4. Finally, President Bush was "flummoxed" by two questions about recent public opinion polls on America's reputation in the world. The first noted, "you've got Iran's nuclear program, you've got North Korea, yet, most Europeans consider the United States the biggest threat to global stability. Do you have any regrets about that?"
Apparently unbriefed about the polls, Bush reacted sharply: "That's absurd. The United States is -- we'll defend ourselves, but at the same time, we're actively working with our partners to spread peace and democracy. So whoever says that is -- it's an absurd statement."
Undaunted, an Austrian reporter asked the question again, this time alerting the President that it was poll results, not just isolated individuals, who thought America had become a threat.
The President's answer wandered from the defensive to angry defiance:
Well, yes, I thought it was absurd for people to think that we're more dangerous than Iran. It's a -- we're a transparent democracy. People know exactly what's on our mind. We debate things in the open.... I don't govern by polls, you know. I just do what I think is right. And I understand some of the decisions I made are controversial. But I made them in the best interest of our country, and I think in the best interest of the world. I believe when you look back at this moment, people will say, it was right to encourage democracy in the Middle East. I understand some people think that it can't work. I believe in the universality of freedom; some don't. I'm going to act on my beliefs so long as I'm the President of the United States.
Leaving aside Bush's complete ignorance of world opinion, how about the fact that Bush "debate[s] things in the open" (umm, if you count lying about all the WMD and terrorist ties Iraq has and trying to sink the careers of people who disagree with him 'debating things in the open') but then doesn't care what the public thinks anyway and just does what he thinks is right, and calls it democracy?