Unprecedented

Crossposted at Left of Center

Sometimes during work I get the opportunity to take a company vehicle and go on a little fifteen minute road trip. It’s pretty awesome, you know, get away from the boss, turn up some tunes, and rock out for just a short period of time before I realize that I’m still on the clock. Normally I tune the radio to the punk/alternative/indie station, but this morning Mancow was on, and I really don’t like that guy, so I tuned in to NPR.

Catching a snippet of the morning news briefing, I had heard them talking up a speech that Bush was to give later this morning. It was supposed to provide, “unprecedented” information as to the “nature of our enemies” in the Global War on Terror.

Man I wished I could blow off the rest of the morning and just run upstairs to catch the speech on C-SPAN. Unprecedented, wow! Expectations were… expectations were just unbelievably high. I had even (dare I say) thought that maybe El Presidente would construct, and with passable diction, enunciate a proper sentence. To soar with the eagles, one must dare to dream… or something like that, I don’t do cliches very well.

So as soon as I could get to a computer when I got home, I raced onto the internet to see what this unprecedented information was. What bold new ideas did our Commander in Chief convey to us, his humble flock, that failed to carry the precedent of being previously repeated?

Get ready for this one. You may just very well have a heart attack, this is so unprecedented. I mean, if Scotty Mac was ready to tell folks that this was going to be some serious, important, and new stuff, you know this could be life changing.

Ready?

Okay here goes:

IRAQ IS CRUCIAL IN THE WAR ON TERROR!

Now, as I read the transcript, a few things become clear. First, if you want new information, the very last person on the face of the planet you want to go to is George W. Bush. He doesn’t know. Maybe if he picked up a newspaper once in a while, he might know some things, important, run a country kind of things. But he doesn’t, and is as useful a font of knowledge as, say, my daughters “count to five” book. It’s got bright colors, and makes a cool noise when you play with it, but not exactly full of useful wisdom.

Furthering along on the theme of unoriginality, the guy just can’t let some themes go. He yet again evokes the memories of 9-11, throws a little terror politik in there with some WMD’s. Seriously, it’s like he got his speech writer half price, leased him for one good speech, and had to turn him back in before he could write a couple more good ones.All the while, while the president is talking about the destruction of a proud city four years ago, he totally ignores the destruction of a proud city a little over four weeks ago that largely brings into question his competence level. Ooh, look at the tangent on that rant huh?

For the most part, the speech is cookie cutter George: pseudo grandiose language, tired and over used themes, attempts and trying solidify everything into an “us or them” mentality, all wrapped up with the unintentional irony that Bush is famous for. Irony such as:

The radicals exploit local conflicts to build a culture of victimization in which someone else is always to blame and violence is always the solution.

Because you’re so great at coming up with non violent solutions, eh George?And even a gaffe or two, though a little more subtle than his typical foot in mouth disease:

Yet in many ways, this fight resembles the struggle against communism in the last century.

Like the ideology of communism, Islamic radicalism is elitist, led by a self-appointed vanguard that presumes to speak for the Muslim masses.

I would not, politically speaking, attempt to invoke the memories of the decades long Cold War if I were trying to stir up support for my failure at a the war I’m in. The cold war not only marked some of the scariest passages of contempory history, but also illustrated some of the uglier aspects of America itself.

On top of that, Bush makes the same blanket, stupid, and intellectually lazy generalizations about communism that many of his biggest fans make towards Islam. As most political science professors will tell you, communism is, in theory, the best form of democracy ever. It is the perfect democracy. Even the bible makes a case for it, (“to each according to his needs”, yadda yadda). It just fails because it would be ran by people, and we have a horrible track record for being perfect, or even not corrupt.Again, more irony:

He assures them that this is the road to paradise, though he never offers to go along for the ride.

Take out the word paradise and replace it with victory and it’d be damn near impossible to tell who this would apply to wouldn’t it?

Read the whole thing, if you dare. You can check out a transcript here. But it’s really not necessary. It is unfortunate for Bush that his ability to stick to rhetoric and engage in semi-inspirational speech is finally beginning to wear thin as a political asset. His post Katrina “my fellow Americans” speech was lackluster, and did little to boost his approval ratings. This speech will not be that much different. It is unfortunate for us that we have to deal with this. I would seriously welcome a no nonsense look at what’s going on. True strategies, developments, or direction. Instead all we seem to warrant as citizens is a recycled sales pitch that we already bought two and a half years ago (and re-upped the lease last November). Unfortunately, the only unprecedented thing about this speech, was how un-unprecedented it was.

Sad.

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