Wouldn’t It Be Nice?

I have a permanent dent in my forehead right now as a result of all the times it has hit my desk in utter exasperation.  Seriously, I’ve spent much of the past few years waiting for Bush to hold a presser where the first words out of his mouth are, “Gotcha!”

It would be then that he would stand just a few inches taller, and his smile would grow more genuine.  His eyes would bely a tinge of regret as he looked into the cameras, and for the first time since he took office, he would actually look and feel like a true President of the United states.

And when he spoke, his practiced Texan accent would be gone, so too would his penchant for sensationally flagrant grammar errors.  He would speak with the voice of a statesman, deep in baritone, gentle accents on certain vowels providing only the slightest tells of where he has been.  He would look into the camera and say something like, “My fellow Americans, it is with a mixture of regret and hope that I address you today.  There has been a terrible secret weighing upon my heart, and I have born this burden anxious for this day to come.”

He would pause here, his face showing genuine anguish for this burden before continuing on.  “Much of what you know to be true today is in fact a falsehood.  Many of the issues that has opened terrific and maddening chasms of animosity between the peoples of this great nation do not in fact exist.  Instead, what has occurred over the past six years of my presidency has been perhaps the greatest social behavior experiment in the history of the human race.”

My ears would perk up, and I would lean forward.  Tell me more, I would think.

“Beginning with the single greatest issue that faces us today, Iraq, all but a very small portion of you will be surprised to learn that we never went to war in Iraq, Saddam Hussein is alive and well, and as a result of tough yet delicate negotiations following the first few years of my presidency, we have not only managed to get Saddam to comply in full with nuclear inspectors, but he has also undergone rigorous rehabilitation in regards to his severe human rights, and has willingly stepped down so that Iraqis could peacefully elect a new leader who has since become a valued ally who was instrumental in helping us hunt down, capture, and bring to a just trial Osama bin Laden.”

“We have also made significant diplomatic inroads with Iran, who is slowly but surely becoming something of an ally, and has shown its support for a secret operation to end the travesties that occur in Darfur on a daily basis.  Meanwhile, the US and its allies has labored extensively over the past six years to counteract the threatening presence of Kim Jong Il in Pongyang.  I am exceedingly proud to report that just this February, the North Korean dictator was unseated by his own people who rightfully declared their own revolution.  After which, the US, along with the aid of a true coalition of allies, acted in a support capacity of the revolutionary forces.

“On this day there is no longer a North Korea and South Korea, but a single, unified democratic Korea that will choose its own path in the world through the wisdom of its people.”

But that’s when things would get tricky.  He would explain all this was done through cooperation with the media and the military, which I would buy off as plausible enough, but then he would have to go to explaining things like NCLB and other domestic policies and that’s about where the whole daydream kinda breaks down.

NCLB is a great example of this.  Parents with children in the public school system can’t daydream themselves out of the detrimental effects of the program.  There can be no ignoring the follies of teaching to the test, as Mick pointed out in a wonderful post earlier today.  But this is merely the tip of the iceberg.  From unfunded mandates to punishing schools in urban and poor areas to reallocating principle and teacher time away from areas where it could benefit the children in order to focus almost solely on meeting the standards of NCLB, the program has become a nightmare.

And the real punchline?  Nothing CLOSE to that of my fantasies.

No, the joke was set up when he first started campaigning for president.  “Rarely is the question asked, is our children learning?”

Seven years later, he delivers the closer, “Childrens do learn.”

And thus the dent in my forehead deepens just a little bit more.

4 Responses to “Wouldn’t It Be Nice?”

  1. Laura says:

    I really just want to see what a dented forehead looks like….

    It used to be that politicians lied so well you didn’t necessarily know that they were against everything people had come to expect. Bush can’t hide what he’s up to because true idiots can’t lie; they can’t maintain two sets of rules in their minds at the same time. Plus they are so enthralled with their convictions, even while ruining every institution of government, they just can’t help but share that with you. He’s an idiot. Some childrens didn’t learn too good, little Georgie.

  2. Well, and you really have to understand his philosophy on this because an argument can be made that everything is going according to plan. Here is a guy who forwards what is KNOWN as an extermist ideology in virtually all aspects, domestically and abroad.

