Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Bush Proclaims National Character Counts Week – Then Acts Like Weasel

Did you know this is National Character Counts Week?

Neither did I until I took my periodic stroll through the White House's proclamations archive and found that, on October 14, President Bush issued a presidential proclamation making this week National Character Counts Week.

"During National Character Counts Week and throughout the year, I encourage children and all Americans to make good choices in life, set high standards, and serve as leaders," says the president in his proclamation. "By working together, we can all contribute to a culture of good citizenship and responsibility that strengthens our Nation."

Wow. Inspiring.

President Bush had a good chance to set an example of character yesterday when he was asked once again if he would expect members of his administration to resign or take leave if they were indicted in the Valerie Plame case. "My position hasn't changed since the last time I've been asked this question. There's a serious investigation... I'm not going to pre-judge the outcome of the investigation," Bush said.

Well, given that he was only asked how he would respond if indictments were issued – and not to give a verdict on the investigation itself – that kind of answer doesn't show very much character, does it?

For most of us, being inconsistent to your own word doesn't show character either. After all, the president once promised to fire anyone found to have leaked information in the Plame case. In July, he qualified that pledge a bit, saying: "If someone committed a crime they will no longer work in my administration."

Now he won't comment at all.

Mr. President: Given all of that, the fact that your House Majority Leader has been indicted on criminal charges, the Senate Majority Leader is being investigated and – in your biggest character failing of all -- you lied to take us to war with Iraq, I hope you'll understand if I don't pass along your proclamation to my eight-year-old son.

He may be a little guy, but he can still spot a hypocrite when he sees one.