Uh… About That “Bump in the Road?”
The latest wingnut outrageous outrage revolves around President Obama’s use of the phrase “bumps in the road,” while speaking about the road to democracy and peace in the Middle East and the Arab Spring during an interview on 60 Minutes last night.
“I think it was absolutely the right thing for us to do to align ourselves with democracy, universal rights a notion that people have to be able to participate in their own governance … But I was pretty certain and continue to be pretty certain that there are going to be bumps in the road because, you know, in a lot of these places, the one organizing principle has been Islam. The one part of society that hasn’t been controlled completely by the government. There are strains of extremism, and anti-Americanism, and anti-Western sentiment.”
Ari Fleischer was one of the first out of the gate with his gross and morbid mischaracterization of President Obama’s comment:
I guess when u win a Nobel Peace Prize for doing nothing, an attack that kills an Ambassador is just a “bump in the road.”
— Ari Fleischer (@AriFleischer) September 24, 2012
This piqued my interest so off I went in search of others who have used this phrase when speaking about Middle East peace process or perhaps the Iraq War. I was able to immediately find two from the previous administration under George W. Bush…
Dr. Condoleezza Rice Discusses the Roadmap for Peace in the Middle East Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt
June 3, 2003
Condoleezza RiceQuestion: Dr. Rice, thank you for joining us. I want to begin, there’s a sense of optimism at the meetings here in Sharm el-Sheikh today, but I’m wondering if you’re worried at all about a potential problem down the road? Many of the Arab leaders the President met with today say that the administration wants to push Yasser Arafat out of the picture completely too soon. And in their view, if there is to be an agreement, that he will have to be there at the end to sign it and to sell it to the Palestinians. Is that a problem?
Dr. Rice: Clearly, this is a difficult process and it’s going to be a long process and there will be bumps in the road, we understand that. But we got a very important start under new conditions today. And the new conditions include, of course, the end of the war in Iraq, but also the appointment of Prime Minister Abbas, who is the first Prime Minister of the Palestinian Authority. He was here today, he was representing the Palestinian people. He had a great delegation with him of people who are committed to creating democratic institutions in the Palestinian Authority, in fighting terrorism, in having institutions that are accountable and transparent.
Speech by Ambassador L. Paul Bremer III
National Press Club
July 23, 2003
Paul Bremer[On the future of Iraq including coalition forces security.]
Additional steps that will be taken over the next 60 days to improve security include, first, recruiting and training the first battalion of the new Iraqi army. Recruitment commenced this weekend. And I’m told in conversations with Baghdad this morning that there were mobs of people volunteering to join the new Iraqi army. It will be a volunteer force, not a conscripted force.
Secondly, we will raise eight battalions of the new Iraqi civil defense corps in the next 60 days. We will open the new police academy, which is even now recruiting for police. We will re-establish the border guard. We will start trials before the central criminal court, which I established a month ago, and we will start judge-training seminars.
But we need to be realistic. There will be bumps in the road. Total security is not possible. Continued success on our overall reconstruction plan will probably be met by bitterenders [sic] who target our successes.
Thus we find the former Secretary of State describing the future of Middle East peace and security for the State of Israel as one which will include “bumps in the road,” and former Ambassador Paul Bremer seeing the future and security of Iraq as one being paved with “bumps in the road.”
Conclusion? President Obama was simply using a common phrase when describing highly volatile international situations, much the same as former Secretary of State Dr. Condoleezza Rice as well as former Ambassador Paul Bremer. Both, as we well know, are Republicans.
Yes. There are plenty of bumps in the road to the top of bullshit mountain.
Update from CBS News.
Carney on Obama’s “bumps in the road” comment
September 24, 2012 12:04 PM
White House press secretary Jay Carney told reporters that criticism from Republicans amounted to a “desperate attempt to grasp at words” for political advantage.
“I understand that Republicans in this case are searching for reeds to grab on to, but I think the president’s views on these matters are very clear and very strong.”
— White House Press Secretary Jay Carney
LGF member Obdicut has informed me that in October of 2003, Republican Paul Bremer, then Governor of Iraq and former Reagan Ambassador and Coordinator for Counterterrorism, used the very same euphemism, “bumps in the road,” within days of a suicide bombing that left 8 Iraqi policemen dead.
Coalition Provisional Authority Briefing with L. Paul Bremer
October 9, 2003
Q (Name inaudible) from CNN. Mr. Bremer, with all of your positives and accomplishments notwithstanding, how much longer can we have this daily violence and chaos, with daily loss of life, before the coalition acknowledge that it was very ill-prepared for the aftermath of the war, that it fundamentally misread the reality and the complexity of Iraq?
MR. BREMER: Well, it’s going to be a very long time before I admit either of those things, to answer your question. Would you like me to go further in my answer?
Q Go for it.
MR. BREMER: (Chuckles.) Look, we found, as I said, an economic situation that was, I think, worse than people expected, when we got here. Of course, we knew that Saddam had been a monster, and we knew that he had repressed his people for 35 years, and we knew that he had spent lots of money, perhaps a third of the wealth of the country, year after year on his weapons.
We will see it through. We — I am optimistic. We have made an enormous amount of progress here in six months, more than I think anybody could have safely predicted, beyond — in many places, beyond what our plan was. And I think we will continue to implement, as we go forward, on our plan over the next six to nine to 12 months.
We will have — there will be bumps in the road. There will be bad days, like today. But I think it’s important, as — for those of you who are here regularly covering the story, to put that in perspective, because it’s a lot better than it was. I can speak from personal experience about the difference in Baghdad. I arrived five months ago, and it’s a totally different country than it was five months ago, completely different. And it’s sometimes important to put in perspective, when there are daily problems, like — as there were today, how far we have come.
Interview on the Charlie Rose Show
Henry A. Crumpton, Coordinator for Counterterrorism (Bush)
February 14, 2006
QUESTION: OK, I’ll come back to distraction, because you look at what happened in Iraq and believe it has enhanced the ability to fight terrorism, or not?
HENRY CRUMPTON: I think Iraq in the broader strategic sense is going to change the Middle East geo-politically. If you have a new democracy there, they’ve just chosen their prime minister and they’ve just had - had three elections.
QUESTION: The former prime minister.
HENRY CRUMPTON: Right. What that does for the region, Mr. Rose, is it fundamentally shifts the thoughts and the political process despite the bumps in the road ahead. And I think in the long term that this is going to be a good thing for the Middle East. In Cairo last summer, Secretary …