As usual, I felt left out of George W. Bush's America this morning. Tuning in to his press conference (the first in four long months), I heard him kowtowing to Conservatives. It was all " don't worry - Harriet's good " all the time. We all know that Bush can push his agenda down our throats without the assistance of one Democrat, but he cannot get a lot done without the support of the Conservatives of whom he's tried to convince that he is one (while he spends like a drunken sailor). He publically swore to David Gregory that he's still proudly a conservative. He flatly refused to talk about the Valerie Plame leak or who he'd remove from office if/when the indictments came down from Patrick Fitzgerald.
When he had an opportunity to state that which he personally felt he could have done better in his response to Hurricane Katrina, his very first reaction was to point fingers toward State and Local governments. He boasted about the good job he did "getting $2000 to people" after the hurricane, and waxed endlessly about people taking in strangers (which has nothing to do with his own policies which seem to concentrate on rebuilding stuctures and have little to do with rebuilding actual lives.)
Bush took down the "beer-ah-cracy" a few pegs by highlighting the private sector as the "true engine for hope and opportunity." He proclaimed a resurgence in employment of construction workers (while he suspends Davis-Bacon; the rule which would have allowed/ensured those construction workers a decent wage). Local firms are being left behind as a result of no-bid contract crony-ism.
On Harriet Miers, Bush said "I know her heart and what she believes." That's good. The question is - why should we trust the guy who lied us into an unnecessary and disastrous war - and will we ever get to know anything substantial about Harriet before she's confirmed? We certainly didn't learn much about John Roberts. The crafty Roberts avoided every opportunity to look America directly in the eye and speak in a non-legalese fashion to answer the questions that truly matter. When Bush was asked if he would release documents that might help us get to know Harriet (without Bush claiming Executive privelege), Bush's first response was "Ah-heh!," the annoying guffaw that is code for "you've got to be f--king kidding."
Speaking about an unnecessary and disastrous war, Bush has gone back to the use of the term "global struggle" to accompany discussion of the "war on terror". As you may recall, he avoided the use of the term "global struggle" this past July, and now he's revisiting the phrase. Once again attempting to convince a doubting public, Bush insisted that Iraq was part of the war on terror, or what Gen John Abizaid referred to as a "larger global struggle." If you've recently become confused about the mixed-message headlines regarding when we'll start pulling troops out of Iraq, Bush wants you to know "WE'RE NOT LEAVING IRAQ" - a direct quote. I hope that clarifies the matter. (Ah-heh).
On Poverty and Race, Bush's presecription is Ownership and the private sector. He said that Ownership is "empowerfully healing." He substitutes policies that rebuild meaningful lives with policies that promote greed, competition, and materialism. In the same breath, he'll heap mighty praise upon faith-based groups for all they do. In other words, there is no room in government bureaucracy for social safety nets. As Paul Krugman said yesterday in his NYT column, Bush's mission in office is "to dismantle or at least shrink the federal social safety net, yet he must, as a matter of political necessity, provide aid to Katrina's victims. His problem is how to do that without legitimizing the very role of government he opposes."
Personally, one of the richest parts of the Press con was hearing Bush admit that he used his very own style of Affirmative Action in choosing the members of his own cabinet. Saying it was his "responsibility to reach out" and "elevate people," he waxed on and on about the worthiness of his choosing black folks to be on his team.
Bush showed a "joking" disdain for public polls, and if he pays no attention to the polls, as he says he doesn't, he may wish to do so now. He is so out of touch with the American public that it has hampered his ability to forward his agenda without his right-wing cronies in the House and Senate bullying it through.
When asked how much "political capital" he figured he had left, his first reponse was a loud "Heh -heh-heh," sounding more like Beavis and Butthead than Bountiful Bush.
He caused me to zone out and daydream about the good old days when he tediously droned on and on about the H51N virus. Zzzzzzzz.... I guess that's what you do when you're trying to kill time and avoid the hot topics. (And there are plenty of hot topics).
For any reader who thinks I am overly critical of this President, I'd like to conclude by telling you that I am looking at him without blinders. I have realized, for a long time now, that I have been politically left behind. Millions of good Americans realize they stand without hope for representation or successful promotion of policies that reflect one united America. President Bush is the figurehead of an extremely divided and ugly America, and I'm speaking to you today from the other side of a perfectly polarized country. Bush said nothing today to make me believe anything else.
Paul Hackett to run for Senate Paul Hackett, the Iraq War veteran from Cincinnati who was hailed by national Democrats for his narrow loss this summer in a heavily Republican House district, has decided to challenge Mike DeWine for U.S. Senate in 2006.
DeLay Is Indicted Again in Texas; Money Laundering Is Charge A grand jury in Texas issued a second indictment on Monday against Representative Tom DeLay, accusing the Texas Republican and two aides of money laundering in a $190,000 transaction that prosecutors have described as a violation of the state's ban on the use of corporate money in local election campaigns. *Well, he's just an indictable boy...
Spitzer Leads in NYS Governor Race - Latest Poll Battleground States Polls are out [Zogby]. Spitzer beats Pataki by 33.8 points.
Harry Reid suggested Harriet Miers as good pick for Supreme Court - would like to see someone who has not had judicial experience. See the Raw Story report:
In a conference call held with liberal bloggers last week, Reid declared that he had told Vice President Dick Cheney and White House Chief of Staff Andy Card that Miers was a good choice for the Court.