Tuesday, January 23, 2007

I don’t why I do it to myself. I really don’t. I’m not a political junkie. I’m not blindly loyal to either of the two major parties. But I still sit through things like tonight’s State of the Union Address. Hell, I even took notes so I could remember the especially pathetic bits. You’d think I like stuff like this. You’d swear I enjoy it. I really don’t. It’s annoying and frustrating. Yet I think it’s my duty to sit through the barrage of lies, half-truths and spin that constitutes a political speech anymore. This president is particularly awful at it. He seemingly lives in a world only he can see.

First off President Bush’s call for bipartisanship was almost funny. When did the Republicans reach out to the Democrats during Bush’s first six years in office? When while Republicans held the majority in both the House and the Senate did they reach out to work together? The short answer is they didn’t. The Republicans operated both the House and the Senate as if the majority gave them the right act like thugs. Now that power has shifted they want to play all nice and have everybody hold hands and get along. It’s almost laughable really.

I’m not saying that there shouldn’t be cooperation, far from it. Our government works best when the opinions are the most diverse and people actually listen and debate and compromise. The false dichotomy we’ve been under of the last few years of the donkey and the elephant hasn’t really done a whole lot of good. We need cooperation and diversity. But to hear a President that has been downright bullheaded at times ask for it was somewhat pitiful really.

Bush claimed he wants to eliminate the federal deficit. Never mind he took office with a budget surplus and squandered it like a teenager with a pocket full of hundred dollar bills at the mall. If Bush was serious about not having a deficit he would have maintained course with the previous administration’s policies and kept us in decent fiscal shape. As is with his tax cuts for the wealthy and his horrid policy of borrowing foreign money. He has borrowed more foreign money than all of the previous 42 presidents combined. He has dug us into a deep hole. Now in an effort to cover his ass he’s going to act like he cares. I’m not buying in to it.

Related to his wanting to lower the deficit, Bush mentioned earmarks. Earmarks are little pet spending projects that politicians slip into bills to benefit themselves and their supporters. Now I could lash out at Bush about his saving 18 billion dollars by eliminating earmarks when we spending about 8 billion a month in Iraq. But something else struck me. Bush talked about how these earmarks aren’t voted on and not really signed by him into law. Well President Bush is making himself out to be a raging hypocrite. Bush has used signing statements to do things like give the federal government the power to open mail without a warrant. Of course, warrants are easy but he can’t be bothered with that. Bush is writing laws that are never voted on by Congress. He is just bypassing that pesky Congress and gets laws into effect that he feels are necessary. Now if given the choice between some politicians getting some pork into a bill and a president who might be subverting the Constitution he is sworn to uphold. I’ll take the pork. Not that I support wasteful and corrupt spending. That’s got to stop as well. But Bush’s actions are more serious than the congressmen’s actions.

Bush used the tired old idea of taking the fight to the terrorists to keep us safe. Of course he always seems to forget that after 9/11 terrorists successfully attacked both Spain and Great Britain. So much for fighting them over there so we don’t have to fight them here huh? The daily attacks on our troops in Iraq probably don’t count either.

On a related note Bush said and I quote. “Our success in this war is often measured by the things that did not happen. We cannot know the full extent of the attacks that we and our allies have prevented…” Are we now basing our success and failure on things that haven’t happened and they we can’t even prove would have happened anyway? So we are just to assume that had we never fought this awful war in Iraq that we would be under perpetual siege by terrorists in this country? This is the most awful kind of fear mongering imaginable. He’s not even twisting facts anymore. He’s trying to convince us of things that have never even happened to begin with. Of course he threw out a few examples but most of those have met with some pretty harsh scrutiny and have been shown to not be as severe as initially reported. In the attack of Los Angeles that was stopped Bush didn’t even get the named the name of building right when it happened. He called the Liberty Tower when in fact it was the Library Tower. But the facts aren’t important it’s the bad stuff that might have happened that we might have stopped is what you need to worry yourself about.

He also said and again I quote, “We have a diplomatic strategy that is rallying the world to join in the fight against extremism.” We do? What is it? So far we have refused to talk to Syria or Iran. We strong-armed UN inspectors out of Iraq so we could bomb them back to the Stone Age. After having the world’s support and sympathy in the aftermath of 9/11 we’ve squandered it by invading Iraq. So what is this strategy to rally the world? I haven’t seen us effectively use diplomacy yet. So I’m not getting my hopes up that we will start using it in the future.

Bush also said this, “To prevail, we must remove the conditions that inspire blind hatred, and drove 19 men to get onto airplanes and to come and kill us. What every terrorist fears most is human freedom ... Free people are not drawn to violent and malignant ideologies -- and most will choose a better way when they're given a chance.” This is utter nonsense. If terrorism flourishes it flourishes most when there is freedom. It is the irony of freedom that you have to be willing to sacrifice the comfort of being absolutely watched over and protected to have freedom. Was Timothy McVeigh not part of a free nation? How about the Unabomber? The only way to eliminate terrorism and violent extremism is with despotism. Since nobody other than the despot wants that we have to accept that people will do evil and prepare for it and do our best to prevent it. Freedom is no cure for terrorism.

If you noticed I didn’t go after specific policies mentioned as much as I did this president’s mistakes in logic and his bending of the truth. Now granted politicians are notorious for bending the truth. Spin doctoring in an art form inside the Beltway. But this president seems to be so hypocritical and distant from reality that he appears to be unfit for his duties as president. I have called for him to resign in the past and my opinion remains unchanged. This president needs to either understand that the presidency is not like being a CEO. It is not top down management where what you say goes and if anybody gives you any lip you can fire them. The presidency is a diplomatic position where you must listen and learn and weigh all the options and make compromises. This president still doesn’t get it. He doesn’t understand that his leadership matters. When he played guitar and ate cake with John McCain while New Orleans was devastated in the wake of Hurricane Katrina the nation was aghast at his seeming indifference. He just doesn’t get it.


Post a Comment

<< Home