    For instance, it’s not kosher to say you want to privatize everything, especially in a country where so many people are rightfully apprehensive about a burgeoning corporatocracy. So you have to do it sneakily. You engage in clever word choice like, “ownership society.” But also, you have to engage in the strategy of fixing something until it breaks, and then we don’t have to worry about it.

    Two great examples of this would be Social Security and Public Schools. You have to keep in mind that Bush is in the same group that think both institutions are in their own right flat wrong. Social Security is socialism, and there shouldn’t be any public schools at all, instead just private schools (preferably with religious devotionals every morning).

    So how does he go about getting rid of Social Security and Public Schools? By “fixing” them.

    With Social Security, the first step was to trick America into think SocSec was in crisis, which is itself arguable, but social security has very few moving parts and can be fixed periodically with a minimal amount of effort. But by making it a crisis, now Americans need a solution. The solution that Bush puts forth is clever in that it keeps the name of “Social Security” but beyond that looks nothing like what we have as well as eliminating such things as the legacy debt, and boosting financial firms that will all of a sudden reap large rewards for showing how smart you are by investing your money for you.

    The result is that the trust fund, from which SocSec is currently funded, wold still go bankrupt, and what would be left in its place is little more than a government sponsored 401K. The name Social Security would still exist for a few generations maybe, but the program would be dead. Especially when you take into account the fact that in the long term, there is no net benefit, and in the near term, private accounts are net terrible for SocSec solvency.

    See, fixing it until it is completely borken and we don’t have it anymore.

    Likewise, NCLB, when looked at under a microscope does little to help those schools that are teaching under the most adverse of situations, and in fact punishes them by yanking funds out from under them if they fail to meet already impossible standards. Standards, might I add, that do little to actually measure the true quality of your child’s education.

    If this plan, unchanged, were to continue on, what you would see is a mass exodus out of the worst schools to the better performing schools as a result of allowances to move children out of under performing schools. Also, underperformers would start losing funding. So what you would have is that these schools at the low end will end up shutting down.

    But is the problem solved? Not really. Instead you are just exporting the problem to schools that are, for the most part, struggling in their own right ot make standards (In the book NCLB and the PUblic Schools, we see that even schools teaching under the best conditions have a hard time meeting the standards set forth by the NCLB). So now you are flooding the passing schools with the same problems that plagued the underperformers which will only result in MORE schools failing to meet NCLB standards.

    Meanwhile, nothing is addressing what is really affecting the ability of these children to attain a quality education, much of which is occurring outside the classroom. How, I ask you, can you ask a child to focus adequately on his or her school work when they live in poverty and are therefore undernourished (which has a direct affect on academic performance), live in a dangerous neighborhood (thereby getting them to focus more on personal safety as opposed to mathematics), and have to deal with gangs, drugs, etc. etc.

    It’s a cultural and domestic thing. You want to really see educational quality go up in this country? Forget NCLB, and work on the community. Let’s work on the economy, and focus on getting people jobs that they can hold down and support their families. Let’s focus on cutting down on crime. Let’s, you know I watched Super Size Me not long ago, let’s focus on the school lunch system and have an actual system that has healthy foods that nourish the body (especially when you think and this was even true when Iw as going to school, that often times, the meals kids get at school are the best meal they’re going to have all day). We as members of the American community also have to work dead hard to reverse this kind of anti-educational cultural influence even furthered by our president himself. We got to get to a point where it’s cool to be smart (holy god I just turned into a poster).

    Like virtually every aspect of the Bush regime, NCLB is a bandaid fix for a much broader problem, but we expect no less because he’s only fixing something in the context of breaking it without people catching on.

  3. Laura says:

    Great examples. Your explanation (of if it ain’t broke,.. fix it) describes perfectly the Neocon agenda. Start airing up your liferaft now, this ship is sinking… On a lighter note, Bush IS an idiot. None of what he’s doing does he personally care about. (

  4. Laura says:

    to finish, before I so rudely hit “submit comment”… George doesn’t even know where he lives. Too bad his handlers aren’t on our side. But I guess that’s why he’s there, because he’s an IDIOT and will do anything he’s told.

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