The Bloody Mary Blues

On yesterday’s Trifecta, Scott Ott offhandedly mentioned something that came as a bit of a shock — but shouldn’t have. When President Bush told the nation Saddam’s time had run out and offensive operations had begun, it was a four minute speech from the Oval Office. This, of course, was after engaging in such quaint and obsolete 18th Century niceties like informing Congress first, and getting their permission.

President Obama made his announcement in Week Two of the war, in front of an audience of dead fish, and with no input from Congress aside from a few, unspecified “leaders.” Obama’s speech went on for nearly half an hour.

Now, President Bush inspired me to invent drunkblogging. I think it was his 2003 State of the Union Address, before the Iraq War even started, when Andrew Sullivan was passing around the rules for a SOTU Drinking Game. I read the rules and thought, “I’ve been watching these things for over 20 years. Forget the damn games — I need to start drinking early and often.” And so a new genre was born that night.

But it never occurred to me to drink my way through Bush’s war address just two months later. And it never occurred to me not to drink my way through Obama’s. No matter what your opinions of the necessity or justice of either war, there’s no getting around this central fact: Bush took his war with deadly earnestness in exactly the way Obama hasn’t.

I don’t know what to make of that, but I do know I need a drink.