Talking Points memo links to an AP story with this amazing graph about the White House's release of a GW Bush dental record, vintage 1973, which it says places him at Dannelly Air National Guard Base in Alabama at least on the day he went in for free treatment:
“The White House obtained the dental record, along with other medical records it did not release, from the Air Reserve Personnel Center in Denver, Colo., McClellan said. The record was accompanied by a statement from Dr. Richard J. Tubb, the president's current physician, who stated that he read Bush's records, which covered a period from 1968 to 1973, and concurred with the doctors' assertion that Bush was “fit” for service. “The records reflect no disqualifying medical information,” Tubb said.
OK. Let's take this slowly.
- Bush promises on TV to release everything.
- They try to take it back.
- They release a clean and whole version of the “torn document”.
- The press gets feral.
- Which brings us up to today: the modified limited hangout stage of ineffective damage control.
- Next we will get vicious speculation and more vicious jokes about what medical condition Bush is hiding which is both embarrassing enough to be worth the flack yet not so serious that a physician would say it didn't “disqualify” him from…what exactly? Not flying?
- The final step in these dramas is either the White House caves, or they manage to deflect attention to an opponent's “gaffe,” or — Look! An international crisis!
The mind boggles at what could be on these medical records which is worth the grief that is going to flow to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave in the next few days. Low IQ scores? Plastic surgery? Detox? Syphilis? Gonorrhea? (I'm not alleging any of this—just trying to imagine what would be worth the effort to cover up.)
Meanwhile, this looks like a job for Jay Leno.