’s “Republican Say the Darndest Things” flashback comes from the GOP leader no GOP leader likes to talk about: George W. Bush. Recording during the height of The War Nobody Paid For, this 2007 news conference gives a bit of blunt insight into the nature of the world the GOP mind inhabits. Like all simple truths, it’s as relevant today as it ever was. And spoken with that legendary Bush eloquence, as well:
REPORTER: A Lot of our allies in Europe do a lot of business with Iran. so, I wonder what your thoughts are on how you further tighten the financial pressure on Iran in particular if it also means economic pain for a lot of our allies?
BUSH: See, that’s an interesting question. One of the problems — not specifically on this issue, but just in general — that, uh…let’s put it this way: Money trumps…um…peace. Sometimes. In other words, commercial interests are very powerful interests throughout the world. And part of the issue is in convincing people to put sanctions on a specific country, is to convince them that it’s in the world’s interests that they forgo their own financial interest. And, John, that’s why it’s sometimes hard to get tough economic sanctions on countries.”
Credit where it’s due, that is a pretty accurate observation. A simple truth, really.
But it’s the simple acceptance of this truth, the sort of matter-of-fact way that this — the most powerful elected Republican of the last 20 years — states this atrocity as though it were nothing to complain about that makes this clip noteworthy.
The atrocities we’re willing to accept — the degree that we’re willing to accept control by financial interests — informs every decision we make. It’s the degree of comfort with that control that makes the difference. And considering the GOP’s degree of comfort with the notion of financial control…well, is anybody surprised we’ve still got private insurance companies now, corrupt Wall Street banks still running our futures, and a Canadian sludge pipeline in that future?
The simple truth. It’s adorable.