Keep Digging George, And Don’t Worry, Those Dry, Cracked, Dirt Walls Look Perfectly Stable To Me
Unless George Bush starts out his speech with the words, “We’re fucked,” I doubt we will get an accurate picture of the state of our union tonight. Last week Tony Snow said that the speech would focus on domestic policy, but I heard last night on one of the talking head shows that the speech has been retooled to include more on Iraq. I should hope so, the idea of giving a SOTU speech at this particular point and not talking about the disaster in Iraq and his ridiculous, doomed plan to escalate the war (even Bill Kristol, the administration cheerleader could only say that “there’s some probability it could work”) is preposterous. I’ll channel our old friend Don Rumsfeld and ask, “Would it have been any more asinine than everything else we’ve done? Of course not.”
It should be interesting to watch how Bush handles himself tonight. I doubt that this speech will be as somber as his last one on Iraq a few weeks ago, but his face might show signs of stress as he tries to balance conciliatory with swagger. Selling his escalation plan is going to be a tough go and he may not be able to keep his natural bullying tendencies under control as he addresses members of his own Party that are considering voting with the Democrats for a non-binding resolution that declares the escalation a mistake. Bush is backed into a corner on Iraq and that makes him all the more dangerous to anyone even thinking of standing in his way.
Unless Frank Luntz (master of manipulation, slayer of the English language) has been locked in the White House for the past week, market testing each and every word and building the perfect speech designed for maximum emotional impact (which is difficult when they’ve overplayed the terrorist and 9/11 hand, one too many times) making sure to hit each and every fear, rage and bigot button, I expect this speech to flop. Bush can make nice with the Democrats on immigration, he can mention global warming (without proposing anything substantive of course) and he can even talk about fixing health care, but the fact that he hasn’t done shit to address these national issues (except to make them worse) over the last six years won’t be lost on those listening at home.
Bush has made his presidency about Iraq and now that we’ve seen what his full attention can do to a country, it’s clear that we’ll be better off if we can keep him from doing anything on the domestic front. We don’t need him to fix this country the way he has Iraq and we’ve elected a Congress to help mitigate the damage he can cause in his last two years. Bush has dug himself a hole, I say, we leave him in there but take the shovel before he makes the ground all around us unstable.