28 January 2008

Secret Decoder Ring for Bush's State of the Union

George delivered his last state of the union address. Here are select excerpts that I've coupled with what I suspect George was actually thinking. (What some (not to name names, Chesca) might construe to be a political rant.)

“We've made good progress. Yet we have unfinished business before us, and the American people expect us to get it done.”

They wouldn’t let me say, “Let’s get ‘er done” as a way to distract people from the obvious fact that we have absolutely no agreement about what “er” means.
“Most Americans think their taxes are high enough. … Make the tax relief permanent.”

Let us pretend that failing to tax while spending like drunken sailors has not cost the American public by larding them up with debt, and driving up prices (interest rates) for credit on trivial items like housing and college education.
“The budget that I'll submit will keep America on track for a surplus in 2012.”

The presidential equivalent of assuring your heirs that once you’ve been dead for 4 years, your finances should be in order.
“And to open the doors of these schools to more children, I ask you to support a new $300 million program called Pell Grants for Kids. We have seen how Pell Grants help low-income college students realize their full potential.
“Together, we've expanded the size and reach of these grants. Now let us apply the same spirit to help liberate poor children trapped in failing public schools.”

Instead of making education a right for every child, let’s take the first step towards making it a privilege, one for which we can selectively make grants.

“And let us complete an international agreement that has the potential to slow, stop, and eventually reverse the growth of greenhouse gases.”

And make no mention of the fact that I’ve done all I can to slow, stop, and actually reverse all attempts to regulate greenhouse gases during my first 7 years as the most influential politician in the world.
“So I ask Congress to double federal support for critical basic research in the physical sciences and ensure America remains the most dynamic nation on earth.”

Let’s spend as much on our future as we do in two months in Iraq.
“And so I call on Congress to pass legislation that bans unethical practices such as the buying, selling, patenting or cloning of human life.”

And while we’re at it, I’m going to ban the sale of identical twins.
“We are engaged in the defining ideological struggle of the 21st century. The terrorists oppose every principle of humanity and decency that we hold dear.”

Or maybe this conflict between chaos and brute force with peaceful order was the ideological struggle of the 13th century. I forget.
“A free Iraq will deny al Qaeda a safe haven. A free Iraq will show millions across the Middle East that a future of liberty is possible. A free Iraq will be a friend of America, a partner in fighting terror and a source of stability in a dangerous part of the world.”

Wait a minute, this is the promise I made in 2003. I do hope that no one notices that none of this has really worked out quite like I had hoped.
“Our message to the people of Iran is clear. We have no quarrel with you. We have respect for your traditions and your history. We look forward to the day when you have your freedom.”

Of course, let’s not mention our decades long support of a regime that suppressed that freedom.
“Our message to the leaders of Iran is also clear. Verifiably suspend your nuclear enrichment so negotiations can begin.”

What is less clear is why I’d make this a condition, given that my own intelligence community has already verified this.
“America opposes genocide in Sudan. We support freedom in countries from Cuba and Zimbabwe to Belarus and Burma.”

And as long as I’m talking about things I have no intention of acting on, I’d like to outlaw bad marriages, traumatic childhoods, and ennui.
“And tonight, I ask Congress to support an innovative proposal to provide food assistance by purchasing crops directly from farmers in the developing world, so we can build up local agriculture and help break the cycle of famine.”

And how a genuinely good idea snuck into this speech is beyond me.
“And so long as we continue to trust the people, our nation will prosper, our liberty will be secure and the state of our union will remain strong.”

Well, let’s not get crazy on the trust thing. I would still like to monitor everything the people say.


Lifehiker said...

I had to go barf when he threatened to veto bills that contained pork. During his first six years, with a republican-controlled congress, pork reached all-time highs and he vetoed not a single bill. GWB takes shamelessness to unprecedented heights!

cce said...

I am so glad for this replay and dissection. I can't even watch State of the Union addresses by W, my gag reflex is too strong. I prefer to hop on over here the following morning and let you spoon feed me the worthy moments complete with hilarious insight. Thank you for this.

Ron Davison said...

apparently, one rule of politics is to never let past performance inhibit future promises. Shameless indeed.

Glad to provide this service. Truth is, I, too, was unable to watch George. I read the transcript. For one thing, it is so much easier to read [APPLAUSE] then see congress wearily rise to their feet for every tired cliché while George stands up there looking like he just cured cancer rather than read another sentence written at the fifth grade level.

exskindiver said...

you are right about the expression on his face.
every time he utters something, he looks like he just delivered the best punchline.
i am always amazed by how pleased he seems with himself during these speeches.

Ron Davison said...

If we could bottle and distribute whatever feeling he has when he makes those inane little comments, everyone would be deliriously happy - for about 3 months until they stumbled their way into the apocalypse. (He said, taking care not to rant.)

David said...

I promised not to enter into politics on your blog. I'm now doing that on Robert Reich's blog instead. I will, however, promise to keep this in a file and when the next president, a democrat, gives his or her SOTU address (perhaps not the first one but maybe so), do the same thing. It will be easy picking and since bias is fully in play, fun to do.